Cinema Tropical, in partnership with Museum of the Moving Image, is proud to present the 2015 edition of the Cinema Tropical Festival celebrating the year's best Latin American film productions. The Cinema Tropical Festival will feature the winners of the 5th Cinema Tropical Awards that were announced at a special ceremony at The New York Times Company headquarters few days ago.
These winning films represent the vitality and the artistic excellence of contemporary Latin American cinema, and the festival offers a great platform for local audiences to discover the renewed and exciting world of the film production coming out from the region.
Special thanks to Alex García and Sandro Fiorin, FiGa Films; Richard Matson, Matson Films; Pascale Ramonda; Paulina Portela and Pablo Mazzola, OBRA Cine.
All screenings at: THE MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY (718) 777-6888 / www.movingimage.us
Friday, February 6, 7pm | Buy Tickets EL LUGAR DEL HIJO | THE MILITANT (Manuel Nieto Zas, Uruguay/Argentina, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner – Best Latin American Film of the Year
Co-produced by acclaimed Argentinean filmmaker Lisandro Alonso (Jauja), the second feature film by Uruguayan director Manuel Nieto Zas is "a powerful and thought-provoking film" (The Hollywood Reporter) and a poignant meditation on legacy. The film tells the story of Ariel (played by non-professional actor Felipe Dieste), a university student involved in militant leftist activism who is faced with some difficult decisions when his father suddenly dies, leaving him in charge of their troubled ranch and forcing him to take on the role of a middle class bourgeois. Set in 2002 –the year of a major financial crisis in the small South American nation– The Militant is “a cinematic essay on the grasp and the limits of activism” (Howard Feinstein, Screen Daily).
Saturday, February 7, 3pm | Buy Tickets PURGATORIO: A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF THE BORDER A film by Rodrigo Reyes (US/Mexico, 2013, 86 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner – Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo)
Hailed as an “exquisitely crafted film with poetic overtones and a wide sweeping vision” by documentary filmmaker Alan Berliner, Rodrigo Reyes’ provocative essay film reimagines the U.S./Mexico border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory, and leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell. By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the both sides of the border, Reyes –one of Filmmaker Magazine’s New Faces of Independent Cinema– reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film in the auteur tradition of caméra-stylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.
Saturday, February 7, 6pm | Buy Tickets LAS MARTHAS A film by Cristina Ibarra (US, 68 min. In Spanish and English with English subtitles) Winner – Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo) Q&A with filmmaker Cristina Ibarra
The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other in the country. In 1939, the Society of Martha Washington was founded to usher each year's debutantes (called "Marthas") into proper society at the Colonial Pageant and Ball. The girls' attendants also dress as figures from America's colonial history and participate in traditional ceremonies. The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented in elaborate dresses that take up to a year to create. Celebrated as “a striking alternative portrait of border-town life” (New York Times), Cristina Ibarra’s Las Marthas, follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.
Tuesday, February 25, 9pm | Buy Tickets LAS NIÑAS QUISPE | THE QUISPE GIRLS (Sebastián Sepúlveda, Chile/France/Argentina, 2013, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles). Winner - Best First Film
“In the remote, almost primeval world of a nearly isolated Chilean mountainscape in 1974, three goat-herding sisters survive, somewhat rootlessly after the death of a fourth sister. Pinochet’s rise to power is a distant echo, and the new dictator’s edict against herding threatens their meager livelihood. The aging matriarch, Justa, is suspicious of the clothing salesman who visits occasionally; the youngest sister, Luciana, holds on to her romantic desires. Using a mix of actors (including Catalina Saavedra from The Maid) and non-actors, including Digna Quispe, the real sisters’ niece, this mesmerizing film, based on a true and tragic story, tells an intimate tale against a stark yet magnificent landscape. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival as part of Critics’ Week.” – First Look
Tuesday, February 25, 9pm | Buy Tickets EL ROSTRO | THE FACE (Gustavo Fontán, Argentina, 2013, 64 min. In Spanish with English subtitles). New York Premiere. Winner – Best Director, Fiction Film
Directed by Gustavo Fontán –an accomplished Argentine filmmaker whose work is little known in this country– The Face is a lyrical and personal film shot in stunning black and white, where past and present, fiction and non-fiction mix together. A man who sails alone approaches an island on the Paraná River. Once he lands, he’s no longer alone. He shares a meal with another man –his father. There will also be a woman. And some kids. And nature, in the form of birds, plants, and the river, which is always present through its quietness and constant flowing. Fontán’s elegant and enigmatic feature film, was a selection of the Rome Film Festival, and was awarded the Best Director prize at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI).
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Cinema Tropical, in partnership with Village East Cinema, is proud to present the third annual edition of the Cinema Tropical Festival celebrating the year's best Latin American film productions. The Cinema Tropical Festival will feature the winners of the 4th Cinema Tropical Awards that were announced at a special ceremony at The New York Times Company headquarters few days ago.
These winning films represent the vitality and the artistic excellence of contemporary Latin American cinema, and the festival offers a great platform for local audiences to discover the renewed and exciting world of the film production coming out from the region.
The Cinema Tropical Festival is presented in partnership with Village East Cinema and VOCES, Latino Heritage Network of The New York Times Company. The Cinema Tropical Festival is sponsored by HBO and Hôtel Americano. Media Sponsors: Cinelatino, Remezcla, and LatAm Cinema. Community Partner: United Latino Professionals Social Network.
Special thanks to Cinema Guild, Strand Releasing, Film Movement, Taskovski Films, and Icarus Films.
Monday, February 24, 7pm | Buy Tickets TANTA AGUA (Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, Uruguay, 102 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner – Best First Film Intro by Co-Producer Tania Zarak
What could be worse than being 14 and on vacation with your father, stuck indoors during a seemingly endless rainstorm? Alberto and his two children, Lucia and Federico, set off to a hot springs resort for a short vacation. Alberto, who doesn't see his kids much since the divorce, refuses to allow anything to ruin his plans. But the springs are closed until further notice due to heavy rains, and Lucia's adolescent rebellion clashes against her father's enthusiastic efforts for family quality time. Winner of multiple awards at different international film festivals, the debut feature film by the directing duo of Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, extends the artistry of recent Uruguayan cinema.
Monday, February 24, 9pm | Buy Tickets LA CHICA DEL SUR / THE GIRL FROM THE SOUTH A film by José Luis García (Argentina, 2012) Winner for Best Director (Documentary)
Chance took photographer and filmmaker José Luis García to North Korea in July 1989 to attend the International Youth and Student Festival in Pyongyang, soon after the Tian’anmen massacre. But what seemed to be just another meeting of socialist delegations from all over the world –through one of the most impenetrable borders of the old communist world– becomes García’s obsession when South Korean peace activist Im Su-kyong shows up and revolutionizes the event by announcing she will cross the border by foot to go back to her country. Twenty years after recording that fascinating period with his Super VHS camera, García decides to go back through the footsteps of that enigmatic woman. Zigzagging and explosive, La chica del sur is marked by a unique life in the middle of the hurricane of history, but also by the eye –and a voice reflecting on its own process– of a filmmaker who sees in one character the condensation of everything he believes to be worth filming.
Tuesday, February 25, 7pm | Buy Tickets WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES (Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, US, 2012, 65 min. In English) Winner – Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo) Intro by Producer Kelcey Edwards
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. Wonder Women! goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.
