Monday, April 25, 2016

Barcelona (1994)

So many filmmakers fall on their faces when making their second film. Emboldened by the success of their debut, most budding auteurs decide it is time to swing for the fences. Since many of these filmmakers have already said all they have to say with their first outing, these films are usually savaged by both critics and audiences. Whit Stillman's Barcelona should be studied in film schools as a model second feature. It's much more ambitious than its predecessor, but not embarrassingly so. It looks a lot like the last film, but is different enough to not be considered a retread. A second film is not a destination, it is just the next step in a journey. You don't have to do it all at once. It's OK to take baby steps and hold on to some things for later. Your sophomore film should be a detailed portrait of who you are at that precise moment in time. It isn't about where you think you should be. Perhaps you'll be able to do those ideas more justice when you're in your forties...or even your eighties!

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