eXXXorcisms | Chicago Reader

eXXXorcisms

A more experimental, Mexican version of Pedro Almodovar, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo is best known for affectionately parodic, gender-bending melodramas. This new film is an aesthetic and narrative departure—working for the first time in digital video, he perversely fuses confessional cinema and horror-film conventions. In order to revisit the site of a youthful passion, the solidly bourgeois Marco Antonio (Alberto Estrella), who's married and complacent, gets a job as a security guard in a shopping arcade. As any pretense of naturalism evaporates, he recalls through a self-induced hallucination his intense adolescent affair with a male school friend. Essentially a protracted monologue, Estrella's bravura performance and Hermosillo's brilliant use of the digital medium help turn this theatrical exercise into a full-fledged cinematic psychodrama. Still, I missed the buoyant ironies of Hermosillo's previous work—the emphasis here on personal exploration and catharsis comes perilously close to an elaborate, if unusually lurid, therapy session. In Spanish with subtitles. 78 min.

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