Tropical Tuesdays

Cinema Tropical's Microcinema Initiative

86 Orchard Street

(212) 777-2600 /
All screenings in digital projection, in original language with English subtitles
Free Admission


Fall 2013
'Tropical Tuesdays: The New York Latino Film Summit Series' 

Tuesday, October 8, 7:30pm / Free Admission!

A film by Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte (USA, 2010, 81 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)

"Shortly after she totes her two children from Colombia to reunite with her husband in Queens, New York, Mariana's (Paola Mendoza) life is devastatingly turned around when he abandons her to fend for herself in a hard-knock new country. Mariana desperately searches for work against the unwieldy city landscape, but she and her kids can't help their treacherous slide into homelessness.  Basing Entre Nos on true events, Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte collaboratively deliver a touching narrative marked by sympathetic characters, reflective cinematography, and solid performances. They bring a certain newness to the now-familiar immigrant story, and what shines through most is the graceful ferocity with which mother and children fight for their right to create a foundation, however shaky, from which to begin the promise of the American Dream." - Tribeca Film Festival

Special screening of the film as part of the launching the novel The Ones Who Don’t Stay by Paola Mendoza, published by Penguin Books. Q&A with co-director following screening.











Tuesday, September 24, 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm) / Free Admission!

A film by Eva Aridjis (Mexic/USA, 2012, 94 min. In English, Spanish and Tzotzil, with English subtitles)

Written and directed by New York based-Mexican director Eva Ardijis, The Blue Eyes is a supernatural thriller film starring Allison Case and Zachary Booth (Keep the Lights On) as Karen Fisher and Paul Henderson, a young American couple that travel to Chiapas on holiday. While there they will have an encounter with a witch that will change their lives forever. Shot entirely in location in Mexico and also starring legendary Mexican actress Ofelia Medina, The Blue Eyes is a suspenseful film that artfully combines religious and indigenous elements.
Q&A with filmmaker following screening. Presented in partnership with the New York Latino Film Summit.


Spring 2013
'Tropical Tuesdays: The Filmmakers' Series' 

Tuesday, May 28, 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm) / Free Admission!
A film by Alberto Ferreras and Trina Bardusco (USA, 2013, 84 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)

Sometimes funny, often poignant, always truthful, Habla Women is the latest installment in this award-winning property from HBO Latino that has put the faces and voices of U.S. Latinos on screen like no other show before. Latinos from all walks of life tell their personal stories, including poets, comedians and community leaders, but also janitors, soldiers and lowriders. Habla gives a platform to real people whose stories might otherwise not be heard, reaching beyond the Latino community to build a bridge of understanding that goes in both directions. This installment includes actress Gina Rodriguez, chef Daisy Martinez, boxer Marlen Esparza, and more.











Tuesday, April 30, 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm) / Free Admission!
A film by Rodrigo Bellott (Bolivia/Chile/USA, 2009, 84 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)
Starring Gonzalo Valenzuela, Levi Freeman and Heidi Schreck.
"We all know not to judge a book, or a man, by appearance. Gustavo seems to be a rich, leisurely drifter in a northeastern resort town. After a long journey through the snow-covered roads of upstate New York, he settles into his hotel room. When he starts receiving mysterious phone calls, envelopes with money, and photographs slid under his hotel room door, we understand that he is no ordinary dropout. He is a hired hit man stalking the woman in the next room. Money doesn’t motivate Gustavo on this assignment, but rather an act of betrayal that the audience slowly pieces together. Punctuated by both folk music and ‘80s pop, Perfidy is a character study that follows Gustavo’s physical transformation from a shaggy backpacker to a well-groomed and stylish killer. A co-production of American, Chilean, and Bolivian directors and writers, Perfidy will mesmerize with its beguiling lead character and relentless quest for resolution." - Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in 1978, Rodrigo Bellott received a BFA in Film, Photography and Visual Arts from Ithaca College. His first student film, Destierro, was one of five films around the world nominated for a student Academy Award in 2001. His first feature film Dependencia Sexual / Sexual Dependency, which had its world premiere at the 2003 Locarno Film Festival, was awarded the FIPRESCI prize, and since then, has received seven other awards on four different continents as well as tremendous critical reception at over 56 festivals, including Berlin, Rotterdam, Toronto, AFI and Telluride. The film was a box office success in Bolivia, and marked the re-birth of Bolivian cinema as the country’s first official selection competing for “Best Foreign Language Film” at the 2004 Academy Awards. Since then, Bellott has directed the feature films ¿Quién Mató a la Llamita Blanca? / Who Killed the White Llama? (2007), and Perfidia / Perfidy (2009). In 2007, Variety magazine named Rodrigo as one of the top ten Latin American talents to watch. He's also worked as casting director for various films including Che Part I and II, directed by Steven Soderbergh, Contracorriente by Javier Fuentes-León and También la lluvia by Iciar Bollaín.


