Alonso Ruiz Palacios / MX, 2015 / 106 min.
Guëros is a playful ode to the New Wave cinema centring on some layabout students in Mexico City. The film is full of charming, semi-improvised scenes, humour and unexpected turnings. Feature film debut by the Mexican filmmaker Alonso Ruiz Palacios, who made his name producing documentaries. In spite of having received favourable reviews at film festivals, Güeros was unable to find a distributor in the Netherlands – now the film is screened in EYE.
A wayward teenager is sent by his mother to Mexico City, where his brother is pretending to be a student without ever really bothering to open a book. Federico turns out to share a rundown apartment without electricity with his student pal Santos, who, like him, is mostly stuck at home. It”s 1999, and the University had been closed down following mass student protests.
The film”s chapter titles, named after various neighbourhoods of Mexico City, reveal that the two students do now and then move through town, as when they go in search of a celebrated old folk singer, Epigmenio Cruz. Federico is also in pursuit of Ana, one of the leaders of the student protests.
The film, entirely shot in black and white in the traditional 4:3 screen format, shifts between homage and self-conscious parody; in one scene the director himself enters the set to ask the protagonists what they think of the script. The cameraman was obviously out to find interesting angles and oppositions, as in the scene in which a gang member on the back seat of a car appears to transform into Jesus when filmed out of focus. The sound design, too, is a source of humour. The Mexican star actor Gael García Bernal acted as associate producer.
The film has not been released before in the Netherlands and is now showing in EYE.
Alonso Ruiz Palacios
DCP - encrypted
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