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Saturday, September 13, 2008

PINERO (2001)

Even at a bare hour & a half, writer/megger Leon Ichaso has to pad like crazy with a blistering array of useless stylistics (off-center handheld camera feints, a time-shifting narrative, pointless flip-flops from color to B&W), to camouflage the paucity of material in the life & times of writer/provocateur Miguel Piñero. This modestly gifted conman, thief & playwright is presented as a sort of Puerto Rican/American ‘Beat’ artist, but the comparison wilts. Jack Kerouac, for all his faults, caught the Zeitgeist of a whole generation, Piñero was more like a flavor-of-the-month. Benjamin Bratt makes all the right moves to capture the dark soul of a shallow talent, but he never gets under the skin of the man. If that was their aim, showing that no one, not even Piñero himself, could find a path to a man with no center-of-gravity, they missed. To see what’s not happening in this film, try the superb BEFORE NIGHT FALLS.

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