The Dominican Republic is at it again. After making waves on the festival circuit over the last several years with critical darlings like Jean Gentil, Cristo Rey, and most recently, Dólares de arena, a short teaser for the highly anticipated, big-budget María Montez biopic has recently been released into the ether.
Of course, everybody’s heard of “The Queen of Technicolor,” María Montez, so there’s no need to mention that she was the first Dominican actress in Hollywood, right? Or that of the 26 films she made before her untimely death at 39, several were also French and Italian productions. And we’re sure everyone’s had a brush with María Montez International Airport in Barahona, Dominican Republic, so no need to even bring that up.
And if starring alongside the likes of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. wasn’t enough, she even got a radical film manifesto named after her. Written by groundbreaking underground filmmaker and father of the camp aesthetic, Jack Smith, we’re not entirely sure what The Perfect Filmic Appositeness of María Montez is about, but we’re sure it’s damn good.
Helmed by Spanish director Vicente Peñarrocha, and penned by Cristo Rey scribe Alejandro Andújar and Executive Producer Celinés Toribio, María Montez has a budget that’s been estimated to be as high as $2.2 million, making it one of the biggest Dominican features to date. But we all know money can’t buy quality. The beautiful cinematic images we’re presented with in the teaser aren’t enough to distract me from the painfully over-enunciated line about “Otrosss lugaressss que salen en lasss revissstasss” and the cheesy, new-agey strings filling out the soundtrack.
But I’m sure they were just going for that camp aesthetic, right?
María Montez la película opens in theaters in the Dominican Republic on December 11, 2014.