Finisterrae (2010, Sergio Caballero)

Saw some screen shots from this movie and decided I must watch it immediately. Then I found out there are seemingly unrelated films named Finisterrae and Finis Terrae (“ends of the earth” in Latin) and decided I must watch them both. And they were both pretty spectacular, but I can’t pretend that I found any similarities beyond the titles.

Forest of ears:

Two ghosts (played by men wearing sheets) go on a journey. I did not like the high pitched noise produced by the forest of ears, but I liked every other single thing. There are Garrel references, spoken credits, very nice music by Jimi Tenor (also “Ghost Rider” by Suicide), a hippie joke, and it’s all super-quirky in a high-art-film sort of way. Seems like the kind of thing that’s made just for viewers like me, but could fall right on its face if not done perfectly, like that sad attempt at a cult movie, Buckaroo Banzai. But I fell for this one completely, and I’m not the only one; Rotterdam gave it an award a couple days after I watched it.



The ghosts are Russian, and I think they’re in Cataluña – not sure where Chile and Germany fit in. One rides a horse (later, a wheelchair) and they meet other animal friends: deer, an owl and various stuffed creatures in a museum exhibit where they spend the night. Sometimes their horse turns into a mechanical puppet, and sometimes he is on fire.

It might all make sense in some way, be a huge metaphor for some Spanish thing or other, but I didn’t get any of that. I focused on the surreal fun of it all, the and the beautifully composed images by Caballero and d.p. Edward Grau (also of A Single Man, who at age 30 has made more indelible images than I ever will).

After the ghost thing fizzles out, there is a frog princess story, then a moose or reindeer walking through a fancy house, and back to the museum animals. I would watch this again right now if I supposed that anyone I know would sit through it.

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