Posted in Argentinian Film, Spanish film

EL CIUDADANO ILUSTRE (2017)

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A film by Gastón Duprat, Mariano Cohn

Cast: Oscar Martínez, Dady Brieva, Andrea Frigerio

English title:The Distinguished Citizen

Daniel Mantovani (Oscar Martinez) is a celebrated Nobel Prize-winning author living in Barcelona. His stories set in Salas Argentina but he has not return in 40 years is a matter a fact he never planed to go back. To the surprise of everyone he agrees to personally collect a trophy/reward as a ‘distinguished citizen’ and maybe rediscover his roots. It is a decision he is going to regret as the driver that pick up gets a flat tire in a middle of nowhere.

The local welcome him and the mayor boost his image because he is with a successful writer although who has not written a novel in 5 years. The Mayor has all the activities in place even the interview and the workshop with Mantovani which also include a painting competition. Meanwhile, his old friend Antonio brilliantly played by Dady Brieva who delights in seeing his friend so he can show off the fact that he married Mantovani’s old girl friends. Well thing s are not going to go to well if you know what I mean. As the film goes on you are going to feel that Mantovani is in danger and that he might or might not make it out of this town in one piece. The film is a bit predictable here but it is a well done and written dark farce.

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Posted in Argentinian Film, Based on a true story

EL CLAN (2015)

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A film by Pablo Trapero

Cast: Antonia Bengoechea, Gastón Cocchiarale, Guillermo Francella 

English: The Clan

When General Leopoldo Galtieri launched Operation Rosario which failed, included defeat and humiliation in the Falklands (or Malvinas) in 1982, it would be the end of his dictatorship and the tentative return of democracy to Argentina.

This is were this story takes place in 1982 and yes it is based on a true story.Young rugby player Alex Puccio (Peter Lanzani) politics is not his thing but rugby is and he loves it. He goes out with his friends and his fans adore him. He lives in a traditional middle-class household in a nice suburb of Buenos Aires.His sisters help each other with their homework; his young brother Guillermo (Franco Masini) obviously adores him; his mother Epifanía (Lili Popovich) teaches at the local school, and the head of the family is Arquímedes (Guillermo Francella), a white-haired man. Arquimedes own a sport store next to his home. He is doing well and business is booming. But Arquimedes needed a little more money well I guess for his 401k plan. So you hear occasional noise like scream in the basement cover sometimes by loud music. Arquímedes, with the help of his son and the connivance of the family, kidnaps people. He then gets the ransom kills them and moves on to the next victim. They are usually wealthy.

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Here is the thing the kidnapping is a tension builder but instead of having normal music Trapero uses pop song. Although the family knows what is going on some of them are not comfortable with it. It creates a tense atmosphere where it is going to feel uncomfortable.  It is hard to believe that a family went through with it. The ending is near perfect in this film Neo-Noir of course with a pop tune to go along with it. Put that on your list.

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Yes we do believe in god although the devil made me do it.
Posted in Argentinian Film, Danish Film, French film, German film, Mexican film, Netherland Film

JAUJA (2015)

Jauja (2014)

A film by Lisandro Alonso

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Ghita Nørby, Viilbjørk Malling Agger

First off don’t expect a linear, mainstream film or you may be disappointed. I just gave you the warning. The story takes place in Argentina Patagonia, and what a beautiful landscape I might add. The story goes like this. It is the 19th century and Captain Dinesen (Viggo Mortensen) is a Danish engineer on a quest to find Jauja, a mythical land of happiness. His daughter ( Viilbjork Malling Agger) wants a dog that follows her everywhere. When captain Dinesen goes to bed one night has this feeling, and decided to go to see it his daughter who should be  asleep safe and sound comes to find out that she is gone. He saddles up and goes after her.

