Last week Feel Good, this week The LA Latino International Film Festival sets up in Hollywood. The opening gala is on Thursday 19th at 7.00pm at the Chinese, Venezuelan soccer/family/revenge drama Hermano. The festival runs to the middle of next week at the Egyptian and the Mann Chinese 6 across the street, and there’s a good wide spread of national representation – Latin American cinema is on a roll these days. Also, seminars, panels and a free screening of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I don’t know why.
For one reason or another, my eye has been caught by:
Closing Night Film (Wednesday 25th)
The true story of a female police captain’s investigation into the sickeningly frequent, and increasingly gruesome, murder of female laborers in a Mexican border town. Dynamically directed by multiple prize-winning Carlos Carrera, it exposes a cross-section of mid-nineties society, from the higher echelons who do not care, to the lower that do not matter. Trailer (with Jimmy Smits).
Looks indulgently delicious: a grand tale of romantic love in 19th-Century Buenos Aires, in which a fifteen your old girl is wrenched from the arms of her similarly teenaged lover, and married off to the richest man in Buenos Aires, forty years her senior. The leads are equally pretty; frocks and furniture should be a plus. Trailer.
Dios los Cria (Façade)
A Puerto Rican film from 1991, the debut of Jacobo Morales, this comprises five segments, telling different stories about two fighting brothers, a loaded confession, friendship, an aged prostitute and love. The tone is satiric, and the film is highly regarded though little seen – I’m intrigued.
The title is clear. Mary grows up in poor, rural Dominican Republic and undergoes the extreme social and sexual complications of being a hermaphrodite. With gangsters. There’s something unsettling about the last shot in the trailer.
La sangre y la lluvia (Blood and Rain)
The rather grim title apparently captures the tone, as well as the texture, of this nightmare in Bogota’s seedy underbelly. A vengeful taxi driver and a cokehead party girl get caught up with corrupt police and violent mobsters. Sounds exciting, looks pretty grim and self-important. Trailer.
Mal día para pescar (Bad Day To Go Fishing)
A con-artist promoter and his alcoholic strongman tramp through backwoods Uruguay putting on wrestling bouts until one day they bite off more than they can chew and things turn a bit noirish. A feature debut, it’s had a well-rewarded festival run thus far, from Cannes to Best Actor at Mar del Plata. Trailer.
Oveja negra (Black Sheep)
Sheep-rustling on the Mexican border; a pair of good-natured ranch hands and the boss’s son determined to catch them; the budding young chiquita who complicates matters. Trailer.
More period romance from uppercrust Buenos Aires, in the true story of Teres Wilms Montt, married off young, then sent to a convent. Actually, that’s all in uppercrust Chile, but she flees to Argentina with her lover in the early years of the twentieth century, writes poetry, dies young. She’s proud, beautiful and, in this incarnation at least, has rather good hair. Trailer.
Viajo porque precisio (I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You)
Could go either way. In the arid, deserted landscape of north-eastern Brazil a young gelogist asseses possible courses for a life-bringing canal but starts to feel isolated and adrift. Expect lots of driving/landscape shots, if the trailer is to be trusted (there’s also a strong-lady/gymnast circus act).
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