Showing posts with label Isaach De Bankolé. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Isaach De Bankolé. Show all posts

26 September 2012

Casa De Lava DVD Review

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Casa de Lava (called Down to Earth on it’s US relase) is a film made by noted Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa. It was his 2nd film and a very loose remake of Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur’s I walked with a Zombie. It stars Isaah de Bankolé best known to western audiences with his many collaborations with Jim Jarmusch with films such as The Limits of Control and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.

The plot is basically an immigrant worker Leaõ in Portugal falls into a coma. A young depressed nurse Mariana has to get Leaõ back to his home in the volcanic Cape Verde islands. Nobody is willing to claim Leaõ and so this stuck on the island. She starts interacting (partly in hope of finding a relative) with the strange locals and is drawn into mysterious community of the volcanic island. She starts a relationship that never goes anywhere with a local, she seems to be more and more connected to Leaõ. Leaõ also eventually wakes up but is just a stranger in his own land. Many of the inhabitant’s wishes to make the journey to Portugal out of financial need because of Portugal’s colonisation of the island.

My biggest problem with the film is I just wish it were a total zombie film and not try be a zombie film without zombies. The Zombie film was always political and yes the people are of the island are kinda zombies and dead in a way. It however would have been more enjoyable if they were actual zombies. There are numerous shots of the volcanoes that are beautiful but they linger and linger and just bored the hell out of me eventually.

It has an interesting film about the colonisation of islands in Africa by the Portuguese in it for about 20 minutes. It however left be cold and I didn’t care at all about the characters, it left me unengaged with the characters. It was all done very realistically and I would have preferred a supernatural twist (instead of the metaphorical zombie), which Costa originally planned to do, as evident on the bonus interview on the Second Run DVD.

Ian Schultz

DVD Re-release Date: 24th September 2012(UK)
Directed by: Pedro Costa
Cast: Inês de Medeiros, Isaach De Bankolé, Edith Scob, Pedro Hestnes
Buy Casa De Lava: DVD[1994]