Homosexuality: Power and Abandonment

Talent Press Guadalajara participantMabel Machado reviews Raul Fuentes' debut film EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMEBODY... NOT ME.


Raul Fuentes has tried to build an immaculate audiovisual text with a deep philosophical substratum in his first work; this can be inferred in every single line of the script and by the beauty of the images. However, the film is stuck at the middle of the road and doesn’t represent the authentic nature and complexity of a contemporary homosexual romance.

EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMEBODY... NOT ME has a screenplay with poetical ambitions that exceed the solutions the director had when he filmed. References to Fernando Pessoa, Hegel, Foucault, and many other important authors coexist in the film like a mixture of random axioms. The over-the-top hypertextuality hinders the narration instead of making it easier; neither the intertitles nor the reading or recitation of poem fragments are precise and strong enough to clear certain conflictive moments and the climax of the plot. For this reason, the film turns hermetic and impenetrable for the audience, the inner world and relationships among the main characters.

Fuentes doesn’t justify some of the actions or decisions of the main characters; for example, the falling in love and breaking up process results too unexpected. Seduction is repeatedly used as a connective resource that opens and closes the circle that distinguishes Alejandra’s role; this implausible element makes her look like an object of desire for any woman that gets near her.

The lesbian issue is subject to the prevailing representation schemes of this kind of stories: beautiful and utterly tempting women that fall in love with other misunderstood, unstable, confused and frustrated women. The complex narrative structure of the film more than demonstrating the rigor of the drama (using flashbacks and other resources) highlights the disturbed psychology of the characters and the drama of being a lesbian women in different phases of life.

In this film, it is up to third parties to pry into the most intimate aspects of the main characters; we can see this in the case of the unsuccessful writer, who anticipates the ending of the story by revealing Alejandra’s soft spot for a beautiful woman, likewise the weakness of her love for Maria. We can infer that Alejandra has sparked off the main conflict (persuading Maria to have a homosexual affair) just to please herself, or for a mere sexual and affective necessity.

The black and grey color scheme of the film acts as a reference to classic artistic photography and, to an extent, as an implicit allusion to high culture (the main characters talk about visiting New York, meet in galleries, recite Whitman’s lines). In turn, Alejandra’s ruses to win Maria’s heart could have to do with the idea that intelligence and culture are considered an authorization to seduce, impress, influence and win the love and admiration of other people.

This intellectual refinement myth, as a bastion of invulnerability or as a primacy symbol becomes fainter in Fuentes’ film: Alejandra takes Maria to a movie theatre to see a film that everybody seems to ignore. Then, they start making love on the seats regardless the context. She is convinced, just as Foucault (whom she refers to in some parts of the film) that the power may produce as much approval to the extent of being desired; however, she submits to the writer’s influence.

Some musical and photographical elements can be interpreted as symbols of the opposite personalities of Maria and Alejandra: a scene in which they are filmed with their back towards the camera; also some checkered floor tiles can be seen at the center of the shot; the soundtrack includes some punk and disco tracks that are danced by Maria, which makes a contrast to Alejandra’s musical preferences; art direction and costumes also make a difference between them.

It seems that Raul Fuentes wanted to include the majority of his artistic and technical experiences in this movie. However, this seems to be the main mistake of the film.