Leap Year DVD
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Directed by Michael Rowe
Produced in 2010
Main Language - Spanish with English subtitles
Countries & Regions - South American Film
Monica del Carmen, Gustavo Sanchez Parra, Armando Hernandez, Diego Chas, Ernesto Gonzalez, Bertha Mendiola
Scooping awards at Cannes, Leap Year has been compared to Last Tango in Paris, and features an extraordinary leading performance by Mónica del Carmen as a lonely Mexican writer.
Winner of the prestigious Camera d'Or prize for Best First Feature at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, the Mexican film Leap Year (Año Bisiesto), is the outstanding debut feature film of Australian director Michael Rowe.
A character study on loneliness, it was compared in Time Out compared to Last Tango in Paris, and features an extraordinary leading performance by Mónica del Carmen as a lonely writer in Mexico City. For her, February 29th has a dual significance: it is the anniversary of her father’s death, and it’s the day she has chosen to end her life. In the intervening weeks, Laura continues with her usual dull routine, her melancholy interrupted only by sexual encounters which are marked by brevity rather than joy.
Then she meets Arturo (Gustavo Sánchez Parra), and partly at his instigation, partly at her urging, they enter a sadomasochistic relationship, the intensity of the sex contrasting with their sweetly awkward interactions afterwards. The violence, both implied and actual, gives the lonely woman a connection she has not felt elsewhere; she feels alive, and she tries to persuade Arturo to help her die. ‘How many people die on February 29th?’ he asks. ‘The ones that have to,’ she replies.
Mexico-based director Michael Rowe’s powerful film is not always easy to watch, but its subject is loneliness, not cruelty or perversity, and del Carmen’s performance is honest and affecting.
A highly charged sexual thriller, Leap Year is set within the small confines of a Mexican apartment and follows 29 days in the dispirited life of freelance journalist Laura Lopez, as she moves from one anonymous sexual encounter to another.
Soon, Laura meets a man by the name of Arturo, and it is not long before she is submitting to demeaning sexual acts as part of their relationship, a tragic psychological reaction to a secret trauma from her past which occurred on the previous leap year. When Laura marks a red square around an upcoming date on her calendar wall, the wheels are set in motion for what will turn out to be a startling conclusion.
With lots of layered thoughts on class, race, sex and family abuse, this is a superb Mexican drama. Along with the Maid this is another Latin American film with a extremely well written (and performed) working class female lead.
Publisher: Axiom Films
Length: 92 mins
Cat No: AXM626
Format: DVD Colour