Amores Perros AKA Love's A Bitch. This movie had such a huge effect on me as a film viewer when I first saw it, if I remember correctly it was the first modern subtitled film I ever saw, everything else being older movies on DVD but when this hit my life I started paying a little more attention to world cinema rather than just independent movies.
The debut film from Oscar nominated Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was nominated for the best foreign language film by The Academy in 2001 and lost to Crouching Tiger in a totally undeserved defeat.
The structure for this film is three narratives brought together by a car accident. The three separate stories are different meditations on how the act of loving somebody can change your life forever and the different things we go through to be with somebody we love.
Octavio is in love with his brother's girl Susanna, Daniel leaves his family for supermodel Valeria and El Chivo has been estranged from his wife and child for 20 years. Three simple, almost every day occurrences in your standard melodrama or soap opera transformed in to something quite magical, haunting and beautiful by Inarritu. Anna over at Split Reel compared this filmic debut to Citizen Kane in terms of its sheer undoubted quality of vision and his realisation of that vision.
It has moments of intense violence, there's some graphic scenes involving illegal dog fighting, neither of which are particularly pleasant to watch. The characters are at times filled with despair, taken to their lowest ebb, but underlying all of it is the powerful presentation that for a human being, in the words of The Beatles, love is all you need to survive no matter how dark things may get or what horrors you must traverse.
The film is over ten years old now and is still one of the most astounding and impacting movies I've ever seen, it lives within you reminding you of it's beauty at random moments in your life and I'm not going to spoil it for people who have yet to see it by giving away plot details or anything like that.
It's a long film, has a powerful soundtrack and is filled with superb performances; including Gael Garcia Bernal in the role that brought him international attention. This guy makes me sick, ridiculously talented, good looking and by all accounts a really nice guy to boot. He's like the Mexican George Clooney.
So instead of rewatching Titanic spend just under three hours enjoying this wonderful film and thank your lucky stars that there are some people working in film who care more about content and exploring the truth behind the complexities of human behaviour than making stuff explode and cameras shake.
If all movies were this good there would be no war. Show me some blah below.