It's gorgeous and sunny today but yesterday the weather was overcast at the Los Cabos International Film Festival, which made it just a tiny bit easier to ignore the beautiful surroundings and head inside to watch movies. Happily, the trio that I saw were all above-average.
Queen of Earth
Right up front, I'll admit that I hadn't seen anything by Alex Ross Perry before this screening, but now that I've seen this bold and challenging drama, I'm intensely curious about catching up with the filmmaker's body of work, as small as it may be.
The 70s-style photography immediately caught my eye, since that's my favorite decade for movies, and the deliberate pace of the narrative allowed me to become completely aborbed in what is, essentially, a character study of two women, one of whom may be losing her mind.
Patrick Holzapfel wrote about the film for Twitch this past February. Having the benefit of watching Perry's previous film, Listen Up Phillip, he could better place the director's latest effort in context:
"Alex Ross Perry is a more than promising young director. He courageously combines intimacy, humor and a sense for cinematic language and form. Nevertheless, his latest, Queen of Earth, is a step back for the young director in terms of maturity and individuality, especially compared to his impressive Listen Up Philip.
"In Queen of Earth, the director aims at the same time for greatness and modesty. The modesty comes from working with fewer people, fewer locations, and a smaller budget than in his previous film while the greatness follows in the footsteps of directors like Ingmar Bergman and Roman Polanski. To be frank, one can easily speak of a rather cheap copy/combination of Persona and Repulsion. But there is something in the faces of his characters that saves the crucial spark of originality."
The festival is featuring a Spotlight on Perry, also screening his films Impolex and The Sleeping Giant. My schedule doesn't allow me to see those films here but I'll be certain to hold my own retrospective as soon as I get home.