Friday, June 13, 2008

Duck Season (2006)

Jim Jarmusch is thanked in the final credits of this film, and it's clear that director Fernando Eimbcke is highly influenced by Jarmuschian technique. Duck Season features long static camera takes, frequent fades to black, 1950s-ish black & white documentary style cinematography and offbeat, eccentric characterizations. In short, all the elements that distinguish the Jarmusch playbook. Enrique Arreola and Diego Catano play latchkey pubescents looking forward to a typical Sunday afternoon of soda pop and violent video games. Things begin to go off course when a 16 year-old femme fatale neighbor (Danny Perea) with a broken oven asks to borrow the youths' kitchen to bake a cake. Then a power outage forces the boys to put down their game controllers and face the grim prospect of an afternoon of quiet contemplation. The boys react in a perfectly normal way, they order a pizza. But fate again takes a hand when they are dispatched a delivery driver with a myriad of personal issues, all of which we learn about in the course of the afternoon. Meanwhile, the coquette in the kitchen embarks on a variety of baking projects, all of which end in disaster except for one, some innocent-looking brownies that have a profound effect on the remainder of the day. Despite its Art House trappings, Duck Season is handled in a charming and beguiling way and fans of both Jarmusch and John Hughes should find this import from Mexico appealing. Be sure to watch the end credits all the way through, as they are followed by a brief and satisfying closing scene.

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