Ongoing
Anthology Film Archives

 

New York City, despite its status as a world capital of cinema, regularly misses out on screenings of many key international films. Though the exhibition of Latin American cinema in the city has drastically increased over the past decade, a considerable number of influential movies from the region still fail to premiere locally. Anthology Film Archives and Cinema Tropical have partnered to create a new and exciting series of monthly screenings featuring remarkable Latin American films making their local premiere. Far from minor works, the films included here are by some of the region’s most important filmmakers, have garnered major awards at international festivals, and provide an important window into the often overlooked world of Latin American cinema.

Co-presented by Anthology Film Archives and Cinema Tropical. Programmed by Matías Piñeiro and Carlos A. Gutiérrez. 

Special thanks to Mara Polgovsky, Regina Serratos, PIANO, and Paulina Valencia.

 

 

All screenings at Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at 2nd Street), New York City
(212) 505-5181 / www.anthologyfilmarchives.org

 

 

   RESURRECTION  ( Resurrección , Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2016, 94 min, digital. In Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere!   Co-presented by the  Flaherty Film Seminar  and  Proyector    The final film by the late Mexican director Eugenio Polgovsky—one of the finest documentary filmmakers of his generation—is a poignant portrait of a family’s fight for survival and the regeneration of their local river. Once known as the Mexican Niagara, the waterfall of El Salto de Juanacatlán was a source of immense joy and continuous sustenance for the villages surrounding it. This natural paradise disappeared when an industrial complex was established across the Santiago River close to Guadalajara. Nowadays its poisonous waters destroy everything in their path, including the memories of the fishermen and farmers who watched their whole world disappear. From among the toxic ruins of the river’s banks, ancient specters emerge as an echo of a lost Eden. The destiny of a river goes hand in hand with that of a village, and humanity itself. The film is screened on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Polgovsky.   Preceded by  Success  (Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2014, 3 min.)   Tuesday, August 14, 7:30pm    


RESURRECTION
(Resurrección, Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2016, 94 min, digital. In Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere!
Co-presented by the Flaherty Film Seminar and Proyector

The final film by the late Mexican director Eugenio Polgovsky—one of the finest documentary filmmakers of his generation—is a poignant portrait of a family’s fight for survival and the regeneration of their local river. Once known as the Mexican Niagara, the waterfall of El Salto de Juanacatlán was a source of immense joy and continuous sustenance for the villages surrounding it. This natural paradise disappeared when an industrial complex was established across the Santiago River close to Guadalajara. Nowadays its poisonous waters destroy everything in their path, including the memories of the fishermen and farmers who watched their whole world disappear. From among the toxic ruins of the river’s banks, ancient specters emerge as an echo of a lost Eden. The destiny of a river goes hand in hand with that of a village, and humanity itself. The film is screened on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Polgovsky.
 
Preceded by Success (Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2014, 3 min.)

Tuesday, August 14, 7:30pm

 

  WILLIAM, THE NEW JUDO MASTER   (William, el nuevo maestro del judo, Ricardo Silva & Omar Guzmán, Mexico, 2016, 96 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere!    Co-presented by Proyector    “Back in the 1950s, Swedish-American singer William Clauson had a worldwide hit with ‘La Bamba.’ Now he lives in a ramshackle garage in Tijuana, Mexico. In WILLIAM, THE NEW JUDO MASTER, directors Ricardo Silva and Omar Guzmán show how a Mexican nurse washes his naked old body. ‘How did we get here?’ a voiceover muses. ‘What road led us here? When did we take it?’ This fascinating film essay is about the struggle against time, old age, and transitoriness. Silva’s debut film, NAVAJAZO (2014), was already a hybrid form of documentary and fiction, but here (with Guzmán) he goes further, producing a surrealist collage. For example, going on a trip to the oldest tree in the world. Or having a middle-aged actor play Clauson, while he is visited by three male prostitutes. Meanwhile, the devil looks on, eyes glowing red.” –INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM   Thursday, September 20, 7:30pm    

WILLIAM, THE NEW JUDO MASTER 
(William, el nuevo maestro del judo, Ricardo Silva & Omar Guzmán, Mexico, 2016, 96 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere!
Co-presented by Proyector

“Back in the 1950s, Swedish-American singer William Clauson had a worldwide hit with ‘La Bamba.’ Now he lives in a ramshackle garage in Tijuana, Mexico. In WILLIAM, THE NEW JUDO MASTER, directors Ricardo Silva and Omar Guzmán show how a Mexican nurse washes his naked old body. ‘How did we get here?’ a voiceover muses. ‘What road led us here? When did we take it?’ This fascinating film essay is about the struggle against time, old age, and transitoriness. Silva’s debut film, NAVAJAZO (2014), was already a hybrid form of documentary and fiction, but here (with Guzmán) he goes further, producing a surrealist collage. For example, going on a trip to the oldest tree in the world. Or having a middle-aged actor play Clauson, while he is visited by three male prostitutes. Meanwhile, the devil looks on, eyes glowing red.” –INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM

Thursday, September 20, 7:30pm

 

 

Past films in the season:

