Latinbeat Film Festival
Sex, politics, myth and history collide in the 13th annual Latinbeat Film Festival. FSLC’s survey of recent Latin American cinema gathers up the best recent films from a sprawling geographical zone that extends from Mexico to Argentina—Spanish-speaking, yes, but far from a monoculture.
The nature of film distribution, which tends mostly to move from Hollywood south, means that few of these films have been seen north of the border, let alone in New York. It’s a genuine occasion for discovery. The event pulls together 16 films from eight countries, with most of the filmmakers in attendance for post-screening Q&As and panel discussions. These are likely to focus on prevalent concepts of evolving identity, as a new generation of artists comes to terms with turbulent national pasts and cultivates an original future.
Those issues occupy the core of Sabrina Farji‘s “Eva y Lola,” which begins as a funky gal-pal flick about best friends who perform as a sequined punk-cabaret duo in a Buenos Aires that could easily be the downtown Manhattan of “Desperately Seeking Susan.” The terrific chemistry of the actresses (Celeste Cid and Mariela Vitale) could carry a less substantial story.
But this isn’t a romantic comedy, after all. Lola (Ms. Vitale) was born during the military dictatorship of the 1980s and was raised as an “appropriated child.” The man who has acted as her father also was responsible for torturing her imprisoned mother—life-changing facts she is only about to learn.
Also from Argentina, Mariano Llinás‘s “Extraordinary Stories” rises to the occasion of its title with a four-hour compendium of stories that revolve around three enigmatic men—X, Z and H—each caught up in a mystery made elusive through various surreal and complex devices. Likely the mostly ambitious enterprise to be screened, the film is among several that take up the Quest as a theme. The filmmakers are lucky to have such stunning landscapes at their disposal, which often become characters in their own right—a mirror, if not a balm, for wandering figures who are looking for answers. Ruben Imaz‘s “Cephalopod” is exemplary, as a grieving painter drowns the mortal loss of his love during a walkabout amid a timeless Sonoran landscape.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Entry filed under: FILM FESTIVALS, IN SPANISH..., LATIN AMERICAN FILM. Tags: ", "Cephalopod", "Eva y Lola, "Extraordinary Stories", 13th annual Latinbeat Film Festival, cine latino, cine latinoamericano, Latam film, latin american cinema, Mariano Llinás, Ruben Imaz, Sabrina Farji, south american cinema.