Tuesday, February 25, 9pm | Buy Tickets MOSQUITA Y MARI (Aurora Guerrero, US, 2012, 86 min. In English) Winner – Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo)
Mosquita y Mari, Aurora Guerrero's assured directorial debut and a Sundance official selection, is a coming of age story that focuses on a tender friendship between two young Chicanas. Yolanda and Mari are growing up in Huntington Park, Los Angeles and have only known loyalty to one thing: family. When Mari moves in across the street from Yolanda, they maintain their usual life routine, until an incident at school thrusts them into a friendship and into unknown territory. As their friendship grows, a yearning to explore their strange yet beautiful connection surfaces. Lost in their private world of unspoken affection, lingering gazes, and heart-felt confessions of uncertain futures, Yolanda's grades begin to slip while Mari's focus drifts away from her duties at a new job. Mounting pressures at home collide with their new-found connection, forcing them to choose between their obligations to others and staying true to themselves.
Wednesday, February 26, 7pm | Buy Tickets EL ALCALDE / THE MAYOR (Emiliano Altuna, Carlos F. Rossini, and Diego Osorno, Mexico, 2012, 81 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner – Best Documentary
Winner of the Best Documentary prize at the Cartagena and the Baja Film Festivals, El alcalde is an engrossing portrait of Mexican millionaire Mauricio Fernandez, a larger-than-life and frequently controversial politician who is the mayor of Latin America's wealthiest municipality. He presents himself as an active ruler who is capable of cleaning his municipality of the drug cartels presence without questioning the methods he uses to achieve it. El alcalde describes the wild times of a country that is marked by violence and the complete discredit of the ruling class.
Wednesday, February 26, 9pm | Buy Tickets POST TENEBRAS LUX (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Germany/Netherlands, 2012, 155 min. In Spanish, English, and French, with English subtitles) Winner – Best Director (Fiction Film)
"Post Tenebras Lux ("light after darkness") is a new autobiographical feature from acclaimed director Carlos Reygadas (Silent Light), winner of the Best Director prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Ostensibly the story of an upscale, urban family whose move to the Mexican countryside results in domestic crises and class friction, it’s a stunningly photographed, impressionistic psychological portrait of a family and their place within the sublime, unforgiving natural world. Reygadas conjures a host of unforgettable, ominous images: a haunting sequence at dusk as Reygadas’s real-life daughter wanders a muddy field as farm animals loudly circle and thunder and lightning threaten; a glowing-red demon gliding through the rooms of a home; a husband and wife visiting a swingers’ bathhouse with rooms named after famous philosophers. By turns entrancing and mystifying, Post Tenebras Lux palpably explores the primal conflicts of the human condition." – Film Forum
Thursday, February 27, 7pm – Q&A with filmmaker | Buy Tickets VIOLA (Matías Piñeiro, Argentina, 2012, 65 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner – Best Fiction Film
Directed by Matías Piñeiro, one of Argentina's most sensuous and daring new voices, Viola is a mystery of romantic entanglements and intrigues among a troupe of young actors in a small theater in Buenos Aires performing Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." Acclaimed by the New York Times' Manohla Dargis as "a triumph of narrative imagination and bottom-line ingenuity," the film landed on several top best lists of the year.
Thursday, February 27, 9pm | Buy Tickets EL OTRO DÍA / THE OTHER DAY (Ignacio Agüero, Chile, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Special Jury Mention – Best Director, Documentary
The home of acclaimed Chilean filmmaker Ignacio Agüero is filled with objects that speak to both his family's history and to the tumultuous history of his country. Seeking to make a quiet, personal film centered on his home and his memories, it is fitting that The Other Day begins when a ray of sunlight shines on a photograph of his parents. Agüero turns the tables on his uninvited guests, and asks them if he may knock on their doors too. His spontaneous excursions into their neighborhoods and homes broaden the film's scope, bringing different aspects of contemporary Chilean society into the picture. Interweaving these threads, collapsing past and present, interior and exterior, the film is an elegant reflection on layers of history, and ways they are reflected in families and communities. The film was awarded with the Best Documentary prize at the Guadalajara Film Festival and Best Chilean Film at FIDOCS.
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New York City, September 11 – October 1, 2013 Presented by Cinema Tropical, NYU CLACS and NACLA
Cinema Tropical, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University (NYU CLACS), and the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) present Chile: 40, a special film series observing the 40th anniversary of the Chilean coup d’etat. The September 11, 1973 event overthrew the democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende and installed the notorious dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, lasting until 1990 and having immense international consequences. Chile: 40 will present six different programs in different parts of the city and in conjunction with other organizations featuring recent and older films showcasing different aspects of the aftermath and of legacy of the coup in the South American country and internationally from 1973 to the present. The series will feature the work of Ignacio Agüero, one of the leading Latin American documentary filmmakers, who will travel to New York to present his films.
Special Guest: Ignacio Agüero is an award-winning Chilean filmmaker, writer, and producer. He is one of the leading documentary filmmakers in Latin America. He has also acted in films, including some directed by Raul Ruiz. Agüero was one of the directors of the 1988 “No” political television advertisements that contributed to the end of Pinochet’s reign. He served as the first president of the Documentary Filmmaker’s Association of Chile, of which he is a founding member. Retrospectives of Agüero’s body of work have been held in Santiago, Lima, and the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (BAFICI). Programmed by Jerónimo Rodríguez and José Miguel Palacios.
Additional support provided by: The Department of Cinema Studies at NYU, Columbia Global Centers - Latin America (Santiago), The Hispanic Institute at Columbia University, and The MA in Film Studies Program at Columbia University. Special thanks to Livia Bloom (Icarus Films), and Steve Holmgren (UnionDocs).
Wednesday, September 11, 6:30pm New York University: Cinema Studies, Michelson Theater Room 648, 721 Broadway, New York, NY / Queries:
Presented by the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture
"9/11/1973: THE PUBLIC LIFE OF AN ENDLESS DAY." Selection of short films: Brises / Breezes (Enrique Ramirez, 2008, 13 min.); September 11th (Claudia Aravena, 2002, 6 min.); Somos + (Pedro Chaskel & Pablo Salas, 1985, 16 min.); No + (Colectivido Acciones De Arte, Cada, 1983, 6 min.); Mitburger! - Zum Gedenken An Salvatore Allende/ Fellow Citizens (Gerhard Scheumann & Walter Heynowski, 1974, 8 min.); La Derniere Interview De Salvador Allende (Rtb, 1973, 5 min.); Gonzalo Millan Reading "La Ciudad", An Excerpt From Blue Jay, Notas Del Exilio (Leopoldo Gutiérrez, 2001, 2 min.). Panel discussion follows screening with filmmaker Ignacio Agüero, writer Diamela Eltit, professor Carl Fisher, and PhD candidate José Miguel Palacios.
Thursday, September 12, 6pm Columbia University: Casa Hispánica 612 West 116th Street, Room 201, New York, NY / www.columbia.edu/cu/spanish Presented by The Hispanic Institute at Columbia University, Columbia Global Centers: Latin America (Santiago), the MA in Film Studies Program at Columbia University. NO OLVIDAR / NOT TO FORGET (Ignacio Agüero, Chile, 1982, 30 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) The women of the Maureira family tell of their experience searching for five men of their family all across Chile, after their arrest by the police, a few days after the military coup of 1973. After 6 years of searching, they found their relative’s bodies buried in a limestone mine, near their homes in Lonquén, a town near Santiago. Filmed secretely during the dictatorship, it was the first time in Chile that there was official evidence that a missing person was arrested and killed by state agencies, refuting the falsehood of all government information. Screening is followed by a conversation with filmmaker Ignacio Agüero and professors Richard Peña (Film Studies, Columbia University) and Nara Milanich (Institute for Latin American Studies, Columbia University).
