Naturalistic slowcore – I think it’s another hybrid-doc film, and it was a bad move for my attention span to play this right after Orleans and the Sarah Morris shorts. On the other hand I’ve been meaning to watch anything by Pereda since the 50 Under 50 list almost five years ago, so I’m glad I finally did.
Gabino seems to be rehearsing a breakup poem composed of song titles – ah, no he’s selling mp3 discs of romantic songs, and for some some never-explained reason he thinks he needs to memorize the titles of all included songs. Gabino lives with his mom, has a couple siblings, and his dad is trying to get them involved in a pyramid sales scheme with his friend Gonzo. Gradually we figure out that the dad abandoned the family many years ago and has just returned… Gabino is tentatively spending time with him but mom is trying to throw him out. I lost the thread of things towards the end, when the dad returns as a different actor.
Dad #1 would like to sell you a CD:
Enter Dad #2:
Oddball film techniques: sometimes the action freezes, people standing still without speaking for minutes while some harpsichord-sounding music plays, recalling My Son My Son, What Have Ye Done. At least once we simply repeat a scene, but it plays out differently. A few durational “see how long any audience will put up with this” shots. Then mid-movie, someone behind the camera starts talking to an actor, asking about his past. Role-playing: in my favorite scene, Gabino pretends to be his father, making in-character excuses and pleas while mom rehearses telling him to leave. By the end I didn’t know what’s real, and was convinced that Gabino really sells CDs on the subway, but no, he’s an actor who has been in 40 other movies. He also plays “Gabino” in all the other Pereda movies.
Pereda in Cinema Scope:
Greatest Hits is a film where the same scene happens more than once in the film, and some of the scenes that repeat themselves were separate takes. I enjoy the repetition, but when I see that a take is a bit different than the first one, only I can enjoy this difference. In this film I tried to give the audience the pleasure I would get from noticing the differences from one take to another.
At times I sort of interview them, Gabino and his real father, and I ask them real things about their real lives. When the film starts over, in the second half, that’s when it becomes a lot more obvious, because there’s one new actor who’s playing a character that we saw before, but the new actor — my uncle actually — is more of a documentary subject. He doesn’t know when we’re filming him, so he’s just talking away. I told him what the movie was about, but I didn’t tell him at that point that he had to act, I just said we’re making a movie and this is your character.