Miami New Times 05-05-2016 : Page 25

miaminewtimes.com | Contents | Letters | riptide | Metro | night+day | stage | art | Film | Cafe | MusiC | miaminewtimes.com | CONTENTS | LETTERS | RIPTIDE | METRO | NIGHT+DAY | FILM | ART | FILM | CAFE | MUSIC | Strand Releasing | ARTHAUS | Sometimes it takes more than two to tango. ▼ Film The Measure of a Man public powerlessness need not, as it so often does in more simple-minded movies, also mean private impotence. ALAN SCHERSTUHL STARRING VINCENT LINDON, KARINE DE MIRBECK, AND MATTHIEU SCHALLER. DIRECTED BY STÉPHANE BRIZÉ. WRITTEN BY STÉPHANE BRIZÉ AND OLIVIER GORCE. 93 MINUTES. NOT RATED. OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 6, AT TOWER THEATER, 1508 SW EIGHTH ST., MIAMI; 305-642-1264; TOWERTHEATERMIAMI.COM. Our Last Tango STARRING MARÍA NIEVES REGO, JUAN CARLOS COPES, AND MELINA BRUTMAN. WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY GERMAN KRAL. 85 MINUTES. NOT RATED. OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 6, AT CORAL GABLES ART CINEMA, 260 ARAGON AVE., CORAL GABLES; 786-385-9689; GABLESCINEMA.COM. The movies promise that, in a crisis, there’s action you can take. It might not work out, especially if the film is European or a true indie, but there are choices to make, selves to actualize, scenes to motivate: Everyone has to do something. Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure of a Man , a feat of workplace naturalism, can’t give its protagonist that much. Out of work in the downturn, Vincent Lindon’s willfully im-passive mechanic Thierry slumps along from one humiliation to another, be-IT’S A REMINDER reft of what the kids in creative-THAT PUBLIC writing classes POWERLESSNESS call “agency.” In NEED NOT ALSO a go-nowhere MEAN PRIVATE job interview, in consultation IMPOTENCE. with a career adviser, in a bureaucratic world of drab white walls and buzzing fluorescent lights, he can’t even find hopeless actions to take. Between the upsets — each met with the stoic indifference a bulwark exhibits to the tides — Thierry seizes control of the few things he can. Movingly, he throws himself into cleaning the cabinets of the home whose mortgage is breaking him, and he’s a game stiff when taking dance lessons with the wife (Karine de Mirbeck). In technique, that scene is typical of Brizé’s patient, observa-tional film: a long take in a blandly everyday interior, the camera gently bobbing, the performances stripped of artifice. But it’s also joyous, a respite and a reminder that Juan Carlos Copes and María Nieves Rego, now in their 80s, met as teenagers and spent decades as a celebrated tango couple. They tell their stories in Our Last Tango , a documentary that both celebrates and challenges the pas-sions of dance, and viewers will sense that the history of these compelling figures entails more frustration and complexity than can be examined in a short running time. Juan is dap-per and still tries to dance every day, though he seems to have a caddish side, while María, with her short hair and a cigarette in a long holder, radiates hard-won sass. Thankfully, the film does not rely on other talking heads, leaving the exposition to the charismatic protagonists: María evocatively describes growing up in poverty, pretending a bottle was a doll as a child and finding refuge in dance as a young teenager. Describing her frustration with Juan’s betrayals, she says, “You have to use men and throw them away,” a striking statement delivered without apology. María is forthright — she has lived and learned, and we can learn from her. Less effective is the film’s frequent use of scenes of young danc-ers re-creating Juan and María’s routines and key moments in their lives. Though these vignettes are lovingly, carefully performed and have an aesthetic appeal, they feel a bit too much like the sepia-tinged photos of attrac-tive couples included in picture frames. The little footage of Juan and María shown in the film is far more compelling, and when they talk about seeing Singin’ in the Rain multiple times and feeling inspired by it, the dance reenactments feel unnecessary. ABBEY BENDER MIAMI NEW TIMES MiaMi New TiMes M ay 5-M ay 11, 2016 25 25 M ONTH XX–M ONTH XX, 2008

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