Friday, September 13, 6pm New York University: King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center Auditorium 53 Washington Square South, New York, NY / www.clacs.as.nyu.edu Co-presented by Icarus Films
EL DIARIO DE AGUSTÍN / AGUSTÍN NEWSPAPER (Ignacio Agüero, Chile, 2009, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) El Diario de Agustin is an expose on the media cover up of human rights abuses of the Pinochet dictatorship through its newspaper El Mercurio. This newspaper, belonging to the Edwards family for five generations, has been the most powerful and influential media source in Chile's history. The film chronicles the story of young journalists from Diario de Agustin who culled through the pages of El Mercurio to reveal disinformation, cover-ups, and the endorsement of human rights violations, providing a portrait of the recent past as seen through the eyes of young journalists today. Screening followed by discussion with the director and special guests.
Sunday, September 15, 7:30pm UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art 322 Union Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY / www.uniondocs.org Co-presented by Icarus Films
AQUÍ SE CONSTRUYE / UNDER CONSTRUCTION (Ignacio Agüero, 2000, Chile, 58 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) This documentary by Ignacio Agüero, one of the most prominent documentarians to have emerged in Latin America in the past 30 years, is a cornerstone for understanding today's democratic Chile and the reverberations of the neoliberal model established during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. In a consumerist era in which everything is destroyed and replaced, Aguero’s gaze takes the stance of an anonymous war correspondent in an undeclared war where the battlefield is the city and its inhabitants never learn about the destruction of their past. Over a number of years, this intimate documentary builds a portrait of a neighbor who observes the demolition of the house next door and the construction of a building on the same site, creating an illuminating account of what development and modernization mean for a country. Considered one of the most important films in the history of Chilean cinema, it captures the devastating and revealing passage of time, subtly piecing together a puzzle about the impact of urban change. Conversation with director moderated by film critic Jerónimo Rodríguez follows screening.
Thursday, September 19, 6pm New York University: King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center Auditorium 53 Washington Square South, New York, NY / www.clacs.as.nyu.edu EL MOCITO / THE YOUNG SERVANT (Jean de Certeau and Marcela Said, 2011, Chile, 70 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Jorgelino is a farm worker in the south of Chile. For many years he worked as an agent of the repressive machinery of General Pinochet´s regime. Jorgelino was the servant who brought the cups of coffee in the middle of torture sessions, the one who fed the prisioners and disposed of their bodies. Twenty years later he is being taken to court and being forced to remember. El Mocito is a psycological portrait of a human being destroyed by his past. A man who participated in the horrors and crimes of the Pinochet dictatorship and that today takes conscience and looks for redemption. Conversation with special guests follows screening.
Tuesday, October 1, 6pm New York University: King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center Auditorium 53 Washington Square South, New York, NY / www.clacs.as.nyu.edu NEWEN MAPUCHE: THE FORCE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND (Elena Varela López, Chile, 120 min. In Spanish and Mapuche with English subtitles) The documentary recounts the story of the Mapuche people, an indigenous community of the south of Chile; a story of their struggle to reclaim their land and the consequences of the policies of repression applied by the Chilean State. With this setting of conflict, and the murder of Alex Lemun, a young Mapuche, the filmmaker Elena Varela embarks on an investigational journey with one purpose: to tell the story of the last 10 years of struggle of the Mapuche community. The police detain Elena and they confiscate her film material. The filmmaker, now living the political persecution in her own skin, narrates the story from her experience. Introduced by Mapuche journalist Pedro Cayuqueo and indigenous film scholar Amalia Cordova.
Cinema Tropical, in partnership with 92YTribeca, is proud to present the second annual edition of the Cinema Tropical Festival celebrating the year's best Latin American film productions. The Cinema Tropical Festival will feature the winners of the Cinema Tropical AWARDS that were announced at a special ceremony at The New York Times Company headquarters few days ago.
These winning films represent the vitality and the artistic excellence of contemporary Latin American cinema, and the festival offers a great platform for local audiences to discover the renewed and exciting world of the film production coming out from the region.
The Cinema Tropical Festival is presented in partnership with 92YTribeca and VOCES, Latino Heritage Network of The New York Times Company. The Cinema Tropical Festival is presented by Cinelatino and sponsored by Hôtel Americano and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. Additional support provided by the Rolex Institute. Community Partner: United Latino Professionals Social Network.
Special thanks to Cinema Guild, Axolote Cine, CAT & Docs, Errante Producciones and Alpha Violet.
*Please note. Due to the winter storm, the screenings originally scheduled for 2/8, have been rescheduled for Friday, February 15.
Friday, February 15, 2013, 7pm THE LAST CHRISTEROS | LOS ÚLTIMOS CRISTEROS A film by Matías Meyer (Mexico/Netherlands, 2011, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner – Best Director, Feature Film BUY TICKETS
"The final days of a band of 1930s Christian rebels in the central Mexican wilderness are depicted with majestic stoicism in Matias Meyer's elegant ode to independence" - Robert Koehler, Variety.
“In 1926, the Mexican government began the strict enforcement of the anti-clerical laws dictated in the 1917 Mexican Constitution, and it introduced an array of new measures against demonstrations of faith. This religious persecution, aimed mostly at Roman Catholics, sparked the Cristero War, a conflict waged mostly by peasants against the well-trained Mexican army. Although the Cristero War officially took place between 1926 and 1929, groups of men continued fighting for their right to worship freely for several years afterward. Matias Meyer's third feature film, The Last Christeros, retells the story of these tenacious men, resolved to openly uphold their beliefs, even in the face of certain death.” – Toronto International Film Festival
Friday, February 15, 2013, 9pm THE STUDENT | EL ESTUDIANTE A film by Santiago Mitre (Argentina, 2011, 110 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner – Best First Film BUY TICKETS
"An intelligent, engrossing portrayal of politics as a game, an addiction, and a vicious cycle (...) a truly universal political thriller." - Dennis Lim, Artforum
“Politics is a game, a seduction, and a vicious cycle in Santiago Mitre’s gripping, fine-tuned debut, the story of Roque (Esteban Lamothe), a university student who falls for a radicalized teacher and organizer (Romina Paula) and soon finds himself entangled with Buenos Aires campus activists, in a world as heated and byzantine as the one inhabited by the student revolutionaries of the mythic 1960s. Anchored by Lamothe’s nuanced, charismatic performance, The Student complicates the classic bildungsroman narrative of education and disillusionment, emphasizing the endless adaptability—or malleability—of its protagonist. An urgent attempt to grapple with the legacy of Peronism in present-day Argentina, the film abounds with telling details and rich local color. But it’s also a truly universal political thriller, one that illuminates the conspiratorial pleasure, the ruthless hustle, and the moral fog of politics as it is practiced.” – New York Film Festival
All films in Spanish or Portuguese with English subtitles
Please note, CANÍCULA (Jose Álvarez, Mexico, 2011) winner of the prize for Best Director, Documentary Film, will be screened at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight on February 21 & 22.
