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The Dark Side of the Heart back to product details

Subiela and Grandinetti--in their prime!
written by talltale November 20, 2005 - 9:04 AM PST
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Poetry came to screen back in 1992, courtesy of Eliseo Subiela's THE DARK SIDE OF THE HEART. It did not arrive in some fancy/schmancy, difficult-to-understand manner, however, because Subiela is simply concerned with things that interest us all: love and sex, life and death, good food and good friends, plus a little art and levitation. The manner in which he puts all this together is what counts: visual poetry, combined with occasional verbal, and coupled to characters we come to understand and care about.

Upon its release in its native Argentina, the movie knocked all the Hollywood blockbusters off the charts. To find anything remotely similar here in the US, you'd have to go back to something such as David Lynch's "Blue Velvet," which did well at the box-office by "art" standards yet did not nearly outdo the current mainstream hits. America is simply too big and too disparate to ever fully embrace an art film, no matter how good or "mainstream" it may be. That's why so many of us look to independent film and to other countries for our enrichment.

Although I believe that "Dark Side of the Heart" has been Subiela's most successful movie commercially, I am only catching up with it now. Fourteen years after its release, it still seems ground-breaking and buoyant. And now I know where Pedro Almodovar got some of his inspiration and one of his lead actors--the marvelous Dario Grandinetti--for "Talk to Her." Back in 1992 Mr. Grandinetti was at the height of his physicality: all disheveled, hirsute sensuality, like some sort of male Angelina Jolie, and he embodies the "poet" as well as any actor I've witnessed.

Subiela, too (one of THE great cinematic poets), was clearly at the height of his powers with this film. Possessing a delightful, occasionally devastating sense of humor, he offers us the best symbol I've yet seen for a man's dumping of a woman (and yes, it comes back, karma-like, to nip him in the ass), as well as a most unusual view of death. If you do not know this filmmaker's work, "Dark Side" is a wonderful place to start.

written by WDiComo July 20, 2004 - 9:59 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Our poet picks up women and also panhandles through the use of poetry and flowery language. His words and intentions may be a crock, but the spiel is undeniably powerful nonetheless. Several times I was blown away with the food for thought and imagery inspiration therein.
This is part farce and all drama, with the surprising belly laugh now and then.
The story is a valid journey from the dark of his soul to emergence into the light and probably speaks to many of us. And so very well done.


(Average 6.21)
34 Votes
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