Raya Martin's Buenas Noches, España is the kind of film which will either leave you thinking about it for days to come or simply leave you with a massive headache.
The concept for the film is rooted in the 1953 account of a Filipino soldier in Manila disappearing and reappearing in Mexico City, a supposed case of teleportation. But here we watch two lovers take the journey through time, space and Spain. The journey begins with the consumption of mind altering drugs and a step through a television screen. The influence of psychedelic drugs is evident throughout, scenes skip and jump, the tint on the camera switches between red, yellow and blue and sequences you could have sworn you watched a couple of minutes ago are repeated again but slightly differently, or was it just a different colour or contrast, or did it even change it all?
The ways in which the visuals are processed combined with the rampant, relentless distorted soundtrack not only underline the psychedelic themes but also emphasise a feeling of being lost whilst simultaneously being completely and utterly carefree. There is no dialogue and not a lot in the way of narrative but still it manages to carve out some sort of love story among the madness, the absence of any other characters allows a chemistry to develop between them that is simply fuelled by one another, despite what is going on around them. One interesting recurrence is the use of physical humour along with comical slapstick sound effects, which should seem completely out of place but end up just blending into the general insanity around them.
Only once do the characters stop and sober up and that's when they are faced with paintings depicting Spain's colonial past. It's a moment of realisation for the characters and the audience alike and it's no coincidence that the director, a Filipino himself, wanted to highlight Spain's connection to its own history with regards to colonialism.
Buenas Noches, España is certainly an experimental film though, and it's lo-fi qualities and disregard for narrative won't please everyone but if you let yourself become lost in its world you will quickly find that you don't want to look away, for all its meandering and enigma there is some joy to be had in watching two people become lost in time, location and each other.
Review by ryan2293 from the Internet Movie Database.