IndieWire’s The Playlist selects “No” (Pablo Larrain) and “Post Tenebras Lux” (Carlos Reygadas) as one of the Most Anticipated Foreign-Language Films Of 2012

15/01/2012 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Forget the multiplex, what’s going to be heating up the arthouse this year? 2011 saw some fantastic foreign flicks not only crowding top ten lists (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives,” “A Separation,” “Le Havre,” etc) but even some like the ode-to-silent-cinema “The Artist” entering serious Oscar chit chat. Nearly every weekend, smaller arthouses showcased exciting alternatives to the general empty-headed nonsense that fills the bigger arenas when it’s not October, November, and December. If you had the eyesight for subtitles and were willing to take a chance, there was a remedy for every “Cowboys & Aliens” just around the corner.

We’ve devised a list of foreign movies to keep on your radar during 2012, things that might not make it over here right away (or, unfortunately, at all) but are absolutely worth a slot in the memory bank for a later date. There’s still plenty of room for surprise — aside from the occasional falter of an anticipated work, there are likely plenty of films by new directors that we couldn’t possibly know about. The list also excludes things that we had seen already on the festival circuit last year that will be making it to our shores later in the year (“Once Upon A Time In Anatolia,” “The Kid With A Bike,” etc) and a couple that ended up on our larger Most Anticipated list (Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster,” which we’ve been talking about for decades already, and “Rust And Bone,” Jacques Audiard’s follow up to the incredible “A Prophet,” starring Marion Cotillard). Still there is lots to look forward to and keep an eye out for.
Remember boys and girls, support your local indie/arthouse theater.

“No” – dir. Pablo Larrain – Chile
Synopsis: A black comedy centering on an ad executive’s campaign to oust Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
What You Need To Know: For some reason the distribution deities haven’t been kind to Pablo Larrain. Both “Tony Manero” and “Post-Mortem” were stark, harrowing and darkly funny movies cut from the same cloth of our favorite 1970s renegade new wavers, yet the former barely blipped in theaters and the latter remains without a passport. However, with Gael Garcia Bernal in tow and a picture described by producer Juan de Dios Larrain as “an epic David and Goliath story (and) a black comedy with attitude,” this closing film in the director’s Pinochet trilogy should be a rousing one, unlikely to be given the same short shrift as the others. It’ll be interesting to see how much of Larrain’s aesthetic survives with such an optimistic crowd-pleaser.
When? Filmed in November, so a fall festival bow seems likely.

“Post Tenebras Lux” – dir. Carlos Reygadas – Mexico
Synopsis: Described as an expressionist painting, this will be a semi-autobiographical tale about the director’s feelings, memories, dreams, hopes and fears.
What You Need To Know: If there’s any director who should be set free of structural shackles, it has to be Carlos Reygadas. His signature loose narratives always allowed him to really explore the small and the weird, so with even less of a narrative structure form and coming from what seems to be a deep personal well, his latest film, “Post Tenebras Lux,” should prove to be a true work of art. Coming off the incredible Cannes Jury prize winner and Martin Scorsese favorite, “Silent Light,” there are plenty of reasons to be excited for his one. A holdover from last year’s list, the film definitively went before cameras last fall, so we should end up seeing it before 2012 is out.
When? Cannes feels a tad early, although we’re sure organizers will want him. Venice might be more likely.

Source: by Oliver Lyttelton for The Playlist


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