Latin American Films at Lincoln Center's Art of the Real

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today the lineup for its third edition of Art of the Real, a showcase for boundary-pushing nonfiction film, which features several Latin American works. Founded on the most expansive possible view of documentary film and organized by Dennis Lim and Rachael Rakes, Art of the Real features an eclectic, globe-spanning host of discoveries by artists who are reenvisioning the relationship between cinema and reality, with one World Premiere, eight North American Premieres, and seven U.S. premieres, and many of the filmmakers in person.

Art of the Real will screen On Football / O Futebol (pictured left) by Brazilian filmmaker Sergio Oksman. An unassuming and bitterly poignant portrayal of a father-son relationship that speaks volumes between the lines. After reconnecting in 2013 (breaking 20 years of silence), director Sergio Oksman decided to see every game of the 2014 World Cup with his father, Simão. Without falling into the realm of the therapeutic, the film shows their interactions while driving to and watching the games, bearing witness to their silences and unconscious symmetries. In addition to the odd male bonding engendered by watching sports, the film’s exquisite cinematography also offers a key to a city under soccer’s spell.

Spain-based Venezuelan filmmaker Andrés Duque will have the North American premiere of his most recent film Oleg and the Rare Arts / Oleg y las raras artes (pictured right) Defying musical classification, pianist Oleg Nikolaevitch Karavaychuk is an icon in his native Russia but relatively unknown elsewhere. Largely banned from performing in public during the Soviet era, Karavaychuk instead made a career composing music for filmmakers like Sergei Parajanov, Vasily Shukshin, and Kira Muratova, and has recently expanded into multimedia performance.

A hit at the recent Rotterdam Film Festival and the top prizewinner at Punto de Vista’s documentary festival, Andrés Duque’s affectionate, free-form portrait features the androgynous virtuoso wandering through the halls of the Hermitage while speaking about how he arrived at the museum that day, the art on the walls, and eventually his own life. In the spaces between, he performs his music with electric intensity.

The Monument Hunter / Rastreador de estatuas (pictured left) by Chilean filmmaker Jerónimo Rodríguez, is a droll yet profound exploration of memory, history, forgetting, and, of course, Raúl Ruiz.

After seeing a documentary about Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz while low on sleep, Jorge, a Chilean filmmaker living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, suddenly remembers visiting a statue of Moniz in a park somewhere in Santiago with his father—who also happens to be a neurosurgeon. Jorge goes on a lengthy exploration of the city of his birth and all the way to Patagonia looking for the statue, all the while pondering memories of his dad and the imaginary territories between his homeland and New York.

Tales of Two Who Dreamt (pictured  right) by Andrea Bussmann & Mexican director Nicolás Pereda will have its U.S. Premiere at the series. Photographed in austere black and white, Bussmann and Pereda’s film spins mythic tales around an actual Roma family living inside a Toronto housing block for asylum seekers.

As the family awaits their day in court, the kids try to stave off boredom by goofing around (often playing solo games of soccer in the halls) while the adults repeat and refine stories about their past, some real and some fictional. Observational but never cold, this hybrid work offers a look into how a marginalized people construct fiction and their own identities.

Reminiscent of the Dziga Vertov Group’s essay films, Impression of a War / La impresion de una guerra by Camilo Restrepo, is a poetic and painful meditation on Colombia’s 70-year civil war. The short film employs a variety of techniques—found footage, stop-motion animation, commercial design, paintings, and original 16mm recordings of present-day cities—to confront the violence that has shaped the everyday lives of Colombians.

All Still Orbit (pictured left) by filmmakers Dane Komljen & James Lattimer is a philosophical-historical investigation of Brasília, the planned city capital of Brazil that was built over 41 months in the late ’50s and early ’60s, and the small, impoverished town just outside its limits that (literally) sank after its founding. Tracing its origins from Saint Don Bosco’s (possibly apocryphal) dream in 1883, the filmmakers use a lyrical voiceover and hyper-tinted digital images of the city and its environs to question the idealism of the city’s international style.

Also from Brazil, Toré by João Vieira Torres is an ethnographic film that doesn’t place the lives of “the other” into a vacuum. Firmly committed to capturing a sense of place, this verité film documents a Xucuru-Kariri tribe ritual that’s permitted to be witnessed by outsiders. João Vieira Torres juxtaposes the surrounding jungle and the transformative nature of the ceremony with a young native boy watching Disney’s Fantasia.

This year’s festival also features a retrospective of the legendary Bruce Baillie, whose lyrical films defy traditional form and genre, and shot the short film Valentín de las Sierras in Chapala, Mexico, in 1967.

The 3rd annual Art of the Real runs April 8-21 in New York City.