18 April 2006

Las Tres Lineas

Just watched the new film from Luis Aragonés, Las Tres Líneas and it's my favourite film so far this year by a long way. Okay I know I've ranted on and on about Primer but this baby has a soundtrack to die for... I mean, it opens with Coil's Teenage Lightning and ends with a beautiful Spanish rendition of God Only Knows!

And there's more... along the way we get the likes of Alice Coltrane, Fransisco Lopez, Can (Mother Sky put to falling pieces of flesh - weirdly beautiful), Marc and The Mambas (!), Sheila Chandra, Bay-B-Kane (!!), Rykarda Parasol, Drugstore, AC Marias (i'd forgotten about them), Steroid Maximus, Minnie Riperton, Guru Guru, The Knife and various other underground spanish bands like Cicadre Y Entre.

Besides Primer, with it's multiple viewpoints, ever spinning identity frames and burst vesselling effort is starting to seem too near the truth... at least two more version of this blog that are not by me have been spotted (and when added to the versions that are by me it forms a distressingly Masonic number). I mean, there's always gonna be a place in my heart for movies that send you squirreling to chat rooms full of grey faced physics undergraduates but enough is enough, Las Tres Líneas is king now and I can't see anyone coming up with anything better this side of 2006 (although the much discussed Aragonés film about the Sozialististisches Patienten Kollektiv is gonna come close if it actually gets a release).

Las Tres Líneas is on one level a kind of psychotropic remix of Sam Raimi's The Quick And The Dead, with the usual stock of weirdy beardy cowboys and girls arriving for a gunslingers competition and having the usual issues with family, faith and friendships... Aragonésn plays this all pretty down the line, so that the first 20 or so minutes is more or less conventional Western stuff, albeit set in the kind of Mexican town you can imagine being set dressed by Bosch by way of Giger...

Then the competition starts and things get weird...

For a start, there are no guns; these guys compete with drugs, seeing if they can blow each others minds with truffles and Salvia Divinorum chews, nasty looking magic mushrooms (those bendy ones from the Philipines are an odd choice but we'll let this pass) and buckets of Ayahuasca brews...

I know what you're thinking but it works, it really does.

From here on, there are more twists than anyone can shake a stick at; everything almost dissolves in a tripped out CGI Blueberryesque sludge but somehow manages to hold itself together just enough to let the characters shine and keep the plot on the rails.

By about half way the rails are incredibly intricate, tiny moebius strips of ideas peeling off in layers like an Onion or an Alzheimers victim but they are there and, with a little attention (i.e. no Primer sized autism required) you can follow exactly where everyone's going and even, sometimes, how they are going to get there...

To get an idea, it absolutely won't spoil anything if I mention that along the way we meet: A man walking sideways in protest against forward progression in the Sector; a set of quadruplet albino drugslingers; a DMY quoffing dwarf; a man pretending to be various paintings by Gustave Moreau; a more or less complete Punch and Judy show (in English, apparently by one of the guys who used to do the show in Weymouth) that ends in artistic suicide; Gog and Magog from the Book of Ezechiel; an anti-gravity machine; Claude Levi Strauss's dad; a Presybyterian Missionary who is obviously intended to be Terence McKenna; talking fruit; several one-eyed children and a push me pull you type dog.

To whet, here's a song from the soundtrack:

Sheila Chandra - Shenai Song

A Yousendit Exhalation


kempernorton said...

It seems even better than his previous hallucinogenic work , where some students from Mallorca kidnap and drug Dennis Hopper after a film festival ,and the film becomes a fractured look inside the peyote-addled brain of a twisted Hollywood legend. Hopper hated it apparently , and has pretty much caused the film to be buried.

p.s I've put two more pieces on myspace...the final one was apparently recorded using Chinese and Inuit exchange monks. Can't do the link thing....technology !

Chris Hopper said...

How can one get a hold of this film? I did an internet search and came up empty.

Loki said...

yeah, i guess you would... er... sorry, more wishful thinking on my part...would be good though wouldn't it?

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