Critics’ Week In Cannes: An Atypical Latin American ‘Harvest’

By Dialogo
April 27, 2009

I saw Camilo Matiz 1989 is one of Vincent Gallo's best preformances, the film is amazing! a must!! Movies from Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Brazil and Paraguay have been selected for the 48th Critics' Week at the Cannes Festival, which from 14 to May 22 will give ample space to the Latin American film industry with an “atypical” proposal. 'Huacho' by Chilean Alejandro Fernández Almendras and 'Mal Día Para Pescar' by Uruguayan Alvaro Brechner are among seven films in competition for the selection of the Critics' Week competition. Although in the official selection in competition Latin America is conspicuously absent, the representation of the region’s cinema is important in this edition of the Week. Besides the films selected in competition, the programming includes '1989’ by Colombian Camilo Matiz and the shorts 'Noche Adentro’ by Paraguayan Pablo Lamar and 'Espalhadas Pelo Ar' by the Brazilian Vera Egito. The delegate general of the Week, Jean-Christophe Berjon, told AFP that this year's "harvest" of Latin American cinema was atypical. Berjon said of the absence of Argentinean and Mexican movies, “usually the two most interesting countries in the region regarding their cinematic offerings," "The reasons are different for the two. In the case of Mexico, it is because the films are not finished and most of the releases will be in mid-autumn," he said, adding that "in any case, representation is important for other countries where cinematography is becoming more creative." From Chile, 'Huacho' is the "wonderful and exciting story, classified between film and social documentary, of a day in the life of a family," he said. On the other hand, 'Mal Día Para Pescar' is “a film which is the “pleasure-movie” of the selection. It is film about a great scam with elements of western and folk history. It is beautifully constructed from A to Z; it is brilliant and makes you dream on. It is a Latin American work that is not usually seen these festivals," he said. The Colombian mid-length film '1989' will have the honor of closing the selection. "Colombia is another country bursting with film creativity," he said. "The actor in '1989' is the American Vincent Gallo. Matiz had the courage to deal with him when Gallo was shooting in Argentina with Francis Coppola; he gave him the script to read, and convinced him to act in his film, which is "brilliant, inspired, vital," he said. As for the shorts, we find in Paul Lamar in "the same radical film idiom of 'Oigo Tu Grito' which we presented last year, and we were interested in following the evolution of the film. This year was also one of the more solid ones," he said. Brazilian Vera Egito "presented two very interesting films produced in a year in which we decided not to bring her in competition, but to schedule both movies to spotlight not a work, but the filmmaker. It is a way of saying 'follow this filmmaker, and give her the best resources to work with, because she is brilliant," he explained. Berjon noted that the Week presents a limited number of films, despite receiving nearly 900 proposals. "It's a choice we made to emphasize our specificity. We have a less voluminous selection because movies, especially first or second works, are fragile, and our role is to accompany and protect them as much as possible." This time, they are all early works, except one, 'Altiplano,' the second movie co-directed by American Jessica Woodworth, who resides in Belgium, and Belgian Peter Brosens, "a strong and bold proposal that impressed us" in which Latin America is also very present. "Despite being a Belgian film, in it she speaks more in Quechua and Spanish than French or Flemish, and it was partly filmed in Peru," he said. The purpose of Critics' Week, the oldest parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival, is the discovery and promotion of young cinematic talents. The directors announced included Alejandro González Iñárritu, Bernardo Bertolucci, Barbet Schroeder, Ken Loach, François Ozon, and Wong Kar Wai.