Right away establishes itself at some indeterminate point between unabashedly high concept & jarringly unbalanced; at once achingly aesthetic & utterly banal. Which is… a commentary on image & ideal? On the overlooked everyday? Is it deadpan surrealism? A thesis on humanity? The inherent disjuncture of being? It certainly explains Mubi's series title: The Extraordinary Ordinary. Wish, now, I’d caught the others. 3.75
Just to mention that film scholar David Bordwell uses this film to illustrate how art film, "a tradition that favors individual expression and more unusual storytelling... also has its conventions." Well worth the read. Bordwell's analyses are always helpful & accessible. http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2012/08/26/how-to-watch-an-art-movie-reel-1/
Experiemental director Jaime Rosales crafts a fairly standard film here, although not TOO standard. It's about the loss of a loved one, and the grief that others can't always identify with, because everyone grieves in different ways. Very nicely done, although I would have personally preferred a more traditional unfolding of events.
(4.5 stars) Easily the best of the 3 Rosales films I've seen here. His voyeur style still at play here with long takes playing out the day-to-day happenings, but inform us of the mood and motivations. His camera often doesn't center on the subjects, but plays into the theme of the film while this family tries to cope. We literally SEE that they are out of frame. It's a very nice cinematic effect tying into theme.
A long study of an average family living their lives in urban Spain. Black and white is the chosen medium and of similar significance is the refusal by the director to spell out the tragedy that visits their lives. Time shifts add a further complexity and long moving shots juxtapose with the mostly straight-up scenes. It's a long haul and a few late splashes of colour provide an interesting contrast.
Interesting, non-linear narrative, beautifully observed, takes a bit of getting used to, worth sticking with it. Something significant happens but it takes some time to have an idea of what. Surprisingly little grief in evidence, considering. A lightness about it despite heavy themes.