Dir. Isaac Ezban
Special Screening – Movies with Mummy
The Richter Scale says: Time is a prison. We spend our entire lives inside it and the only way out of it is death. Like any prison, we look for ways to entertain ourselves and forget we’re prisoners of time. We work, we walk, we play, we make love, whatever is necessary not to feel like time is ticking ahead and we’re at the mercy of what it does to us. In his feature debut, Isaac Ezban explores this prison, locking the audience into places we probably walk through every day. On one end, we have two brothers and a detective that’s chasing them locked in a staircase that doesn’t seem to have an end. On the other end, a family on a road trip is stuck on a road that won’t stop repeating itself. What these stories have to do with each other you’ll have to find out for yourselves.
The Young filmmaker is so enamored with this concept of characters who are trapped even when they’re not actually trapped, that even the way he frames the film is so compact to the point of causing claustrophobia. The car he picks for the family road trip is possibly the most compact car I’ve seen in a movie and he favors long takes in which he lets a lot of the action happen without moving the camera (just to be clear, this is not a contemplative picture). His biggest asset are those moments where he lets the visuals tell the story and allows the audience to feel that anguish towards the passage of time. He loses it when he starts explaining the concept and by over-explaining it, he robs the audience of interpreting certain events their way (one can tell the filmmaker had a very specific experience in mind that he wanted to transmit).
For a debut feature, it shows a lot of confidence in its auteur voice, which is something that should be applauded and it gets some gut-wrenching work out of its stellar cast (Hernán Mendoza and Fernando Álvarez Rebeil are the standouts). Another highlight is Edy Lan’s bombastic orchestration which brings back memories of the music in 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as the makeup work which achieves a nightmarish vision of growing old. There’s one aspect of the film that reveals the filmmaker’s age, but that’s what debut features are for. They’re a reference point for how much a filmmaker can grow with subsequent projects (though it seems for this filmmaker that nothing scares him more than the certainty of growing old).
This film is scheduled to be released commercially in Mexico sometime in September and will be distributed by Cine Caníbal. Don’t miss it!