Directed by Crystal Moselle
Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through the films that they watch. Nicknamed ‘The Wolfpack’, the brothers spend their childhood reenacting their favorite films using elaborate home-made props and costumes. Their world is shaken up when one of the brothers escapes and everything changes.
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★★★½ review by josh lewis 🌹 on Letterboxd
We all watch movies differently. Some watch them as an escape; some watch them to learn things about the world and themselves. It is indisputable though that movies, on some level, shape who we are, whether it be our views, attitudes or perspectives. Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack is an intimate documentary on this very idea, the power and influence of movies through the lens of a secluded family that literally grew up on them.
Moselle doesn’t provide much of her own commentary on her subjects but they are undoubtedly fascinating without her help. Brought up in a single apartment in Manhattan by their two parents, the six Angulo brothers – and sister – live a sheltered lifestyle, one where they’re lucky to leave the apartment nine times a year. One year they never left at all. Though the film slowly reveals how it is these two parents could shelter their kids in this way – and how the dad might be physically abusive, and the mother might be just as trapped as they are – the real focus is on these kids, and how they use movies as a way to creatively project their feelings of sadness, anger and hope.
Moselle captures many wonderful moments of the kids acting out their favourite films (Reservoir Dogs or The Dark Knight, to name a few) from a lavish script they penned themselves, and it’s in these moments we see who these people truly are. One phenomenal scene has a kid dressed as Batman peering over the city he hardly knows, optimistically waiting. It’s an incredibly intimate, nuanced moment.
Unfortunately, The Wolfpack peaks with these must-see theatrical sequences. Moselle, feeling slightly limited, tries her best to cohere this into a gripping study on sheltered life and the ways we allow ourselves to be imprisoned, but she never quite gets there. The kids do eventually rebel and test the outside world with her, and it’s adorable and fascinating to see them view the city through the lens of cinema, but ultimately all the elements don’t merge into a larger, more thoughtful point.
The Wolfpack will screen at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival as part of the Screen on Screen program. For more information and for tickets, visit hotdocs.ca.
★★★½ review by ava davis on Letterboxd
Josh Lewis once said this movie was me in cinematic form because of the quote "if i didn't have movies life would be boring. there would be no point to go on" thanks josh
★★★½ review by Raul Marques on Letterboxd
This is what a documentary with a weak script looks like. Moselle's ability to convince the family to share their story is way more impressive than her work on the actual film, that suffers from the bad kind of loose structure and lack of guidance to the narrative. The Angulo brothers are really compelling characters, more so than the privation of almost any social interaction would imply, but their charisma can only go as far with such a messy direction. Both parents are far creepier than the vast majority of villains, although there is an effort to try to humanize them.
★★★½ review by TaqueroSatanico on Letterboxd
En el cajón de:
-Películas hacen chiquito el corazón.
-Películas dentro de películas.
Ojalá les depare un gran futuro en el cine a estos muchachos.
★★★★ review by Juan Bacaro on Letterboxd
Como si "Kynodontas" de Yorgos Lanthimos conociera a "Be kind rewind" de Michel Gondry. También, algo del famoso libro "The Film Club" de David Gilmour se trasluce.
Uno de los más fascinantes y emotivos documentales del año. Además, hay unos cuantos fragmentos de versiones 'suecadas' de grandes títulos de Hollywood.
Si hay algo que se le pueda criticar a "The Wolfpack" todavía no sé que es. A lo mejor, tal y como leí en alguna crítica, el material se dispersa un poco y su directora, Crystal Moselle, no logra apuntar la lupa en el ángulo más adecuado para explorar más efectivamente esta increíble, bizarra y alucinante historia.
La gran pregunta es: ¿Cómo hizo Moselle para conocer a los hermanos Angulo? Este video se encarga de explicarlo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4jMlque2vs
Existen más versiones homemade que pueden verse desde el website oficial de este documental que se llevó el Gran Premio del Jurado en Sundance 2015. Entre los clips se incluye uno de "The Grand Budapest Hotel": www.magpictures.com/thewolfpack/
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