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Old 09-13-2021, 02:23 AM
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Jondalar Jondalar is offline
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Originally Posted by TrueFaith77 View Post

In ASPHALT GODDESS, 21st century master filmmaker Julian Hernandez punctuates lesbian barrio gangster Ramira's (Mabel Cadena) castration-at-gunpoint threat with vertiginous camera angles: "Don't step out of line!" It flips the post-punk band the Au Pairs' classic challenge to hetero-patriarchy in the song/album "Stepping Out of Line" on its head. Hernandez dares to delve deeply into how masculine oppression and economic squalor warp feminine instinct by placing value on power over nurturing, berserk violence over artistic purgation.

Like the ice-woman cometh, the return of rock-'n'-roller Max (Ximena Romo) to her old stomping grounds--converted from a garbage dump into "more boxes" for people to live in--dredges up primal guilt and thwarted desire. The resulting brutality signals a title card that takes the audience back into the characters' past to chart cycles of violation and vengeance that take on the overwhelming force of fate as traced by Alejandro Cantu's unfettered camera and the Greek-Chorus of ginormous graffiti and illustrated t-shirts. "Cool, it feels good to breathe free air," Ramira says when released from prison only to end the day by unburdening herself from responsibility and from her humanity: "What's done is done.

Hernandez's gangland film expressionistically conveys biological tribalism so that its vision keeps expanding from the personal to the social to the cosmic--blood oaths and revenge acted out as ancient ritual. With his existential elan, Hernandez transforms realism into classical Tragedy and epitomizes operatic filmmaking like nobody since Bernardo Bertolucci (a transformation akin to Morrissey detailing "sunlight thrown over smashed human bones" on "First of the Gang to Die"). Released in the U.S. direct-to-Netflix, ASPHALT GODDESS exposes the impenetrable border-wall maintained by America's hypocritical elite cultural gatekeepers. By the time Hernandez revitalizes the most famous scene from Shakespeare's MACBETH, one shudders to think of Steven Spielberg's upcoming descent into the ersatz-Shakespeare kitsch of WEST SIDE STORY while Hernandez's star-crossed Tragedy wails in isolation on television.
I've never heard of this until now. Thanks.
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