Thursday’s final screening of The Untamed (La region salvaje) will be followed by a Skype Q&A with the film’s visionary writer/director, Amat Escalante! Amat will be speaking to our audience from his home in Mexico City about his extraordinary genre-bending new film, which has taken art house cinemas by storm – and for which he recently took home the Best Director prizes at this year’s Venice Film Festival and Fantastic Fest.
Serious meditation on sexuality, misogyny, and machismo? Trippy sci-fi genre masterpiece? Both? So much more?? We’ve seen way too much of the narrative of this new film spoiled on various websites, so we’ll loosely summarize Escalante’s alternately meditative and mind-blowing film as the story of Alejandra (Ruth Ramos), a young mother who lives with her husband Angel (Jesús Meza) and young sons in Guanajuato, Mexico; her brother Fabián (Eden Villavicencio), who works at a local hospital; and Verónica (Simone Bucio), a young stranger who arrives at Angel’s clinic with what appears to be a dog bite.
A story seemingly about modest people living average lives, what unfolds is an enthralling, hypnotic, and truly bold portrayal of a chauvinistic society wrought with machismo, homophobia, and misogyny. What sets the film apart from similar studies like Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores perros is Escalante’s Lynchian approach of lending an extra layer of unapologetic visual metaphor to the proceedings, effectively executed by placing his meditation in the world of science-fiction and horror.
To go any further would be to deny you the full experience of Amat Escalante’s stunning ride, a haunting work of art that surprises at so many levels. A true must-see.