The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced today the selections of the main slate of the 56th edition of the New York Film Festival, which includes two Latin American films—in addition to Alfonso Cuarón's Roma as the centerpiece of the festival: the Argentine epic 14-hour film La Flor by Mariano Llinás and the Chilean film Tarde para morir joven / Too Late to Die Young by Dominga Sotomayor, both of which are premiering this week in the main competition at the Locarno Film Festival.
Having its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival is Llinás' La Flor. A decade in the making, the follow-up to his 2008 cult classic Extraordinary Stories is an unrepeatable labor of love and madness that redefines the concept of binge viewing. An adventure in scale and duration, La Flor is a marvelously entertaining exploration of the possibilities of fiction that lands somewhere close to its outer limits.
The director himself appears at the start to preview the six disparate episodes that await, each starring the same four remarkable actresses: Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa, Pilar Gamboa, and Laura Paredes. Overflowing with nested subplots and whiplash digressions, La Flor shape-shifts from a B-movie to a musical to a spy thriller to a category-defying metafiction—all of them without endings—to a remake of a very well-known French classic and, finally, to an enigmatic period piece that lacks a beginning (granted, all notions of beginnings and endings become fuzzy after 14 hours).
Having its U.S. premiere will be Sotomayor's Too Late to Die Young, a co-production between Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands and Qatar. The year 1990 was when Chile transitioned to democracy, but all of that seems a world away for 16-year-old Sofia, who lives far off the grid in a mountain enclave of artists and bohemians. Too Late to Die Young takes place during the hot, languorous days between Christmas and New Year’s Day, when the troubling realities of the adult world—and the elemental forces of nature—begin to intrude on her teenage idyll.
Shot in dreamily diaphanous, sun-splashed images and set to period-perfect pop, the second feature from one of Latin American cinema’s most artful and distinctive voices is at once nostalgic and piercing, a portrait of a young woman—and a country—on the cusp of exhilarating and terrifying change.
The 56th edition of the New York Film Festival will take place September 28 - October 14.