Saturday, October 13, 2012

No (2012) New York Film Festival (2012)

This is the true story of the campaign to get Pinochet out of power in Chile. It's one of the best films at the NYFF.

The story is that Pinochet, in order to legitimize his regime decided to put to a vote whether he would stay in power for 8 more years. The opposition parties (there were 17) were given 15 minutes every night on TV to express their side. The Pinochet side would follow. When the month was done they would take a vote, Yes to keep them in power, not to force them to leave.

Desperate as to what to do the "no" group hire an ad man to bring the parties together with a unified message. Working surreptitiously, his boss is connected to Pinochet and eventual takes over the "yes" campaign, our hero sets about to effectively change history via commercials.

I really enjoyed the film a great deal. This is a film that brings history to life- even to the extent that it casts several real life players as themselves (we see their younger selves in the actual programs). Not to put too fine a point on it this movie made me smile from ear to ear and laugh out loud several times. To be certain there is tension since Pinochet was a tyrant and scare tactics are used but at the same time there is something so wonderful about how the system was subverted.

I can't say enough nice things about the film.

I can say one not so nice thing, I'm not sure about how it was shot. It was filmed on videotape from the period in order to be able to blend in archival footage as well as to give a period feel. The film certainly has it's own unique feel but at the same time I kept noticing it too much. I was aware of how it was shot all through the film and I never fully lost myself in the film. It also has a few bumps with some odd motions due to the use of video. Its distracting enough from the film that I'm not willing to be completely over the moon about it.

Still, this is definitely worth seeing when it comes back around since the screenings at the NYFF have passed and it's due for a future release from Sony Classics

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