Tuesday, March 26, 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm)
Directed by Mario Diaz (USA, 2012, 77 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)
The Clemente Effect is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the life and accomplishments of the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente. Forty years ago, Clemente died in a tragic plane accident while delivering aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Yet Clemente’s legacy remains and his effect is still felt across the U.S. and Latin America decades later. The film follows Clemente’s life, from his humble upbringing in Puerto Rico to becoming the National League Most Valuable Player in 1966 and a World Series hero for the Pirates in 1960 and 1971. Along the way, Clemente faced numerous obstacles: injuries, an antagonistic press corps and the racial injustices of the time. But Clemente prevailed. Inspired by the civil rights movement, he became an unwavering defender of minorities, an advocate for Latino players’ rights and a great humanitarian. Directed by Mario Diaz, The Clemente Effect is an ambitious work that draws extensively from archival footage and photographs of Clemente during the 50s, 60s and 70s, including never-before-seen footage of Clemente with his family, playing for the Puerto Rican Winter League and visiting Nicaragua a few months before his death.

Mario Díaz is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and editor. He has directed five independent feature-length documentaries including Bazooka and Viva Cepeda! (HBO Latino). As a film editor, some of his recent credits include Unspooled, Generation Meds and Leap of Faith. Mario has also served as programming adviser for various Latino film festivals and is currently the documentary film programmer for the San Diego Latino Film Festival.


June 2012
'Subversive Churches And Mundane Icons'
Curated by Juan Daniel F. Molero
What is it that unites Latin America is a question that raises many answers: the language, simultaneous historical events, the political issues and tendencies, and so on. In summary, we try to forget our differences in order to unite a divided community. But how healthy is that? Wouldn’t it reduce to a basic level the rich complexity of our bonds? I believe that by recognizing our differences between each border or over each coastline, we learn why we belong together. This is why Counter Culture is such a powerful perspective to analyze a community and its issues. It’s extremely difficult to label what’s Counter Culture if we don’t know in which national context it’s born.
Cultural Colonialism is a point where every Latin American Counter Culture collides. We have been more than influenced as much by European and North American tradition and funding. Even more in a new and expensive art form as cinema, Latin American art has always been a reaction to external affairs. Is our Counter Culture then being Pro - Indigenous, Anti Imperialist, Pro – Ecological, or any other current trend of Politics and Aesthetics? All of these are external ideologies imported from the developed countries. Has there ever been an ideological revolution native from the south of the United States?
The Catholic Church was the first colonizer when it collided with the established polytheistic religions of the New World. Even though it still holds a strong power over Latin American states and culture, it’s overlooked that what is practiced now in most of these rural areas isn’t what they originally preached. Religion will always be an adaptation to the needs of a culture and its individuals, all of them carrying their own beliefs and heritage. In these cases it created dystopian faith, underground saints and contradicting but organic rituals. Syncretism that is still alive and will never finish to merge.
The filmmakers included in this program have adapted fragments from the Bible, the Catholic iconography, or other methods of religious propaganda, like Brazilian Evangelist Public Television, to question these practices and subvert the power of these images. Cinema itself has become a religion, one not based on text, but in a prayer that creates mundane icons and subversive churches.


Tuesday, June 5, 9pm*
Simon of the Desert, directed by Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1965, 45 min.
The ascetic Simon believes he is a sinner and decides to self-inflict a sacrifice, living like a hermit on the top of a pedestal in the middle of the desert to be closer to God and resist the temptations of the world. His followers are peasants and travelers that believe him to be a saint capable of performing miracles and they crowd to hear his speeches. However, Satan tries to tempt him with the pleasures of the world.
Preceded by EL MONTE DE GABRIEL (Gabriel’s Mount, directed by Christopher Murray, 2007, Chile, 25 min. Gabriel climbs the hill next to town every week, searching for some divine manifestation. This time, a young sixteen-year-old neighbor will break his silence; and CARTA DEL APOSTOL SAN JUANECO A LA CIUDAD DEL MAL (Letter from the Apostle Saint Juaneco to the City of Evil, directed by Aldo Salvini, 1994, Peru, 11 min.) A fugitive meets a slum bum who believes he is sent from God to found the City of Hope and destroy the City of Evil. Q&A with director Christopher Murray via Skype.
*Please note this screening will start at 9pm.
Tuesday June 12, 7pm
Directed by Amat Escalante, Mexico, 2005, 78 min.
Diego's job is counting people as they enter a large government building. After work, he and his wife Blanca lie on the couch, watch soap operas, or make love on the kitchen table. Their relationship is based on having sex, watching TV, and fighting, until one day their routine is interrupted. Karina, Diego's daughter from a previous marriage, arrives in search of her father's love, but Blanca refuses to accept her. Diego finds himself caught between an extremely jealous wife and a daughter in desperate need of guidance. An astonishing climax will lead Diego to a total loss of control.
Preceded by MARTES DE CH’ALLA (Tuesday Ch’alla, directed by Carlos Piñeiro, Bolivia, 2009, 12 min.) Images and situations linked to a kept belief among construction workers who know a way to invoke some kind of blessing through a secret ancient ritual. Audiovisual performance by Uruguayan filmmaker and musician Uzi Sabah.


