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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AFI Fest 2011: Extraterrestrial with Director Nacho Vigalondo in Person

What a wonderful first day showing for AFI Fest! Extraterrestrial wowed me, but not as much as the director being their in person. Nacho Vigalondo the director of Time Crimes and this new wonderful film appeared before us before the start of his newest film's premiere in LA. He also stayed after for Q and A. I have the footage below, sorry if it's not the best quality, I had no idea he'd be showing up.

Just to tell you, Nacho is a total nerd at heart. I even questioned him about one scene where I spotted a Superman: Red Son action figure that led to him going through a bag of purchases from Meltdown on Sunset, suck it Golden Apple I also had the chance to talk with him after the film about his nerdy exploits and Supercrooks getting made, it's a film about super villains pulling off a big heist.

Let's review! Spoilers

So how does casual sex lead to aliens coming to Earth? The sex didn't summon the aliens. That would be a whole other interesting movie. Find yourself waking up, you don't know where you are and your almost naked, no your not on an alien mother ship, your in the apartment of the cute girl you shacked up with last night. You don't seem to remember much, but she super cute and sexy.

Oh, looks like she wants you to go, but something is wrong, other than you having to go from this cute girl. Where is everyone? Phones don't wok, the TV doesn't work and going to far the Internet doesn't work. What the Hell is going on? Look out the window and ... is that a flying saucer.

Nacho captures your attention to what seems like a dire time for humanity to comedy out of nowhere. The guy who is asked to leave is Julio, who is asked to leave by funny enough girl version of name Julia. Even though Julio seems physically fit and um has the goods for the ladies, he is balding. Making him a kind of everyman character, Julia is a ripe, young woman who just doesn't have much going on up stairs. Both are now afraid and only have each other. What will happen?

Descending from Heaven is Angel to add to our group of humans who didn't evacuate. He's really more from Hell when you get down to it. The annoying midget of a man has a crush on Julia that's so transparent that Julio figures it out immediately. Angel kind of ruins Julio's moves on the girl he's impressing with his design skills. He even designed a cup float for a future parade. So imagine a cup car if you will.Let's add another member to the cast, Carlos, Julia's boyfriend. Yeah, things have gone from great due to the alien occupancy of Earth skies, to oh, damn for are friend Julio.What will Julio due as Angel figures on telling Carlos that Julia's been busy with Julio? I'll tell you a lot of laughs.

Nacho gets you laughing at the awkward moments of life that could only be set up by aliens coming to earth. The alien spaceships are always in the background of the characters mind, but really this movies is about a love triangle. Walking into the film I didn't no what to expect, but what should be the main focus, you'd think would be aliens on Earth is a character given comedy.

Every actor does a great job, from playing an air-head, annoyance, everyman, blind do-gooder. Julia, Angel, Julio and Carlos fit so well together with moments of sheer sitcom like comedy. It's a sci-fi comedy, a rare gem that only so many films have pulled off or attempted.
I was laughing so much with my friend and the situations that came to pass, because the idea that the aliens could take on human form and replace you by Carlos had to come from a nerd. This keeps Nacho's nerd cred on track for taking so many alien movie scenarios and letting the characters have that knowledge of other alien movies. So Carlos just goes crazy from ideas from other alien films, never discussed, but he has reasoning behind his assumption . Then on another level there's this recurrence of peaches that could fit into and older generation comedy movie that works so well.

Parts with Angel's annoyance, reminds me of zombie Apocalypse movies, where people can do whatever they want since no one's around. Scenes  where you build crazy contraptions or go visit a supermarket and grab whatever you want. He waste his time instead doing those same things on trying to rat out Julio for a girl whose not even his. Carlos is another great example of this zombie Apocalypse/end of world mentality, whose ingenuity is balanced by his stupidity of not seeing an affair that's right in front of him. One example would be Carlos taking to map boos from two separate taxi cabs to make a full giant map to get a layout of the area, but in another instant thinks aliens could be invisible with no proof.
The ending was slightly foreshadowed, ever so small, but when you see it coming you'll just want to drink it up.

It's another great film from Nacho and I can't wait to see more from him. No idea on American distribution right now, but Magnolia's and obvious choice or IFC. I'm sure you'll have a chance to see this film soon enough.