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Film

Reel Forecast: Latin-American Film Festival, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and more

Posted by Andrés / April 6, 2012

20120406_reelforecast.jpgIt's always intriguing to see what filmmakers have to offer south of the States. While there is the occasional critical hit (The Secret in their Eyes, The Headless Woman), or a resurfaced surrealist filmmaker (Jodorowsky), I very rarely hear about the commercial or popular success of Mexican and South American films. Maybe it's because Canadian reality is so far removed from life in the southern hemisphere, but there seems to be a general lack of interest in Latin-American film. Such a shame, because as the 3rd Latin-American Film Festival's programming reveals, there's a lot of quality film to offer. And if you're asking yourself the question: "What have I watched from there since City of God?" it's high time to check this out at Cinéma du Parc. The festival starts today. Here's a few highlights ripped from the festival's program:

  • Medianeras / Sidewalls (pictured above): a clever romantic comedy that examines how a city's architecture conditions the lives of two of its residents. Taretto pays homage to Buenos Aires as he reflects on how urban chaos and new technologies unite people while still keeping them apart, as the film's title indicates. Mixing animation, photography and graphic art.
  • The Cat Vanishes: This is a very special morning for Beatriz, as she is bringing her husband Luis home from the hospital after he spent several months there recovering from a nervous breakdown. A smart, dark comedy from the acclaimed director of Historias Minimas, Carlos Sorin.
  • The Last Christeros: The plot occurs around 1925 in Mexico when the Mexican government decides to severely restrict religious freedoms. It is the story of a few rebels, The Cristeros, who fight for the right to freely and publicly practice their Catholic faith. (followed by Q&A with director Matias Meyer)
  • Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within: sequel to the Brazilian 2007 thriller and the biggest ever box-office hit in its native country.
  • Chico & Rita: Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Film in 2012, it takes place from Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas, and is about two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love.

Other screenings this week: La bête by director Walerian Borowczyk is an erotic retelling of Beauty and the Beast - rowr (+). Those looking to get a head start on Easter can catch 1913 silent film, La Vie et la Passion de notre Seigneur Jesus Christ accompanied by live music (+). Next Wednesday, the Cinematheque quebecoise begins screening selected episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. His dry murder humour before and after each segment is classy stuff. (+) Rialto Theatre also gets on the Hitchcock bandwagon with a screening of Dial M for Murder. Unfortunately, it's not the newly remastered 3D version that premiered at last year's Cannes, but it's still one of his best early films. (+) Grindhouse Wednesdays has most likely benefited from its move away from Cinema l'Amour as venue as it hosts another screening at Rialto next Wednesday. This time: Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (+) Blue Sunshine has their hands on a 16mm print of a 70s pulp crooks and cops chase movie (the kind of film that probably helped inspire Tarantino's Death Proof). Check out the trailer for Stingray (+) below:

That's all for this week. Check back again in a week's time! If you run a film club or are hosting a film event, let me know!

Images courtesy Cinema du Parc.

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