Japón was Carlos Reygadas’ debut feature. It received awards at different film festivals, among the others Golden Camera at the Cannes Film Festival. I had high expectations when I ordered DVD and unfortunately they weren’t fulfilled… 

It is one of these movies, wchich are admired by the film criticis and cinematographers but not by an average movie goer. There’s no story in it, which you can get attached to, thus I guess that the only thing you can admire is the cinematography. It was shocking for me, that the movie gave an impression of a cheaply made one. It looked like a movie shot in the 90s whereas it was premiered in 2002. Was such low quality intentional? Maybe it’s a task for a real movie critic to explain why this movie could have been noticed in Mexico. The whole lighting and mis-a-scene were shockingly so much worse comparing to Y tu mamá también or Amores Perros. Even though it was released after these two movies were premiered.

The story was boring although it’s tragic. A men comes to a Mexican village to comit suicide. He lives in a barn, next to a house of an old lady and while they get to know each other, her presence will affect his initial decision. All of this you could read on a back of the DVD. Once you get through the two hours movie, you’ll see also a sexual intercourse between the men and the old lady . That was something, for which Reygadas was criticised and the public was shocked. However, why? At the end, should we fell ashamed of seing a nacked body of the older woman? Maybe in fact, this sex scene helped the movie to be noticed? Because apart from it, all other events are just boring…

Still, Japón is more about cinematography, art and the self-confidence of its director then a story and the audience or the entertainment industry. Oh, how dare I mention this word: entertainment. Unfortunately, the more movies I watch, the more I appreciate these, which are just well-made and aren’t too pretentious. I just enjoy watching them. In case of Japón, I felt totally obliged to watch it until the end in order to write this post. At the beginning, I was really excited to see it! Mexican movie! I must admit, that even though the story was completely boring, the movie was a good exercise for me to focus on the camera movement. For example this one: if the man turned left, you would expect the camera to follow him. But it didn’t, instead, it did a 180 degree move to the right. It made you fell as if you were right in the middle of the scene, trying to follow it on your own as well. Yes, I made it! I found something interesting in this movie! Another mystery: the title. I didn’t understood, why the movie was named Japón and I I’m not even trying to do it. Let’s leave it to be further the mystery.

There are still two movies from Carlos Reygadas in my DVD library: Batalla en el cielo and Post tenebras lux. I’ll watch them but even if these are Mexican movies, I’ll still need some time to find motivation. Because this isn’t this type of the Mexican cinema I admire so much. I’m sorry to say that.

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