Saturday, February 9, 2013, 6pm THE LIFEGUARD | EL SALVAVIDAS A film by Maite Alberdi (Chile, 2011, 67 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Winner - Best Documentary Film
“Meet Mauricio, a lifeguard on a popular Chilean beach. Driven by fierce dedication to safety rules and regulations, Mauricio frustrates beachgoers and his seemingly lackadaisical colleagues as much as they frustrate him. Bathers are scolded, complaints are filed, accusations are made—all contributing to a simmering feud with Jean-Pierre, Mauricio’s chief rival and detractor. First-time filmmaker Maite Alberdi brings it all to life with a vibrant palette, tactile depth of field, and a surprisingly suspenseful day at the beach.” – Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Saturday, February 9, 2013, 7:30pm NEIGHBORING SOUNDS | O SOM AO REDOR A film by Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil, 2012. In Portuguese with English subtitles) Winner - Best Fiction Film
A palpable sense of unease hangs over a single city block in the coastal town of Recife, Brazil. Home to prosperous families and the servants who work for them, the area is ruled by an aging patriarch and his sons. When a private security firm is reluctantly brought in to protect the residents from a recent spate of petty crime, it unleashes the fears, anxieties and resentments of a divided society still haunted by its troubled past. Kleber Mendonça Filho's Neighboring Sounds is a thrilling debut by a major new voice in world cinema.
With the support of the Rolex Institute
TRIBUTE TO EVA NORVIND June 12 & 13, 2012
Presented by Cinema Tropical in partnership with NYU's Deutsches Haus and Scandinavia House. Additional support by the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York
The late Eva Norvind, aka Ava Taurel (born in Norway to Russian prince Paul Chegodayef Sakonsky and Finnish sculptress Johanna Kajuanus), was a larger-than-life figure, an unconventional and controversial sexual pioneer whose life incredibly intersects with many random places and very unusual facets: from becoming Mexico’s Marilyn Monroe; to studying film and human sexuality and at New York University (NYU); and ultimately becoming New York City’s most famous dominatrix. Norvind died at the age of 62, on May 14, 2006, drowning in the waters of Oaxaca, Mexico.
This special tribute presented by Cinema Tropical, the Deutsches Haus at NYU and Scandinavia House, features a screening of Didn’t Do It For Love, the documentary film that renowned German filmmaker Monika Treut made about Eva’s life, as well as Born Without, the documentary film that Norvind directed and that was completed by her daughter Nailea after Norvind’s sudden death. The film, which went to win the Best Documentary Award at the Mexico City (FICCO) and Vancouver Film Festivals, tells the story of handicapped Mexican street musician José Flores.
Special thanks to Nailea Norvind, Paul Marchant (First Run Features), and María Elena Cabezut (Mexican Cultural Institute of New York).
DIDN'T DO IT FOR LOVE Directed by Monika Treut, Germany, 1997, 80 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. With: Eva Norvind, Jan Baracz, Rene Cardona Jr., José Luis Cuevas, Nicolá Echevarría, Juan Ferrara, José Flores, Juan José Gurrola.
A fascinating look into the incredible life of sexual revolutionary Eva Norvind, alias Mistress Ava Taurel, born Eva Johanne Chegodaieva Skonskaya, the daughter of a Russian prince and a Finnish sculptress in Trondheim, Norway. The film recounts the phases in her adventurous life-story: from the early success as a showgirl in Paris and Québec, as a Nordic Marilyn Monroe in the Mexican B-movies of the sixties, and finally, as the most famous dominatrix in New York during the Eighties. Eva Norvind studied Forensic Psychology to be able to help sexual offenders as well as a way of searching for the dark secret of her own sexuality. It is the story of an odyssey through the wilderness of sexuality that has not yet reached its destination. Screening followed by discussion with special guests actress Naian González Norvind (Eva's granddaughter) and Mexican writer/film critic Naief Yehya.
NACIDO SIN | BORN WITHOUT Directed by Eva Norvind, Mexico, 2008, 86 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. With: José Flores, Graciela Flores, Nicolás Echevarría, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Nailea Norvind.
“José Flores was born without arms and with stunted legs that render him only three feet tall, but his outsized personality makes his physical attributes the least interesting thing about this complex man. A Mexico City street musician, doting husband, and father of six (with a seventh on the way), Flores navigates the world with few concessions to his disability and with an unbridled appetite for life. As unconventional as he may seem, his history is even more unexpected; charismatic from an early age, he has been a respected occasional actor in Mexican art cinema, including appearances in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain (1973) and the seminal Cabeza de Vaca (directed by Nicolás Echevarría, 1991). Flores is also, improbably, a bit of a ladies’ man. Directed by Norvind, and completed by her daughter after Norvind’s death, this intimate portrait doesn’t shy away from some of the more salacious details of Flores’ life.” – Los Angeles Film Festival. Screening followed by discussion with special guest actress Naian González Norvind (Eva's granddaughter).
Cinema Tropical, in partnership with 92YTribeca, is proud to launch a new annual festival celebrating the year's best Latin American film productions. The Cinema Tropical Festival will feature the winners of the Cinema Tropical AWARDS that were announced at a special ceremony at The New York Times' headquarters last December. These winning films represent the vitality and the artistic excellence of contemporary Latin American cinema, and the festival offers a great platform for local audiences to discover the renewed and exciting world of the film production coming out from the region.
The Cinema Tropical Festival is presented by Cinelatino and Dish LATINO, and sponsored by The Lift and The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.
Special thanks to New Yorker Films, Strand Releasing, Icarus Films and El Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica.
Saturday, January 21, 2012, 6:30pm OCTUBRE Winner – Best Feature Film (Daniel and Diego Vega, Peru, 2010, 83 min.)
Clemente, a moneylender of few words, is a new hope for Sofía, his single neighbor, devoted to the October worship of Our Lord of the Miracles. They're brought together over a newborn baby, fruit of Clemente's relationship with a prostitute who's nowhere to be found. While Clemente is looking for the girl's mother, Sofía cares for the baby and looks after the moneylender's house. With the arrival of these beings in his life, Clemente has the opportunity to reconsider his emotional relations with people. Octubre, the first feature film from Peruvian brothers Daniel and Diego Vega, is a deadpan dark comedy incorporating influences ranging from Jim Jarmush and Aki Kaurismaki to Robert Bresson, and winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival-Un Certain Regard. A New Yorker Films release.
Saturday, January 21, 2012, 8:30pm LEAP YEAR | AÑO BISIESTO Winner – Best Director, Feature Film (Michael Rowe, Mexico, 2010, 94 min.)
Michael Rowe's debut feature film, winner of the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival tells the story of Laura, a young journalist living an isolated life in a cramped Mexico City flat, who is not lucky in love. The banality of her daily life stands in stark contrast to her nightly pursuit of sex and love. These short-lived affairs barely take the edge off her isolation, but then she meets the brooding, would-be actor Arturo. Their chemistry ignites feelings in Laura that leave her deeply troubled. The two embark on an increasingly dangerous sadomasochistic relationship in which pleasure, pain and love merge. Their physical relationship seems headed for a very dark place as her secret past resurfaces, pushing Arturo to the limit in this intense, powerful and at times deeply unsettling movie. A Strand Releasing release.
Sunday, January 22, 2012, 1pm NOSTALGIA DE LA LUZ | NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT Winner – Best Documentary. (Patricio Guzmán, 2010, France/Germany/Chile, 90 min.)
