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Dreams in the Middle of the World

Of interest due to relative scarcity of product from Ecuador, this trio of tidy, if somewhat predictable, tales of contempo life is tinged with an air of the fantastic. Exposure is likely at thematic regional fests as well as on Spanish-speaking tube and vid outlets.

Of interest due to relative scarcity of product from Ecuador, this trio of tidy, if somewhat predictable, tales of contempo life is tinged with an air of the fantastic. Exposure is likely at thematic regional fests as well as on Spanish-speaking tube and vid outlets.

In the first tale, “Deborah,” a woman arrives in a male-deprived town to give piano lessons, only to become the victim of wild rumors and innuendo. In “El escritor,” a young writer and college professor obsesses about death and dreams of a female presence who haunts the halls of the Guggenheim Museum. Final story, “Guasango,” centers on a young couple in a remote village who find all the excitement they can handle. Writer-director Carlos Naranjo Estrella organized a 1990 screenwriting seminar with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and it is in that famed writer’s work, as well as “Short Cuts”–era Robert Altman, that he seems to have found his muse. Perfs are in the ensemble spirit. Tech credits are easy on the eyes.

Dreams in the Middle of the World

(DRAMA -- ECUADORIAN-SPANISH)

Production: A Productora Grupo Alyaz production. (International sales: Grupo Alyaz, Madrid.) Produced by Maria Elena Sanchez. Directed, written by Carlos Naranjo Estrella. Camera (color), Jose Garcia Galisteo; editor, Miguel A. Lopez; music, Claudio Jacome, Hugo Idrovo. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (Latin American Cinema), Sept. 2, 1999. Original title: Suenas en la mitad del mundo --- cuentos Ecuatorianos. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Hector Alterio, Concha Cuetos, Oscar Ladoire, Maria Kosty, Santiago Naranjo, Claudia Gravi, Mirta Miller, Andrea Guardiola.

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