EN LA CAMA (In Bed)
DIRECTOR: Matias Bize
CHILE 2005
ACTORS: Blanca Lewin as Daniela and Gonzalo Valenzuela as Bruno.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Christian Castro and Gabriel Diaz
MUSIC: Diego Fontecilla

Some films are easy to talk about and some are not. Some make a point of making sure that you know the point as a way to justify its existence, as if a theme was so important that your life had to change by its viewing. Others. make sure that the point is not quite made, and let you decide. That decision, while it may not be major, could at times be influenced by something that you saw, and I suppose that we could sit here and argue the merits of the beauty of literature in motion that you might pick up something from as you normally would from an English novel.

Some of us, are silly enough to actually live in these worlds, film, fiction, you can never come up with enough names, and a lot of the films that we all see are a way to augment that feeling and help us sustain that idea, that veritable vision, that illusive something ... that rarely comes to life for many of us. By the time you sit through this film, I think that your mind will be reeling a bit, and going over some things, maybe not, but it did me.

It's almost a non-story, and even though the cinematography in it, separates the sensual from the rest of things, there is a moment or two where we sit here, and do not find this attractive ... and the reason why is simple ... sometimes we are selfish and all we want is what we want ... and nothing else is said.

In the film, two people meet and they spend a night together. And it's as if a camera was parked there so we could see all the goings on, at first as if it were some sort of bed sheet and then a bit of the voyeur takes over and then the silence begins ... and the conversations are what make this film pick up. That's not to say that the passion in the film is not exciting, I am sure that each and everyone of us would love to have a part in that, but it is the aftermath that this is really about. How sometimes, we did this or that, and didn't even think of the person, or for some reason nothing clicked other than the sex, and when it was over, it was over.

It is over in this film, but differently so. And if not for that special moment in the conversations, I am not sure that this film would have gathered so much attention ... in a way, this film is almost telling us, go ahead, have the fun and enjoyment, but there is one thing that you must do ... be honest, even if you don't know.

There are some films that have a way with dialogue and they usually let the actors take over in their instincts and simply see where it all goes. One can easily remind himself of Mike Leigh turning on the camera and letting the actors die in total panic and loss for words, or one can do it a la Godard, you give them everything except words and then you throw monkey wrenches into the mix of the action. Some actors do well in these, and some don't. Some are capable of making small switches in the dialogue, if not create one, and live through it. Some actors are too caught up in what the heck are they supposed to be thinking when ... there is no thinking (it might just be the point, too!) ... and this is where this film is really good.

All of a sudden, for lack of words, the connection between the two people (in this case) is either going to come through or not, and other than an orchestrated look at me scene where they alternate the movements, there is very little else to fault how this is all done.

In the end of their night of fun, they come to know each other, unfortunately as is the case for some many of us -- and there are ten thousand social reasons for it -- these moments rarely go further as something else is already in motion, and one could say that it all takes the romance, or in this case, the movie experience, out of one's life.

It is truly an honor, to say something nice about this film. So many films create a literary style and always take the wrong turns as a way to justify something happening, and create a sad story, or a tragic moment, that ends up curtailing a lot of what we do in life. But this is not the case here, and it is nice to know that these two people made a point of learning, something that it appears they had not been able to do in their own lives before, so it seems anyway, but in this moment and time, it comes to happen.

It is a testament that both Blanca Lewin and Gonzalo Valenzuela do not fall prey to cliches and unlike a lot of actors that appear to be reading their lines, after the opening scenes and sex, the film begins to juggle the sexuality and sensuality, with words. It has become obvious that these two people have just learned what it takes to love and to care, and it took what could be considered a frivolous night on the part of Daniela to make it happen. And it is her that is making things happen, not that he is not able to hold up, but she is capable of blending the sensual, sexual and then the words very well together, where many times, in these intimate situations, it becomes painfully obvious that it is a movie, and a fantasy for us to enjoy.

This film is no fantasy. It is erotic in its own way, but I defy the fantasy to stand up. The reality is so much better with the right person and the right care from each person, and that is the cue. If there is a sad point in the whole thing, it is a commentary that is much more subtle but not written or spoken ... it is kinda sad that as a society we are forced to prescribe roles and ideas and goals, and not deal with the "now" and not appreciate it. Well, for these two characters they did deal with the now and they appreciated all the more for it having happened, and this is something that is tough for many of us to deal with and learn to live with ... we all have ... our own ways and ideas ... and these are always in between us and the person next to us?

Excellent performances, totally subtle and very well rehearsed if not acted properly all the way through. Rarely does the series of looks to the left or right seem to be wasteful or frivolous, and I have to admit that I did not feel that this was a "film" with all those conventions that we think define film, the modern day romances if you will.

Worth seeing, although some people might not want to sit through extended moments of sensual and sexual involvement. It is filmed tastefully and respectfully, and this, a great testament to the film maker and the design of this film. And the way these two actors put this together, as intimately as possible, and special for all of us.

 

   

      

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