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Celestial Clockwork: A Movie Overlooked

This is a strange one...

Hey, I missed you guys! Due to the dedication to the new QPDX Podcast, 2 Girls 1 Podcast, I’ve been a little busy of late. However, I love writing about  movies, and little could keep me away from this blog for long.

Celestial Clockwork, made in 1995 by Venezuelan director, Fina Torres (Oriana and Woman on Top), is one of the stranger movies I’ve ever seen. Recently, going through some of my older posts, I realized how few foreign films I’ve reviewed. So, I thought I’d start with one of the first that really surprised me.

The movie begins with beautiful Ana (Ariadna Gil) at her wedding altar. It’s clear that she loves the opera, and is terrified to get married. She’s about to speak her vows, when… she realizes that settling down would compromise her biggest dream, to be an international opera star! There is no choice, but to hightail it to France where she can train.

Queer voodoo love potions aside, the messages of love in the movie seem sincere.

Ready for absurdity? Good. She moves into a flat with four Latina women, and pursues vocal training with a temperamental Russian genius. One of the women she lives with, Celeste, is obsessed with becoming a pop icon, and there’s an incredible music video of her smash hit, “Sometimes I Eat Spiders.” Well, by incredible, I mean strange, and kind of bad. It’s a must see. I tried to find a clip of it, but sadly, this entire movie barely exists on the internet.

Um, so… Celeste becomes too jealous of Ana’s voice to let her stay, so Ana moves in with an unconventional French psychoanalyst lady named “Alcanie”. At some point, a Puerto Rican witch doctor introduces a love potion that causes Alcanie to fall in love with Ana. Our heroine doesn’t feel the same way, and it’s here that things really get turned around.

"Sometimes I Eat Spiders" is the best song in the movie... not as pretty as opera... but it's solid kitch-core!

I will say that the love triangles turn about a few times before things are right, and I won’t tell you how it ends… but I will say it does not have the usual “everyone turns out straight in the end” kind of endings. Don’t those make you furious? Happy endings = Heterosexuality?? Not for me.

This movie is weird, and the reviews for it are heavily mixed. There is a high element of fantasy that viewers were not expecting. It gives the film levity, and also weakens the plot.What’s also interesting, is that the movie opens in Spanish, and has parts in French… and maybe other languages too. I think Celestial Clockwork is one of the best queer themed films of the 90’s, and you should see it.

I can only give you an Amazon link to watch it. Their instant view feature is highly underrated, as it only costs a couple of bucks to stream a film from their vast database. If you do watch it, tell me what you think. I’ve rarely talked to anyone that has.

I haven’t found this movie online, besides renting this from Netflix, or buying it from Amazon. I did find the trailer, and it’s dubbed over in English… why? Anyway, send for the disc. It’s interesting, and a nice diversion from the usual queer plotline.

 

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