The Austin Chronicle

Tales That Must Be Told

Previewing the ninth Cine las Americas

By Sofia Resnick, April 14, 2006, Screens

En la cama (In Bed)

D: Matías Bize; with Blanca Lewin, Gonzalo Valenzuela

A simple-minded viewer might call En la Cama soft-core porn, but it's not. The film opens with blurred humping bodies and no dialogue, save for moans and heavy breathing. Minutes into the opening credits, we begin to see breasts and thighs and a hairy ass. And then the bodies of Daniela and Bruno climax, and their mouths begin to talk. You see, in a porn, there would be no postcoital chatter, and really, Lewin and Valenzuela are good actors; they handle the minimal script well. The film's setting, outside the bed, is only revealed because the characters speak Spanish and confess to living in Santiago, Chile. Otherwise, the language of sex, cell phones, e-mail, infidelity, eating disorders, spousal abuse, passion, and intimacy is universal. Between the sheets (and in between sex sessions), the pillow talk becomes more personal, difficult secrets are divulged, and sadness is understood. Bize throws the viewer little nuggets of suspense, revealed as the strangers hesitantly get to know each other, but it's only a tease. Just as the mystery of "will she, won't she?" is solved within seconds of the film's beginning, the mystery of the might-be-lovers is solved, and carried into oblivion, by the film's end. En la Cama speaks for itself: just as Daniela and Bruno are instructed, we must enjoy the sex ... and move on.

Saturday, April 22, 10pm, Metropolitan

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