Friday, January 30, 2009

Film Review: BATTLE IN HEAVEN (2005, Carlos Reygadas)

Stars: 1 of 5.
Running Time: 98 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Carlos "Butt-horn" Reygadas.
Tag-lines: This film is too REAL to have a tag-line.
Best one-liner(s): Try someplace else, bud.

Ah, Carlos Reygadas. A brilliant man who had a compulsion to commit REALITY, pure and simple, to the mechanical artifice of film. No smoke and mirrors. Just plain, unadulterated REALITY. And TRUTH. Just like his forefathers, just like Carl Th. Dreyer, Yasujiro Ozu, and Michelangelo Antonioni. Just like them. Good ole' Reygadas.

A man so steadfast and unwavering in his ideals that he would NEVER market a film as pornography in order to create scandalous buzz in order to get his sorry name on the map. The sex is necessary, obviously, because it's real, everything about this film is REAL, Carlos Reygadas' ideals are REAL. Wait, I'm sorry, what? They used prosthetics for the sex scenes? That's interesting. That's an interesting way for you to manifest your ideals, Carlos, after all you've prattled on about. And what's this? Is that the worst CGI I've ever seen standing in for a rainstorm?

Click on the image for a larger view, but this freeze frame cannot possibly do justice to how bad the CGI rainstorm actually looks.

Wow, Carlos. Here you are, trying my patience, and the patience of everyone who believed enough in you to invest their time into watching your film, and YOU didn't have the patience to wait and film on a day that it was ACTUALLY RAINING?! That kinda makes me lose faith in your principles, Carlos. You're already a feeble self-construction, trying to conjure the success narratives of long dead, far more talented art film directors who would twirl in their graves to see their names placed next to yours, and then doing your damndest to affix yourself to shock cinema's coattails?! Good combo, good buddy. You may have snookered Cannes, but you haven't snookered me. And yet, it's the CGI that is the final nail in your coffin, you preening, pretentious butt-horn. And it's not even GOOD CGI. So Michael Bay movies STILL have one-up on you. No, wait, you're right, Carlos. I'm sorry. Dreyer totally would have used CGI flames in THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC and CGI fog in VAMPYR and CGI zombies in ORDET.

Note Dreyer's austere use of CGI.

Keep wowin' 'em, Carlos.

-Sean Gill

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