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CINE LATINO EN EL 50TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

10/6/12 , Posted by Alex Guerrero at 2:03 PM


Richard Peña nos presenta un Cine Latino rico, variado y en vigorosa expansión en la edición 50 del Festival de Cine de Nueva York. Ese vigor que se siente y se ve en cada película nos habla de una nueva 'confidence' de los creadores latinos que los hace más audaces, a explorar más el medio y a cimentar una presencia cada día más reconocida a nivel mundial. 

Ya he visto varias de las películas latinas ( me falta NO, El muerto y ser feliz y A Última Vez Que Vi Macau ) asi que sin mucho pre-ambulo, les invito a que vean al menos una si están en Nueva York. Varias de estas películas ya tienen distribuidor y las tendremos en cartelera en un futuro cercano.
Las películas latinas van desde la deliciosa comedia Camille redouble al gran subrealismo de La noche de enfrente, la última obra de Raúl Ruíz. En temas veremos desde la historia de un inmigrante que regresa a México desde Nueva York en Aquí y Allá a una magnífica inmersión en lo que fueron los años después de Mayo de 1968 en Après Mai.



ABOUT THE FILMS

* NIGHT ACROSS THE STREET (La Noche de enfrente) (2012) 107min
Director: Raul Ruiz
Country: France/Chile
October 7.
In August 2011, the cinema sadly lost one of its most magical artists, director Raul Ruiz—but, happily, not before he left us with one final masterpiece. Returning to his native Chile, Ruiz introduces us here to Don Celso, a bespectacled office worker heading into retirement.



After an evening’s poetry class, Celso starts to narrate several tales from his childhood to his teacher, guiding the audience both within and outside the film through various levels of reality that mix the private and the public, the historical and the mythic, the here and the beyond. The journey is, of course, full of Ruizian flights of visual and verbal wit, where resonances between words and images form connections that at times defy traditional storytelling. NIGHT ACROSS THE STREET is both a moving meditation on one man’s mortality as well as an insightful summation of an artist’s brilliant career. A Cinema Guild release. Ruiz will also have his work presented during NYFF’s soon-to-be-announced Views From the Avant-Garde schedule.

* NO (2012) 110min
Director: Pablo Larrain
Country: Chile/USA/Mexico
October 12, 13.
In 1988, in an effort to extend and legitimize its rule, the Pinochet military junta announced it would hold a plebiscite to get the people’s permission to stay in power. Despite being given 15 minutes a day to plead its case on television, the anti-Pinochet opposition was divided and without a clear message.



 Enter Rene Saavedra (an excellent Gael Garcia Bernal), an ad man who, after a career pushing soft drinks and soap, sets out to sell Chileans on democracy and freedom. Winner of the top prize in this year’s Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, NO is little short of a miracle: shooting on U-matic video tape to give the film the look of the Eighties, filmmaker Pablo Larrain (TONY MANERO, POST MORTEM) has created a smart, funny and totally engrossing political thriller with a powerful resonance for our times.

* THE DEAD MAN AND BEING HAPPY (El muerto y ser feliz) (2012) 94min
Director: Javier Rebello
Country: Spain/Argentina
October 11, 14.

For his third feature, the gifted Spanish director Javier Rebollo (WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO) has decamped to Argentina and created a literate, screwball road movie that Borges surely would have loved. The “dead man” of the title is Santos (veteran Spanish screen star José Sacristán), a cancer-stricken hired killer who flees his Buenos Aires hospital bed and sets off on one last assignment.



It is a journey that takes him through an interior Argentina rarely glimpsed in movies, from the Cordoba resort town of La Cumbrecita (with its disproportionate—and disconcerting—population of elderly Germans) to the northern province of Santiago del Estero. Along the way, Santos finds himself joined by Alejandra (the wonderful Roxana Blanco), an attractive middle-aged woman who impulsively jumps into his vintage Ford Falcon at a gas station and soon thwarts him from his intended path. At one point, our curious couple stops off at a decrepit beach town described by one of the film’s dueling voice-over narrators as “a strange mix of paradise and apocalypse”—which, as it happens, also perfectly sums up Rebollo’s playful and unexpectedly moving reverie on love, death and the open highway.

