The bloody olive (aceitunas sangrientas)
This week’s selection, though weighing in at a healthy 10 minutes, easily wins the grand prize in the category of twists/minutes ratio. A loving take onthe conventions of the film noir, The Bloody Olive extrapolates these elements to the point of absurdity, creating a self-knowing and very funny take on the classic lover’s triangle.
The film, shotin a faithfully hi-key B&W and seemingly set in the 1940’s, quickly sketches out its scenario in broad strokes. Werner and his lovely wife Mylene are busy making their apartment festive for Christmaswhen Werner’s friend from work, Sam, arrives. Sam is not looking to share in the joys of the season however. Instead he accuses Werner embezzling money from the company ever since the recent andmysterious death of the company’s managing director. From this point forward, the comedy starts and violence, tricks and double crosses abound. The true enjoyment of the film is its playful subversion ofgenre. In craft it is a very faithful homage to work of the era, from the aforementioned lighting, to its staging and orchestral swells. This referentiality, allows for the absurdity to do its work asthe script goes big with the genre tropes. The intention of the film to engage in postmodern reflexivity is made very clear with the film’s opening and closing. The film’s opening credits begin witha song; a vintage number about going to the movies. The ending similarly comments upon itself as a work of film, as a character addresses the audience directly in order to impart an old truism as themoral to the story.
Yet pleasing as it is on an analytical level, the film is still just a whole lot of fun. It’s great to look at for one. It’s shot on 35mm, a real pro production all the way, andexcellently photographed. The pacing is excellent as well. Obviously as I’ve alluded to, there are a lot of developments in which to keep the film humming along, but there is undeniable skill in...
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