Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Sentimental Engine Slayer - John Frusciante Executive producer

The Sentimental Engine Slayer will be shown at the Marfa Film Festival - on May 8th at 6.45pm

Texas Premiere, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, 2010, USA, 97 min.

A compelling, confounding tale of the overdue coming of age of a twenty-something misfit named Barlam. Barlam's awkward transition from boy to man is as much the story of struggling to find one's essence in a world of stereotypes as it is an indictment of the distorted reality of family life in the disengaged 21st century. A bottom-rung grocery bagger whose neo-incestuous relationship with his addict sister, Natalia, causes him no small amount of grief and disillusionment, Barlam seeks solace in the convoluted wisdom of what few male peers are available, namely his androgynous, alcoholic boss, Oscar, and the sister's simple-minded boyfriend, Zack. Seeking an explanation as to the strange circumstances of his apparent lack of family structure, as well as the respect from others fundamentally absent in his mundane model-building existence, Barlam is soon led astray amid a seedy underworld of prostitutes, hustlers and addicts. The labyrinthine plot soon begs questioning as to where reality ends and fantasy begins, Barlam shifting effortlessly between hapless punching bag, assertive surrogate father figure, and rage-prone psychopath.

Beautifully photographed amidst the sleepy yesteryear pastiche of this most archetypal of border towns, the film is an homage to El Paso and its microcosmic hybrid of Latino and American culture, an inadvertent time capsule of a city literally straddling the first and the third worlds, the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries; a city as contradictory and befuddling as the film’s prime antagonist. At once urban and rural, docile and convulsive, the city’s personality comes to the fore in the film, whereas prior films have made-do simply with caricature.


The Sentimental Engine Slayer on IMDB

Official Website

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