Leones Screen 6 articles

Leones

2012

Leones Poster
  • Leones charts a psychological progression from blissed-out meandering to a palpable sense of placelessness, which can only be ruptured by a shriekingly operatic (not to say literal-minded) plot twist any genre aficionado will smell from a mile away.

  • Obviously Jazmin Lopez is obsessed with Gerry — to the point of stealing its Steadicam operator (Matias Mesa) and upgrading him to co-cinematographer status, plus I'm pretty sure the ending setting is the same brown wasteland as the middle of that film — but her sense of durational composition is very weak, and the point of reference does her no favors.

  • The good, the bad and the ugly (Leones, djoogeddit?) - especially ugly, because this is exceptionally cruddy-looking (maybe video isn't great for the constant light/dark contrasts you get in a forest), and also bad because it's youthful noodling that mistakes endless shots of people walking for Profundity, but also good, inventive and amusing as its stranded heroes play games, make up "six-word phrases", etc.

  • Jazmín López’s gorgeously photographed debut revels in metaphysical quandaries and maximum mind-fuckitude.

  • Jazmín López, making an estimable feature debut, reveals the group’s destination slowly, teasing out the mystery step by seemingly indifferent step, filling in the blanks with scraps of dialogue and a cleverly malfunctioning tape recorder. At once a fairy tale, a puzzle film and a metaphysical mystery, “Leones” owes a debt to Gus Van Sant in its appreciation for young beauty, its sense of its terrors and its fluid moves.

  • I'm quite bewitched by how debut director Jazmin Lopez moves her camera here. Gerry and The Loneliest Planet are Leones' obvious stylistic and narrative cousins, but while the film shares a similar structural identity with those precedents (a steadicam wandering along with characters lost in an open natural environment), there's a particular energy in the camerawork that is all its own.

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