Tuesday, June 19, 7pm
‘Shorts by Carlosmagno Rodrigues’
1976 – LUGAR SAGRADO (1976 – Sacred Place, directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigues & Alonso Pafyeze, Brazil, 2009, 6 min.) Three living beings are kept in the bottom of a pool. Video of physical and emotional immersion, where there’s no metaphysics, no  feelings of spirituality, no mysticism- just the torpor of the condition of being alive and reluctant.
IGREREV - IGRESIA REVOLUCIONARIA DOS CORAÇOES AMARGURADOS (IGREREV, Revolutionary Church Of The Embittered Hearts, directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigues, Brazil, 2007, 16 min.) A fascist film about religion.
ANDROMEDA – A MENINA QUE FUMAVA SABAO (Andromeda, the Girl Who Smoked Soap, directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigues, Brazil, 2007, 15 min.) Andromeda is an iconographic creation that mixes fascism and Christianity. "I don't have the power to change anyone, and if I did, I should struggle to mantain the free will of the people I love".
SEBASTIÃO, O HOMEM QUE BEBIA QUEROSEN (Sebastião, The Man Who Used to Drink Kerosene, directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigues, Brazil, 2007, 11 min.) A post-traumatic existential film.
ALEXANDER ILLICH. Directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigue & Andrés Schaffer, Brazil, 2009, 13 min.) A film introduced by delirious speeches, full of skepticism, which thus present the live of a newborn "Alexander Illich", son of a neurotic in treatment in the clinic - the author himself.
ANALOGÍA DO VERME (Worm Analogy, directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigues & Cris Ventura, Brazil, 2007, 18 min.) A documentary about the pathetic experiments of the character-author Carlosmagno Rodrigues who ties to plunge knives through his arm, and among other acts that he films with friends to attempt to create an understandable film reality.'
DIANTE DO ABISMO DOS SEUS OLHOS (Before The Abyss Of Your Eyes, directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigues, Brazil, 2006, 6 min.) A film about genocidal ideologies.
DROP IN THE DARKNESS. Directed by Carlosmagno Rodrigues & Cris Ventura, Brazil, 2011, 7 min.) A movie about the Christian conversion based on the Letters to the Seven Churches, Chapter 2, Verse 19 of the biblical Book of Revelation, which talks about the speeches used for people’s conversion. The movie is filmed with vertical tracking shots that refer to the Hell archetype. Q&A with filmmaker via Skype.


Tuesday, June 26, 7pm
Directed by Albert Serra, Spain, 2008, 98 min.
Serra recasts the story of the Magi as an elemental epic of man simultaneously lost and found in the uncanny beauty of nature. Masterfully shot in black and white on remote, almost extraterrestrial locations in the Canary Islands and Iceland, the film follows the slow, stumbling passage of the kings toward the mysterious birth that beckons them through the long days and dark nights. Birdsong adds a level of humor to gently undercut the sacred qualities of the tale by foregrounding the wonderfully profane corporality of the awkward kings who float and fidget in an assertively and refreshingly human manner.
Preceded by AHENDU NDE SAPUKAI (I Hear Your Scream, directed by Pablo Lamar, Paraguay/Argentina, 2008, 11 min.) At dawn, a man watches the horizon as he stands near his wooden house that dominates the landscape. After a few moments, he returns to his simple dwelling and a short while later a small funeral procession emerges. The man does not take part in it and remains alone, staring into the emptiness before him.
Performance by Peruvian experimental musician Efraín Rozas.


Juan Daniel F. Molero (Lima, b. 1987) studied Film Directing at Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, he has worked as film journalist for, international programmer at Cine//B Festival in Chile, and he’s an alumnus of the NisiMasa Film Journalism Workshop at Lima Festival 2009, the IFFR Trainee Project for Young Film Critics 2010, the Buenos Aires Talent Campus 2010, and Berlinale Talent Campus 2011. His first feature film Reminiscencias has been exhibited at MoMA, BAFICI, Rotterdam, Art Museum of Lima, La Habana, FIDMarseille, and Lima Independiente.



