ON THE BLOG: October's hot pick

Our hot pick blog series is back - where we invite a film connoisseur and friend of Creative Europe Desk UK to tell us about a MEDIA-funded film release they're excited about this month - and we're delighted to have academic, critic and curator Maria M. Delgado sharing her thoughts on Monos.

Maria M. Delgado, Programme Advisor on Spanish and Latin American cinema for the BFI’s London Film Festival on Monos

Think Apocalypse Now meets Lord of the Flies and that might give you some idea of the tone, mood and narrative of Alejandro Landés dazzling Monos.

Eight youngsters, the prisoner they watch over, a largely absent drill sergeant, and the challenges of a hostile environment – first the mountains and then the jungle – provide the narrative backbone of this compelling film. Landés finds a cinematic language that conveys the confusion, excitement and naivety of these adolescent combatants from intense close ups to extreme long shots that show them dwarfed by the wider hostile landscape.  There is no individual protagonist here, rather it is the pack – their dynamics, conflicts and games – who fail to live up to their comic book hero names that drive the unnerving storyline. So, prepare to be shocked, disturbed and taken on a wild journey with the temperamental Dog, the manipulative Lady, the gangly Wolf, the androgynous Rambo, the exploited Smurf, the baby-faced Boom Boom and the deluded Bigfoot. Landés traps the viewer in an endless present of recurring rash violence that proves both unpredictable and disarming. Mica Levi (Under the Skin, Jackie) provides a scratchy score, enhancing the sense of entrapment and foreboding.

Monos melds surrealism with hyper-realism to powerful effect.

Monos received MEDIA support through HBF+ Europe, one of four funds that benefit from the International Co-Production Funds scheme. 

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Monos is showing at the BFI London Film Festival on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 October. 

There will also be a special preview screening, organised by our MEDIA team in Scotland on Sunday 20 October. Find out more here