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Lechuga's laconic narrative is in no hurry to launch into plot complication, devoting much of the film's first half to cataloging the mundane absurdities that delimit the village of Melaza, and thus Monica and Aldo's lives.The film will have its Middle East premiere at the Metropolis Cinema-Sofil Tuesday evening, where it's screening in ARTE Film Week – eight nights of critically lauded and award-winning features produced by the esteemed Franco-German television broadcaster.Lechuga's freshman film effort, as may be apparent by now, meets many criteria of art house cinema – "festival film" as lovers of whiz-bang blockbusters like to call it – marked by minimal plotting, semiprofessional cast and cinematography (elegantly overseen by Ernesto Calzado and Luis Franco Brantley) that prefers stationary camera shots to dollies and longish single takes to feverish jump cuts. Yet "Melaza" also belongs to a distinct cinematic subgenre that emerged in the 1990s – "the postcommunism picture". Postcommunism pictures are legion. In the formal incongruity of its depiction of Melaza and its residents, however, there's much in this movie that's reminiscent of several earlier European films – Hiner Saleem's 2003 feature "Vodka Lemon," for instance, about an isolated Kurdish village in post-Soviet rural Armenia."Melaza" will be projected at Metropolis Cinema-Sofil this Tuesday at 8 p.m. ARTE Film Week continues through Oct. 19 .
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