Last night, I went to the National Museum of the American Indian for “Dinner and a Movie.” The event included dinner (after regular museum hours) in the museum’s “Zagat rated” cafe and a screening of La Mission, an independent film starring Benjamin Bratt, written and directed by his brother, Peter Bratt. The Bratts collaborated one other time, about 12 years ago, with a film called Follow Me Home. That film was never released to the general public and shown only in limited, pre-coordinated venues (sort of like the NMAI screening last night). Following the film, both Peter and Benjamin discussed the film. I took some video of the discussion on my new Flip (we sat very close to the front) but need to edit it (and perhaps get a release from the Bratts). I also got one quick candid picture following the discussion that turned out better than I’d ever hoped. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the SD card in my camera, and I don’t know where the camera’s USB cable is. D’oh!
Because I’m exceptionally tired today (didn’t get home until about 11:30 last night—very late for an old fart such as myself), I’ll only discuss the superficial things today.
The viewing was less than optimal. The museum folks weren’t able to correct the framing of the film, so heads were chopped of in some scenes. And the soundtrack was a bit too loud, but that might be because we were sitting so close.
Speaking of the soundtrack, it was terrific. But then, I kind of expected it. The soundtrack for Follow Me Home, which included only original, indigenous music, is awesome. This soundtrack included a few favorite classic soul and Latino hits (including one of my absolute favorites, Marvin Gaye’s “Gotta Give It Up”), but even the original music was great. Someone even asked about a CD, and Peter said it would probably be released with the movie.
Which means the movie is going to be released and shown in theaters! Yay! But, being an independent film, it will have very limited distribution, and doesn’t have a large budget for publicity, so they’re relying on word of mouth. The words from my mouth? “Go see it!” And I don’t say that just because Benjamin Bratt is the star. It’s a colorful, often humorous, moving film with great performances. (And truthfully, I would not necessarily have recommended Follow Me Home, which was amateurish [even Peter admitted that last night] and very negative of all Caucasians.)
Moving on to the truly superficial: Benjamin’s wife, the uber-gorgeous Talisa Soto (credited as Talisa Soto Bratt) was also in the film, as was Latino favorite Jesse Borrego, and my favorite team member from The Cleaner (who sadly wasn’t in season 2—maybe that’s why it was canceled), Kevin Michael Richardson. Jesse Borrego played a close friend of Benjamin’s character. Jesse looked amazingly like Peter Bratt (which is not a a bad thing), and Talisa Soto played his wife. Freudians may now speculate. 😀
Several vintage Chevrolets had supporting roles as beautifully restored low riders. As a Supernatural fan, and someone who was weaned on mid-60s Impalas, this is highly important to me. One of the key Impalas was a 1964 SS. In one scene, a torn Che Rivera (Benjamin Bratt), beats the crap out of the hood, just as a torn Dean Winchester beat the crap out of his beloved 1967 Impala’s trunk in “Everybody Loves a Clown.” One of my fellow baby boomers asked, caveating that maybe he didn’t want to know, if the Impala really had been beaten. Interestingly, the Impala is Benjamin’s own car. In fact, some of the scenes of the car’s restoration were real, but a fake hood was used for the beating.
The low riders actually had their own credits. I didn’t catch the entire credit, but the ’64 was credited to (something I didn’t catch, but now think may have been “Benjamin”) “and Mateo Bratt.” Aw. Mateo is Ben and Talisa’s son, who must now be around 4 or 5 years old. Truly a family affair, and a labor of love.