Sunday, 28 February 2010


Sixteen-year-old Juan finds himself in a spot of bother when he crashes his parents’ car into a telegraph pole. With almost no money, and only foot power to keep him going, Juan tries his hardest to get the car back home in one piece, calling upon the local residents for help. To his dismay, the townspeople are of little use to him, in part due to the lack of resources, but mostly due to lack of interest. Don Heber, an old mechanic, provides Juan with a place to rest briefly but little else, lavishing his attention on his dog. Young couple David and Lucia make an unenthusiastic effort to get parts, David preferring to practise martial arts while Lucia tends to their child. Although Juan doesn’t exactly get the assistance he wants, he does find that his sleepy neighbourhood has a lot more to offer than first expected, using his peculiar encounters to help him deal with the recent loss of his father.

Sweet and refreshing, Fernando Eimbcke’s sophomore effort is not an essential film by any means, but merits a watch. The story is light and unfolds with little motive, and as a result there is a heavy reliance on the characters. Even more frustrating is the repeated use of the black screen to punctuate pauses. Nonetheless, Eimbcke’s selective eye ensures that the passive viewer will at the very least take in some pretty sights. Gently humorous, Lake Tahoe could almost be a mellower companion piece to Familia Rodante.

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