Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, November 21, 2003, Page 47, Image 47

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    novem har 2 1 . 2QÜ3
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I biza D ream
Strand Releasing
La bella tierra
í A M
f t 44 y *
he Spanish island/tourist
spot Ibiza is famous for
its nightlife and
polyrhythmic house music,
which launched a giant
(and, if you ask me, unfortu­
nate) international music
trend more than a decade ago. It’s Europe’s ver­
sion of Palm Beach— a playland where hard-
hodied, empty-headed young adults can “go
wild,” as those videos they sell on T V put it.
W ith this in mind, the title of Igor Fioravan-
ti’s film is misleading, which is probably for the
best, since that means it’s not a movie about
frolicking, Ecstasy-soaked disco/heach bunnies.
Instead, the yearning and ennui-ridden twen-
tysomethings of Ibiza Dream — spiritually seeking
straight (in all senses of the word) guy Nacho;
hedonistic, bisexual Carlos; and restless, also
bisexual Chica— experience the island as the
same sort of existentialist backdrop the French
found in northern Africa: a vast, beautiful land­
scape where anything goes and where one can
get a clear view of exactly what place human
beings have in the universe. (Hint: Foreground­
ed against deserts, mountains, and oceans, we
homo sapiens can appear awfully tiny and lost.)
It all looks more compelling than it actually
is. There are few things more cinem atic than
diximed, beautiful young people indifferent to
imposed sexual, societal and interpersonal
boundaries, hut Fioravanti’s style is too glib, his
characters too flat and mechanically drawn.
Our three protagonists spend a lot of time
posing for sore-thumb slo-mo and fast-mo whims,
which feel like nothing more than cynical con­
Spain (an d its people)
on dazzling display in DVD releases
C hristopher M c Q uain
cessions to the M TV generation, and Fioravanti’s
loud camera and editing tricks appear tacky once
yixi realize he’s trying to philosophize with them.
Scenes play painfully like a Michelangelo Antcv
nioni film filtered through the Baywatch style.
That’s not to say Ibiza Dream is a total failure.
Fioravanti does have a good sense of composition,
and that, along with cinematographer Miguel
Leal’s crisp use of light and color, certainly gives
the viewer something interesting to lixik at.
Ibiza Dream is, however, exactly the sort of
halfway-there film that can make one wonder,
even while admiring the visual proficiency, if
that’s really enough.
— Christopher McQuain
A mor oe H ombre
TLA Releasing
speranza, a preschool
teacher, is the only
woman at her 40th birth­
day party; every last one of
her friends is a gay man,
including her closest confi­
dante, Ramon. T h e two have an ongoing, affec­
tionate discordance: Esperanza believes in true
love but has no love life, while arrogant Ramon
has an endless parade of lovers, whom he finds
ever more petty reasons to dump.
T h eir friendship is com plicated by
R am on’s obsession
with Roberto, a P.E.
teacher who works
with Esperanza,
looks like Russell
Crowe and is such
an asshole, he actu­
ally makes you feel
sorry for Ram on.
Suffering R am on’s
Ram on and Esperanza traverse the rocky roads of love and friendship
neglect, Esperanza
in the worthy Amor d e H om bre
decides it’s tim e she
Hombre is just another gay-romantic-comedy
started being there for herself, not just for her
hunk parade (supremely tacky DVD cover), so it’s
increasingly unreciprocating friend.
a pleasant surprise that it’s not just a throwaway.
That Ami>r de Hombre was co-written and
Serrano and Iborra unwrap Esperanza and
directed by a woman and a man (Spanish film­
Ramon’s conflicting, evolving needs and desires
makers Yolanda G arcia Serrano and Juan Luis
with an earthy, grounded astuteness, all while
Iborra) may explain why it transcends its ho-
maintaining a lighthearted tone.
hum concept. W hat sounds like a Will & G race
The underlying human frailty and complexity
episode (Ram on is even a lawyer!) is given
are smoothly alluded to, without breaking pace.
added dimension through little glimpses of per­
No revelations are spilled out in big speeches,
spective in Esperanza’s sympathetic but impa­
and the world dix?sn’t stop for our characters to
tient relationship to her milieu, and the film­
arrive at earth-shattering resolutions.
makers manage to avoid shallow caricaturing
It also dixísn’t hurt that Loles León, who
by giving her group of gay friends an unusual
plays Esperanza, has the put-upon, likably vul­
diversity. In addition to Ramon, there’s a bick­
gar presence of a Spanish Bette Midler, or that
ering couple at a 10-year crossroads, a doctor
the film visually pops with primary colors,
whose sexual bravado is all talk and a Catholic
reminding us that Spain is, after all, the land of
who becomes indignant when friends mix:k his
devotional celibacy.
— Christopher McQuain J H
Appearances would «.'em to indicate Amur de
& lots o f really good wine.