New Directors/New Films, presented by The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, announced today the complete lineup for its 44th edition and it will feature the North American premieres of the Argentinean films La mujer de los perros / Dog Lady (pictured left) by Laura Citarella & Verónica Llinás and Parabellum by Lukas Valenta Rinner, and the New York premiere of the Colombian film Los Hongos by Oscar Ruiz Navia.
Dog Lady is an indelible and quietly haunting study of a nameless woman (memorably played by co-director Verónica Llinás) living with a loyal pack of stray dogs in silent, self-imposed exile in the Pampas on the edge of Buenos Aires. Almost dialogue-free, the film follows this hermit across four seasons as she patches up her makeshift shack in the woods, communes with nature, and forages for and sometimes steals food, making only the briefest of forays into the city and only fleetingly engaging with other people.
In Parabellum (pictured right) a Buenos Aires office worker finishes his day, visits his father in a rest home, lodges his cat in a kennel, and cancels his phone service. The next day, he and 10 equally nondescript individuals are transported up the Tigre delta in blindfolds and arrive at a secluded, well-appointed resort for a vacation with a difference. Instead of yoga and nature walks, the days’ activities range from hand-to-hand combat and weapons instruction to classes in botany and homemade explosives. Welcome to boot camp for preppers, the destination of choice for the serious Apocalypse Tourist. Austrian filmmaker Lukas Valenta Rinner handles his material in his home country’s familiar style, with cool distance, minimal dialogue, and carefully composed frames, interpolating the action with extracts from the invented Book of Disasters, a must-read for anyone warming up for the collapse of civilization as we know it—people, are you in?
In Los Hongos (pictured left) Cali street artists Ras and Calvin are good friends and collaborators despite hailing from disparate backgrounds. While one takes art classes, the other steals paint from his job in order to tag whatever surfaces he can find. Inspired by the Arab Spring protests, the pair bands together with a group of graffiti artists in order to paint a tribute to the student demonstrators. Oscar Ruiz Navia’s second feature could be termed a coming-of-age film, but Los Hongos heads in unexpected directions: while possibilities of hooking up abound, the pair’s mutual interest in making a statement that might also push forward new ideas in their own country expands what we usually see in characters growing up on-screen. This moment in the lives of two kids figuring it out encompasses all the possibilities: family, friends, sex, art, and, when they least expect it, the prospect of doing something of value. Full of color and great music, Los Hongos comprises a charming and vibrant portrait of a young, lively Colombia.
New Directors/New Films will also screen three Latin American short: Nelsa by Felipe Guerrero from Colombia, The Field of Possible by Matías Meyer from Mexico; and Heartless by Nara Normande & Tião from Brazil.
The 44th edition of the New Directors/New Films festival will take place March 18-29 in New York City.