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HOMEWORK

Mexico, 1990 (MIFF 1992)

Director: Jaime Humberto Hermosillo

This latest offering by one of Mexico's most prolific and outrageous commentators is a single shot — one angle, one com­position. The result is anything but one note; rather, the elimination of traditional film form impels us to focus on every gesture, every word, every sigh, every patch of fresh flesh.

Maria Rojo, perhaps Mexico's finest actress, plays a film student who invites a former boyfriend (Jose Alonso) to her apartment so she can surreptitiously videotape their reunion for a school project. After he discovers her game, he stomps off, his pride insulted, only to return and be coaxed into playing along when she offers him a share in the control over what they do on camera. He changes from subject of voyeuristic view to active participant, and one of the longest and steamiest sex scenes ever seen outside a X-rated theatre follows.

In his merciless portrayal of the family nightmare, Hermosillo has managed to achieve that most elusive quality of bril­liance in cinema — a completely reassured and multi-layered interaction between form and content. The extended title offers a very broad clue as to the ultimate erotic and seductive intentions of this irrepressible and inventive comedy: Homework, or How Pornog­raphy Saved the Split Family from Boredom and Improved their Financial Situation.

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