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CINE LATINO EN EL FESTIVAL NEW DIRECTORS / NEW FILMS

Thursday, March 21, 2013 , Posted by LATINO EVENTS Y TESPIS MAGAZINE at 4:19 PM


Celebrating its 42nd edition, New Directors / New Films is certainly one of the top film festivals around. A special festival as well, when we see together two of the most relevant cultural institutions in town: The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art. Cosas buenas, pues!.
The Festival New Directors / New Films is dedicated to the discovery of new works by emerging filmmaking talent. For this edition the festival presents 25 features (19 narrative, 6 documentary) and 17 short films representing 24 countries – all having their New York City premieres. 
Among the Latino highlights of the festival’s 42nd edition are 
Matías Peñeiro's Viola; Jazmin Lopez's Leones; Marcelo Lordello's THEY’LL COME BACK; Eryk Rocha's JARDS, plus films from Italy and France and shorts from Mexico, Colombia, Spain and Brazil. 

Other highlights include Alexandre Moors’s BLUE CAPRICE for Opening Night; the found-footage documentary, Penny Lane's OUR NIXON as the Closing Night selection; Shane Carruth’s UPSTREAM COLOR and Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL.
Another highlight will be Emil Christov’s black comedy THE COLOR OF THE CHAMELEON and Rachid Djaidani’s RENGAINE. 
Rajendra Roy, MoMA’s Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film says, “The filmmakers we welcome into the New Directors family this year are remarkably engaged with issues of our time, and the history that got us here. From the scourge of gun violence, to mental illness to the aftermath of the Arab Spring, this year's lineup feels particularly relevant to contemporary life.” 

And relevant Latino filmmaking, of course!.
Here is a rundown of Latino films in the ND/NF:



* VIOLA (2013) 63min (photo).
Directors: Matías Piñeiro
Country: Argentina
Matías Piñeiro is one of contemporary Argentine cinema’s most sensuous and sophisticated new voices. In his latest film, VIOLA, he ingeniously fashions out of Shakepeare’s Twelfth Night a seductive roundelay among young actors and lovers in present-day Buenos Aires. Mixing melodrama with sentimental comedy, philosophical conundrum with matters of the heart, VIOLA bears all the signature traits of a Piñeiro film: serpentine camera movements and slippages of language, an elliptical narrative and a playful confusion of reality and artifice. A Cinema Guild release.

* LEONES (2012) 80min
Director: Jazmin Lopez
Countries: Argentina/France/Netherlands
Is this a story about five friends wandering through a forest, or is it about a forest that receives five visitors? In this metaphysical trance film, the verdant environment is as much a character as the youngsters, enfolding them as they move through it, their playful banter, word games, and ruminations filling the air. In a succession of long takes, a gliding camera follows this enigmatic hike to nowhere. Nothing is what it seems, but a malfunctioning tape recording may contain an explanation.

* THEY’LL COME BACK (2012) 105min
Director: Marcelo Lordello
Country: Brazil
In this gentle, understated drama, an upper-middle-class 12-year-old learns how Brazil’s other half lives when she and her sullen older brother are left behind by their parents in a rural backwater. Soon, Cris (ably played by Maria Luiza Tavares, who carries the film from beginning to end) is taken in by a family living in a squatter farming community, where she waits for mom and pop to return. And waits and waits. Another fine debut from the Recife film scene, source of last year’s ND/NF hit NEIGHBORING SOUNDS.

* JARDS (2012) 93min
Director: Eryk Rocha
Country: Brazil
The celebrated composer and musician Jards Macalé is in the recording studio where director Eryk Rocha captures him in a wide variety of poses and states of creating, imaginatively varying style and shooting formats. Fashioning an intimately attuned portrait of an artist, Rocha uses his camera as an instrument to riff with Jards in a poetic exchange between images and music. The repetitive, time-stopping process of rehearsal and the flow of energy between the two art forms create an elegiac vision of the creativity of some of Brazil’s most beloved singers and musicians.

* L’INTERVALLO (2012) 86min
Director: Leonardo Di Costanzo
Country: Italy
Winner of the Critics’ Prize at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, this portrait of two adolescents thrown together under the eye of the Neapolitan Camorra has an air of menace and sexual tension. A shy ice-cream vendor (Alessio Gallo) guards a feisty girl (Francesca Riso) who has allegedly wronged a local gangster. Holed up in an abandoned building, they warily share dreams of escaping their fate. Director Di Costanzo brings documentary realism and a poetic eye to this quietly intense drama; his nonprofessional actors give beautifully shaded performances in Neapolitan dialect.

