IDFA Film Review: ‘Los Reyes’

Variety | 11/17/2018 | Peter Debruge
Click For Photo: https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/los-reyes1.jpg?w=700&h=393&crop=1

In late 1965, Gay Talese set out to profile Frank Sinatra for Esquire magazine. Sinatra refused to be interviewed, but allowed the writer to hang around, observing, which he did for three months, racking up almost $5,000 in expenses. In the end, Talese penned what became one of the most memorable celebrity profiles ever written, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” proving in the process that sometimes the indirect approach can be more effective than the ostensibly candid, all-access interview.

A charmingly roundabout documentary born of curiosity, patience, and no small amount of inventiveness on the part of its authors, “Los Reyes” reminds me of that story. There’s no glamorous A-lister at its center. In fact, there are hardly any human characters to speak of. This unconventional nonfiction portrait takes place at the oldest skate park in Santiago, Chile, and was intended to feature the teenagers who congregate there regularly. But over the course of roughly two years hanging around Los Reyes with cameras, co-directors Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff discovered that while the skaters came and went — many of them prohibitively shy about being filmed — there were two characters that always seemed to be hanging about. Two dogs. And so they shifted the entire focus of the film such that the inseparable canines became its protagonists.

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Suddenly, under the pretense of making a movie about Football and Chola (who are not named until the end credits), the directors found that the adolescent skaters didn’t seem to mind being recorded. They even agreed to wear wireless mics, opening up about personal subjects — candid stories about smoking and selling weed, heated disagreements with their guardians, and run-ins with the corrupt local police — while the cameras were trained elsewhere, on the two...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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