DVD - 2012 | Spanish
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Julio tells his girlfriend he has a job transcribing a novel, when he's actually writing his own work. Looking for inspiration, he revisits an old romance and gets involved again. Based on an internationally acclaimed novella, Bonsai is a study of the lies we tell ourselves. A Cannes Film Festival official selection.
Publisher: [United States] : Strand Releasing, [2012]
Edition: Widescreen
Description: 1 videodisc (96 min) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Branch Call Number: DVD Bons


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Dec 31, 2014

At the outset of Cristián Jiménez’s savvy little romance we’re informed of two things; Julio and Emilia will fall in love and Emilia will die. Everything in between, the narrator assures us, is fiction. Rather than act as a spoiler this revelation frees us of any uncertainty and allows us to revel in the film’s true beauty as it showcases Jiménez’s love of cinema and author Alejandro Zambra’s love for the written word. Divided into chapters, like any good book, the film weaves back and forth across an 8-year period where we see a lovestruck Julio begin a hesitant affair with Emilia, his candidly realistic classmate, and a more mature Julio trying to understand what went wrong. Their relationship begins with a lie (and a very funny seaside take on “The Scarlet Letter”) which leads to a string of embellishments and half-truths as both partners feel their way not only around each other but the greater world beyond. Heavy on metaphor, the titular plant’s longevity and need for constant care figures prominently, the film also pays loving homage to its literary roots. In fact, passages of classic novels and poetry become a part of the plot with each character seemingly involved with words whether it be translating a technical manual or Julio converting a handwritten manuscript into a word document; the latter pursuit involving a cunning conceit I won’t divulge here. Like the bonsai and the pot in which it grows, there is little distinction between the writer and the words being written and Jiménez deliberately blurs this line between reality and fancy, challenging us to distinguish the difference.

Jul 01, 2014

Couldn't watch this. Couldn't find the right setting so the subtitles were cut off the screen.

Aug 29, 2013


Oct 24, 2012


btmslt Oct 09, 2012

An interesting film about the lies a man tells his lover.

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