In the City of Sylvia

2007 [SPANISH]


IMDb Rating 6.9 10 2501

Plot summary

November 05, 2022 at 03:11 AM


José Luis Guerín

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
785.55 MB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...
1.42 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rooprect 8 / 10

An Everyman romance

Gone with the Wind. When Harry Met Sally. The English Patient. While these are all great love stories, I have to ask: is ANYONE's life really like that? Here we have a film that's just as cinematically powerful, and yet it tells a love story which most of us have probably experienced. Plain & simple, this is the story of a missed encounter revisited years later. Based on director José Luis Guerín's real life experience, this is the story of an artist who meets a girl and, years later, returns to the city where they met. He has only a handful of clues as to who she is or where she may be: a cocktail napkin with a map drawn on it, a box of matches, and a vague recollection of what she looked like.

What follows is a very poetic 80 minutes of people-watching. He sees girls who look like her but he's not sure, so he scrutinizes them from a distance, draws them, on occasion follows them or tries to strike up a conversation. Wow, that sounds sorta creepy. But it's not. That's largely due to the lead actor's innocent boyish looks--the kind where he could stare at you for 10 minutes and you never feel threatened. He is purely an observer, and for anyone who has always wanted to indulge in people-watching but never dared for fear of being arrested, "In the City of Sylvia" is a real treat.

One thing to bear in mind is that this is a very motionless story. I mean that literally as well as figuratively. Camera shots are very still and lingering while the plot is equally slow. So if you're looking for a typical Hollywood love story you shouldn't even bother with this. But if the phrase "a picture is worth 1,000 words" means anything to you, then this is worth checking out.

Like I said in the beginning, this is a love story we've all been through, whether literally or in our whimsical reveries. All of us have that certain stranger burned into our brain from years ago: someone at a bus stop, the person you sat behind in junior high, the checkout person at a grocery store whom you had a momentary soul connection with. Wouldn't it be interesting to try to find them years later? Or is it best left idealized in our nostalgic memory? One way or another, it's this sort of mysterious longing that embodies the essence of romance. I'm grateful to director José Luis Guerín for showing us the beauty in it.

Reviewed by andreirublev 10 / 10

The quintessential film about people-watching

It is about time that we stop using the term "voyeur" to describe every film where the audience is given an opportunity to gaze at women. There is so much else in addition to the gazing, observing, and following. What the film captures is the harmony between the observer and the environment: a total immersion in its atmosphere. In an era where portable audio devices eliminate people's attention to their surroundings, the film almost feels like a timely persuasion: watch what you see, and listen to what you hear. Remember the essence of cinema: sound, images, and movements. The film also bears a sign of timelessness through its universal theme: a romantic's pursuit of his dreams in la vie quotidienne. As an ostensibly subjective film, it also includes many mysterious scenes where the identify of the observer is ambiguous. Some people think that those scenes come from the imagination of our protagonist - or could it be the filmmaker, or the viewer? This movie is nothing less than a timely and timeless masterpiece. It provides compelling evidence that cinema is far from dying; as a matter of fact, it has hardly been as exciting and alive.

Reviewed by crappydoo 10 / 10

True cinema.

This film made me feel like I had just undertaken a short vacation to a European city and returned. I basked in the splendour of visuals, sound and delightful observations of the city, its sounds and its people, particularly the young women, going about doing their thing. It made me smile, laugh and delighted me to simply observe.

I sincerely believe that it is extremely difficult for directors to make a good mood piece which keeps the viewer interested and does not lull him/her to sleep. Very few directors have this ability and I was thrilled to have experienced the keen sense of observation of the director of this film. I think I can actually count the total number of dialogues on my fingertips. There is a story in the background, but it is really not important to this film.

So before watching this, remember that you will be observing a piece of art in motion and not a movie with a particular story. This is how I believe cinema was supposed to be when it first was invented over a 120 years ago - as a medium of art in motion, and not for storytelling as it has been diluted to over the past century.

So, brilliant job, director, for you have realised the true meaning of cinema and have delivered us an excellent piece for the years to come. I sincerely hope I see more work from you heading into this direction in the future.

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