The New York Film Festival has just announced the selections for its new section Explorations, featuring bold selections from the vanguard of contemporary cinema, and including the fiction debut features by Mexican filmmaker Natalia Almada, and Argentinean filmmaker Gastón Solnicki, in their North American and U.S. premiere, respectively.
Everything Else / Todo lo demás, the first fiction feature by accomplished documentarian Natalia Almada (El General, El Velador) is inspired by Hannah Arendt’s idea that bureaucratic dehumanization is the worst form of violence.
Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza (Babel) gives a haunting, unsentimental performance as Dona Flor, an elderly government clerk who punishes her clients as unreasonably as life has punished her. But when she loses the last living creature she cares for, she goes into crisis. Almada reveals a cross-section of Mexico City’s population, creating an intimate portrait of one woman among the multitude who remain resilient despite oppression and corruption.
Kékszakállú, the new film from Argentinean director Gastón Solnicki (Papirosen) is a singularity: a playful portrait of spiritual lethargy. Partly inspired by Béla Bartók’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle (vivid passages are heard throughout the film), it is comprised of moments that seem to have been drawn from memory, with an elliptical continuity that moves according to forms, colors, sounds, and states of being.
There is no protagonist in Kékszakállú, but several young women blanketed under layers of sunlit lassitude and politely tamped down discomfort. Nevertheless, this is a joyful experience, moving inexorably toward liberation.
The New York Film Festival also announced the 23 short films to participate in the NYFF Main Slate. , which include the Brazilian films The Girl Who Danced with the Devil / A moça que dançou com o Diabo by João Paulo Miranda Maria and The Signalman by Daniel Augusto, the Bosnia and Herzegovina/Mexico production Dobro by Marta Hernaiz Pidal, the Chilean film And the Whole Sky Fit in a Dead Cow’s Eye / Y todo el celo cupo en el ojo de la vaca muerta by Francisca Alegría, the U.S. film What Happened to Her by Latina director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, and the Mexican documentary short El Buzo by Esteban Arrangoiz.
The 54th edition of the New York Film Festival will take place September 30-October 16.