Here is a neo-neorealism film and beyond. The film was shot in a 1.33:1 ratio frame and has unmated  rounded corners. It is a slow cinematic film so if that is not your thing do what other people did do not see it. I went to see this film and 5 people got out within 20 minutes of the film. Technically I called it an art film. You will immerse yourself in this cinematography of beautiful and raw landscape. Alonso deploys a large distance between the characters and you can see the landscape rich color. When Dinesen goes in the cave to see the old women that lives there you get the sense that is his daughter when she is older. Towards the end it is as I call it his Urban daughter, yes it is a strange art film but beautiful as hell. Yes it does not make any sense but it does not have to. Viggo Mortenson is fluent in both Danish Spanish and French. You might interpret the film differently, Alonso even said that some stuff that he really didn’t understand and he co-wrote it, how funny is that. So there you are going to love it or hate it, no in between. After all it is not your typical western.

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Posted in Argentinian Film

WILD TALES (2014)

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A film by Damián Szifrón

Cast: Liliana Ackerman, Luis Manuel Altamirano García, Alejandro Angelini

The protagonists of six stories are people who will loose their temper things start to get out of hand leading to uncontrollable catastrophe. Keep in mind that those stories are not connected. Though each short stories has a simple situation that could happen to everyone in everyday life. The situation creates a chain reaction that get worst and worst until it reaches its limits. It is told with great dark and morbid humor.

Okay here the thing in France the film is going to be open in January 14 2015. I went to a premier of it Yesterday and the 200 seats were full. I could reserved a seat with my UGC unlimited card that I have, and trust me those seat fill up fast. Wild tales has gotten of lot of attention in Cannes and other film festival. A dude came up before the film starts said that the director Damián Szifrón would come in so we can ask question about the film. I said to myself it does not get better then that. This script is well written and sharp and funny dialogue. Director of Photography Javier Julia uses a unconventional camera angle. Like for example the scene with the 2 dudes are fighting in the car. The music is upbeat and perfect in this film it does not get better that that. This is a refreshing ideas that work well as told in a dark humor kind of way. It is a non-traditional film done well, Whenit comes on DVD it is going to be in my collection. Now Szifrón said that he wrote 14 stories and he choosed those 6, some one ask him if the other one are going to surface in his other film, he replied that could be a possibility. He also meet Ricardo Darin who is a star in Argentina, a great actor, director, and writer , he is also a film buffs he watches tins of films. He was a joy to work with him. He does not have this big ego that most star has. They wanted to work together so they decided to work on this project. He also said that this is the biggest hit film in Argentina ever in all the history of cinema. he is 39 years old has done 3 films so far and now studios from Argentina as well as America are giving scrip tp pick and choose. He has been traveling all over the country to promote the film. Well I am telling you this do not miss this one.

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Posted in Argentinian Film

NINE QUEENS (2000)

A film by Fabián Bielinsky.

Stars: Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls and Leticia Brédice.

Early one morning, Marcos observes Juan successfully pulling off a bill-changing scam on a cashier, and then getting caught as he attempts to pull the same trick on the next shift. Marcos steps in, claiming to be a policeman, and drags Juan out of the store. Once they are back on the street, Marcos reveals himself to be a fellow swindler with a game of much higher stakes in mind, and he invites Juan to be his partner in crime. A once-in-a-lifetime scheme seemingly falls into their laps – an old-time con man enlists them to sell a forged set of extremely valuable rare stamps, The Nine Queens. The tricky negotiations that ensue bring into the picture a cast of suspicious characters, including Marcos’ sister Valeria, their younger brother Federico and a slew of thieves, conmen and pickpockets. As the deceptions mount, it becomes more and more difficult to figure out who is conning whom.

Posted in Argentinian Film

BUENOS AIRES 1977 (2006)

Based on a true story.In 1977, the goalkeeper of the Almagro team Claudio Tamburrini is illegally kidnapped from his home, arrested by the government forces and sent blindfolded to Sere Mansion, a clandestine detention center. His acquaintance Tano, who had been tortured for a long period, had falsely accused Claudio of being a revolutionary. Along the months, Claudio is kept nude and handcuffed together with the prisoners El Gallego, El Vasco and Guillermo Fernández and submitted to all sort of humiliations and tortures, until the night they decide to escape from their imprisonment in the old mansion. Argentina’s entry for 2007 Golden Globes Awards for the category of Best Foreign Language Film.