Winner of numerous international prizes and included in many best-of-the-year lists (including The Village Voice, indieWIRE, Reverse Shot, Houston Chronicle, Slant Magazine), Patricio Guzmán's latest film is a meditation on memory, history and eternity. Chile's remote Atacama Desert, 10,000 feet above sea level, provides stunningly clear views of the heavens. But it also holds secrets from the past—preserved corpses, from pre-Columbian mummies to recent explorers, miners and disappeared political prisoners. In this otherworldly place, earthly and celestial quests meld: archaeologists dig for ancient civilizations, women search for their dead and astronomers scan the skies for new galaxies. An Icarus Films release.
Sunday, January 22, 2012, 3pm THE TINIEST PLACE | EL LUGAR MÁS PEQUEÑO Winner – Best Director, Documentary Film, and Best First Film (Tatiana Huezo, Mexico, 2011, 104 min.)
Hailed as "one of the most impressive debuts by a Mexican filmmaker" by Robert Koehler (Variety), Huezo's remarkable film tells the story of Cinquera, a tiny place nestled in the mountains amidst the humid jungle that was ravaged by the bloody civil war that swept El Salvador between 1980 and 1992. The powerful and hypnotic documentary depicts a community that has learned to live with its sorrow, an annihilated town that re-emerges through the strength and deep love of its inhabitants for the land and people. With a lyrical eye, Huezo interweaves the simplicity of the town's present life with tragic testimonies of the past. The Tiniest Place is ultimately a story of resilience, hope and the ability of the human being to reinvent himself after surviving a tragedy.
All films in Spanish with English subtitles, in 35mm.
Presented by Sponsored by
Panel discussion: 'From Buñuel to González Iñárritu: The Pitfalls of the National Cinema Debate'
Thursday, February 17, 7pm Americas Society 680 Park Avenue (at 68th Street)
The concept of 'national cinema' has been key in the emergence and development of film studies. Yet for all the talk and discussion around this concept, more often than not, it has failed to understand the intercultural and international nature of cinema. In the case of Mexican and Spanish cinema, the debate on what constitutes national cinema has been circulating the same unresolved concerns at least since Buñuel worked in Mexico decades ago.
Taking the case that this year's Mexico's submission to the Academy Awards is Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful (starring Spanish actor Javier Bardem and shot entirely in Barcelona), whilst Spain submitted Icíar Bollaín's También la lluvia / Even the Rain (shot in Bolivia and starring Mexican actor Gael García Bernal), this panel will bring to the forefront the limitations on the debate of the 'national cinema' focusing in particular on the interrelation between Spanish and Mexican cinema.
Gerard Dapena is a scholar of Hispanic Cinemas and Visual Culture. He has published and lectured on different aspects of Spanish and Latin American film and art history and taught at a number of colleges in the U.S.
Daniel Loría. Daniel Loría's writing on cinema and the film industry has appeared in indieWIRE and Not Coming to a Theater Near You. He holds an M.A. in cinema studies from New York University and a B.A. in the same field from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Paul Julian Smith is Distinguished Professor in the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Program at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author of fifteen books including: Amores Perros (BFI 2003), Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (Verso, 2001) and Spanish Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television (Liverpool UP, 2009). He is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound and Film Quarterly.
Moderated by Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Director of Cinema Tropical.
Cinema Tropical and Ambulante present four Latin American films Documentary Fortnight 2011: MoMA's International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media The Museum of Modern Art February 16 – 28, 2011
Cinema Tropical and Ambulante, the celebrated nonprofit organization created by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Pablo Cruz, have partnered with The Museum of Modern Art to present four films as part of the 10th edition of Documentary Fortnight, its annual showcase of recent nonfiction film and media. As centerpiece of this year's festival is Nostalgia for the Light (2010, France/Spain/Chile), from master filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, widely respected for his documentaries about Chile (The Battle of Chile, The Pinochet Case), and who will be making his first trip to New York in many years for this New York premiere of his new film.
The other Latin American films that form part of this year's festival selection are Criada (2009, Argentina) directed by Matías Herrera Córdoba an emotional portrait of an 53-year-old Mapuche indigenous woman who works as a criada (raised maid) as she goes about her everyday routine; Un día menos (One Day Less, 2009 Mexico), Dariela Ludlow's first feature documentary shot with beautiful cinematography is about an elderly couple in their 80s and 90s that live from day to day in anticipation of the next visit from their extended family; and El ambulante (The Peddler, 2009 Argentina), directed by Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yurcovich. A film about filmmaking, The Peddler follows a man as he travels to small towns throughout Argentina to make dramatic films with the local townspeople. Dariela Ludlow and Eduardo de la Serna will travel to New York to present their work.
CRIADA. 2009. Argentina. Directed by Matías Herrera Córdoba. 53-year-old Hortensia lives in El Puesto, a small town in the northwest of Argentina in a verdant region at the foot of a mountain range between two rivers. Born in Patagonia as a member of the Mapuche indigenous group, she was taken at the age of 13 to Catamarca to become a maid. Since that time she has been part of one family and, like many criadas (raised maids), is not free. This portrait builds in emotional power as she silently goes about her everyday routine. In Spanish; English subtitles. 75 min. U.S. premiere. Sunday, February 20, 5:30pm; Monday, February 21, 4:30pm
NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT | NOSTALGIA POR LA LUZ. 2010. France/Germany/Chile. Directed by Patricio Guzmán. Guzmán's portrait of Earth among the heavens was shot at 10,000 feet above sea level, in South America's Atacama Desert, where astronomers study the night sky and secrets are buried. The arid climate and salt deposits preserve pre-Columbian mummies alongside relics of the political prisoners of the Pinochet regime who were assassinated and buried there. As astronomers consider the night sky and relatives search for loved ones in the desert sands, this hauntingly beautiful film reveals that life here is both eternal and finite. In Spanish; English subtitles. 90 min. An Icarus Films Release. New York premiere. Introduction and discussion with Patricio Guzmán. Monday, February 21, 8pm
Un día menos (One Day Less). 2009. Mexico. Directed by Dariela Ludlow. In the home they built in Acapulco, Carmen and Emetrio, an elderly couple in their 80s and 90s, live from day to day in anticipation of the next visit from their extended family. This intimate story captures their resilience and frailty, and the meaning of existence near the end of life. Ludlow's first feature documentary, shot with beautiful cinematography, poignantly captures the love and tensions of a couple as well as the solitary struggles they must face. 76 min. New York premiere. Introductions and discussions with Ludlow. Wednesday, February 23, 4:30pm; Thursday, February 24, 8pm
EL AMBULANTE | THE PEDDLER2009. Argentina. Directed by Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yurcovich. A film about filmmaking, The Peddler follows a man as he travels to small towns throughout Argentina to make dramatic films with the local townspeople. For the price of meals and a month's accommodations, he works with local authorities, recruits actors, devises a plot, ingeniously creates set pieces, and shoots the film; the entire town becomes involved. Once the film is screened, he packs his bags and heads for another town. In Spanish; English subtitles. 84 min. New York premiere. Introductions and discussions with Eduardo de la Serna. Wednesday, Februrary 23, 8pm; Thursday, February 24, 4:30pm
All screenings at The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters The Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019 / (212) 708-9400 / www.moma.org
-->This summer, Instituto Cervantes partners with Cinema Tropical to present films from the organization's celebrated film collection, showcasing the diversity of Latin American production over the past few years. Verano Tropical will feature eight films from different Latin American countries including a wide variety of genres, from ingenious comedies to highly stylized dramas and stirring documentaries.
All film (digitally) screened in their original language with English subtitles.
