The Mexican Film The Untamed / La región salvaje by Amat Escalante and the Colombian film Guilty Men / Pariente, the debut feature by Iván Gaona, will have their U.S. premiere this February at the 17th edition of Film Comment magazine’s annual series, Film Comment Selects to take place February 17-23 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.
Film Comment Selects returns with a selection of titles curated from the magazine’s writings, an offering of strikingly bold visions and fresh voices that mixes exclusive premieres of vital new films and long-unseen older titles that deserve the big-screen treatment.
"Amat Escalante’s The Untamed variously dazzled, horrified, shocked, and, in the case of some very nervous viewers, tickled the Venice Film Festival when it played in competition,” Jonathan Romney wrote in a dispatch from Venice last fall. Escalante’s mindbending country tale injects an intrusive otherworldly presence into a love triangle between a married man, his wife, and his brother-in-law. Desire seems to bend reality itself, as the no-holds-barred director of Heli and Sangre unleashes a film of sexual hunger with science fiction elements.
"Gaona’s sharp debut feature taps into Colombia’s roiling discontent amidst corruption and the foreboding legacy of paramilitaries in the countryside. The queasily tense drama tracks a rural love triangle that ensues when a woman’s ex surfaces, to the displeasure of her corrupt strongman fiancé. Despite a sweet sense of yearning between the potential lovers, any hope of romance seems set to wither and die amidst the moral rot and, more concretely, the thefts and killings that periodically occur and drive home the powerlessness of the area’s inhabitants. Gaona shows how the violence becomes a part of the landscape as much as the local sugarcane, as he charts the varying degrees to which people give in, or resist” writes Film Comment's editor Nicolas Rapold.