YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Taxi thief plays cabby and then connects with a fare

October 24, 2002|Kevin Thomas | Times Staff Writer

"TAXI: An Encounter," a distinctive and engaging debut feature written, directed and produced by Gabriela David, is screening Sunday in the American Cinematheque's New Argentine Cinema series that runs Friday through Sunday at the Egyptian.

What makes this special is not its classic "Brief Encounter" plot, but David's promising gifts as an expressive screen storyteller. David has an instinct for where to put the camera and a keen intuition in using her visual medium in a graceful, fluid style to convey what her characters are experiencing at every turn.

She is no less skilled with actors, as her stars and supporting players demonstrate. Diego Peretti has terrific screen presence as Cat, a garrulous Buenos Aires thief who steals taxis for a chop shop but can't resist playing cabby for a spell before turning them over. He's tooling around when the fare he picks up, a pretty girl of high-school age, proves to be suffering from a gunshot wound. For all his bravado, Cat makes sure that the girl, Laura (Josefina Viton), gets emergency treatment.

The point is that Cat and Josefina have connected, and as David follows their separate lives after that brief, dramatic crossing of paths, she reveals how they affect each other afterward. The way the parallel destinies of Cat and the beautiful Laura play out is unpredictable, eloquent and touching.

Lucy Walker's "Devil's Playground," one of the strongest films in the Laemmle Theaters' most recent Documentary Days, will resurface at the Sunset 5.

"Devil's Playground" is a jolting, poignant eye-opener about the little-known traditional sojourn Amish youth take in the outside world before rejoining their church.

The film explores how it affects several individuals from that strict, sheltered world who are turned loose in today's temptation-laden society.



"Taxi: An Encounter,"

Sunday, 3:30 p.m., Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. (323) 466-FILM.

"Devil's Playground,"

today, 9:45 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.; Laemmle's Sunset 5 Cinema.

Los Angeles Times Articles