El Cuzcatleco 2.0

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gazing IN THE CITY OF SYLVIA

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still from the film, "In the City of Sylvia

Still from the film, "In the City of Sylvia."

After reading a review on the VILLAGE VOICE, I thought I’d go see  José Luis Guerín‘s IN THE CITY OF SYLVIA,  a hypnotic and visually dazzling meditation on male gazing, missed opportunities, and lost love. Most of the film takes place in real-time, following a young man (Xavier Lafitte, who looks kinda like Gael Garcia Bernal) looking at several women ouside a cafe, and making sketches of some of them. He catches a glimpse of a woman inside (Pilar López de Ayala) who becomes the locus of his obssessive gaze, proceeding to following her around the city until he finally talks to her (“Sylvia, do you remember me?”) during a bus ride. What follows subverts the typical trope of a ‘brief encounter’ between two characters, and shifts into a essay on the illusory nature of perception…a perception that encourages and directs a scopophic experience for every participating spectator of a film.

Written by elcuzcatleco

12/15/2008 at 5:01 am

Posted in film