* HERE AND THERE (Aquí y Allá) (2012) 110min
Director: Antonio Mendez Esparza
Country: Spain/USA/Mexico
October 2, 10.
Pedro returns home to a small mountain village in Guerrero, Mexico after years of working in the U.S. His daughters feel more distant that he imagined, but his wife Teresa is delighted he’s back.



With the money he’s earned he can create a better life for his family, and maybe even start the band with his cousins he’s dreamed about for years. But work back home remains scarce, and the temptation of heading back north of the border remains as strong as ever. Antonio Mendez Esparza has made a most remarkable debut; rarely, if ever, has a film about US/Mexican border experience felt so fresh or authentic. Using non-professionals, Mendez Esparza gets remarkably nuanced performances that gives a richness of nuance and detail to each of his characters that goes way beyond cliché and stereotype. Winner of the Grand Prize at this year’s Critics Week in Cannes.

* THE LAST TIME I SAW MACAO (A Última Vez Que Vi Macau) (2012) 82min
Director: João Pedro Rodrigues
Country: Portugal/France
October 12, 13.
This stunning amalgam of playful film noir and Chris Marker–like cine-essay from João Pedro Rodrigues (TO DIE LIKE A MAN, NYFF 2009) and João Rui Guerra da Mata explores the psychic pull of the titular former Portuguese colony.



After a spectacular opening scene, in which actress Cindy Scrash lip-synchs, as tigers pace behind her, to Jane Russell’s “You Kill Me”—from Josef von Sternberg’s MACAO (1952), a key reference here—the film shifts to da Mata’s off-screen recollections of growing up in this gambling haven in the South China Sea. He’s come back to Macao to help a friend who later vanishes—a mystery that begets not only poetic ruminations on time, place, and memory but also magnificent compositions of flora, fauna, and cityscapes. Rodrigues will also have his work presented during NYFF’s soon-to-be-announced Views From the Avant-Garde schedule.

* TABU (2012) 118min
Director: Miguel Gomes
Country: Portugal
October 10, 14.
The ghosts of F.W. Murnau, Luis Buñuel, Joseph Cornell and Jack Smith hover above Miguel Gomes’s third feature—an exquisite, absurdist entry in the canon of surrealist cinema.



Shot in ephemeral black-and-white celluloid, TABU is movie-as-dream—an evocation of irrational desires, extravagant coincidences, and cheesy nostalgia that nevertheless is grounded in serious feeling and beliefs, even anti-colonialist politics. There is a story, which is delightful to follow and in which the cart comes before the horse: the first half is set in contemporary Lisbon, the second, involving two of the same characters, in a Portuguese colony in the early 1960s. “Be My Baby” belted in Portuguese, a wandering crocodile, and a passionate, ill-advised coupling seen through gently moving mosquito netting make for addled movie magic. The winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize (for a work of particular innovation) and FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.


* CAMILLE REWINDS (Camille redouble) (2012) 110min
Director: Noémie Lvovsky
Country: France
October 2, 10.
Noémie Lvovsky’s ebullient twist on the comedy of remarriage transposes Frances Ford Coppola’s PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED to present day France, which means that when the titular Camille—who’s in the throes of divorcing her husband of 25 years—passes out drunk, she wakes up as a high school senior in the mid-1980s (leg warmers, “Walking on Sunshine” on the turntable, and no cell phones in sight.)



Lvovsky is hilarious and touchingly vulnerable as Camille. Hard as she tries to avoid the classmate (Samir Guesmi) who she knows will become her first love, her husband, and the father of her daughter, and who will ditch her after she turns 40, she nevertheless winds up in his arms. Her double take, just before their lips meet for a first kiss the second time around, is indescribably delicious. In the tiny role of a watchmaker who may have set Camille’s time travel in motion, New Wave icon Jean-Pierre Léaud is perfect.

