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Teenage Juan crashes his family's car into a telegraph pole on the outskirts of town, and then scours the streets searching for someone to help him fix it. His quest will bring him to Don Heber, an old paranoid mechanic whose only companion is Sica, his almost human boxer dog; to Lucía, a young mother who is convinced that her real place in life is as a lead singer in a punk band, and to "The One who Knows," a teenage mechanic obsessed with martial arts and Kung Fu philosophy. The absurd and bewildering worlds of these characters drag Juan into a one day journey in which he will come to accept what he was escaping from in the first place--an event both as natural and inexplicable as a loved one's death. What begins as a mundane adventure quickly becomes a transformative journey exploring issues of death, family, love and sex.
Director and Cast
Podcast with director:
“Blissful…the film to beat at this year’s [Film Comment Selects] series.”
--Simon Abrams/ New York Press - Review
--J Hoberman/ The Village Voice - Review
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George Napper - Customer Review
Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke proved he was talented with 2004's black-and-white festival darling 'Duck Season.' Here, he proves he is a genius. Just like 'Duck Season,' the film deals with the problems and pressures of adolescence, but unlike 'Duck Season,' it doesn't present any moral question that would take away from its rich, charming characters and deep, raw emotion. Diego Cataño plays Juan, a new driver in Yucatán who crashes his car into a telephone pole. He spends the morning looking for a good mechanic and finally finds one in David (Juan Carlos Lara II). David is a kung-fu nut and praises Shaolin monks and Bruce Lee (he's also the one who says 'give your sensei a hug'). Daniela Valentine plays teen mother Lucia, whose baby cries when in her arms, but is totally serene in Juan's, which alludes to later events in the film. Hector Herrera is excellent as Don Heber, a crotchety old mechanic with a runaway dog. Now, I bet you're wondering: how do all these people and elements tie together? Trust me, they do. It's a great story that has you emotionally invested to the very end. Interjecting the story are beautiful steady shots of the Yucatan landscape and city. Eimbcke obviously understands the gorgeousness of his home country. He also understands how to tell a great story; one that is moving and edgy at the same time; one that's quirky for a reason and not just quirk for quirk's sake. Without a doubt my favorite film of this year's SLIFF, 'Lake Tahoe' is a serene image of Mexican youth and culture wrapped up in a well-told tale that leaves you wanting a little bit more, like any good film should do. Give your Sensei a hug and see 'Lake Tahoe.' 5/5.
Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
Lake Tahoe's story has a lot of potetnial, but I think it missed the mark with the film-making style. At first, it appears to be about a young man look for someone who could make an effort to help him get his car fixed (which he just crashed). It turned out that he was just struggling to cope with the death of his father. There were a lot of scenes where we see the protagonist walk from one screen to the other, so we can surmise that this is a slow-paced film. Also, there were a lot of black gaps between scenes, which I'd call a "slideshow gap", which is an effect that disconcerted and annoyed me. Maybe that was an intended effect, but it made me feel like turning the movie off. This is a well-intentioned film, but it could have been done better. I did like the wide shots of the buildings around town though.
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