All screenings at:
Instituto Cervantes at Amster Yard 211 - 215 East 49th Street, New York City
Wednesday, July 7, 6:30pm HISTORIAS DE FÚTBOL | SOCCER STORIES (Andrés Wood, Chile, 1997, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Just in tune with the 2010 edition of the World Cup, the 'Verano Tropical' film series kicks off with Andrés Wood acclaimed soccer film. Some say in Latin America, football (soccer to the US) is the center of everything. Soccer Stories uses this incredibly favored sport to explore a diverse Chilean geography and culture and link three Chilean lives: a third-division player from Santiago de Chile is handed a life-changing offer; a boy living in the Calama Desert must face making a bold sacrifice; and a football fan stuck in a remote corner of the southern island of Chiloé is given an unexpected chance to experience another kind of passion. Intro by film critic and writer Naief Yehya.
Wednesday, July 14, 6:30pm SUITE HABANA (Fernando Pérez, Cuba/Spain, 2003, 80 min.) A poetic homage to the city of Havana, this breathtaking film portrays Cuba's capital as no other art form has before. A loving and melancholic picture over a 24 hour period of life of this city, the film follows ten ordinary Habaneros as they go about their daily routine. There is no dialogue and no need for it either; music and natural sound accompany the multiplicity of images that weave a unique and intimate picture of a city full of contradictions and contrasts, a city of accomplished and frustrated dreams. Edited like a musical composition, Suite Habana oscillates between documentary and fiction. The ten characters range from ages 10 to 97, and represent the diversity of groups that form the city's social fabric. Each of them follows a narrative, and we follow their transformations as the workday ends and they prepare themselves to welcome the night, which brings about the daily renewal of this exceptional and fascinating city.
Wednesday, July 21, 6:30pm LA DESAZÓN SUPREMA: RETRATO INCESANTE DE FERNANDO VALLEJO | THE SUPREME UNEASINESS: INCESSANT PORTRAIT OF FERNANDO VALLEJO (Luis Ospina, Colombia, 2003, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Colombian biographer, linguist, filmmaker, novelist, musician and biologist Fernando Vallejo came to global acclaim through filmmaker Barbet Schroeder's adaptation of his novel, "Our Lady of the Assassins." Vallejo's writing has been praised for its force and rigor, and critics have singled him out as one of the leading Latin American authors. Considered a provocateur by many for his politically incorrect and bold accusations, he is nonetheless an essential critic of the atrocities committed in his beloved country, from which he was forced to exile (he has lived in Mexico over 20 years). An intimate and extraordinary documentary about an eccentric iconoclast.
Wednesday, July 28, 6:30pm EL PERRO (Carlos Sorín, Argentina, 2004, 96 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) "Lovely! flawlessly directed by Carlos Sorin" — A.O. Scott, The New York Times In this warm-hearted and poignant road movie, a man and a dog embark on a delightful adventure across the stunningly beautiful Argentine Patagonia. Fifty-two-year-old Juan is laid off when the gas station where he has worked for the last 20 years is sold. Unemployed, middle-aged, unskilled, his luck turns in a most unexpected way. An elderly widow with little money gives Juan her late husband's dog, Lechien, as payment for repairing her car, but Lechien ends up being not just any dog; he is a pure breed Dogo Argentino, a potential dog show winner who may hold the key to Juan's future in his paw.
Wednesday, August 4, 6:30pm MI VIDA DENTRO | MY LIFE INSIDE (Lucía Gajá, Mexico, 2007, 120 min. In Spanish and English with English subtitles) "In January 2003, 21-year-old Rosa Estela Olera Jiménez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico working as a nanny in Austin, Texas, is brought to trial for the homicide of 21-month-old Bryan Gutierrez, a young boy who died under mysterious circumstances while in her care. The prosecution is relentless in its demonization of Jiménez, a soft-spoken mother of two who was working to one day buy her mother a house and build a better life for herself in the land of opportunity. With a sweeping, lyrical focus, the film encompasses the obstacles, prejudices and Sisyphean struggles faced by many Mexican migrant workers who leave their lives behind to pursue the American dream. A powerful and heart-wrenching documentary, My Life Inside alternates between tense courtroom drama and moving personal profile, providing a cautionary tale about the experience of outsiders in the United States." – Hot Docs Film Festival. Presented as part of the 'Indocumentales / Undocumentaries: The US/Mexico Interdependent Film Series.'
Wednesday, August 11*, 6:30pm HERMANAS | SISTERS (Julia Solomonoff, Argentina/Spain, 2005, 88 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Natalia and Elena Levin, two sisters forced to separate as teenagers in 1975, right after Natalia's militant boyfriend Martin was disappeared by the military dictatorship, reunite in 1984 in a country foreign to both of them. Natalia, who has been living in exile in Spain, travels to visit Elena, who has just moved to suburban Texas with her husband and son. It's been nine years since they've seen each other and Natalia arrives eager to rebuild the ties of family love that she has missed so much. When she finds out that Elena has brought along the manuscript of their deceased father's last novel, Natalia reads it with anticipation that soon becomes trepidation – the unpublished novel unveils the story of their family during the dictatorship. Exploring the secrets and silences of a family and a society that lived under a decade of fear, complicity with the dictatorship and concealment, Solomonoff debuts with a compelling story in a film that shines with exceptional performances by Valeria Bertuccelli and Ingrid Rubio. *Q&A with filmmaker
Wednesday, August 18, 6:30pm HASTA EL ÚLTIMO TRAGO CORAZÓN | TILL THE LAST DROP… MY HEART (Beto Gómez, Mexico, 2006, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) A declaration of love to Mexico and its cultural roots through the women who gave their voices and essence to Mexican music. This endearing documentary features the legendary Chavela Vargas, along with Lila Downs, Astrid Hadad, Eugenia Leon, La Negra Graciana, Iraida Noriega, and Chayito Valdéz, all of who share their intimacies, memories of their lives, their pain and feelings, and above all, their music.
Wednesday, August 25, 6:30pm DÍAS DE SANTIAGO (Josué Méndez, Peru, 2004, 83 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Selected by over 80 Film Festivals worldwide and winning no less than a dozen prestigious awards, Josué Méndez´s extraordinary debut explores the tragic impossibility of a war veteran to re-integrate into civilian life. 23-year old Santiago (Pietro Sibille, in a "volcanic performance," Variety) returns home, weary from years of jungle fighting, searching for hope. But his native Lima has become a less than welcoming place. Unable to get a job or credit, or afford an education, misunderstood by his family, wife and friends whom he finds decadent and distant, Santiago's estrangement from an increasingly hostile and chaotic world deepens, as his anger and frustration rise. Through a powerful and original style of narration, Méndez vividly examines the effects of war upon those who carry it out.
Cinema Tropical, Film Movement, 92YTribeca and
the Consulate General of Colombia in New York present
the NY Premiere of Ciro Guerra's Award-Winning Colombian feature film
LOS VIAJES DEL VIENTO / THE WIND JOURNEYS
Starring renowned musician Marciano Martínez,
the film features the richness of Colombian popular Vallenato music
Thursday and Friday, May 27 & 28, 2010, 7pm
200 Hudson Street (at Canal Street) / (212) 601-1000
LOS VIAJES DEL VIENTO / THE WIND JOURNEYS A film by Ciro Guerra, Colombia, 2009, 117 min.
In Spanish, Bantu, Wayunayky and Ikn with English subtitles. Cast: Marciano Martínez (Ignacio Carrillo), Yull Nunez (Fermín Morales), Agustín Nieves (Nine), Erminia Martínez (Mujer Guajira), José Luis Torres (Meyo).
