Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Hewn from solid 1970s, Mosquito isn't so much a coming of age story as a brief slice of time. A Hallowe'en night, kids and older kids, one of those moments that you'll remember.

Mosquito is also Cesar, played by Alejandro Polanco. He's already got a feature to his name, Ramin Bahrani's Chop Shop, and from this he's an obviously capable young actor. Bigger than the little kids, smaller than the big kids, he's stuck in a different adolescent torment from Jolly in Megaheavy.

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Written and directed by Jeremy Engle, a debut for him in either role, it's strong, touching, well crafted. A clear debt is owed to Ferne Pearlstein, whose cinematography is of such quality that the film appears to have fallen through some documentary vortex untouched by time. That care and attention to detail permeate. There are credits for the graffiti and a 'child wrangler', but there's also Cesar's chainmail of soda can ringpulls, the kind that aren't removable any more. Torbitt Schawrtz's score is subtly used, but there are other efforts that should be mentioned. Creating such a solid period feel is no small task, harder perhaps for this film than older fare like Elizabeth or even The Red Machine because we can remember what it ought to look like. Nancy Lippincott's costume design seems spot on, but when one's work is meant to disappear it's sometimes easy to have it forgotten. Gina Fortebuono's production design is also good, but key to the feel is Pearlstein's camera. It might be Engle's story, and it's a good one, but the feel of it owes a lot to a palette that automatically recalls the era.

All the technical expertise aside, Mosquito has a strong ensemble cast, a story that feels genuine, and some measure of bite.

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2010
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The coming of age story of a 13 year-old boy named Cesar, whose awkward bravado and fanciful imagination have earned him the nickname of Mosquito
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Director: Jeremy Engle

Writer: Jeremy Engle

Starring: Vaughn Bowman, James Cartwright, John Diaz, Marion Matthias, Xavier Pineda, Alejandro Polanco, Bryant Reis, Gustavo Valdes, Reymond Wittman

Year: 2010

Runtime: 12 minutes

Country: US


EIFF 2010

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