  SO LONG, ENTHUSIASM  (Adiós Entusiasmo, Vladimir Durán, Argentina/Colombia, 2017, 79 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)   U.S. Premiere!   The acclaimed debut feature by Colombian filmmaker Vladimir Durán—a favorite at the Berlinale’s Forum and winner of the Best Director and Best Colombian Film awards at the Cartagena Film Festival—follows Axel and his older sisters Antonia, Alejandra, and Alicia. They live in an apartment that becomes their kingdom ruled by extravagant policies that they’ve imposed, including locking up their mother, Margarita, in a room. The children communicate with their mother through a small window, giving her blankets, DVDs and reading material, and celebrating her birthday in the corridor. When she’s eventually had enough, it’s Axel who must decide what to do. Shot in Argentina,  So Long, Enthusiasm  establishes Durán as a talent to watch.   Thursday, July 12, 7:30pm    

SO LONG, ENTHUSIASM
(Adiós Entusiasmo, Vladimir Durán, Argentina/Colombia, 2017, 79 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

U.S. Premiere!

The acclaimed debut feature by Colombian filmmaker Vladimir Durán—a favorite at the Berlinale’s Forum and winner of the Best Director and Best Colombian Film awards at the Cartagena Film Festival—follows Axel and his older sisters Antonia, Alejandra, and Alicia. They live in an apartment that becomes their kingdom ruled by extravagant policies that they’ve imposed, including locking up their mother, Margarita, in a room. The children communicate with their mother through a small window, giving her blankets, DVDs and reading material, and celebrating her birthday in the corridor. When she’s eventually had enough, it’s Axel who must decide what to do. Shot in Argentina, So Long, Enthusiasm establishes Durán as a talent to watch.

Thursday, July 12, 7:30pm

 

  PANKE  (Alejo Franzetti, Argentina, 46 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)   New York Premiere   Q&A with director Alejo Franzetti   “ Panke  is an ode to survival; a very careful meditation on the melancholy of immigrants, made with a tone at once convincing and detached. The main character has nothing but the memories of his mother in Burkina Faso and his recently deceased brother. His brother, however, despite his death, demands attention. The body needs to be recognized before the authorities of an unknown city, the necessary papers need to be taken care of, as do the arrangements to return the body to Burkina Faso: a whole prosaic annex of death with rules that become urgent amidst the mourning. Focusing almost entirely on one character, this singular film reflects on the experience of displacement, as the protagonist sets out on a trip by foot towards an unlikely resolution of his tribulations.” –BAFICI     Thursday, June 5, 7:30pm    

PANKE
(Alejo Franzetti, Argentina, 46 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

New York Premiere
Q&A with director Alejo Franzetti

Panke is an ode to survival; a very careful meditation on the melancholy of immigrants, made with a tone at once convincing and detached. The main character has nothing but the memories of his mother in Burkina Faso and his recently deceased brother. His brother, however, despite his death, demands attention. The body needs to be recognized before the authorities of an unknown city, the necessary papers need to be taken care of, as do the arrangements to return the body to Burkina Faso: a whole prosaic annex of death with rules that become urgent amidst the mourning. Focusing almost entirely on one character, this singular film reflects on the experience of displacement, as the protagonist sets out on a trip by foot towards an unlikely resolution of his tribulations.” –BAFICI
 

Thursday, June 5, 7:30pm

 

  THE ABSENT STONE  ( La piedra ausente , Sandra Rozental and Jesse Lerner,  Mexico/USA, 2013, 82 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)   New York Premiere Q&A with co-director Sandra Rozental   In 1964, the largest carved stone of the Americas was moved from the town of San Miguel Coatlinchan in the municipality of Texcoco to the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City in an impressive feat of engineering. The extraction of the monolith, which represents the pre-Hispanic water deity, set off a rebellion in the town and led to the intervention of the army. Today, the enormous stone, now upright, is an urban monument; it has been transformed into one of the principal icons of Mexican national identity.  The inhabitants of Coatlinchan insist that the removal of the stone has caused droughts. Representations and replicas of the absent stone appear everywhere in Coatlinchan, where it resonates in the memories of the inhabitants. Using animations, archival materials, and contemporary encounters with the protagonists of the transport of the stone, Sandra Rozental and Jesse Lerner’s playful documentary film explores the relevance of the ruins of the past in the present day.   Thursday, May 3, 7:30pm    

THE ABSENT STONE
(La piedra ausente, Sandra Rozental and Jesse Lerner,  Mexico/USA, 2013, 82 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

New York Premiere
Q&A with co-director Sandra Rozental

In 1964, the largest carved stone of the Americas was moved from the town of San Miguel Coatlinchan in the municipality of Texcoco to the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City in an impressive feat of engineering. The extraction of the monolith, which represents the pre-Hispanic water deity, set off a rebellion in the town and led to the intervention of the army. Today, the enormous stone, now upright, is an urban monument; it has been transformed into one of the principal icons of Mexican national identity.

The inhabitants of Coatlinchan insist that the removal of the stone has caused droughts. Representations and replicas of the absent stone appear everywhere in Coatlinchan, where it resonates in the memories of the inhabitants. Using animations, archival materials, and contemporary encounters with the protagonists of the transport of the stone, Sandra Rozental and Jesse Lerner’s playful documentary film explores the relevance of the ruins of the past in the present day.

