Saturday, 23 July 2011

Scenes from "Ciudad de Ciegos" [1991 Mexico]

The DVD for this somewhat obscure gem by Alberto Cortés, "Ciudad de Ciegos" [Eng. title: City of the Blind] had been sitting on my shelf for close to three years - while I bought it primarily for a memorable scene by Blanca Guerra, the reviews mentioned about the film being about some local eighties rock bands, which kinda put me off a bit. Having finally drawn the courage to watch it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was the music rather good, the rock music theme was only a single segment within the film, and there was much more to it than just rock music.

The film is basically the history of an apartment from the 50's to the 80's, and carries ten segments or snapshots during the period. It bears witness to events concerning its various occupants, where dreams are born and shattered - a simple yet beautiful observation of human emotions, desires, interactions and consequences. The film has a great soundtrack featuring various genres across the timeline, and a jamming session in its last segment of a then up and coming Mexican rock band. Those interested may download the title soundtrack here.

The DVD also appears to have been transferred from negatives without remastering, it looks visibly aged, but at least there weren't any cuts, and the full-frame aspect ratio was retained. This is actually a great film, and therefore Recommended Viewing..!


Compilation 1: Gabriela Roel, Verónica Merchant, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, and Silvana Orsattin

Gabriela Roel, Verónica Merchant, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, and Silvana Orsattin in Ciudad de Ciegos

Scene Guide:
  • Set in the 50's, Socorro is with her lover, a revolutionary, who's been hiding in the apartment to avoid arrest. Unfortunately they are interrupted in the middle of their act. Socorro is played Gabriela Roel.
  • A strange family, with an adulterous mother and promiscuous daughter, set sometime in late 60's. In this scene the daughter is with a bloke while her mother is busy with her own lover in the same house. The daughter is played by the cute and never-too-shy Verónica Merchant.
  • Teo and Frances are room mates and friends - Frances organises a party to initiate the sexually inexperienced Teo, and asks her lover to bring along a friend. Teo is weary of doing it with a stranger and getting pregnant, so Frances gives her some pills and also tells her that's infinitely better than losing virginity to one's own uncle at the age of twelve (as was in her case). Later, Frances' lover, the guy who popped Teo's cherry wants them all to go away for an orgy weekend, but Frances isn't interested. She proceeds to initiate her lover's own inexperienced friend. Teo is played by Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, and Frances by Silvana Orsattin.


Compilation 2: Blanca Guerra, Elpidia Carrillo, and Melissa

Blanca Guerra, Elpidia Carrillo, and Melissa in Ciudad de Ciegos

Scene Guide:
  • This is probably the best written segment of the lot - almost a solo scene of a depressed woman impulsively calling her ex-lover and waiting for replies. There is a surprise ending to the segment which I will not reveal. It is also ably performed by Blanca Guerra as she delivers her monologues in the nude, soaking wet. One of the memorable nude scenes in cinema.
  • Fabiola persuades her married lover to stay overnight, and allow her to put some make-up on his face. There is a backgound to their story which is only partially revealed towards the end. The beginning of this scene is the best. They are rudely awoken the following morning as their building is demolished. Fabiola is played by señorita 'sexy' Elpidia Carrillo.
  • The last segment in the film is about a group of young musicians practising in the space which once used to be the apartment. We see Brenda making out with her saxophonist lover while his other lover waits outside. Brenda is played by 'Melissa'.
  • The music session continues with visuals from other segments.


No comments:

Post a Comment