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[whitespace] Cine City

A critical guide to this year's Cinequest films

By Richard von Busack

Amores Perros
1/2 (Mexico; 153 min.)

The word "Dog" in the title of this multi-storied 153-minute-long film, which could be translated as "Love's a Bitch," signifies its relation to Reservoir Dogs and other Tarantino works. Ex-music video director Alejandro González Iñárritu chronicles a bunch of different characters making an illegal living in the Mexico City slums. Chief among the crooks is Octavio (Gaël García Bernal), a semi-pro dogfighter who needs to raise money quick--he's impregnated his brother's wife and needs to leave town with her fast. Warning: There's explicit dogfighting here, so it's not for the sensitive. (RvB)

(Plays March 4 at 6pm at Camera 1; March 4 at 6:30 pm at Camera 3.)


Cineful Delight: More critical reviews of this year's Cinequest films.


(U.S.; 60 min.)

The documentary profiles Gibsonton, a Florida fishing camp that became an off-season mecca for carnies. In old age, these performers remember a life that's all but extinct. (One carnival manager tells director Melissa Shachat, "I was 19 when I started, and I was the youngest owner/operator in the business. Now I'm 48, and I'm still the youngest. What's wrong with this picture?") Shachat's made this a poignant picture with a wonderful overlay of the bizarre on it; elderly as they are, the interviewees are still mysterious creatures. What strikes the viewer the most is the gentleness of the kind of people who went into carnival work as a refuge. A legless veteran of the freak show whose husband was a giant, is still in mourning for her 8-foot-tall husband; one woman is seen near tears over the taxidermed body of her two-headed cow. And a very amiable "anatomical wonder" named Melvin Burkhart has the most saintly face this side of Yoda-which makes Burkhart's "blockhead act" (driving a spike up his nose with a mallet) all the more uncanny. Shachat went a little unnecessarily avant-garde when shooting Burkhart's still entertaining magic show. Otherwise, this is beautiful work. The calliope music makes it especially recommended to Tom Waits fans. (RvB)

(Plays March 4 at 11am at Camera 1.)

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From the March 1-7, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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