Mar 7, 2017

William, the New Judo Master (Omar Guzmán & Ricardo Silva, 2016)

This film is a part of FICUNAM selection, available for FREE viewing on Festivalscope until March 14, 2017.

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10 ☼
"... and from the guts, from the shit, we were born."

In the second collaboration project between the (daring) newcomers Omar Guzmán and Ricardo Silva, the Devil sports a hairy face, beige suit and white boots. He observes the peculiar proceedings from behind the glass held by a couple of buff, bare-chested men, so he has to be "an eternal being" mentioned in the official synopsis.

"The search for love and the fight against oblivion" is explored through the episodic, unconventional story in a genre-defying blend of queer fiction and two meta/quasi-documentaries, interrupted by seemingly random vignettes of a whale corpse, ghost ship, drunk octopus hunters, dusty 4-wheeler races and a tree with nine-millennia-old roots.

The oblivion bits and pieces refer to the Swedish-American folk-singer William Clauson who's famous for La Bamba and is now leading a hermit's life in a dilapidated garage in Tijuana, Mexico. We meet him as he is about to get bathed by a geriatric nurse and later, his sweet home filled with scattered memories is torn apart by repossessors (?) who also attempt to open his mysterious safe. (Even explosives don't work.)

The other "narrative thread" follows Edward Coward - a middle-aged actor whose last name contradicts the role of Clauson's alter-ego in a fourth-wall-breaking scenario which involves a large wooden box and three male prostitutes paid to love. To quote Shirley Manson (Garbage) - the trick is to keep breathing.

Tinged with a great deal of irony and spiced with a pinch of wry humor, William, the New Judo Master (William, el nuevo maestro del judo) is quite an ambitious piece of avant-garde cinema that touches upon a variety of themes (along with the abovementioned), such as the human nature and that of a creative/filmmaking process. Featuring beautiful cinematography by DP Adrian Durazo - the team's third most important novice, as well as the quirky musical intrusions, it is a nice, sourly sweet treat for anyone with an acquired taste.

Coming up next... a review for Still the Earth Moves.

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