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My Crazy Life (Mi Vida Loca)

Angel Aviles  Actor Seidy Lopez  Actor Jacob Vargas  Actor

R

MPAA Rating: R
Contains:Violence,Not For Children,Profanity

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My Crazy Life (Mi Vida Loca)

Theatrical Release Date: 1994 07 15 (USA)

UPC: 026359118821

Studio: HBO Home Video

MPAA Rating: R   Contains:[Violence, Not For Children, Profanity]

Summary: Neighborhood pride runs deep in Echo Park, so when two lifelong friends join the local gang as a matter of course, they're handed down gang names from the previous generation of homegirls. Unfortunately, Sad Girl (Angel Aviles) and Mousie (Seidy Lopez) don't remain friends for long. When Mousie withdraws into herself to cope with the responsibilities of young motherhood after bearing the child of her one true love, Ernesto (Jacob Vargas), Sad Girl and Ernesto turn to each other for comfort. Soon, Sad Girl herself ends up pregnant, and warm sisterhood cools to an icy feud. Ernesto starts dealing drugs to support his two young families -- and to outfit the gussied-up low rider that he hides from both of his unsuspecting girlfriends. The economic and romantic entanglements of these three characters serve as the entry point into this multifaceted exploration of L.A. street life, but Mi Vida Loca rapidly expands in scope to take in other characters, most of them female. Bleach-blond Whisper (Nelida Lopez), for instance, learns the drug-dealing ropes from Ernesto and considers crossing gender lines to open her own operation. The slightly older Giggles (Marlo Marron), however, refuses to fall into old dependencies and habits after being imprisoned for four years for a crime her boyfriend committed. Sad Girl's sister, La Blue Eyes (Magali Alvarado), the only character to choose college over gang life, chances upon a poem written by a prison inmate and becomes hopelessly smitten, abandoning her books for a passionate jailhouse correspondence. The focus of Mi Vida Loca shifts freely between these and several other characters, many of whom take turns providing narration and context. The director's daughter, Tiffany Anders, has a small role in the film alongside many real-life Echo Park denizens; several musicians and film directors also make cameos, among them Spike Jonze, Kurt Voss, Kid Frost, and the members of Los Lobos. Salma Hayek got her SAG card by playing a tiny role. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

Category: Drama

Features: cc Audio commentary by director Allison Anders and producer Daniel Hassid

My Crazy Life (Mi Vida Loca)

Format: DVD

Release Date: 09/14/2004

Audio: DDS2.0 Dolby Digital w/ 4 channels, DD5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1

Runtime: 96 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Language(s) English

Subtitles: English,French,Spanish

Region: USA & territories, Canada

Chapters: Side #1 --
1. Life in the Echo [3:29]
2. Monay/maribel [8:42]
3. Ernesto [7:04]
4. A Little Confidence [12:30]
5. Answers [11:10]
6. Things Have Changed [7:23]
7. Step Up [14:53]
8. Unfinished Business [9:16]
9. Meeting Juan Temido [11:15]
10. For Love [10:03]

Brian J. Dillard

It would be easy to question the motives behind a white director's portrayal of Latina gang life if it weren't as respectful, humane, and impassive as Mi Vida Loca. We get no sensational violence or easy answers here; instead, writer/director Allison Anders adopts an almost documentarian approach that lets themes and narrative threads emerge organically while the characters -- and their lifestyles -- speak eloquently for themselves. Even-handed and only rarely resorting to boys-in-the-hood clichés, the film laces its dramatic scenarios with plenty of character-driven belly laughs. The feminist subtext may seem a bit heavy-handed in one or two instances, but for the most part the director sublimates rhetoric to character. Forgoing a traditional dramatic arc, Anders structures her film into three separate vignettes, each of which breaks down into even smaller narrative units as the voice-over shifts from one character to the next. This allows the director to replay the same events from different perspectives, resulting in a film that's rich in nuance. It's hard to define "principals" in a cast this huge, but the meatiest roles go to a mixture of newcomers and pros. Angel Aviles is sweet and tough as the quietly intense Sad Girl, while Seidy Lopez displays great comic timing as the testy Mousie; it's a shame that neither actress has more than a handful of feature credits to her name. Nelida Lopez, Magali Alvarado, and Marlo Marron also went MIA after their fine performances here, although the talented Jacob Vargas, who was also featured in Anders' Gas Food Lodging, has been working steadily since he was a kid. Mi Vida Loca has been criticized for putting Latina actresses into stereotypical "spitfire" parts, but it remains one of the only American movies so far to furnish a rich diversity of roles for that specific ethnicity and gender. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Allison Anders  Director 
Allison Anders  Screenwriter 
Colin Callender  Executive Producer 
Carl Colpaert  Producer 
Daniel Hassid  Producer 
Christoph Henkel  Executive Producer 
John Taylor  Composer (Music Score) 
Angel Aviles  Actor 
Seidy Lopez  Actor 
Jacob Vargas  Actor 
Jesse Borrego  Actor 
Magali Alvarado  Actor 
Julian Reyes  Actor 
Bertila Damas  Actor 
Salma Hayek  Actor 
Panchito Gomez  Actor 
Ricardo Salinas  Actor 
Gabriel Gonzalez  Actor 
Danny Trejo  Actor 
Noah Verduzco  Actor 
Maurice Benard  Actor 
Leigh Hamilton  Actor 
Carlos Rivas  Actor 
Guy Boyd  Actor 
Sissy Boyd  Actor 
Tiffany Anders  Actor 
Jonathan Chapin  Actor 
Kurt Voss  Actor 
Marcus de Leon  Actor 
Abbe Wool  Actor 
Nicole Holofcener  Actor 
Susan Bertram  Actor 
Marabina Jaimes  Actor 
Jason Lee  Actor 
Christina Solis  Actor 
Spike Jonze  Actor 
David Hidalgo  Actor 
Marlo Marron  Actor 
Nelida Lopez  Actor 

Country: USA