FERNANDO ARRABAL COLLECTION 2
CAR CEMETERY 1983.
Drama/Musical. 87 Minutes. Not Rated. French with
English Subtitles. Contains Some Language, Violence, Nudity and some
Drug Use. In the near future, a group of misfit punks and hoodlums
take refuge in an automobile junkyard from an oppressive faction.
Breathing in the distasteful human ways of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll,
these misfits survive on their own by taking from others. Only one
man can bring them together in harmony with his music; his name is Emanou.
However, the oppressive factions each day become closer to discovering
where these rebels inhabit and turn their world upside down.
retells the story of Christ. Emanou represents Jesus and through his
music he can connect with people. The oppressive faction are the
those who wish to crucify him. Arrabal's film is rather bold as it
combines pimp, prostitution, sex and drugs with Jesus Christ; most folks
would rise and protest a film like this now-a-days. The acting seems
a bit cumbersome as much of the dialogue and lyrics don't much up at
times; one could also get lost in story due to Arrabal's nature of
storytelling. Still, this cyberpunk film brings an interesting
mixture of metaphorical religion to a post-apocalyptic world that nobody
had ever seen before at that time.
THE EMPEROR OF PERU 1982. Children. 81 Minutes.
Not Rated. English language. Contains children mischief.
Three children befriend a former train engineer whom doesn't have all his
marbles in correct alignment. Taken aback by the children's passion
for adventure and putting a little liveliness back into his crippled body,
the engineer makes them honorary conductors of an old steam engine the
children discover. While spending hours on fixing up the old engine,
the engineer wildly teaches them how to use the beast made of steel that
will take to the far corners of the earth.
At first, I was unsure
about Arrabal's children film take; the zaniness of Mickey Rooney, the
engineer, is quite unsettling and you tend to wonder about his intention
with the children, but after the corrupt thoughts settle, you see the more
lighter side of what Arrabal's film is all about. The lessons the
children learn are important for any child even today:
responsibility, friendship and caring for one another. The youngest
child of the three Toby, played by Jonathan Starr, stands out as his
imaginative daydreams make him out as the hero in a most ridiculous way.
The most disturbing child Hoang, a foster child with Toby and his sister
Liz's parents, has monotone voice like a robot. Hoang's awkwardness
make Mickey Rooney seem normal and that is a tough task to accomplish.
The Emperor of Peru seems obsolete when compared to today's
standard of children television, but there lies still something magical
about the whole idea of kids fixing up a train to travel the world which
can not be ignored.
FAREWELL, BABYLON! 1992. Abstract. 55 Minutes.
Not Rated. French with English subtitles. Contains some
violence and language. Lelia is a wondering soul of New York City
trying to find retain the memory of her executed father through the
people. She, like her father, rebels against the norm of which those
who executed her father had followed. Lelia can entrance people and
make them do weird tasks to as simple as putting on makeup to letting
Lelie perform the ultimate sacrifice upon them - murder. An officer
of the law stalks her as he suspects her of the weirdness taking place in
Arrabal at his arthouse
finest with this completely odd and abstracted film that has an ironically
simple story behind the curtain, but to follow it, you will need to pay
close attention to the subtitles to understand and that isn't easy since
they move super fast. If you've seen The Emperor of Peru, you
may be confused by some of the rehashed scenes used from the Children's
film. They're used to tell Lelia's story, but if you've seen the
scenes, the context will become baffling. Farewell, Babylon
is actually based on Arrabal's 1969 novel of the same title, yet I feel
his message loses any kind of connect between the reel and the audience.
Sometimes too much abstract can be a bad thing. -Steven Lewis
This DVD set also includes the two below documentaries. However,
the review DVDs we recieved were damaged and we were unable to review.
Borges: A Life in Poetry - (1998) A
sixty-minute documentary featuring the last interview with author Jorge
Arrabel, Panik Cineast- (2007) The final sixty-minute documentary on
Arrabel the artist.