Director: Fernando Eimbcke
Writers: Fernando Eimbcke, Paula Markovitch
Cinematography: Alexis Zabe
Starring: Enrique Arreola, Diego Cataño, Daniel Miranda, Danny Perea
Studio info: Warner Independent, 90 mins.
Wild yet charming day-in-the-life of two Mexico City teens
Comedies are rarely as gentle or closely observant as Duck Season, Mexican writer/director Fernando Eimbcke’s disarming debut. The film charts a wayward afternoon in a drab Mexico City apartment complex where best buddies Flama (Daniel Miranda) and Moko (Diego Cataño) intend to indulge themselves in hours of unsupervised bliss. Flama’s mother, in the midst of a bitter divorce, is away for the day. And the boys—at 14, a pair of rambunctious mop-heads in the awkward grip of puberty—are well-stocked with soda pop, porn mags and video games. The occasion becomes an unpredictable rite-of-passage, however: Rita (Danny Perea), a busty young neighbor, takes over the kitchen with a mind for more than baking, a power failure compels other amusements, and a simple pizza order leads to a surreal, existential conflict with an overgrown delivery boy who—through the agency of some marijuana—becomes a kind of guru; the one sympathetic adult in the boys’ lives. The plot turns on such small moments, detailed in long, stationary, black-and-white shots, that every nuance is magnified in emotional force. The teenaged actors touchingly capture the innocence of budding sexuality and the ambiguity of self, while Eimbcke manages to keep the tone light and improvisational, even as the story lurches into redemptive chaos.