Often we review films that are in the theater, but this summer we want to highlight some films that may be more accessible for our readers. There were several films that I wanted to see this year but couldn’t because of the high prices of movie tickets. As a result I had to wait until they were available on DVD to check them out. There are a few summer film festivals coming and I may be able to see other films that way, but for the most part I’m getting DVDs from the library and through other rental spaces.
Here’s a list of films in alphabetical order that I waited to see and think VL readers may enjoy as well. This is not a full review of these films as we usually do, but there are a few comments as to what the films are about and what I found interesting. If there are others you’d like to share please do!
This film was only in theaters for a few weeks, as many international independent films are. I wanted to see it to support both the director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Babel) and cast which includes Javier Bardem. I only knew a little bit about the story: that Bardem’s character Uxbal worked in an “underground” street economy and was trying to save enough money to leave his children before he died. What I was not expecting was the part of the move that is connected to spirituality/magic/paranormal/some may even say magical realism. The film is in Spanish with various subtitles on the DVD.
Elvis & Madona
A film that I saw last year for the Tribeca Film Festival, Elvis & Madona is a film from Brazil. We follow Elvis, a lesbian who is working on becoming a photographer full time but must take a job as a pizza delivery person who meets Madona, a trans woman and drag performer who orders pizza that Elvis delivers. Their relationship begins as friends as Elvis photographs Madona for upcoming shows, yet it evolves into an intimate relationship that they both desire and find peace of mind. When Elvis becomes pregnant, her and Madona discuss their options and chose to parent the child. We watch as Elvis introduces Madona to her parents, explains the pregnancy, watch as they move in together, and struggle as new parents do to respect one another and create a safe environment for their child. This is a beautiful love story that I wish more folks would see. There were less than 20 people in the theater when I went to the screening. This film will make you realize how many stories are not being told and how thirsty we ALL are for more complex human narratives and representations!