Duck Season (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner10/03/2005

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins
In Spanish with English subtitles

A delightful little film, this is reminiscent of early Jim Jarmusch - beautifully shot, with great characters and a witty script.

The Background

Duck Season is the first feature by Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke. It received a warm reception with both critics and audiences when it played at the Edinburgh Film Festival last year and deserves to do well on the arthouse circuit now that it’s finally getting a theatrical release.

The Story

Moko and Flama (Diego Cataño and Daniel Miranda) are two fourteen year old boys spending Sunday together in Flama’s flat whilst his mother is out. They have assembled everything they need for the perfect day: a fridge full of Coca-Cola, some beer, a PlayStation, some fast food and a stack of cartoon pornography.

However, they haven’t counted on the arrival of their cute 16 year old neighbour Rita (Danny Perea), who commandeers their kitchen in order to bake a cake laced with marijuana. To make matters worse, when the pizza delivery guy, Ulises (Enrique Arreola) arrives 30 seconds after the ‘On Time Or It’s Free’ guarantee expires, he refuses to leave until he gets paid.

When a power cut puts paid to both videogame-playing and cake-making, the group are forced to interact and the stage is set for a series of mini-adventures and minor revelations. (The title, incidentally, refers to a painting in Flama’s apartment, a painting that’s currently being fought over by his parents in their divorce.)

The Acting

The four actors are superb - none of the three youngest cast members had acted before and they each give likeable, naturalistic performances. Arreola is good too, striking just the right note of melancholy and quirkiness.

The Formula

Duck Season recalls Kevin Smith’s Clerks in its inventive use of a single location, its black and white photography and its small, but engaging cast. It’s also reminiscent of the early work of Jim Jarmusch (such as Stranger Than Paradise), particularly in the way that Eimbcke lets certain shots linger longer than strictly necessary, purely because of the cool-factor. The film even makes reference to The Breakfast Club, when the four characters eat the hash cakes and have a series of amusing hallucinations. A decent soundtrack adds weight.

In short, Duck Season is a sweet, charming film about friendship and the pangs of adolescence, enhanced by gorgeous black and white photography and four splendid performances. It’s well worth seeking out. Highly recommended.

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Duck Season (12A)
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Content updated: 15/12/2017 11:58

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