Thursday, May 3, 7:30pm

 

  MY LAST FAILURE  ( Mi último fracaso , Cecilia Kang, Argentina, In Spanish with English subtitles, 2016, 61 min.)   New York Premiere   “There are many films piercing through Cecilia Kang’s first feature; there’s a film about a family (her sister, her mother, her aunt, her grandmother). There’s also one about being an Argentine woman of Korean descent visiting Korea. And another one about being a Korean woman who, at the same time, acts like someone from Buenos Aires. There’s family love, friendship, the small tragedies and the great ones, emancipation, heartbreak, creativity. And none of these storylines drives us to a feeling of drift; they are parts of a mosaic that is pieced together in the viewer’s head thanks to a solid, strongly emotional core: the life of the director, who, in a spontaneous and loving display of generosity, dedicates  My Last Failure  to (in this order) a teacher from childhood, her eternal friends, and her sister.” —Mar del Plata Film Festival.   Thursday, April 5, 7:30pm    

MY LAST FAILURE
(Mi último fracaso, Cecilia Kang, Argentina, In Spanish with English subtitles, 2016, 61 min.)

New York Premiere

“There are many films piercing through Cecilia Kang’s first feature; there’s a film about a family (her sister, her mother, her aunt, her grandmother). There’s also one about being an Argentine woman of Korean descent visiting Korea. And another one about being a Korean woman who, at the same time, acts like someone from Buenos Aires. There’s family love, friendship, the small tragedies and the great ones, emancipation, heartbreak, creativity. And none of these storylines drives us to a feeling of drift; they are parts of a mosaic that is pieced together in the viewer’s head thanks to a solid, strongly emotional core: the life of the director, who, in a spontaneous and loving display of generosity, dedicates My Last Failure to (in this order) a teacher from childhood, her eternal friends, and her sister.” —Mar del Plata Film Festival.

Thursday, April 5, 7:30pm

 

  THE HIDDEN TIGER  ( A Vizinhança do Tigre , Affonso Uchoa, Brazil 2014, 95 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)   New York Premiere Sponsored by the Consulate General of Brazil in New York   Affonso Uchoa made a major critical splash on the festival circuit last spring with his award-winning film,  Araby . However, Uchoa has been active as a filmmaker for the past eight years. Made in 2014,  The Hidden Tiger  charts the lives of a group of young residents of Nacional, a neighborhood in the suburbs of the city of Contagem. Juninho, Menor, Neguinho, Adilson, and Eldo live their lives in dialectical fragments of joy and adversity. Some work in construction, others in drug trafficking; a few attend heavy metal concerts, others play with guns; they read, dance carioca funk, and deal with their families as they struggle with the demands of their daily lives. Music is a key element in Uchoa’s rigorously gentle mise-en-scène—in concert with his patient gaze, it helps to illuminate the faces and bodies of Uchoa’s protagonists. The camera captures and crystallizes moments of small beauty in a landscape of social and economic conflict.  “It is worth noting that, in contrast to the treatment given to pretentiously popular film programs on urban peripheries, here there is no place for demagogy. The film doesn't treat its dwellers as attractions for export, it is an exercise of admirable humanism, nurtured by the five years the director devoted to constructing this admirable fresco.” –André Ldc,  Janela Magazine    Monday, March 26, 7:15pm    

THE HIDDEN TIGER
(A Vizinhança do Tigre, Affonso Uchoa, Brazil 2014, 95 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

New York Premiere
Sponsored by the Consulate General of Brazil in New York


Affonso Uchoa made a major critical splash on the festival circuit last spring with his award-winning film, Araby. However, Uchoa has been active as a filmmaker for the past eight years. Made in 2014, The Hidden Tiger charts the lives of a group of young residents of Nacional, a neighborhood in the suburbs of the city of Contagem. Juninho, Menor, Neguinho, Adilson, and Eldo live their lives in dialectical fragments of joy and adversity. Some work in construction, others in drug trafficking; a few attend heavy metal concerts, others play with guns; they read, dance carioca funk, and deal with their families as they struggle with the demands of their daily lives. Music is a key element in Uchoa’s rigorously gentle mise-en-scène—in concert with his patient gaze, it helps to illuminate the faces and bodies of Uchoa’s protagonists. The camera captures and crystallizes moments of small beauty in a landscape of social and economic conflict.

“It is worth noting that, in contrast to the treatment given to pretentiously popular film programs on urban peripheries, here there is no place for demagogy. The film doesn't treat its dwellers as attractions for export, it is an exercise of admirable humanism, nurtured by the five years the director devoted to constructing this admirable fresco.” –André Ldc, Janela Magazine

Monday, March 26, 7:15pm

 

  THE ROMANTIC BARBER  ( El peluquero romántico , Iván Ávila Dueñas, Mexico/Brazil, 2016, 98 min. In Spanish and Portuguese with English subtitles)   New York Premiere   Neighborhood barber Victor’s life is rather uneventful. He sticks to a strict daily routine at both work and home, where he spends his nights alongside his mother listening to boleros or watching movies from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema on television. His routine is disrupted when his mother suddenly dies. His flirtation with a young waitress and his reunion with an old girlfriend can’t fill the void left behind by his mother. That changes, however, when a man claiming to be his father suddenly walks into the shop one day. The encounter will lead him to an unexpected and life-changing trip to Rio de Janeiro. The fifth feature by Mexican director Iván Ávila Dueñas,  The Romantic Barber  is a quirky and charming film about an anachronistic character in a vanishing environment.    Monday, February 26, 7:15pm    

