Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow, New York: seductive yet repellent monsters. In 12 chapters, the film shows how this contradiction insinuates itself into the daily lives of those who populate these megacities.
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Glawogger's "city symphony" is a prelude to themes later fleshed out in WORKINGMAN'S DEATH and WHORE'S GLORY and is as beautiful as it is ugly. People picking through garbage for scraps to sell, sex workers, thieves and junkies, the pictures tell the story here. Glawogger openly said that some scenes were staged, but this is still a documentary, and great cinema! I hope MUBI shows all his work!!!
Glawogger's documentary style is not only adaptable to the different situations he shows in his film but it's also often on the verge to be something more, to playfully reflect other genres. Best examples: the sequences where the audience is able to read the thoughts of the people in the subway, the sequence where the Russian women mimic singing to an old song, the New York sequence with the telephone interviews...
Superb film. Beautiful, ugly; bleak, hopeful; tragic, funny; brutal, tender; unflinching, poetic; overwhelming.
For the first 2/3 this was an easy 5 star film, but the dearth of women's voices and some contrived, stagey feeling stuff towards the end lost me a bit.
That said, completely unmissable and vital film. May well go up to 4.5 stars on another viewing.
Creo que la estructura es un problema de este filme. Lo que sigue es el acercamiento a Moscú, más reducido respecto a los otros, y además en gran parte abordando la sobrevivencia, no como forma de lucro, sino como mera vagancia. Sin duda el abordaje a México D.F. son los mejores momentos del filme. Camilo Sesto como fondo musical en un ambiente nocturno es épico.