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Latin American Cinema
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A SANGRE FRIA
In this Mexican action drama, a dedicated cop with a perfect life and family and a street thug dedicated to his hood and his crew are pitted against each other in a struggle that will endanger everything that they hold dear. Stars Jorge Aldama, Alicia Encinas and Fernando Saenz. In Spanish with English subtitles.
AFRO-CUBA: YESTERDAY & TODAY
Two exciting, colorful films spotlight the African roots of Cuba's culture by focusing on two legendary artists. Afro-Cuban mythology plays a major part in
The Last Rumba of Papa Montero
(Octavio Cortazar, Martinique/Cuba, 1992, 52 mins.), a film about the rhythmic dance style known as the Rumba and the legendary rumbero, Papa Montero, who was assassinated during Carnival. Told through beautiful images, sensual music, and exciting dance performances, this story captures the traditions of Cuban life as it guides the main character to his fate. Next, the multilayered documentary
Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker
(Alessandra Muller, Switzerland/Cuba, 2005, 76 mins.), focuses on the biography of Cuba's first female director. Though trained in ethnography, Gomez later turned to making films that reflect her interests in Afro-Cuban culture and women's issues. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Octavio Cortazar/Alessandra Muller---Martinique/Cuba/Switzerland---1992/2005---128 mins.
Eslinda Nunez stars in this "passionate" (
New York Times
) drama set during World War I. Suffering an unfaithful husband, Amada falls for her cousin, a young radical named Marcial, who showers her with his idealism and unbridled enthusiasm. Co-starring Cesar Evora. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Humberto Solas---Cuba---1982---105 mins.
BOTTOM OF THE SEA
A darkly comic thriller from the New Argentine Cinema, Damian Szifron's film follows an obsessively jealous young architect (Daniel Hendler) who comes undone after discovering that his girlfriend (Dolores Fonzi) is cheating on him. Anguished and filled with rage, he begins stalking her lover over the course of a hilarious and disturbing evening. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Damian Szifron---Argentina---2003---95 mins.
CON QUIEN ANDAN NUESTROS LOCOS
Benito Alazraki's touching romantic comedy about a millionaire who falls for a beautiful woman who won't give him
el tiempo del dia
. He hilariously decides to impress her by taking on various roles, including matador and gangster, but nothing seems to impress his object of affection. From the director of the 1954 Cannes FIPRESCI winner,
The Roots (Raices)
. Starring Rosa Carmina and Manuel "Loco" Valdes. In Spanish with NO English subtitles.
Benito Alazraki---Mexico---1961---74 mins.
CUENTO DE NAVIDAD
This Spanish version of the Charles Dickens' classic
A Christmas Carol
is an animated film from Mexico suitable for the whole family. In Spanish with NO ENGLISH SUBTITLES.
Jose Luis Garcia Agraz's multi-layered drama follows a successful filmmaker (Arturo Rios) as he experiences love, loss, and redemption in three distinct but overlapping storylines. Initially, Juan (Rios) is thrown into a deep depression when his wife abandons him for another man. The shock hardly has time to linger, however, before Juan's life is again uprooted by the news of his father's death. At the end of his rope, the director meets a beautiful aspiring filmmaker who might hold the key to his personal and professional future.
was the recipient of three Mexican Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Original Story. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Jose Luis Garcia Agraz---Mexico---1994---93 mins.
EL COSTO DE LA VIDA
A modern-day tragedy about a young middle-class couple, Miguel and Patricia, who lose their jobs due to poor economic conditions in Mexico. In order to survive, they decide to commit robberies, which result in a compelling series that deteriorates their relationship and ultimately changes their lives forever. Nominated for four Ariel Awards. With Rafael Sanchez Navarro and Alma Delfina. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Rafael Montero---Mexico---1988---95 mins.
EL IMPERIO DE LA FORTUNA
Acclaimed filmmaker Arturo Ripstein (
No One Writes to the Colonel, Deep Crimson
) presents a powerful drama about a poor peasant who finds fortune in cockfighting, which leads to new wealth, corruption, and tragedy as he enters the higher-stakes gambling world. Based on a story by famed Mexican writer Juan Rulfo. With Ernesto Gomez Cruz (
) and Blanca Guerra (
). Winner of eight Ariel Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Actor (Cruz). In Spanish with English subtitles.
Arturo Ripstein---Mexico---1986---130 mins.
This popular Mexican soap opera stars pop star Daniela Romo and features Grammy Award-winner Luis Miguel's hit song "Amor Amor Amor". It follows a bitter rivalry between two families and their ongoing feud over "El Manatial", a body of water between their respective estates. In
Romeo and Juliet
fashion, attractive youngsters from each of the families are irresistably drawn to one another. In Spanish WITHOUT English subtitles.
