Little movies can be about very big things, perhaps because an economy of scale lets a film concentrate on characters instead of green screens. So it goes with the feature debut from Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke: In “Duck Season,” his protagonists' emotional journey plays across the smallest of stages, on 35mm film, within the confines of one cramped apartment. It will be shown at the Smith Opera House in downtown Geneva starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2.
The plot begins on a Sunday afternoon, when two 14-year-old friends named Flama (Daniel Miranda) and Moko (Diego Catano) are home alone in the drab flat Flama shares with his mother, part of an equally drab Mexico City housing project. They divide a gallon of Coke and embark on a marathon of video games. Rita (Danny Perea), a teenage neighbor, drops by to use their kitchen. She wants to make a cake — a birthday cake. For herself.
Baking and gaming ensue. Then the power goes out and a pizza-delivery dude, Ulises (Enrique Arreola), arrives and refuses to leave (because the boys refuse to pay him). Challenges are thrown down, truths uncovered and epiphanies sparked while the characters settle in to share a long afternoon of nothing — and everything.
Teetering between ennui and discovery, stasis and change, they stumble through an obstacle course of illumination, resolution and desire — not necessarily in that order and occasionally in combination — in the blankness of an empty afternoon.
Shot in black and white to a rollicking soundtrack and confined to a single set, “Duck Season” is laced with the humor of everyday boredom and an eager sampling of popular culture.
“Duck Season” will be screened at 7 p.m. June 2, 3, 5 and 6 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 4. In Spanish with English subtitles, this comedy is rated R and has a running time of 90 minutes. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens and are available at the door.