Thursday, September 18, 2008

7:35 de la Manana

By Nacho Vigalondo (8:02)

“7:25 de la Manana” or in English, “7:35 in the Morning” is a short film basically about a guy who is trying to impress a girl, but fails epically. First of all, he goes about it entirely the wrong way. Every guy should know that dreaming up a hostage situation in order to get a girls attention is a big no-no.

From the opening scene of the black and white film, the viewer gets that something in the café is a little off. The silent and unusually cold greeting between the object of the psychopath’s affections and the café owner is only the first tip off. The story progresses when a random man breaks out into song and the customers are forced to sing their part with their lines taped into the palm of their hands. The woman’s suspicions are raised further when she spots a stack of cell phones under the counter and the waiter gives her a wary look. The short film continues on with a song and dance number which reveals the man is wearing a bomb, and ends with a blow-up finale complete with confetti.

“7:35 de la Manana” was nominated for an Oscar in 2004. The whole way through the short film I was laughing. I found the situation, music, and stiff dancing ingenious. After seeing it for the first time, I immediately went home and tried to show it to all my friends (but unfortunately I had scarred all of my friends by showing them “Spider” from two weeks ago, and most of them refused to watch). While watching this short I definitely had one of those, “why didn’t I think of that?” moments. Out of the rest of this films showed during the Spanish Short Films screening, this one definitely stayed with me. I found it to be the most enjoyable film of that viewing (“Wavelength” coming in a close second).


KEBforExpats said...

This film is hilarious!!! I was laughing all through the film, too. I like the last scene with pop corn.

Paul Klein said...

This was a good laugh at the Spanish festival. I was actually surprised it was nominated for an Oscar; something about it just didn't sit with me the way "Oscar" films do. I don't know how to describe it; the word uneven comes to mind, or even unfinished. I just felt like something was missing.

The whole time though, I was thinking how ingenious the concept was. The lyrics were great; I especially loved the lines about the girl coming in every morning and buying a (muffin?) and not noticing anyone, etc.

A nice little work of short filmmaking. I'm glad I got the chance to see this.


Benjamin said...

I was also surprised that it was nominated for an Oscar, even though it was fun to watch (not that films have to be "serious" to be nominated for an Oscar). I agree with Paul that there was something "missing" with it. I was really impressed with La Guerre as well and the way it played with time and the sense of narration.

Pamela said...

I have to challenge the notion that the guy is just trying get the girl's attention, is that the reason he does it?
Remmeber that this film is coming from the "Pais Vasco" were ETA's suicide attempts are common. Also, note the year it came out, 2003 nomination, 2002 release. I think we choose to see it as simple comedy because we don't want to deal with the other issues that 7:35 is blowing in our faces.

Paul Klein said...

...That or we just didn't know where the short really came from or what year it was produced...Haha. :D

So then, if you're implying this film is relative to the post-9/11 world, what does that mean? What does the short do to reflect the society of this time (other than the flat out obvious, y'know, big bang)?

And, since this is a short film and not a feature...Why? Why was it necessary that this snippet of post-9/11 life be relegated to eight minutes? What does the format lend to this piece and what the piece means/says? Would this piece work differently and mean something differently if it were a feature?

Middento said...

OK, I'll come out and defend this one. For one thing, I'll second Pamela's notion that this is necessarily a "post 9/11" piece since, quite frankly, Spain has been dealing with all sorts of terrorism for quite some time. I'm not necessarily sure that this particular film has a political message per se, but there is something definitely more sinister going on than what appears.

I think that if you thought the short was funny, you've missed why this was nominated. Look carefully at all the actors involved who are clearly being forced into their respective situations. It's a giant musical number -- but only one person is having fun and everyone else is clearly terrified. (The dance demonstrates this more than anything.) To answer Paul's question, a feature would have to explore these people/issues further, and the impact of the slow dawning (that this is not a happy, romantic piece, but something much darker) would be lost.

Pamela said...

I also don't think it as a political message, necessarily, though it can be read as one. In pointing out the release year, I wasn't thinking of 9-11. I was thinking along the lines 11-M, March 11, 2004 and bombings of the metros in Madrid and how this could add that political reading to film that came out before.
I guess, I'm just looking at how other events and what we know affect how we "read" films, shorts or longs.
And, I don't think it would have the same impact as feature film.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone missed the hostage situation. but I found it funny despite that. especially the fact everyone's lines were duct taped to their hands. though, when I showed the film to my mother over Thanksgiving break she had that look on her face that read "What kind of child did I raise?" so maybe I'm just weird and screwed up. but my friends found it funny like me (but they also liked Spider as well).

Anonymous said...

Very entertaining. But I disagree with directors staring in their own films. Overall entertaining short, but the ending leaves the observer cut off. Nothing is resolved we watch a scene unfold that had no rise and fall. We can assume the girl had no interest in the guy especially a dude willing to strap bombs to himself. Then it makes the whole thing a character piece with no plot but rather an experience too look at a ridiculous person in an equally ridiculous situation

Anonymous said...

Yeah. the situation is pretty ridiculous. I mean I know things like that happen regarding the whole bomb and hostage situation thing, but to make it into a musical, that is ridiculous. which is what makes it funny. I love the end with the confetti.