El Rey tells the story of Pedro Rey, the mythical father of the Colombian cocaine trade. A riveting drama based on the real-life exploits of Jaime Caicedo, the legendary Al Capone of Colombia, the film tracks Rey's evolution from opportunistic businessman to megalomaniacal drug lord. Recruiting a small-time crook as his supplier, a Peace Corps worker as his North American distributor, and a Marxist revolutionary as his chemist, Rey turns the modest Colombian coke trade into a multinational corporation. The King then sets about protecting his empire by adding a cop and a politician to his team, as well as buying the loyalty of the local peasants. But in Rey's world, loyalty is a one-way street, and when the King turns his back on any of his subjects, he'd better hope that one of them doesn't put a bullet in it.
Antonio Dorado Z.---Colombia---2004---92 mins.
EL TRES DE COPAS
A woman comes between the friendship of two men in this award-winning western from Felipe Cazals (
). Raised as brothers, Pedro and Damian (Humberto Zurita and Alejandro Camacho) travel the post-Mexican War landscape pulling whatever scams and cons they can get away with. Their loyalty to one another is tested when beautiful and mysterious Casilda (Gabriela Roel) enters their lives. Nominated for five Ariel Awards. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Felipe Cazals---Mexico---1986---117 mins.
ESCUELA DE RATEROS
A jewelry thief wants Victor, an actor and violinist, to steal for him. When Victor is killed, police use a double in order to confuse and catch the murderer. Pedro Infante, in his last screen role, stars in dual roles as Victor and his look-alike, Raul. With Yolanda Verala as Victor's lover, and Rosa Arenas. In Spanish WITHOUT English subtitles.
Rogelio A. Gonzalez---Mexico---1958---95 mins.
Just as important as the stories told during the Golden Age of classic Mexican cinema are the songs featured in so many of its films. This documentary recounts the accomplishments of two of Mexico's greatest film composers: Jose Alfredo Jimenez and Salvador Flores Rivera. Jimenez, considered as crucial to Mexico's musical heritage as Woody Guthrie is to America's, wrote more than 200 songs performed by some of Mexico's finest entertainers. Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Luis Miguel, Lola Beltran and Lucha Villa are just some of the many stars making his compositions classics. In a slightly different vein, Rivera (better known as "Chava" Flores) took the keen observation of his Mexico City roots and used it to create classics of urban folk songs, reporting on the foibles of Mexican society with humor and profundity. In Spanish with English subtitles.
HAY, PENA, PENITA, PENA
Two brothers fall for the same gypsy woman, forcing her to decide between the two in this classic Mexican comedy. In Spanish with NO English subtitles.
Miguel Morayta---Mexico---1953---90 mins.
Set in the lush northern wetlands of Argentina, this minimalist, contemplative drama deals with the bipolar chemistry between Alvaro (Jorge Roman), a quiet, homosexual fisherman, and the local ferryman (Daniel Valenzuela), who secretly pines for Alvaro but bullies him to save face in front of his crew. "Beautifully textured [black-and-white] widescreen lensing conveys everything
wants to say about isolation and longing" (
). Winner of a Special Mention at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Santiago Otheguy---Argentina---2007---85 mins.
LIFE ACCORDING MURIEL
A critics' favorite in its native Argentina,
Life According to Muriel
is a moving drama with warm touches of humor. An abandoned wife and mother leave the hectic life of Buenos Aires behind her, taking her nine-year-old daughter with her to the country. An accident forces them to stay at a run-down hotel, where a cautious friendship with the proprietor--a single mother with children of her own--develops into a makeshift family. The cast includes Jorge Perugorria (
Strawberries & Chocolate
). In Spanish with English subtitles.
Eduardo Milewicz---Argentina---1997---97 mins.
LIMA: BREAKING THE SILENCE
The true story of the 1996 Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Lima, Peru, was exploited by producer-director Menahem Golan (
) for this barely-released, cheaply made action film. Vital viewing as an example of ahistorical moviemakers cheapening real events for profit. Featuring Charles Napier (
Rambo: First Blood Part II
), Billy Drago (
), and Christopher Atkins (
Menahem Golan---USA---1998---91 mins.
LUIS DE ALBA
This boxed set features four films starring popular Mexican actor Luis de Alba. Includes:
Los Pelotones de Juan Camaney
(Oscar Fentanes, 1990, 90 mins.),
La Corneta de Mi General
(Victor Manuel Castro, 1989, 90 mins.) ,
(Rafael Portillo, 1979, 105 mins.), and
Modelo de Desnudos
(Victor Manual Castro, 1983, 105 mins.). In Spanish WITHOUT English subtitles.
Victor Manuel Castro/Rafael Portillo/Oscar Fentanes---Mexico---1979-1990---390 mins.
Facing turmoil in both her personal and professional lives, a writer (Angelica Aragon) returns to her hometown to revisit the places that brought her the most joy in childhood. While there, she uncovers secrets from her past that, if known at an earlier age, would have dramatically changed her life. Winner of the Best Film Award at the Portugal International Film Festival and an Honorable Mention at the 2002 New York Latin Film festival. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Oscar Blancarte---Mexico---1999---95 mins.
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