THE ROMANTIC BARBER
(El peluquero romántico, Iván Ávila Dueñas, Mexico/Brazil, 2016, 98 min. In Spanish and Portuguese with English subtitles)

New York Premiere

Neighborhood barber Victor’s life is rather uneventful. He sticks to a strict daily routine at both work and home, where he spends his nights alongside his mother listening to boleros or watching movies from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema on television. His routine is disrupted when his mother suddenly dies. His flirtation with a young waitress and his reunion with an old girlfriend can’t fill the void left behind by his mother. That changes, however, when a man claiming to be his father suddenly walks into the shop one day. The encounter will lead him to an unexpected and life-changing trip to Rio de Janeiro. The fifth feature by Mexican director Iván Ávila Dueñas, The Romantic Barber is a quirky and charming film about an anachronistic character in a vanishing environment. 

Monday, February 26, 7:15pm

 

  THE IDEA OF A LAKE  ( La idea de un lago , Milagros Mumenthaler, Argentina/Switzerland, 2016, 82 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)   New York Premiere   Based on Guadalupe Gaona’s novel,  Pozo de aire , Milagros Mumenthaler’s second feature delves deeper into the relationship of cinema with loss, memory, and youth. Inés, a photographer, is putting together a book of poems and images about her own past. In doing so, she finds her family dynamics shifting, as she and her mother and brother all come to terms with the absence of her father, who disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina. Mumenthaler moves away from the realm of naturalist representation in order to swim into the more obscure waters of artifice. The quest to make present what is absent suffuses the film and establishes Mumenthaler as one of the most interesting voices in contemporary Argentine cinema.  “The film explores the idea of memory on several different levels, and demonstrates how memories can be transformed by things that happen in the present. That’s really the core of the film – the intimate memories that we all have, but also the idea of memory as a civic and political right.” –Milagros Mumenthaler   Monday, January 29, 7:15pm    

THE IDEA OF A LAKE
(La idea de un lago, Milagros Mumenthaler, Argentina/Switzerland, 2016, 82 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

New York Premiere

Based on Guadalupe Gaona’s novel, Pozo de aire, Milagros Mumenthaler’s second feature delves deeper into the relationship of cinema with loss, memory, and youth. Inés, a photographer, is putting together a book of poems and images about her own past. In doing so, she finds her family dynamics shifting, as she and her mother and brother all come to terms with the absence of her father, who disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina. Mumenthaler moves away from the realm of naturalist representation in order to swim into the more obscure waters of artifice. The quest to make present what is absent suffuses the film and establishes Mumenthaler as one of the most interesting voices in contemporary Argentine cinema.

“The film explores the idea of memory on several different levels, and demonstrates how memories can be transformed by things that happen in the present. That’s really the core of the film – the intimate memories that we all have, but also the idea of memory as a civic and political right.” –Milagros Mumenthaler

Monday, January 29, 7:15pm

 

  PLANTS  ( Las plantas , Roberto Doveris, Chile, 2015, 93 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)   New York Premiere   Roberto Doveris’s debut feature film revolves around Florencia, a 17-year-old girl responsible for the care of her comatose older brother during the summer. Trying to survive with limited means and no assistance, she becomes obsessed with a comic book called “Las Plantas,” which depicts an invasion of earth by sentient plants who take possession of human bodies every full moon. At the same time, Florencia is going through her own sexual awakening, meeting strangers through the internet, and her monotonous daily routine begins to merge with the fantasy world of the comics and her own burgeoning desires. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the Berlinale and associate-produced by Alicia Scherson (The Future,  Family Life ),  Plants  is “a sexually souped-up teen psycho-thriller…an original coming-of-age tale laced with pop culture” ( Variety ).   Thursday, December 14, 7:15pm    

PLANTS
(Las plantas, Roberto Doveris, Chile, 2015, 93 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

New York Premiere

Roberto Doveris’s debut feature film revolves around Florencia, a 17-year-old girl responsible for the care of her comatose older brother during the summer. Trying to survive with limited means and no assistance, she becomes obsessed with a comic book called “Las Plantas,” which depicts an invasion of earth by sentient plants who take possession of human bodies every full moon. At the same time, Florencia is going through her own sexual awakening, meeting strangers through the internet, and her monotonous daily routine begins to merge with the fantasy world of the comics and her own burgeoning desires. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the Berlinale and associate-produced by Alicia Scherson (The Future, Family Life), Plants is “a sexually souped-up teen psycho-thriller…an original coming-of-age tale laced with pop culture” (Variety).

