Argentina road movie
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 02/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An interesting movie in the "hitchhiker" vein where a computer programmer returns to Argentina from Europe to wander the hiways in search of? Along the way "Zarate" encounters a variety of odd ball characters each in search of? The common denominatior most of the characters seem to have is that they are all leaving Argentina. As much a commentary on contemporary Argentina as it is a road flick, "Zarate" sees the sad changes along his journey and it seems everyone he finds along the way is leaving the past behind. He encounters a heavy set, tarot card reading woman who reveals more than his future to him. The scene where they are stuck in a volkswagon in a river bed is very funny. He also meets a former circus performer turned con man who engages "Zarate" to help him pull off his tricks along the road to nowhere. He meets a wealthy man, recently dumped by his lover who is wandering the countryside in a Rolls Royce who has several "chance" meetings with "Zarate" along the way. He also meets a couple who like everyone else is searching for nirvana and think they will find it as they drive to of all places Cleveland, Ohio! Some people are going to Bolivia others to Brazil but along the way everyone is contributing to the corruption and thievery they are trying to leave. In a country where the poverty has driven people to cut the wires from the towns communications systems in order to salvage the copper for resale it is a sad state of affairs. The backdrop of the desolate Pampas is the perfect setting for this stark but humorous look at life. The various episodes of reality on the road make for an interesting , introspective look at the harsh conditions that are at times juxtaposed with flights of trivial insane behavior. This is a movie about broken dreams and renewed hope found along the way to ? Part philosophical inquiry, part social commentary this movie is one that makes you think and enjoy the scenery as you watch it. The result is an entertaining movie from Argentina for the world to ponder and enjoy."
An excellent, interesting cast of characters
Rizzo | Denver, CO | 01/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hector Olivera has had an extensive career in the film industry since the 50's as a Director, Producer, Assistant Producer, Writer, Actor and more.
This 1994 Argentina movie is quite an interesting conglomeration of desolate countryside, pathetic souls, thieves, scammers, and dreamers.
The first scene, an empty train stranded in a desolate depressed town sets the foundation for the tone of the movie. A computer programmer is left to fend for himself amongst the town's unique characters. Primarily, the pitiful characters are engaging into means of survival amongst each other, which primarily includes thievery. And, the computer man wandering the countryside participates within these means of survival. If you live with them, you become them.
We don't know the computer man's name, only that one crazy character he meets is Coluccini, the circus tightrope walker who calls him Zarate, the namesake of his old partner who robbed him of his circus.
Zarate has baggage that includes a lost wife and feelings of not being a good father to his daughter in Rome. He encounters the fortune teller who has a reputation of getting it wrong, a drifter who earns money by providing "showers" to migrant workers out of his attache case (you have to see this contraption); the mute and his girl trying to get to, lord only knows why, but Cleveland, Ohio, fake priests, etc., etc.
But the crux of survival is the casino, where Lem, the Rolls Royce owner believes the computer man, Zarate, has the winning strategy at the casino. And Coluccini also teams up with Zarate for shenanigans at the card table.
This was often amusing, great photography, a somber tone with a sprinkle of soothing soundtrack intermittently. The DVD is simple with no extras. It is excellent! .....MzRizz
One of the best - Una de las majores peliculas de todo tiemp
William Tilton | Kingman, AZ USA | 06/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those familiar with Southern Cone writers, this film shares the wanderer bleakness of a Sábato's "Héroes y Tumbas" - and the end-of-the-road tristesse of an Onetti's "Cuando ya no importe" - ("Que el ultimo en irse apague la luz" - Montevideo's epitaph spray-painted on the walls of the airport - "The last one please out turn off the lights"). A Shadow conveys a tanguero's nostaglia, a comradery and heartbreak of lost souls. For those familiar with Germanic writers, Knut Hamsun's "Mysterier", or Kafka's "Prozess" (The Trial), may come to mind - but in A Shadow, our wander is one among many, and there's the light, the perpetual wind, the sunsets, the semi-ghost towns of the pampas. Its absurd, poetic love of life places it more akin to Fellini - as though life were a concatenation of scenes - touching moments of intimacy, of failed dreams and haunting illusions. Indeed the main character has returned from Italy, to the Pampas' gallows humour roads and towns, driven by a nostalgia for a way of life that's too much in his blood, too much a part of him. The artistic touch for these wanderers is to sense the correct timing for their final bow and exit, before the actor and his role become grotesque. I find this a splendidly crafted, yet simple, low-budget, humanistic work of art. I wish there were more like it."
A great movie.
Jesse S. Walker | Huntington, WV USA | 03/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great movie. Since others have reviewed the plot I'll cover the specifics of the DVD features. I only wish it had some extras on the DVD. This DVD is like owning the VHS tape. It has no extras. The subtitles are automatic so you can't turn them off. The transfer is relatively good with only a few minor exceptions."