For most of his life, Ignacio Carrillo (played by the prominent Vallenato composer Marciano Martínez) has traveled the villages of northern Colombia, playing traditional songs on his accordion, a legendary instrument said to have once belonged to the devil. He eventually married and settled in a small town, leaving the nomadic life behind. But after the traumatic death of his wife, he vows to never play the accursed accordion again, and embarks on one last journey to return the instrument to its rightful owner.
On the way, Ignacio is followed by Fermín, a spirited teenager determined to become his apprentice. Tired of loneliness, Ignacio accepts the young man as his pupil and together they traverse the vast Colombian terrain, discovering the musical diversity of Caribbean culture. Hardened by a life of solitude, Ignacio tries to discourage Fermín from following in his footsteps, but destiny has different plans for them.
Cinema Tropical and 92YTribeca celebrate Ten Years of New Argentine Cinema
November 12 & 14, 2009 92YTribeca 200 Hudson St. (at Canal St.)
Despite the recent success of Lucrecia Martel's The Headless Woman, U.S. art-house audiences remain largely unfamiliar with the remarkable dynamism and vitality of the Argentinean cinema of the past decade. Cinema Tropical partners with 92YTribeca to pay tribute to the great influence and creative output of the cinema of this South American country featuring the work of four key filmmakers of this generation. In addition to Martel's astonishing debut feature La Ciénaga, the series also includes equally seminal works by three other Argentine writer/directors that any respectable cinephile should be familiar with: Martín Rejtman, Pablo Trapero and Adrián Caetano.
The series is sponsored by New York Loft Hostel. It is also made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Special thanks to Juan A. Figueroa, Daniela Bajar and Guido Herzovich.
All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. All prints are 35mm.
Thursday, November 12, 7pm BOLIVIA Written and directed by Adrián Caetano. Argentina. 2001, 75 min. With Freddy Flores, Rosa Sánchez, Óscar Bertea, Enrique Liporace. "Packs a wallop" — V.A. Musetto, New York Post.
A starkly realistic story of an illegal immigrant from Bolivia who lands a job with a greasy spoon on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, poignantly depicts the world of poverty, racism and casual violence that characterize his newfound reality. Bolivia is an urgent and timely drama of life in Argentina, a nation that at the time of the film's release was immersed in a massive crisis reaching unprecedented poverty levels, vast unemployment, bankruptcy, and a dramatically shrinking economy. The second feature by Adrián Caetano, which was awarded the Young Critic's Award at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, manages to be both powerful and understated.
Thursday, November 12, 9pm SILVIA PRIETO Written and directed by Martín Rejtman. Argentina, 1999. 92 min. With Rosario Bléfari, Valeria Bertucelli, Gabriel Fernández Capello, Mirtha Busnelli. "Rejtman reveals a mastery of his minimalist style." — The Los Angeles Times
A minimalist deadpan comedy involving drifting characters and objects, the film focuses on Silvia Prieto, a rather unexceptional young woman who on her 27th birthday resolves to make some changes in her life – changes that bring out a few eccentricities. When she discovers that there are other women with her name, she develops a bizarre obsession with the "other" Silvia Prieto, an obsession that has to do with unraveling the riddle of her own identity. Written and directed by Martín Rejtman, credited as the precursor of the New Argentine Cinema, Silvia Prieto was hailed by The Los Angeles Times as a "refreshingly venturesome film," and is a witty meditation on what it means, or doesn't mean, to be yourself.
Written and directed by Pablo Trapero. Argentina, 1999. 90 min.
With Luis Margani, Adriana Aizemberg, Daniel Valenzuela.
"Remarkable for the tenderness and tenacity it shares with its memorable protagonist." — Amy Taubin, Village Voice
A new variant on Neo-realism, Pablo Trapero's multiple award-winning feature debut paints a portrait of working class life that is simultaneously gritty and poetic. The film follows the changing fortunes in the life of Rulo, an unemployed suburban man, who tries to earn a living as a crane operator. Rulo is a likeable, pot-bellied 50 year-old who had a brief taste of success as a young rock musician. Now, with both an elderly mother and a musician son to support, Rulo plunges into a hazardous and arduous work of heavy metal construction. Directed with an unusual combination of aesthetic freshness and emotional soundness Trapero's first film became a key work in the current resurgence of Argentine cinema.
Saturday, November 14, 8:30pm
Written and directed by Lucrecia Martel. Argentina, 2001, 102 min.
With Mercedes Morán, Graciela Borges, Martín Adjemián.
"Superb filmmaking." — J. Hoberman, Village Voice
February in Argentina's Northeast can be uncomfortably hot and humid. Bodies become sluggish and sticky... and tensions rise. Mecha is in her 50's and must deal with four accident-prone teenagers, a husband who dyes his hair and the tedious problem of sullen servants. Nothing that a few drinks can't cure. Tali is Mecha's cousin. She has four noisy small children and a husband who loves his house, loves his kids, and loves to hunt. Mecha and her family spend their summers at a country estate whose glory has long faded, and where the two families, reunited by an accident, will attempt to survive a summer from hell. With uncompromising talent, Martel's astonishing feature debut — which preceded the celebrated films The Holy Girl and The Headless Woman — brilliantly depicts the decadence of the Argentine middle-class through this family's story.
Cinema Tropical and BAMcinématek present ¡Go Uruguay!
October 16 - 18, 2009 BAM Rose Cinemas 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
One of the smallest countries in South America, Uruguay now boasts one of the finest young film scenes in Latin America. This is a rare opportunity to discover the revitalized cinema of Uruguay. Co-programmed by Carlos Gutierrez.
In the past few years Uruguay has developed a group of young filmmakers who have shed light on recent political and social changes in the country. Despite winning key prizes in the most renowned film festivals (Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, AFI), many of the films by this young generation of Uruguayan directors have largely been off the radar. This series offers a rare opportunity for New York audiences to discover the revitalized cinema of Uruguay.
Uruguay continues to make its modest yet vigorous presence in Latin American cinema providing a stable location for local film production. Last year the country produced a record-breaking number of sixteen feature films. Uruguayan influences can also be seen in its neighboring Argentinean cinema within the work of director Israel Adrián Caetano, [(Pizza, Beer and Smokes (1998); Bolivia (2001); and Chronicle of an Escape (2006)], and the actor Daniel Hendler who is perhaps best known to international audiences for his work with director Daniel Burman (The Lost Embrace (2004), Family Law (2006)].
A key force in the revitalization of Uruguayan cinema has been producer/editor Fernando Epstein who, through his acclaimed production company Control Z Films (co-founded directors Pablo Stoll and the late Juan Pablo Rebella), has established creative and alternative modes of production—often in coproduction with other countries—fostering the development of local talent and artistic creation. Epstein will be in attendance during ¡Go Uruguay! program.
Supported, in part, by the Embassy of the United States in Montevideo, Uruguay. The series is made also possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Special thanks to Nahir Lois, Robert Zimmerman, Embassy of the United States of America in Montevideo, Uruguay; Consul General Adriana Lissidini, Karla Enseñat, Consulate General of Uruguay in New York; Martin Papich, Mariana Rizzo, Instituto de Cine y Audiovisual del Uruguay; Santhosh Daniel, Chris Wiggum, Global Film Initiative; Rebeca Conget, Cambria Matlow, Claire Weingarten, Film Movement; Clemence Taillandier, Zeitgeist Films; Sandro Fiorin, Alex Garcia, Cristina Garza, FiGa Films; Sergio Gándara, Patricia Méndez, Parox; Alan Shapiro.