Thursday, December 14, 7:15pm

 

  PACÍFICO  (Fernanda Romandía, Mexico, 2016, 72 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)   U.S. Premiere   The building site of Casa Wabi, a house and arts center designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando among the beaches of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, serves as the setting for the story of 7-year-old Coral, who visits the construction site every day after school to spend time with his godfather Diego. In addition to working on the construction crew, Diego is the leader of a musical group, and is addicted to his cellphone. One day, Coral meets Oriente, a carpenter and aspiring poet who dreams of seeing his faraway family again. Growing attached to his new friend, Coral decides he wants Oriente to become a second godfather to him. With exquisite camerawork by Pedro González-Rubio ( Alamar ) and co-produced by New York-based Mexican artist Bosco Sodi and Carlos Reygadas’s Mantarraya film production company, PACÍFICO is a calm and serene fictional debut, skillfully disguised as a documentary.  “A quiet and modest charmer…small is beautiful in Fernanda Romandía’s docu-fiction hybrid PACÍFICO, which uses the world’s largest geographical feature as backdrop for a delicate wisp of a sun-kissed, seaside tale.” –Neil Young,  Hollywood Reporter    Thursday, November 16 at 7:15pm    

PACÍFICO
(Fernanda Romandía, Mexico, 2016, 72 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

U.S. Premiere

The building site of Casa Wabi, a house and arts center designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando among the beaches of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, serves as the setting for the story of 7-year-old Coral, who visits the construction site every day after school to spend time with his godfather Diego. In addition to working on the construction crew, Diego is the leader of a musical group, and is addicted to his cellphone. One day, Coral meets Oriente, a carpenter and aspiring poet who dreams of seeing his faraway family again. Growing attached to his new friend, Coral decides he wants Oriente to become a second godfather to him. With exquisite camerawork by Pedro González-Rubio (Alamar) and co-produced by New York-based Mexican artist Bosco Sodi and Carlos Reygadas’s Mantarraya film production company, PACÍFICO is a calm and serene fictional debut, skillfully disguised as a documentary.

“A quiet and modest charmer…small is beautiful in Fernanda Romandía’s docu-fiction hybrid PACÍFICO, which uses the world’s largest geographical feature as backdrop for a delicate wisp of a sun-kissed, seaside tale.” –Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, November 16 at 7:15pm

 

  ABOUT 12  ( Juana a los 12 , Martín Shanly, Argentina, 2014, 80 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere   Q&A with filmmaker   The problem facing Juana, a 12-year-old girl, is imperceptible to others. She might even be even unaware of it herself, but it is latent in every shot of Martín Shanly’s debut feature: Juana fails easily. She performs poorly at her private British school in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and even worse in her social life among friends and family.  About 12  nurtures a rare bitterness in its particular mixture of uncomfortable comedy and tempered tragedy. In the depiction of female bodies out-of-sync with the world they inhabit, Shanly’s film successfully blooms as an odd cousin to Todd Haynes’s  Safe  and Todd Solondz’s  Welcome to the Dollhouse . The lead performance by Rosario Shanly – the director’s sister – transcends masks thanks to a mise-en-scène that manages to be as frail and mysterious as its main character. Juana’s inadequacy to deal with the most basic social rules turns her apparently passive behavior into an intimate revolutionary act, a silent cry of resistance that is both funny and piercing. Juana is a gentle girl, a soul maybe too beautiful for this world.  “It is not a plain attitude that I find in Juana’s character, but a buffoonish darkness whose natural mask is the smile, or simply laughter, usually untimely, that transfigures (and makes much more interesting) the luminosity of her face. A smile that becomes vampiric.” –Nuria Silva,  Hacerse la crítica    Thursday, October 12 at 7:15pm    

ABOUT 12
(Juana a los 12, Martín Shanly, Argentina, 2014, 80 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere
Q&A with filmmaker

The problem facing Juana, a 12-year-old girl, is imperceptible to others. She might even be even unaware of it herself, but it is latent in every shot of Martín Shanly’s debut feature: Juana fails easily. She performs poorly at her private British school in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and even worse in her social life among friends and family. About 12 nurtures a rare bitterness in its particular mixture of uncomfortable comedy and tempered tragedy. In the depiction of female bodies out-of-sync with the world they inhabit, Shanly’s film successfully blooms as an odd cousin to Todd Haynes’s Safe and Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse. The lead performance by Rosario Shanly – the director’s sister – transcends masks thanks to a mise-en-scène that manages to be as frail and mysterious as its main character. Juana’s inadequacy to deal with the most basic social rules turns her apparently passive behavior into an intimate revolutionary act, a silent cry of resistance that is both funny and piercing. Juana is a gentle girl, a soul maybe too beautiful for this world.

“It is not a plain attitude that I find in Juana’s character, but a buffoonish darkness whose natural mask is the smile, or simply laughter, usually untimely, that transfigures (and makes much more interesting) the luminosity of her face. A smile that becomes vampiric.” –Nuria Silva, Hacerse la crítica

Thursday, October 12 at 7:15pm

 

  WINTER HOUSE  ( Invernadero , Gonzalo Castro, Argentina, 2010, 94 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere  Co-presented by McNally Jackson    “A contemplation of the experimental one-armed Mexican novelist Mario Bellatín, a famed prankster who here engages with his daughter and friends (all fictional characters) in an interrogation of biography (itself a central conceit in Bellatín’s fiction).” —Maria Delgado,  Sight & Sound   “Who is Mario Bellatín anyway? A contemporary Mexican novelist, translated all over the world? Captain Hook, and the father of a grown-up daughter? An acupuncture enthusiast? A Muslim who believes in reincarnation? A widow, who isn’t gloomy, but still hasn’t got over it? A robust plant in a winter garden? Answers – Yes, yes, yes – across the board. It is this entangled web of script threads, and more besides, that animates Gonzalo Castro’s film. [...] Bellatín gradually becomes no longer a witness of himself, an author held hostage by his exposed genius, but a character who is above all going about his daily life. That is what is key. A funny, unpredictable character, a dandy without a mirror, except when he shaves with his left hand.” –Jean-Pierre Rehm, FIDMarseille   Thursday, September 28 at 7:15pm    