May 2012
‘The South Trembles’
Curated by Jerónimo Rodríguez

Cinema is capable of shaking up, reinventing, or jolting the way we perceive reality. The Southern Cone's restless past, unsettled present, and even its uncertain future could be defined and redefined by these curious and bold filmmakers. The films included in this series are in one sense narratively daring, some subverting easy classification, or simply, they successfully capture striking moments of rupture, social change, marginality and vanguard.  

Tuesday, May 1, 7pm
Directed by Ignacio Agüero, Chile, 2000, 77 min.

Over various years, this intimate documentary builds a portrait of a neighbor who observes the demolition of the adjoining house and the construction of a building on the same site. This Chilean film captures the devastating and revealing passage of time, subtly piecing together a puzzle of the impact of urban change, reaching an illuminating account of what development and modernization mean for a country.Preceded by Home. Directed by Gianfranco Foschino, Chile, 2009, 5 min. A single-take hypnotic video that portrays another vanishing way of life - Chilean rural living. Q&A with the filmmaker via Skype. Music by Nutria NN band.

Tuesday, May 8, 7pm
Directed by Hermes Paralluelo, Argentina, 2011, 99 min. New York Premiere.
Bebo, Pata and Ricardito are young cartoneros. Like most of the residents of Villa Urquiza, a peripheral zone in Cordoba, Argentina, they make their living driving carts to collect used cardboard and recyclable materials that will then be sold. Using remarkable fixed shots and patiently observing what the boys have to say, Paralluelo has gone far beyond mere depiction: he has achieved a masterfully crafted documentary that truly connects with the life of his subjects. Post-screening discussion with special guest Rachael Rakes, The Brooklyn Rail's film editor, and guest curator. Music following screening by dj JD Molero.

Tuesday, May 15, 7pm
Directed by Mauro Andrizzi, Argentina, 2010, 60 min. New York Premiere.

Fascinating and cutting-edge, a film straight from another planet, this Argentinean reel is a series of suggestive and amusing vignettes. A sequence of several couples kissing leads to a number of confessions and anecdotes about past loves. Andrizzi says of his film, “The future is pure speculation. So is love. Each love story in the film takes us to a different past from a different present. The hope for a bright future is an illusion that keeps us expecting as it unleashes the anguish of waiting for something extraordinary to happen.”

Preceded by Copia imperfecta (Imperfect Copy). Directed by José Luis Torres Leiva, Chile, 2012, 2 min. A short film tribute to the late Raul Ruiz, commissioned by the Rotterdam Film Festival. Q&A with the filmmaker via Skype.

Tuesday, May 22, 7pm
Directed by Gastón Solnicki, 60 min. Argentina, 2009.
"Intelligently conceived, a standout marriage of cinema and classical music." - Robert Koehler, Variety
After decades living in Germany, Mauricio Kagel, one of Argentina's most celebrated composers of the 20th century, returns for the last time to his country to conduct a major concert with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic. During his stay, he collaborates with Ensemble Süden, a group of young performers who play his remarkable and radical repertoire. This inspired documentary details with elegance the complex and playful process of making contemporary music under any and all circumstances.

Tuesday, May 29, 7pm
Directed by Sergio Castro, Chile, 2010, 110 min.

Amid the boredom and obscurity that prevailed during the military dictatorship in the 80s in Chile, three brilliant musicians eager to experiment emerge from the underground and shake things up. This solid documentary not only captures the artful protest of Electrodomésticos, one of the boldest rock bands in Chilean history, but delivers a faithful testimony of many others who participated in the resistance at that time.

Preceded by El punk triste (The Sad Punk). Directed by Mario Navarro, Chile, 2010, 22 min.) A man that was a member of the underground scene in Santiago in the 80s visits five parts of the city where, according to him, the Punk movement was born. Music by DJs Ivan Navarro y Offending Command presented by Hueso Records follows screening.
Jerónimo Rodríguez is a film critic that currently works as a host/critic on the prestigious film review television program, Toma 1, on NY1 Noticias, in New York City. He also contributes as a film columnist for various publications, including People Magazine en Español and the website El Nuevo Canon. In addition he collaborated with the script of the feature film Huacho, which was selected at Cannes 2009 Critics’ Week, and the Toronto International Film Festival and won several awards and funds, including the Sundance Film Festival/NHK International Filmmakers Award. He also edited the feature Sentados frente al fuego (By the Fire) which premiered last year in the official selection of San Sebastian Film Festival.