4 Movies Like Re-Cut (2010)

Staff & contributors
Some films struggle to balance style with substance, but Problemista isn’t one of them. It’s brandished with Torres’ unique brand of surrealist aesthetic, which is colorful, freakish, and fun, while also accurately relaying the pains of coming to and making it in America as an outsider. We see Alejandro accept increasingly debasing gigs as he runs out of time and money in the deep maze that is America’s immigration bureaucracy. And all the while, he’s being both genuinely funny and painfully incisive. Torres is not the first person to point out that in this day and age, the monsters we face are overbearing employers, greedy bankers, and exploitative companies, but he just might be one of the few to do it with such imaginative grace.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Amy Zimmer, Bardia Salimi, Brian Belovitch, Carlos E. Navedo, Catalina Saavedra, Charlene Incarnate, Eudora Peterson, Glo Tavarez, Greta Lee, Greta Titelman, Isabella Rossellini, Jack P. Raymond, James Scully, Jason Furlani, Jordan Mendoza, Julio Torres, Kelly McCormack, Laith Nakli, Larry Owens, Logan J. Alarcon-Poucel, Megan Stalter, Miles G. Jackson, Paul Cooper, Roman Maldonado, Ronald Peet, Ruba Thérèse Mansouri, RZA, Sandra Caldwell, Shakina Nayfack, Sheila Moikangoa, Spike Einbinder, Theo Maltz, Tilda Swinton

Director: Julio Torres

Rating: R

Being an awkward comic is a very difficult trick to pull off; even self-deprecating humor and long, quiet beats in between jokes can't just be used over and over. But while Ralph Barbosa's incredibly chilled-out personality might not be for people who like their comedians loud and animated, his matter-of-fact punchlines and willingness to make himself sound like a bit of a wimp work like a charm. Cowabunga doesn't touch on any hot-button topics, but it doesn't have to. Throughout this hour-long special, Barbosa gives us a strong, frequently very funny view from the point of view of a guy who doesn't want any trouble, but feels no pressure just being himself—a relatable dude if ever there was one.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Ralph Barbosa

Director: Eric Adams

If given the outline of this film, it might be easy to just call it poverty porn. But there’s a genuineness to Mambar Pierrette that keeps this film from sliding into melodrama, a certain subtlety that captures the everyday life in Douala, Cameroon. Filmmaker Rosine Mbakam, who made her start through documentary films, brings her naturalistic style here, placing the titular seamstress front and center as she responds to each and every difficulty that comes her way. And as the flood comes, and so too her troubles, Pierrette Aboheu Njeuthat shines with a subtle charisma, a performance full of dignity for the titular single mother that carved out a life through her craft. Mambar Pierrette might have a familiar neo-realist story, but it’s done well due to its excellent balance.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Cécile Tchana, Fabrice Ndjeuthat, Karelle Kenmogne, Pierrette Aboheu

Director: Rosine Mbakam

It took a while to get going, but this packed hour was filled with the many fascinating gripes of Fern Brady, who comes across relatable in the most absurd way. I don't know if I just wasn't properly lubed up until about 25 minutes in, but the more you hear her talk about her aversion to marriage and muse about death and decline, her range as an animated and insightful person starts to really shine. And as engrossing as her stories can get, perhaps the most consistent thing she does is her voices—she is a hilarious character. Which is to say this felt honest, friendly, and absurd, in all the best ways.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Fern Brady

Director: Phoebe Bourke

Rating: R