"A Thousand Clouds of Peace," in which a gay teenager wanders the streets of Mexico City showing people his breakup letter, is cliché-filled and empty.
By FRANK EPISALE
The full title of "A Thousand Clouds of Peace" is actually "A Thousand Clouds of Peace Fence the Sky, Love; Your Being Love Will Never End."
This gives some idea of the problems and pretensions that face this
gorgeously filmed but fatally flawed coming-of-age drama.
The film follows teenager Gerardo (Juan Carlos OrtuĖo) as he
embarks on a dazed journey through Mexico City after receiving a Dear
Juan letter from his lover Bruno (Juan Carlos Torres). Bruno seems to
have been an inconsiderate, even cruel lover but has apparently captured
Gerardo's imagination. The boy wanders the streets reading and
re-reading the letter, showing it to strangers and acquaintances,
looking for meaning in its more mysterious passages. There are some
hints that there might be disease involved, with vague references to
"danger." Everyone seems concerned and tries to warn Gerardo, but he
ignores them, snatching bits of their sentences to play over again in
his mind as he wanders and engages in the occasional desperate, lonely
|A THOUSAND CLOUDS OF PEACE|
|Original title: Mil nubes de paz cercan el cielo, amor, jamás acabarás de ser amor.|
Written and directed by: Julián Hernández.
Produced by: Roberto Fiesco.
Cast: Juan Carlos OrtuĖo, Juan Carlos Torres, Peria de la Rosa,
Salvadore Alvarez, Rosa Maria Gómez, Mario Oliver, Clarisa Rendón
Salvador Hernández, Pablo Molina, Manuel Grapain Zaquelarez, Miguel
Loaiza, Pilar Ruíz, Llane Fragoso, Gloria Andrade, Martha Gómez, Martin
Solis, Marcos Hernández.
Cinematography: Diego Arizmendi.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
Countless clichés haunt this story as doggedly as Bruno
haunts Gerardo. The desperation, the danger, the loneliness of gay sex
and love are depicted as they might have been in any one of a dozen arty
gay films from 20 years ago. Gerardo is repeatedly offered money by his
tricks but turns them down; they assume he's a hustler but he's just
looking for love. That he is painted as a romantic but spends the film
following dangerous-looking men into alleyways and having brutally quick
unprotected sex is an irritating throwback to an earlier era of queer
narrative art. Despite the lovely, Bergmanesque look of the film and its
hypnotic, neo-realist detachment, there is not enough substance carry an
audience through even the 80-minute run time. Long before the film's
simultaneously bizarre and clichéd ending, my guest and I were longing
for the credits to roll.|
|APRIL 19, 2004|
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