A work of Jarmuschian deadpan obsessed with modes of freedom and expression, Fernando Eimbcke’s Duck Season is independent in the purest and most literal sense of the word. When a boy’s mother goes away, he and his friend plan a day around video games, bottles of soda, and pizza delivery, except the world seemingly conspires to ruin their lazy Sunday afternoon: a next-door neighbor wishes to use their oven, a delivery man is refused payment, and the lights frequently go out. In the kitchen, Moko (Diego Cataño) makes out with the next-door neighbor, Rita (Daniela Parea); in the living room, Flama (Daniel Miranda) and the deliveryman, Ulises (Enrique Arreola), contrive a way to square the unpaid pizza; and amid pot brownies, porno mags, and broken glass, the main characters share war stories. Like the painting of ducks that hangs over the television, these distractions are both frustrating and seductive, revealing to Flama and Moko the untapped realities of their world. Eimbcke understands the boredom and confusion of adolescence, and in many ways Flama’s flat comes to represent the thorny crawlspace the boys must navigate before reaching adulthood. Obsessed with the painting of ducks that marks Flama’s birth, Ulises seems to unnecessarily bring the subtext of the story to the fore (that these boys are on migratory paths out of an illusionary adolescent reality), but the gesture is more generous than cloying, because Ulises’s ruminations aren’t meant as reality checks for Moko and Flama. They’re something else entirely: nostalgia kicks, and they’re understandably leaving audiences woozy. Drunk on chocolate, pot, and their bourgeoning sexual awakening, these boys don’t know it yet—or refuse to know it yet—but this fugue state of mixed emotions will soon pass, and though they’ll remember it as a time they needed to leave behind, they’ll miss its uncomplicated seductions none the less. Make sure to stick around for the end credits.
- Warner Independent Pictures
- 87 min
- Fernando Eimbcke
- Fernando Eimbcke, Paula Marcovich
- Enrique Arreola, Diego Cataño, Daniel Miranda, Danny Perea, Carolina Politi
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