The Wellington part of the New Zealand International Film Festival is over.
Of the 10 or so films I saw two were an astonishing juxtaposition, seen within 24 hours of each other. While Once upon a time in the west is still my favourite western, this one was pretty damned good. It’s called One-eyed jacks.
Marlon is the bad boy hero. The baddie who charms the ladies (the well-bred and demure ones) with his innocent eyes and convincing tales. There’s a few old scores to settle and a few grudges borne. It’s remarkable mostly because the Mexicans in it actually speak Spanish, not some ghastly spanamericana. And while there’s a bit of unpleasant overt racism directed towards them Marlon seems to be an admirer.
It’s classical fun and old school heart warming.
It’s also interesting to watch these old movies when you know how the actors age. Watching Joan Crawford later in the week all I could think of was coat hangers. My impression of Marlon Brando is that he was open to exploration of ideas. It seemed that he was not keen always keen on America’s foreign policy especially where it concerned Latin America.
So, I think he’d have liked Endless poetry directed by Alejandro Jodorosky. It has the kind of magic realism we expect from Latin America, and what seems to me an homage to Fellini with dwarves, ballerinas who constantly walk en pointe, clowns and their shoes and a melee of partying. There’s also, however poetry, a mother who only sings, a fascistic father, self discovery and friendship.
I had never heard of Jodorosky until this film festival ( I know, I know) but did also see Neruda at the lovely Civic cinema in Auckland. That is more realistic but has an element of mystery about one of the characters (Is he real? Is he a character from a novel?).
I enjoyed Endless poetry and plan to see more of Jodorosky’s movies.
And perhaps more Marlon and a few spaghetti westerns.