starring Gloria Carrá, Jorge Sesán, Cristian Salguero, Mariana Chaud
written and directed by Verónica Chen
by Walter Chaw Verónica Chen's astonishing High Tide threatens for a while to be the distaff version of Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake before it takes something like a turn into the basement of some dark, dismal, class-based noir. It opens with rich, anxious Laura (Gloria Carrá) dancing in front of an uncurtained, wall-length window, seemingly aware of the three workmen watching in her yard as the sun goes down and they break for the day. The foreman, Weisman (Jorge Sesán), stays behind to a couple of sly, knowing looks, and engages in a rough seduction that finds Laura at turns the aggressor and the aggrieved. She doesn't like the rough talk. She thinks Weisman's a bit of a pig but softens when he apologizes and calls her "ma'am." It's a clue--though it's not obvious what kind of clue until later. The next morning, she sends him away and, while shopping, gossips to a friend about the size of Weisman's dick and his "animalistic" stamina. It's the set-up for something James M. Cain might have written, but it's told from the point of view of the fatale.