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‘Problemista’ review: A seriously grounded comedic fantasy

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Julio Torres (left) and Tilda Swinton in "Problemista."
Julio Torres (left) and Tilda Swinton in "Problemista."

Every week, Kristopher Pollard from Milwaukee Film and Radio Milwaukee’s Dori Zori talk about movies — because that’s what you do when you’re Cinebuds.

All creative people see the world in a unique way. Then there are creative people like actor-director Julio Torres — the individual behind HBO shows Los Espookys and Fastasmas, as well as the film sitting at the center of this episode: Problemista.

Torres’ projects are fantastic in the purest sense of the word. They skew reality, amplify it, apply a lens that exaggerates everyday life and, by doing so, reveals truths that otherwise go unnoticed in our daily routine. His directorial debut stays firmly on that path, following a tradition set by the likes of Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich).

Problemista isn’t fantasy for fantasy’s sake, though. There are very real stakes tied to the immigrant experience and navigating a system that seems determined to keep you from navigating it easily. So, of course, there are people who literally vanish into thin air, visuals that would make M.C. Escher beam with pride and … Tilda Swinton.

On this episode of the podcast, Dori and Kpolly marvel at Torres’ vision, his execution and … Tilda Swinton. Listen using the player at the top of the page or however podcasts get to your ears.