All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. All prints are 35mm unless noted.
Friday, October 16, 7pm GIGANTE Directed by Adrián Biniez, Uruguay/Argentina, (2009), 85 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere. Pritn courtesy of Film Movement. With Horacio Camandule, Leonor Svarcas, Diego Artucio "Impeccable…[with] inherent charm." — The Hollywood Reporter
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize Silver Bear, the Alfred Bauer Prize and the Best First Feature Award at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival, Biniez's promising debut feature film Gigante tells the story of Jara, a shy and lonely 35-year-old security guard at a supermarket on the outskirts of Montevideo. He works the night shift, monitoring the surveillance cameras of the entire building. One night Jara discovers Julia, a 25-year-old cleaning woman, through one of the cameras and is immediately attracted to her. Night after night, he watches her on the cameras while she works. Soon he starts following her after work: to the cinema, the beach and even to a date with another man. Jara's life becomes a series of routines and rituals around Julia, but eventually he finds himself at a crossroad and must decide whether to give up his obsession or confront it. *A Q&A with director Adrián Biniez and producer Fernando Epstein will follow the 7pm screening.
Saturday, October 17, 4:30pm 25 WATTS Directed by Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll, Uruguay, 2001, 94min. In Spanish with English subtitles With Daniel Hendler, Jorge Temponi, Alfonso Tort "Wins you over with its good nature ands its charm."— indieWIRE
A surprise hit at the 2001 Rotterdam Film Festival, 25 Watts marked the auspicious debut for the Uruguayan duo Pablo Stoll and the late Juan Pablo Rebella that consolidated Uruguay's participation in the recent revitalization of Latin American cinema and launched a prolific and exciting period for young Uruguayan directors. A wry, fresh, and funny Montevideo slacker comedy, 25 Watts portrays the monotonous lives of Leche, Javi, and Seba who wander around the neighborhood with nothing to do but drink beer, smoke, talk about girls, and interact with picturesque characters from the barrio. A Q&A with producer Fernando Epstein will follow the 4:30pm screening.
Saturday, October 17, 6:50pm LA PERRERA | THE DOG POUND Directed by Manuel Nieto Zas, Uruguay/Argentina/Spain/Canada, 2006, 108min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere With Pablo Riera, Martín Adjemian, Sergio Gorfain "Humorous chronicle of a year of trouble and sexual misery, achieves an odd mixture of triviality in its apparent purpose, of stylistic elegance and radical pessimism." — Liberation
Desperate and unfortunate, lazy and hesitant, David, a 25-year-old, has failed as a student and lost the scholarship that financially supported him in the capital city. Now he must pass an exam that will take place in a year if he wants this grant to continue. In order prepare, David has come to live at La Pedrera, a small beach town where his father has given him the mission of building a house during the winter. This is the story of the construction as well as David's tragicomic fight to survive in a world where there are as many dogs as men and few women and where no one wants to work. Nieto Zas' debut feature film was named "Best Uruguayan Film of 2006" by the Association of Film Critics of Uruguay. A intro with producer Fernando Epstein will precede the 7pm screening.
El baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet), (2007), 97min, Uruguay/France/Brazil, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by César Charlone, Enrique Fernández
With César Troncoso and Virginia Melo,
"Towers supreme!…alternately heartbreaking and hilarious."—The Village Voice
It's 1988, and Melo, an Uruguayan town on the Brazilian border, awaits the visit of Pope John Paul II. 50,000 people are expected to attend, and the most humble locals believe that selling food and drink to the multitude will make them rich. Petty smuggler Beto thinks he has the best idea of all –he decides to build a WC in front of his house and charge for its use. His efforts bring about unexpected consequences, and the final results will surprise everyone. El baño del Papa is a touching, humorous and poignant story from director-scriptwriters Enrique Fernández and noted cinematographer César Charlone who was Oscar-nominated for City of God.
Sunday, October 18, 4pm STRANDED: I'VE COME FROM A PLANE THAT CRASHED ON THE MOUNTAINS | VENGO DE UN AVIÓN QUE CAYÓ EN LAS MONTAÑAS Directed by Gonzalo Arijón, France/Uruguay, 2008, 126 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. "Superb…a cinematic tour de force... One of the great tales of human survival... stranded… packs a knock-out punch."— Variety
It is one of the most astonishing and inspiring survival tales of all time. On October 13, 1972, a young rugby team from Montevideo, Uruguay, boarded a plane for a match in Chile—and then vanished into thin air. Two days before Christmas, 16 of the 45 passengers miraculously resurfaced. They had managed to survive for 72 days after their plane crashed on a remote Andean glacier. Thirty-five years later, the survivors return to the crash site—known as the Valley of Tears—to recount their harrowing story of defiant endurance and indestructible friendship. Previously documented in the 1973 worldwide bestseller Alive (and the 1993 Ethan Hawke movie of the same name), Stranded is a visually breathtaking and crafted film that includes riveting detail by documentary filmmaker (and childhood friend of the survivors) Gonzalo Arijón with a masterful combination of on-location interviews, archival footage, and reenactments.
Sunday, October 18, 6:15pm WHISKY Directed by Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll Uruguay/Argentina/Germany/Spain, 2004, 94min. In Spanish with English subtitles. With Andrés Pazos, Mirella Pascual, Jorge Bolani "Delicious. A slightly absurd comedy about intimacy and solitude. Funny and gently narrated, Whisky marveled the audience with the confidence of its melancholic humor." — The Los Angeles Times
Jacobo is the dull and gravely serious owner of a sock factory. Every day, he follows the same routine—he gets up, drives to the factory, and meets his manager Marta, a frumpy, quiet, middle-aged worker who is loyal to the factory and her boss. Their dull routine is broken by the impending arrival of Jacobo's younger brother, Herman, who lives in Brazil. Jacob then allows himself to ask Marta for help to cope with the situation. Hence, between absurdity and melancholy, as well as daily life and farce, the movie subtly portrays the clumsiness of these characters, so different from one another, while they try to hide their resentment and friction. Whisky—Rebella and Stoll's remarkable follow-up feature to 25 Watts which screens at BAM on Saturday—was awarded with numerous prizes including the International Critics' Award at Cannes Film Festival. Whisky is presented with the Global Film Initiative.
Sunday, October 18, 9:15pm MATAR A TODOS | KILL THEM ALL Directed by Esteban Schroeder Uruguay/Argentina/Chile, 2007, 97min. In Spanish with English subtitles. With Roxanna Blanco, Claudio Arreondo, Jorge Bolani "Roxana Blanco gives a robust performance" — The New York Post
When democracy starts to spread across a weakened Latin American dictatorship, a man flees through the forest of a Uruguayan seaside resort. He is from Chile and hides at a police station of the town. He desperately announces that he has been kidnapped, that someone wanted to kill him. The charges reach Judge Santacruz, who asks his assistant, lawyer Julia Gudari, to help with the investigation. She finds that the police have tried to erase all traces of the case and that the Embassy of Chile is no help either. Julia also discovers that this Chilean citizen is a biochemical engineer who worked secretly for Pinochet. As Matar a todos continues, a dark story begins to unravel which involves her directly—both her father, General Gudari, and her brother, Ivan, are part of the alliance and will do everything they can to keep Julia away from the truth.