Lake Tahoe (12A)

Directed by Fernando Eimbcke
Written by Fernando Eimbcke and Paula Markovitch
Screening at FACT until 23rd July 2009

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Set in a coastal town in Mexico, Lake Tahoe is a gentle, dreamlike and simple story expertly directed by Fernando Eimbcke.

He uses natural light throughout the film, using very slow wide-angle shots. Often when characters move off from the shot, the camera stays directed at the location they left behind with the image almost becoming a photograph.

Eimbcke also has a penchant for employing blackouts of the screen at regular intervals. This method of filming became slightly irritating at times but apparently the reason he did this was to represent psychological breakdown of various characters in the story.

Also unusual is the director's use of the main protagonist in the film Juan (Diego Catano), who resembles a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo, and walks from the right-hand side of the frame to the left, instead of the more conventional way in most films of the left-right procedure.

The film opens with Juan crashing his car and his subsequent attempts to get the correct spare part to enable him to get back on the road.

In his quest for the contraception he meets assorted oddball inhabitants of the town, notably David (Juan Carlos Lara), a car mechanic obsessed with martial arts, kungfu and Bruce Lee.

The symbolism of the missing part is powerfully depicted - in a lot of ways it reflected what was/is missing in the life of Juan.

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