In the City of Sylvia

Director: José Luis Guerín
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 3.5

A young artist sits at a café, drawing the faces of the women he openly stares at - they notice him but choose to ignore him (they also don't confront him - maybe it's because he's handsome and they don't mind the attention) - desperately hoping to run into a mysterious girl named Sylvia he met there years before. The approach is so minimalistic it makes Bresson - whose Four Nights of a Dreamer is a key influence - look like Luc Besson, but it also rewards attention, as several of the town's inhabitants pop up here and there (most notably, a street hustler trying to sell belts and lighters): it's all very quaint, romantic and microcosmic. Some may misread it as a movie that reduces women to mere objects, but that's missing the point (I think): it's a movie deeply in love with the female form, and all the main character can do is get rough sketches of them, and all we get from his character is that he's a man obsessed with finding the woman of his dreams (as noble or foolish as that might be).