* LINES OF WELLINGTON (Linhas de Wellington) (2012) 151min
Director: Valeria Sarmiento
Country: France/Portugal
October 8, 9.
After conquering Spain, Napoleon Bonaparte sent a powerful army to invade Portugal in 1810. The French plowed through the resistance mounted against them until, as they approached Lisbon, they were met by a combined British and Portuguese army under the command of the Viscount Wellington. That’s the general historical outline for Valeria Sarmiento’s extraordinarily intimate epic of the Peninsular War. Along the way, we witness love affairs and treachery, noble action and selfish cruelty, from the highest social echelons to the most humble quarters. Prepared by the late Raul Ruiz from a screenplay by Carlos Saboga (Mysteries of Lisbon), LINES OF WELLINGTON was completed by Sarmiento—Ruiz’s longtime editor as well as his widow—who has created a revealing portrait of life during what has been called one of the first examples of “total war.” The all-star cast includes Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Elsa Zylberstein, Marisa Paredes, and John Malkovich as Wellington.

* OUR CHILDREN (À perdre la raison) (2012) 111min
Director: Joachim Lafosse
Country: Belgium
October 12, 13.
How does it happen that a vibrant, capable young woman loses her sense of self-worth and ends up destroying what she most loves? Belgian director Joachim Lafosse structures an all too familiar contemporary story that was headline news in Europe as a classical tragedy. Émilie Dequenne more than fulfills the promise of her award-winning performance in the Dardenne brothers’ Rosetta with this portrait of a young school teacher who marries a Moroccan immigrant (Tahar Rahim) and has four children with him, while gradually becoming aware of how much he is in thrall to his mentor, a domineering doctor (Niels Arestrup). Rahim and Arestrup reprise their father/son relationship from Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet but with an even more corrupt twist. Lafosse’s direction of this perverse narrative of patriarchal power and female oppression is like steel wrapped in silk.

* SOMETHING IN THE AIR (Après Mai) (2012) 122min
Director: Olivier Assayas
Country: France
October 5, 8, 12.
In the months after the heady weeks of May ’68, a group of young people search for a way to continue the revolution believed to be just beginning.



For Gilles (newcomer Clément Mettayer), this means having to balance his political commitments with his desire to explore painting and filmmaking; for his girlfriend Christine (GOODBYE, FIRST LOVE star Lola Créton), this means throwing herself wholeheartedly into the task of organizing. Olivier Assayas (CARLOS, SUMMER HOURS) here describes the sentimental education of a generation that was too young to have been on the barricades; he brilliantly captures its explorations of new lifestyles, the arguments about strategies and tactics, and above all its music, a constant presence that becomes something like the artistic unconscious of an era. The period details are perfect, but what makes this film so special is the sense it conveys of history as lived experience.

* YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET (Vous n'avez encore rien vu) (2012) 115min
Director: Alain Resnais
Country: France
October 2, 3, 9.
From its impish title to its vibrant formal experimentation, YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET proves that, at age 90, master French filmmaker Alain Resnais (HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR, WILD GRASS) is indeed still full of surprises. Based on two works by the playwright Jean Anouilh, the film opens with a who’s-who of French acting royalty (including Mathieu Amalric, Michel Piccoli and frequent Resnais muse Sabine Azéma) being summoned to the reading of a late playwright’s last will and testament. Upon their arrival, the playwright (Denis Podalydès) appears on a TV screen from beyond the grave and asks his erstwhile collaborators to evaluate a recording of an experimental theater company performing his Eurydice—a play they themselves all appeared in over the years. But as the video unspools, something curious happens: instead of watching passively, these seasoned thespians begin acting out the text alongside their youthful avatars, looking back into the past rather like mythic Orpheus himself. Gorgeously shot by cinematographer Eric Gautier on stylized sets that recall the French poetic realism of the 1930s, YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET is an alternately wry and wistful valentine to actors and the art of performance from a director long fascinated by the intersection of life, theater and cinema.

* LIFE OF PI (2012)
Director: Ang Lee
Country: USA
Opening Night selection. In theaters soon.
Based on the book that has sold more than seven million copies and spent years on the bestseller list, Academy Award winner Lee's LIFE OF PI takes place over three continents, two oceans, many years, and a wide world of imagination.



Lee’s vision, coupled with game-changing technological breakthroughs, has turned a story long thought un-filmable into a totally original cinematic event and the first truly international all-audience motion picture. LIFE OF PI follows a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While marooned on a lifeboat, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with the ship¹s only other survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger.

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