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🎬 #92 The Luckiest Film on Earth.
I don’t usually like suggesting films based on a theme related to the time of year or events that have happened. Feels a bit of a cop out sometimes [other than Halloween for some reason]. Or it feels like blatantly jumping on a trend - the latter of which I really, fundamentally don’t enjoy.
But this week’s one film [felt appropriate to have a singular recommendation this week] is too appropriate and under-watched, under-enjoyed not to talk about. It’s a hard film to get your hands on but well worth the effort.
Happy viewing and have a wonderful Friday the 13th.
2001 Dir Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
[1hr 48 mins]
The premise of this film is one of the most original and imaginative in recent memory. It simply asks the question, what if luck was something you could take from other people. In this film’s world ‘luck’ is as attainable as money. You just have to find the vault and get into it. The vaults in this case are the people with the most luck.
Like any great concept film — the juiciest parts of Intacto are in the ‘promise of the premise’s sequences. The scenes and sequences that make up the bulk of a film’s second act. These are the scenes that really explore the premise, push, pull and stretch it to its limits. In Intacto’s case these are a series of ever escalating tests, to find out if the protagonist really is as lucky as he seems.
Fresnadillo’s talent really comes to life here - crafting a series of powerful images that perfectly sum up what the film is all about. One my favourites is in the sequence pictured above. A few different ‘lucky’ people are blind folded, their hands tied behind their back. They’re then let loose in a dense forest and told to run. The idea is that the luckiest person will be the last one standing - the person who avoided the maze of trees in their way. Each ‘lucky’ set-piece is an innovative and imaginative as the last.
This is a film about fate and chance, wrapped up in a revenge heist thriller package that is bold and refreshing. It’s just pure fun, pure concept film making that really was blossoming around the turn of the 21st century.
TL;DR A fresh look at luck and how it can wielded as a weapon, this is Fresnadillos first and best feature film for me.
*Available to stream on the Roku channel in the US and unfortunately nowhere in the UK. But if you live outside the US and have a VPN you could still watch it there.
Fact: Fresnadillo was 9 years old when the Tenerife Airport disaster happened - he noted that this affected him so much he used it as the inspiration for the opening of this film.
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