* RENGAINE (2012) 75min
Director: Rachid Djaïdani
Country: France
The French title of this no-budget urban drama translates as “refrain,” and repetition is what it embodies—in this case the well-worn story of Romeo and Juliet. Sabrina (Sabrina Hamida) accepts the marriage proposal of struggling actor Dorcy (Stéphane Soo Mongo), but Dorcy is a black Christian and Sabrina a Muslim Arab. Her eldest brother, Slimane (Slimane Dazi), enlists the 39 “brothers” in their extended clan to prevent the taboo union. Shot in the streets, this film is part love letter to the irresistible energy of Paris, part call for interracial tolerance.


LATINO SHORTS:

* EVERYTHING NEAR BECOMES FAR (2012) 11min
Director: Mauricio Arango
Countries: USA/Colombia
The peaceful daily rhythm of a farmer is violently interrupted in the heart of the breathtakingly beautiful Andean mountains.

* TABOULÉ (2012) 4min
Director: Richard Garcia
Country: Spain
How can you measure trust? A story about secret codes.

* CHIRALIA (2013) 26min
Director: Santiago Gil
Country: Germany
A boy’s disappearance at a wooded lake leads to a questioning of memory and perception.

* TO PUT TOGETHER A HELICOPTER (Para armar un helicóptero) (2012) 37min
Director: Izabel Acevedo
Country: Mexico
When summer rains bring power outages to his neighborhood, 17-year-old Oliverio comes up with an ingenious solution.

* THE VILLAGE (A Cidade) (2012) 25min
Director: Liliana Sulzbach
Country: Brazil
A small village’s inhabitants are all elderly, and no one new is moving in.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

* UPSTREAM COLOR (2012) 96min
Director: Shane Carruth
Country: USA
Ever since his 2004 debut, filmmaker Shane Carruth has prompted curiosity over what he’d come up with next. UPSTREAM COLOR meets expectations but is also starkly different and markedly advanced. It represents something new in American cinema, exploring life’s surprising jumps and science’s strange effects. A love story embedded in a kidnap plot, UPSTREAM COLOR leaps with great audacity through its sequences, a cinematic simulacrum of the way we reflect on our lives, astonished at, as in the title of Grace Paley’s fiction collection, our Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. UPSTREAM COLOR opens in NY on April 5.

* TOWER (2012) 78min
Director: Kazik Radwanski
Country: Canada
For his feature debut, Kazik Radwanski has opted to train his camera with great intensity and control on a character who utterly lacks a center or direction, even an identity. In his mid-thirties yet still living at home with his parents, Derek (Derek Bogart) struggles to make a small animation about a green creature building rock towers. He can’t maintain any real friendships, let alone romantic involvements, until he encounters Nicole (Nicole Fairbaim), who offers a glint of promise. Radwanski‘s single-minded vision suggests filmmaking of uncommon discipline combined with unmistakable empathy.

* BLUE CAPRICE (2012) 92min
Director: Alexandre Moors
Country: USA
Alexandre Moors’s remarkable debut feature explores the impulse to commit murder, following two snipers, the elder John and 17-year old Lee, who orchestrate an insidious act of gun violence that is seemingly torn from the front pages. Abandoned by his mother, Lee is taken in by John, who becomes a mentor preaching hate and teaching marksmanship. Blind loyalty grows, and death becomes mundane. Masterfully performed by Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond, the characters are disturbingly human. Moors and screenwriter R.F.I. Porto navigate the violence discreetly, focusing on the inner origins of evil. An essential film for our times.

* OUR NIXON (2013) 85min
Director: Penny Lane
Country: USA
As President Richard Nixon tape-recorded his conversations for posterity, so his devoted aides—H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Dwight Chapin—shot hundreds of rolls of Super-8 film documenting the presidency. Filmmakers Penny Lane (DIR/Co-SCR/Co-PROD) and Brian L. Frye (Co-SCR/Co-PROD) have edited this footage—virtually unseen since the FBI seized it during the Watergate investigation—and interwoven it with period news footage and pop culture, excerpts from the Nixon tapes, and contemporary interviews. OUR NIXON offers an unprecedented, insider’s view of an American presidency, chronicling watershed events including the Apollo moon landing and the path-breaking trip to China, as well as more intimate glimpses of Nixon in times of glory and disgrace.


* STORIES WE TELL (2012) 108min
Director: Sarah Polley
Country: Canada
What is real? What is true? What do we remember, and how do we remember it? Actor/director Sarah Polley turns from fiction to nonfiction, in the process cracking open family secrets. Using home movies, still photographs, and interviews, Polley delves into the life of her mother, a creative yet secretive woman. But while she is talking to her own relatives, Polley’s interest lies in the bigger picture of what families hold onto as truth. STORIES WE TELL is a delicately crafted personal essay about memory, loss, and understanding. A Roadside Attractions release.

More info? Visit the festival's page > NDNF.

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