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Home Activism “Second Star on the Right”

“Second Star on the Right”

Ruth Caudeli

Ovella Blava Films

“Emilia is a 30-something bisexual woman who refuses to grow up as her female friends already did.” 

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By: Patrick Donovan – Author/Screenwriter

Seattle, WA (The Hollywood Times) 7/20/2019

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“Second Star on the Right is a brilliant film that shows how each one of us is conflicted not only with relationships but within the relationship of our own self and how, by bursting through all the chaff, you can become that shining star”

– Pat Donovan

Cast

Silvia Varón, Ximena Rodríguez, Alejandra Lara, Tatiana Rentería, Diana Wiswell, Andrés Jiménez, Lorena Castellanos, Justin Vahala, Gina Medina

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Synopsis

Emilia is a 30-something bisexual woman who refuses to grow up as her female friends already did. Angélica, one of Emilia’s friends, is getting married. Her other friends, Clara and Renata, seem to have all their lives figured out: amazing jobs, family, kids… While Emilia is still living with her mother and trying to define her relationship with Mariana. She is also trying to survive as an actress and she teaches acting classes in a cheap school. She feels more comfortable with her students than with people of her same age. Her life will be even messier when she is fired from her job and she is forced to live a ‘standard’ life. Angélica’s bachelorette party would reveal that not only Emilia is unhappy with her life. We are all hiding what we really are.

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Emilia and her student

About the Director

Ruth Caudeli was born in Valencia, Spain. She has a Masters in film directing from the renowned ESCAC film school and another in fiction for television from the Pompeu Fabra university. She studied audiovisual communication at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, where she won the award for excellence. She has written and directed the feature film EVA+CANDELA (2017) and Second Star on the Right (2019) is her second feature film.

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She has directed several short films, including Late (2010) and Porque no (2016), Between Walls (2017), Aquí no hay señal, marica (2018) or EVA minus CANDELA (2018), which were selected for and won awards at various international festivals. She directed commercials for recognized brand names at the production company Ovella Blava Films. She is a contributor to publications, such as Kinetoscope, and is a professor of film and television at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano. She is currently working in her third feature, EL CUBO, and directing theater plays.

Review:

Second Star on the Right

Women in a pool drinking and having fun… just another girl’s day out… From color to Black and White.  This film switches between B&W and Color which is unique in the presentation.  A lady is priming herself in a elevator and keeps repeating, One girl is more use than 20 boys!

A gathering of sorts for a woman getting married. Then it’s Emilia’s to give her gift.  A golden, rubber duck… the perfect gift.  In the kitchen, as her phone that was buzzing earlier gets her full attention now.  Emilia is poor and her friends want to help her.  They continue to talk about themselves, past boyfriends, sex, and being pregnant among other personal things.

Emilia and her lover, Mari, are engaging playfully in bed. It’s an intimate moment. A laughingly romp in bed, kissing and speaking about how stinky each other’s breath is.  But none of that matters.  It’s about the moment, the love, the passion and the slow and beautiful moment between two women.  Then Emilia leaves remembering her daily breakfast with her friends leaving Mari to question, “Emilia, you never stay for breakfast with me?”

This part of the film is in black and white really gives you a sense of focusing on the story and not the color of the background to distract you.  I love black and white and its use shows that the director wants to make you see the message.

But when one of Emi’s friend tries to capture her attention about an important topic, she wants to put a poster of herself on the wall bringing the focus of the conversation to her. Emilia’s an acting coach, a professor, teacher and we see her helping others to express their emotions through acting like animals. Slow, deliberate and dedicated.  Focus!  Quiet! Expressive!

We focus on the lives during a musical montage and see up close what these women are all about.  We see who they are as free and expressive humans having fun. Alone, with lovers, with family with friends.  What a lovely story we have here.  The music is a reggaeton piece and as a Disc Jockey, I love this music. It’s really helps you to feel the love and passion.  Then, a wonderful scene comes to you between Emilia and Mariana that I will not tell you about save for that I was memorized by the beauty, passion and deep feelings between these characters.  I watched as someone is watching the beauty of the ocean, the majesty of the mountains and the peace of a Zen garden.  Two women together even in an intimate way doesn’t have to be sexual for the viewer. Consider their bodies the artwork and the screen, the canvas. Appreciate that beauty.

We watch Emi tumble into a rut and depressed into feeling like she has no time of her own. Mariana tries to make a wish, but Emi takes issue with that. Emi’s a conflicted woman who has her own life but wants things only when she wants them. I’m guilty of that, too! It’s called self-gratification, non-sexual, but I want my life and to do things in my own way, in my own time. Emi’s trying to be that and work at a job where she feels used, mocked and forgotten.

Emilia and Mariana

This was my life and what I went through on a daily basis. What I saw in these subsequent scenes was me!  We, as people, as humans, man or woman, gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, bisexual, it doesn’t matter, have something inside us that eats away at who we are. When Emi feels at her lowest a former student shows up to cheer her up.  What happens next takes you on another journey as the scene transitions to the friends again in a pool, drinking and truth coming out.  I’m impressed with the cinematography, video montages, switching back and forth between color and black and white, and the great music which tells you the real story as you watch Emilia going through the various scenes of her life.

Trailer on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/312899167

Emilia and Mariana

Website: https://www.theopenreel.com/portfolio-item/second-star-on-the-right/

Photo Credits: Andrés Botero, Alejandro Sandoval

Production Company: Ovella Blava Films

Film Sales: The Open Reel International Sales