Karra Elejalde

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Even The Rain Review


Extraordinary
This ambitious film weaves three plot elements into an overall narrative about colonialism and greed. And it's rather startling how well it comes together, daring to set a historical story straight while revealing telling aspects of our world today.

Costa (Tosar) is producing a Spanish film that's shooting on location in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Writer-director Sebastian (Garcia Bernal) is insisting on raw authenticity to recount the story of Christopher Columbus' first encounter with Native Americans, and subsequent dealings between locals and the priests and conquistadores. For a lead role, he casts the indigenous Daniel (Aduviri), who spends his spare time campaigning against a British-American corporation that controls Bolivia's water, including poor people's right to collect rain water. And the brewing riot could disrupt the film's schedule.

Continue reading: Even The Rain Review

Timecrimes Review


Very Good
If offered, it's a safe bet that not a single one of us would turn down the possibility of going back in time, especially to right a wrong that may have been committed. Such a concept is the foundation for many a piece of speculative entertainment, from the "enterprising" adventures of a certain starship to an earnest teenager's attempt to change his parents' loser lot in life. Most of these corrections aren't earth shattering, though quite a few end up changing things in ways unexpected and irreversible. A new film from Spain, Timecrimes, wants to bring the whole cosmic idea down to a realistic, insular level. The result is a crackling thriller with enough invention to suggest something quite special.

Hector (Karra Elejalde) is hungry. His wife Clara (Candela Fernández) is unwilling to make dinner. As she heads out to get some takeaway, he grabs the binoculars and looks out at the forest across from his property. There he sees a young girl (Bárbara Goenaga) removing her clothes. Hiking over to catch a better look, he is attacked by a man whose face is wrapped in blood-soaked bandages. Injured, Hector comes across a building, and a walkie-talkie. On the other end is Chico (Nacho Vigalondo) and he has some bad news -- the mystery assailant is hot on Hector's trail. Suggesting that he come up to the silo lab where he is hiding, our hero suddenly finds himself immersed in a milky liquid in a strange machine. A single jolt later, and Hector has traveled back in time -- a single day -- where he learns from Chico that he must thwart his own future actions to keep the fabric of reality from unraveling.

Continue reading: Timecrimes Review

The Nameless Review


Bad
If Darkness confused you, you'll be completely baffled by The Nameless, Jaume Balagueró's inscrutible first feature from 1999. The story starts with the brutal murder of a six-year-old girl with one leg longer than the other. Years later, her mom (Emma Vilarasau, the Spanish Melanie Meyron) gets a phone call, purportedly from the girl, saying she's still alive. Ultimately she and a friend -- who repeatedly decide not to go to the police -- discover a secret society of killers ("The Nameless") who get their jollies out of murdering people in unspeakable ways.

The Nameless features some of the worst decision-making you might ever see on film, all intercut with random shots taken from the proverbial Nine Inch Nails video. Stick around to the end and some of this might start to make a little sense (think Rosemary's Baby). Most viewers will probably give up well before the first act is over -- and I couldn't blame you for that.

Continue reading: The Nameless Review

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Even The Rain Movie Review

Even The Rain Movie Review

This ambitious film weaves three plot elements into an overall narrative about colonialism and greed....

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