Raya Martin and Mark Peranson pour one out for film and the Mayan Apocalypse.
Raya Martin and Mark Peranson (Canada/Denmark/Mexico/Philippines, Wavelengths)
Tuesday, September 10, 9:30 p.m.
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West)
Thursday, September 12, 5 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 (350 King Street West)
An apocalyptic travelogue about the overlapping ends of film and civilization, La última película is as funny as it is erudite. Loosely adapting Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie, the film follows a disgruntled American director (The Color Wheel filmmaker Alex Ross Perry) and his nonplussed local guide (a hilarious Gabino Rodríguez) on their tour through the Yucatán on the eve of the Mayan Apocalypse, where the former hopes to make the film to end all films.
Though directors Raya Martin and Mark Peranson seem to sympathize with Perry’s character’s yearning for the authentic strand of independent American filmmaking embodied by people like Hopper in the 1970’s—long gone, and followed to the grave by 35mm film itself—this is not a dogmatic sort of essay film; it’s playful. Its combination of multiple film formats and its juxtaposition of recognizable storytelling tropes with an ancient setting are all in good fun. Even those few who might find La última película‘s reflections on film’s status as a monument to the past alienating will surely grant that it’s also a good buddy comedy, with Rodríguez as the weary Sancho Panza to Perry’s obnoxious Don Quixote.