WINTER HOUSE
(Invernadero, Gonzalo Castro, Argentina, 2010, 94 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere
Co-presented by McNally Jackson

“A contemplation of the experimental one-armed Mexican novelist Mario Bellatín, a famed prankster who here engages with his daughter and friends (all fictional characters) in an interrogation of biography (itself a central conceit in Bellatín’s fiction).” —Maria Delgado, Sight & Sound

“Who is Mario Bellatín anyway? A contemporary Mexican novelist, translated all over the world? Captain Hook, and the father of a grown-up daughter? An acupuncture enthusiast? A Muslim who believes in reincarnation? A widow, who isn’t gloomy, but still hasn’t got over it? A robust plant in a winter garden? Answers – Yes, yes, yes – across the board. It is this entangled web of script threads, and more besides, that animates Gonzalo Castro’s film. [...] Bellatín gradually becomes no longer a witness of himself, an author held hostage by his exposed genius, but a character who is above all going about his daily life. That is what is key. A funny, unpredictable character, a dandy without a mirror, except when he shaves with his left hand.” –Jean-Pierre Rehm, FIDMarseille

Thursday, September 28 at 7:15pm

 

  STRANGE DAYS   (Días extraños , Juan Sebastián Quebrada, Colombia/Argentina, 2015, b&w, 71 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere   Juan and Luna, two young Colombians living in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, are infatuated with each other. Their relationship oscillates between tender gestures and violent explosions. But when Luna meets a woman named Federica and brings her home, something changes, setting into crisis the fragile nature of their relationship. Quebrada’s auspicious debut feature, shot in a stylized black-and-white, was hailed by Sergio Wolf, former director of the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI) as “one of the best Colombian films in decades.”   Thursday, August 17 at 7:15pm    

STRANGE DAYS
(Días extraños, Juan Sebastián Quebrada, Colombia/Argentina, 2015, b&w, 71 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere

Juan and Luna, two young Colombians living in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, are infatuated with each other. Their relationship oscillates between tender gestures and violent explosions. But when Luna meets a woman named Federica and brings her home, something changes, setting into crisis the fragile nature of their relationship. Quebrada’s auspicious debut feature, shot in a stylized black-and-white, was hailed by Sergio Wolf, former director of the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI) as “one of the best Colombian films in decades.”

Thursday, August 17 at 7:15pm

 

  CARMITA  (Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas, Mexico/Dominican Republic, 2013, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere   This film tells the story of Carmen Ignarra, the beautiful actress once known as “Cuba’s little princess,” who left the Caribbean island in the hopes of becoming a Hollywood star in the early 1950s. Her initial success was followed by a slow, painful decline as her jealous husband – a prominent Mexican producer – curtailed her career. Now 80 years old, Carmita lives forgotten in an old mansion in Monterrey, Mexico. Recounting her life to Guzmán, who is actively present onscreen, she talks about the past, wasted talent, and lost loves.  Carmita  echoes  Sunset Boulevard  and  Grey Gardens , blurring the faint border between fiction and non-fiction.   Thursday, July 20 at 7:15pm    

CARMITA
(Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas, Mexico/Dominican Republic, 2013, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere

This film tells the story of Carmen Ignarra, the beautiful actress once known as “Cuba’s little princess,” who left the Caribbean island in the hopes of becoming a Hollywood star in the early 1950s. Her initial success was followed by a slow, painful decline as her jealous husband – a prominent Mexican producer – curtailed her career. Now 80 years old, Carmita lives forgotten in an old mansion in Monterrey, Mexico. Recounting her life to Guzmán, who is actively present onscreen, she talks about the past, wasted talent, and lost loves. Carmita echoes Sunset Boulevard and Grey Gardens, blurring the faint border between fiction and non-fiction.

Thursday, July 20 at 7:15pm

 

  THE THIRD SIDE OF THE RIVER  ( La tercera orilla , Celina Murga, Argentina, 2014, 92 min. digital. In Spanish with English subtitles)  New York Premiere. Filmmaker in Attendance!   This slow-burn drama follows 17-year-old Nicolas, who lives with his mother and younger siblings in a small provincial city in Argentina. His estranged father, Jorge, a respected doctor, has decided that Nicolas will be his successor in both his medical practice and agricultural business. Nicolas obeys his father, but hates him. He has seen his mother suffer because of Jorge’s double life – having started a new family, Jorge refuses to acknowledge Nicolas’s mother or her children publicly. As tensions between father and son grow, Nicolas realizes that he must make a choice and take action for the sake of his future. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, this fourth feature film by acclaimed Argentinean director Murga premiered in the official competition at the Berlinale.  “[A] beautifully achieved film in which the most important things remain unspoken and placid surfaces belie cauldrons of violent emotion. […] It’s easy to see why Martin Scorsese has taken such a keen interest in Murga’s work. She is, not unlike the young Scorsese himself, very much a ‘neighborhood’ filmmaker, who renders her native milieu – the sleepy provincial towns of Entre Rios, north of Buenos Aires – with an intensely lyrical, sensuous gaze.” –Scott Foundas,  Variety .  Thursday, June 29 at 7:15pm    

THE THIRD SIDE OF THE RIVER
(La tercera orilla, Celina Murga, Argentina, 2014, 92 min. digital. In Spanish with English subtitles)
New York Premiere. Filmmaker in Attendance!

