Ixcanul (Volcano)

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Ixnay on any aughlays in this dilatory drama about a 17-year-old Guatemalan girl who, though spoken for through an arranged marriage, finds herself pregnant with another man’s child. First time writer-director Jayro Bustamante’s opening salvo lobs metaphoric bricks out of a tennis cannon: an unbroken long take of our virginal heroine María (María Mercedes Coroy, leading a cast of non-professionals) preparing for her wedding day is followed by scenes of two pigs being force-fed rum to put them in the mood to procreate. Halfway through the picture, it becomes apparent that the film’s power hinges on the relationship between María and her mother Juana (María Telón), a woman possessed who will do everything in her power to prepare her child for the hell that awaits. Think Stella Dallas, only slower. Much slower. The end ultimately justifies the means; whether viewers will want to stick it out is another thing. (2015) — Scott Marks

Rated NR | 1 hour, 31 minutes
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Yeah, well, everyone thought that snoozer EMRBACE OF THE SERPEANT was hip and fantastic!!!

Oct. 3, 2016

Mr. Marks, although I don't always understand or agree with your reviews, you know more about world cinema than anyone I know, including myself! You should be teaching a class.

Now, last Friday I drove up to Hollywood for the premiere of DOG EATS DOG which was playing along with TAXI DRIVER, (which by now I've seen more times than Hinkley since he has been confined), and an in-person appearance by Schrader and Nick Cage. During the very brief q & a he was asked about filmmaking rules and the breaking of them. Schrader answered that THERE ARE NO RULES. Specifically, to the question, Schrader breaks the so-called "180 degree rule" in DOG EATS DOG. That got me recalling our brief exchange over your bashing of Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. "He starts off by breaking the 180-degree rule," you said. Now, I see that you merely were looking for a pretext, ANY pretext to bash him and his film for obvious political reasons. Isn't that correct, Mr. Marks??? Just like your about-face on Gus van Sludge.

Oct. 3, 2016

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