The Starz Denver Film Festival is proud to present a selection of mexicans films

04/11/2010 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

We Are What We Are

The Mexican film industry is experiencing a period of flowering artistic growth and has clearly established itself as the cinematic leader of the Spanish-speaking world. The Starz Denver Film Festival is proud to present a selection of these works.

The Black Panther
La Pantera Negra
DIRECTOR: Iyari Wertta
Producer: Issa Guerra
Editor: Luciana Jauffred, Francisco Rivera, Yoame Escamilla
Screenwriter: Iyari Wertta
Cinematographer: Christian Rivera
Principal Cast: Enrique Arreola, Laura de Ita, Dolores Heredia, Ely Guerra, Mario Almada, Fernando Cianguerotti

Shot in the noir style of the mid-twentieth century, Mexican director Iyeri Wertta’s The Black Panther is part classic black-and-white cinema, part sci-fi and part surreal pulp fantasy. After receiving a cryptic phone call, alcoholic gumshoe Nico Beamonte embarks on a mission from God to find the Black Panther. At the same time, he is being chased by La Muerte (Death); sultry and elegantly clad in black, she bids him to locate as well the cryogenically frozen Pedro Infante, iconic Mexican movie star and music idol of the 1950s.
As Beamonte begins his hunt, going on nothing but a name, it seems he’s not alone: jockeys, men in white suits, even an ex-lover are all undergoing the same search. Beamonte remembers the innocence of a youth spent wanting to become like Pedro Infante, the epitome of a great macho: he is brave loves women (who love him back) and revels in carousing and singing. But Beamonte doesn’t come close to resembling his role model. An aimless loser, he drinks all day; even God tells him his life is pointless since he hasn’t known love or had children.

Complicating matters further is El Gringo, who wants the Black Panther at any price—including that of his own daughter, who’s engaged in an affair with a lesbian Martian. Yes, even aliens from outer space get involved in the existential dilemma of the deadbeat detective as he questions his faith, his ideals and the meaning of life.


DIRECTOR: Rubén Ímaz
Producer: Pablo Cruz, Arturo Sampson
Editor: Mariana Rodríguez
Cinematographer: Gerardo Barroso
Principal Cast: Unax Ugalde, Alejandra Ambrosi

Directed by Rubén Ímaz, Cephalopod tells an existential tale of love and loss. Starring acclaimed Basque actor Unax Ugalde as Sebastián, the drama unfolds as the young Basque-Mexican painter travels from Spain to Mexico City in an attempt to connect with his roots and mourn the sudden death of his beloved. At first, he meanders aimlessly through the capital, partying with locals, sketching the giant squid with which his lost girlfriend was obsessed, and entering into a rebound relationship with a beautiful young woman (who also supplies him with cocaine). But even as he draws strength from their no-strings-attached union, his own obsession with the cephalopod grows, as it begins to represent what he must find in order to truly release his dearly departed girlfriend.

Moving onward to the edge of the Sonoran Desert, where the blazing white sand dunes meet the surf along the Sea of Cortez, Sebastián pushes himself to his own limits—crossing the arid peninsula to rid himself of his angst while carrying out his love’s wishes in his search for the elusive squid. This haunting meditation on grief and acceptance is a coproduction of Spanish company Irusoin and Mexico’s Canana, founded by Mexican superstars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna.

To the Sea 

DIRECTOR: Pedro González-Rubio
Producer: Pedro González-Rubio, Jaime Romandia
Editor: Pedro González-Rubio
Screenwriter: Pedro González-Rubio
Cinematographer: Pedro González-Rubio
Principal Cast: Jorge Machado, Roberta Palombini, Natan Machado Palombini, Nestor Marin

Natan, aged five, is the child of a Mexican fisherman, Jorge, and Italian-born Roberta, who have decided to part ways. But before Roberta takes Natan to live in Rome, she sends him off with his father for a summer of bonding. They head for Banco Chinchorro, a pristine coral reef, where Jorge builds a palafite on stilts for them and their grandfatherly companion to settle into a life of rustic simplicity. The days pass in hushed, steady rhythms as they fish, swim and play together.

Defying categorization as either narrative or documentary, To the Sea beautifully blurs the lines between fact and fiction. Although some moments are scripted, director Pedro González-Rubio’s subjects are real people; in voiceovers, Jorge and Roberta tell the story of their beachside romance and its demise. The soulful, subtle joys shared by father and son as the latter learns nuanced life lessons from the natural world are real too. The film is a spare, sweet look at the bond between parent and child and a poignant meditation on the meaning of home: despite the heartbreaking separation that lies ahead, we know that Jorge is giving Natan the invaluable parting gift of knowing where he came from and who he is. Via that knowledge, González-Rubio articulates a sense of peace and unadorned stillness that has a lasting resonance.

We Are What We Are
Somos lo que hay

DIRECTOR: Jorge Michel Grau
Producer: Nicolás Celis
Editor: Rodrigo Rios
Screenwriter: Jorge Michel Grau
Cinematographer: Santiago Sanchez
Principal Cast: Paulina Gaitan, Adrián Aguirre, Miriam Balderas, Francisco Barreiro, Carmen Beato

The old cliché about a hard-working dad who brings home the bacon gets a disturbing new twist in Mexican director Jorge Michel Grau’s slow boil of a first feature. 
It begins with the death of an older, nondescript gentleman in a busy public walkway; after cleaning up his blood and removing his body, the police are in no rush to identify him in a city of anonymous millions. By the family he has left behind, however, he is desperately missed: three teenagers and a loyal wife have suddenly been sent into a tailspin. As we soon learn, this quartet lives by a set of very strict, cannibalistic rites that not only guide their daily activities but nourish them as well—and Papa was the only one who had mastered the rituals of hunting and preparation that must now be performed by the oldest child, Alfredo. His grieving mother and younger brother Julian—sociopathic even by the standards of this clan—initially object. But their survival depends on Alfredo’s ability to pull himself up his bootstraps, head out into Mexico City’s bustling streets and make the most of his dark inheritance. 
With creepily quiet performances by the leads (including Paulina Gaitan of Sin Nombre, who plays daughter Sabina), Grau’s debut simmers with dread and fear as it reaches its shockingly visceral climax.

Source: Denver Film Festival

Entry filed under: LATIN AMERICAN FILM. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Today at the Atlanta 25th Annual Latin American Film Festival La Pantera Negra at the Denver Film Festival next 5, 9 nd 10th Nov

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