Stories of Disenchantment

The visual effects in this Mexican extravaganza—with orgies staged like music videos and lavish conceits involving devils, mirrors, vampires, and filmmaking—are so attention grabbing it takes a while to see how shallow their narrative pretexts are. It's hard to know whether writer-director Alejandro Valle and codirector Felipe Gomez love decadence because of how it looks or because they want to squeeze some esoteric content out of their images, but the atmosphere is psychedelic 60s minus the cruelty of El topo and the sheer nerve of Performance. Basically it's all nonsense, but I thoroughly enjoyed it until it wore me down. In Spanish with subtitles. 120 min.

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