Siqueiros’ Film Marks BD First9 Feb, 2009 By: Angelique Flores
Immigration issues, wisecracking drag queens and cultural-identity struggles. It doesn’t seem all that would fit in one film, but filmmaker David Siqueiros makes it work in One Long Night.
The bilingual comedy will be released on DVD ($19.99) and Blu-ray Disc ($29.99) Feb. 17 by Polychrome Pictures through Vivendi Entertainment. The film also will be available on DVD ($19.99) with all-Spanish packaging. It will get a limited theatrical run Feb. 12, just before the home video release.
One Long Night is the first bilingual film to arrive on Blu-ray, and among the first Latino titles to appear on the high-def format. Other titles include Sony Pictures’ Volver and New Line’s Pan’s Labyrinth, which both came out on Blu-ray in 2007, as well as Maya Entertainment’s Talento de Barrio, which was released in November 2008.
Siqueiros wrote, produced and directed the film, which stars Jon Seda, Paul Rodriguez, Mexican singer Lupillo Rivera, Ariel Award-winning actor Pedro Armendariz Jr., Adrian Alonso and Ed Begley Jr.
One Long Night tells the story of Richard Macedo (played by Seda), a conservative, half-Mexican, half-white businessman who goes to Mexico City on a work assignment. Most of the film trails Richard through one long night of misadventures that include kidnapping, robbery, drag queens and, ultimately self-discovery.
The film is set in Los Angeles in 1994 against the backdrop of all the political issues going on during that time, such as voting on California’s Prop. 187, which restricted the rights of illegal immigrants to social services, health care and education, as well as Mexico ushering in a new president.
“I wrote it as a comedy because if I wrote it as a drama, it would be too heavy,” Siqueiros said. “It’s a dark comedy with social undertones of rediscovering your roots.”
The film also is written in English and Spanish and uses a mix of American, Mexican and Mexican-American stars, which proved to be a challenge when the director went shopping for distribution from a studio.
“In the past, you either had one or the other,” Siqueiros said.
He said that several studios called the film a “hybrid” and passed on it because it wasn’t easily categorized.
Perhaps the film is such a hybrid because its creator is. One Long Night is the first full-length feature film from Siqueiros (not to be confused with the renowned muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros — that’s his uncle). The Mexican-born director has been in the United States since 1983. After a career as a newspaper journalist in Mexico and Los Angeles, he worked in television production for such networks as Univision and Telemundo in the United States, Mexico’s Televisa, and Swiss’ TV Romande. He also worked on Hispanic-related stories for “Entertainment Tonight” and the TNT Network.
This “hybrid” film has played to full houses in every festival it has been a part of throughout the world, including festivals in Boston, Cannes, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, New York and Canada. It garnered Best New Feature and Best New Director awards at the WorldFest Houston Film Festival, where it premiered in the United States and opened the festival. And having both American and Mexican flavors hasn’t seemed to stop audiences from enjoying it.
“Here and there, audiences laugh at the same thing,” Siqueiros said. “Humor is universal. You just have to be careful in translating things.”