Sunday, June 24, 2012

Calexico - "Flor de Muertos" DVD (director: Danny Vinik)

This film serves a dual purpose, and I'm not sure which takes precedence. But no matter, as "Flor de Muertos" is effective on both counts. On one hand, it's a concert film highlighting Calexico's 2009 performance at Tucson's Rialto Theatre. The Tucson-based band perform a stunning synthesis of jazz, Latin, and stylishly dark indie rock that sounds like no one else out there. The footage (and music, featuring a number of guest artists) is clear and packed with life and energy.

The other side of "Flor de Muertos" is a documentary focusing on the cultures intersecting at the borders of Mexico and the United States, with immigration playing a key role. Also examined, though interviews with residents as well as journalists and writers, is the celebratory "Day Of The Dead" traditions, and Tucson's own All Souls Procession -- a street festival held yearly where the city recognizes and celebrates their own friends and family since passed. It's a very engrossing, well-shot, and colorful look at life (and death) near the border. 

So, fans of Calexico will enjoy this immensely, but it's equally as worthy as a documentary. Highly recommended to anyone, "Flor de Muertos" is a cinematic triumph. (Sonication FIlms/MVD Visual)

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