This slow-burn drama follows 17-year-old Nicolas, who lives with his mother and younger siblings in a small provincial city in Argentina. His estranged father, Jorge, a respected doctor, has decided that Nicolas will be his successor in both his medical practice and agricultural business. Nicolas obeys his father, but hates him. He has seen his mother suffer because of Jorge’s double life – having started a new family, Jorge refuses to acknowledge Nicolas’s mother or her children publicly. As tensions between father and son grow, Nicolas realizes that he must make a choice and take action for the sake of his future. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, this fourth feature film by acclaimed Argentinean director Murga premiered in the official competition at the Berlinale.

“[A] beautifully achieved film in which the most important things remain unspoken and placid surfaces belie cauldrons of violent emotion. […] It’s easy to see why Martin Scorsese has taken such a keen interest in Murga’s work. She is, not unlike the young Scorsese himself, very much a ‘neighborhood’ filmmaker, who renders her native milieu – the sleepy provincial towns of Entre Rios, north of Buenos Aires – with an intensely lyrical, sensuous gaze.” –Scott Foundas, Variety.
Thursday, June 29 at 7:15pm

 

  YO  (Matías Meyer, Mexico/Canada/Dominican Republic/Switzerland, 2015, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere. Filmmaker in Attendance!   The third feature film by acclaimed Mexican director Matías Meyer ( The Last Christeros ,  The Cramp ) is an adaptation of a short story of the same name by Nobel laureate author J. M. G. Le Clézio. The film follows Yo, a teenager in the body of an adult with an apparent mental incapacity. He lives and works at his mother’s roadside café by a busy highway. One day he meets Elena, an eleven-year-old girl, who will change his life forever. Winner of the Best Film award at the Morelia Film Festival and a Special Mention at the Fribourg Film Festival,  Yo  is an intriguing mediation on the epic human journey of emotional maturation.   Saturday, May 27 at 7:15pm     

YO
(Matías Meyer, Mexico/Canada/Dominican Republic/Switzerland, 2015, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere. Filmmaker in Attendance!

The third feature film by acclaimed Mexican director Matías Meyer (The Last Christeros, The Cramp) is an adaptation of a short story of the same name by Nobel laureate author J. M. G. Le Clézio. The film follows Yo, a teenager in the body of an adult with an apparent mental incapacity. He lives and works at his mother’s roadside café by a busy highway. One day he meets Elena, an eleven-year-old girl, who will change his life forever. Winner of the Best Film award at the Morelia Film Festival and a Special Mention at the Fribourg Film Festival, Yo is an intriguing mediation on the epic human journey of emotional maturation.

Saturday, May 27 at 7:15pm


 

  LA MALDAD  (Joshua Gil, Mexico, 2015, 74 min, digital. In Spanish with English subtitles)  U.S. Premiere. Filmmaker in Attendance!   As an act of revenge against the woman who abandoned him and as a way to exorcise his own demons, the rural poet and musician Rafael writes a screenplay in which, by means of twelve songs, he narrates the story of his own life. Raymundo, on the other hand, is a tired, depressed, and potentially suicidal man who approaches Rafael seeking financial support and solace. But Rafael, blinded by his ambition, betrays him in more ways than one, and travels to Mexico City in search of funds to produce his film. A playful and self-reflexive tale,  La Maldad 's intriguing and captivating atmosphere reveals the desolation that overwhelms its protagonists.   “ La Maldad  marks a promising if enigmatic feature debut from cinematographer turned director Joshua Gil. […] The movie works best as an abstract contemplation on life, death and the passing of time, recalling the more conceptual work of fellow Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas.” –Jordan Mintzer,  The Hollywood Reporter    Saturday, April 22 at 5:30pm     

LA MALDAD
(Joshua Gil, Mexico, 2015, 74 min, digital. In Spanish with English subtitles)
U.S. Premiere. Filmmaker in Attendance!

As an act of revenge against the woman who abandoned him and as a way to exorcise his own demons, the rural poet and musician Rafael writes a screenplay in which, by means of twelve songs, he narrates the story of his own life. Raymundo, on the other hand, is a tired, depressed, and potentially suicidal man who approaches Rafael seeking financial support and solace. But Rafael, blinded by his ambition, betrays him in more ways than one, and travels to Mexico City in search of funds to produce his film. A playful and self-reflexive tale, La Maldad's intriguing and captivating atmosphere reveals the desolation that overwhelms its protagonists. 

