Extraordinary Stories

Extraordinary Stories ★★★★★

Film directors and writers would do better to read—or at least be cognizant of—what Bioy Casares, Clarice, PEDRO PARAMO, Cortázar, Arguedas, Ocampo, Roa Bastos, Monterroso, and that whole Latin American literature generation laid down. Llinás certainly is—as beholden to them as he is to the Thousand and One Nights and Los Angeles noir. (Throw in Raúl Ruiz's poetics of cinema, too, claro.)

Leave behind your France and your Rivette and get a load of this. The never-ending story...one of the best movies about what it means to tell a story, to sustain it, to never leave the mode of narration. Watched it with three other people at Spectacle; we all had a groovy time. After the second intermission, where the film goes, "Well, the end starts here..." with like 90 minutes to go, we all busted into laughter. I wonder whether the magic that so obviously suffuses this film can be sustained within the (even to me) masochistic runtime of La Flor; this, to me, seemed perfectly paced. Is 4 hours on the dot the golden ratio for a long-ass film that doesn't overstay its welcome but can't be shorter? A Brighter Summer Day, L'amour fou, Christ Stopped at Eboli...

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