HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (El Patrullero)
Graduating as a top police student from the National Highway Patrol Police Academy, Pedro Rojas (veteran Mexican actor Roberto Sosa) and his college friend Anibal (Bruno Bichir) are sent to patrol a desolate highway. The pair start off by strictly enforcing the law during their arduous 24 hour shifts but soon their dedication begins to dwindle. Pedro's wife Griselda (Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez) complains about his lowly wage and pressurises him into accepting bribes and a steady descent begins that ends with Pedro in the arms of junkie hooker Maribel (Vanessa Bauche). However, when Anibal is murdered by barbarous drug traffickers, Pedro's thirst for revenge may also perhaps offer a shot at redemption.
Charting the harrowing transition from idealism to grim realism, Alex Cox's Highway Patrolman is an intense and brilliantly played character study that offers a fascinating and gritty insight into corruption and embittered disillusionment. Set amid Mexico's beautiful desert-like landscapes (Cox has described his adopted Mexico as the most visually stimulating place on earth) and unfolding in long, real-time takes to signify the residual erosion of the spirit, this is tour de force cinema from one of Britain's most iconoclastic directors.
Audio commentary by director Alex Cox and writer/producer Lorenzo O'Brien
Patrulleros y Patrulleras: interviews with cast and crew
Japan, Mexico, US | 1991 | colour | Spanish language with English subtitles | 100 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.77:1 (16x9) anamorphic
American art dealer Bennie (Migual Sandoval) arrives at his Liverpool hotel. Staying at the same establishment is British art dealer Frank King (played by Alex Cox). After meeting in the hotel's abandoned restaurant, the pair set off into the rainy night in search of a decent meal. Attempting to suppress their hunger through conversation as they travel about via subway, bus, ferry and taxi, the pair everntually come across not sustenance, but another lost and hungry businessman, Leroy Jasper (Robert Wisdom).
Taking place over a single night but in a variety of international locations, Three Businessmen is a surreal and subversive comic fantasy that pays homage to Luis Buñuel's 'The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie' (1972). Sharply scripted by Tod Davis ('Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' (1998) ) to take in subjects as diverse as the theme music on answerphones and The Beatles, this is a stimulating and playful work that displays Cox's liberating disregard for convention. A low budget milestone in the director s filmography, the score is courtesy of Pray For Rain with a title song by Debbie Harry.
Audio commentary by director Alex Cox and writer/producer Tod Davies
How to Watch this film: cast and crew offer a masterclass in how to read the film
Japan, Netherlands, UK | 1998 | colour | English language, optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | 77 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.77:1 (16x9) anamorphic