La Maldad marks a promising if enigmatic feature debut from cinematographer turned director Joshua Gil. […] The movie works best as an abstract contemplation on life, death and the passing of time, recalling the more conceptual work of fellow Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas.” –Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

Saturday, April 22 at 5:30pm

 

 

January — March, 2017

  VERANO  (José Luis Torres Leiva, Chile, 2011, 93 min, digital. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)  The second fiction feature by José Luis Torres Leiva, one of the leading Chilean filmmakers of his generation whose work has had very limited exposure in the U.S.  Verano  is a choral drama set on a hot summer day in the south of Chile, where small events shape the lives of visitors and employees of an established thermal resort. A dozen characters experience the long vacation hours in nature – sleeping in the sun, learning how to drive, cleaning the house, kissing for the first time, swimming at night, or just walking and talking, while the day slowly unravels into small fragments of happiness and discovery. The cast includes Argentinean actress/singer Rosario Bléfari (who played the title role in Martín Rejtman’s  Silvia Prieto ), and Chilean documentary filmmaker Ignacio Agüero.   Thursday, March 23 at 7:15pm     

VERANO
(José Luis Torres Leiva, Chile, 2011, 93 min, digital. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)

The second fiction feature by José Luis Torres Leiva, one of the leading Chilean filmmakers of his generation whose work has had very limited exposure in the U.S. Verano is a choral drama set on a hot summer day in the south of Chile, where small events shape the lives of visitors and employees of an established thermal resort. A dozen characters experience the long vacation hours in nature – sleeping in the sun, learning how to drive, cleaning the house, kissing for the first time, swimming at night, or just walking and talking, while the day slowly unravels into small fragments of happiness and discovery. The cast includes Argentinean actress/singer Rosario Bléfari (who played the title role in Martín Rejtman’s Silvia Prieto), and Chilean documentary filmmaker Ignacio Agüero.

Thursday, March 23 at 7:15pm

 

  MAURO  (Hernán Rosselli, Argentina, 2014, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)  Hernán Rosselli’s auspicious debut feature film, a winner at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), is a sharp character study following Mauro (played by Mauro Martínez), a metalworker who moonlights as a currency forger trading fake bills in the streets of Buenos Aires. He decides to set up a little printing shop with his roommate Luis and Luis’s pregnant girlfriend to produce counterfeit money. Yet things get complicated when he falls for the mysterious Paula.  “An engrossing X-ray of life in a southern barrio of Buenos Aires that doubles as a study of a society in crisis,  Mauro  ripples with quiet virtues. First-timer Rosselli has brought to his debut feature the same precision and craft as his troubled protagonist brings to his forgery, and the result is a slow-burning, intense item that exists somewhere on the increasingly blurred line between feature and documentary, harking back to established films such as Pablo Trapero’s  Crane World  and, indeed, to the Romanian New Wave in its dark, focused gaze and its unpatronizing treatment of social issues.” –Jonathan Holland,  The Hollywood Reporter .   Thursday, February 16 at 7:15pm - Q&A with filmmaker    

MAURO
(Hernán Rosselli, Argentina, 2014, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)

Hernán Rosselli’s auspicious debut feature film, a winner at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), is a sharp character study following Mauro (played by Mauro Martínez), a metalworker who moonlights as a currency forger trading fake bills in the streets of Buenos Aires. He decides to set up a little printing shop with his roommate Luis and Luis’s pregnant girlfriend to produce counterfeit money. Yet things get complicated when he falls for the mysterious Paula.

“An engrossing X-ray of life in a southern barrio of Buenos Aires that doubles as a study of a society in crisis, Mauro ripples with quiet virtues. First-timer Rosselli has brought to his debut feature the same precision and craft as his troubled protagonist brings to his forgery, and the result is a slow-burning, intense item that exists somewhere on the increasingly blurred line between feature and documentary, harking back to established films such as Pablo Trapero’s Crane World and, indeed, to the Romanian New Wave in its dark, focused gaze and its unpatronizing treatment of social issues.” –Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter.

Thursday, February 16 at 7:15pm - Q&A with filmmaker

 

  NAVAJAZO  (Ricardo Silva, Mexico, 2014, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)  Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film in the Cineasti del Presente (Filmmakers of the Present) competition at the Locarno Film Festival, Ricardo Silva’s provocative and irreverent debut feature film is a quirky fiction-documentary hybrid set in the border city of Tijuana, where a series of peculiar outcasts (a junkie couple, a musician nicknamed “El Muerto,” and an American porn director, among others) struggle to survive in a hostile post-apocalyptic environment filled with drugs, sex, and violence. “Utterly mesmerizing in its perversion” (James Lattimer,  Slant Magazine ),  Navajazo  (which means “knife wound” in Spanish) confirms Silva as a filmmaker to watch, and Tijuana as an unlikely Mexican art scene.   Thursday,  January 19, 7:15pm    

NAVAJAZO
(Ricardo Silva, Mexico, 2014, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)

Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film in the Cineasti del Presente (Filmmakers of the Present) competition at the Locarno Film Festival, Ricardo Silva’s provocative and irreverent debut feature film is a quirky fiction-documentary hybrid set in the border city of Tijuana, where a series of peculiar outcasts (a junkie couple, a musician nicknamed “El Muerto,” and an American porn director, among others) struggle to survive in a hostile post-apocalyptic environment filled with drugs, sex, and violence. “Utterly mesmerizing in its perversion” (James Lattimer, Slant Magazine), Navajazo (which means “knife wound” in Spanish) confirms Silva as a filmmaker to watch, and Tijuana as an unlikely Mexican art scene.

Thursday,  January 19, 7:15pm