Probables títulos para la Quincena de Cannes (ION Cinema)

New logo. New website. New artistic director. Olivier Pere exited to become the head honcho at Locarno, so the Director's Fortnight, also known as La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, will be Frederic Boyer's baby this year. The mandate will remain the same, but will the tastes differ? Pere's legacy includes some of my favorites over the past decade such as Corneliu Porumboiu's 12:08 East of Bucharest, Anton Corbijn's Control, Ramin Bahrani's Chop Shop, Pablo Larraín's Tony Manero, Bong Joon-ho's The Host, Lodge Kerrigan's Keane and Im Sang-soo's The President’s Last Bang.

Last year's major coup was landing Francis Ford Coppola to present Tetro. While the film selections won't be named for another two weeks, I've decided to quickly list some titles that might show up in the section, and having spotted both curators in Park City this year, we can expect in upwards of two, or perhaps even three Park City titles to end up in this sidebar. This is usually a French film heavy section, here are some titles that could very well be there this year, or cross into a different Cannes section altogether. The titles below were on my initial list that I compiled back in February - I figure I'll get a couple of them right as I'm casting a wide net. The selections will be announced on April 20th.

22nd of May - Koen Mortier
At Ellen's Age (Im Alter von Ellen) - Pia Marais
Black Heaven (L'autre Monde) Gilles Marchand
The Details - Jacob Aaron Estes
Fuga Mortis - Kirill Mikhanovsky
Gigola - Laurence Charpentier
Here - Braden King
Incendies - Denis Villeneuve
In Your Hands (Sous ton Emprise) - Lola Doillon
La vida util - Federico Veiroj
Kaboom - Gregg Araki
Love, Imagined (Les Amours imaginaires) - Xavier Dolan
Memoria - Henning Carlsen & Ricardo Del Rio
Morgen - Marian Crisan
Naufragio - Pedro Aguilera
Norwegian Wood - Tran Anh Hung
Our Grand Despair - Seyfi Teoman
Post Mortem - Pablo Larrain
Prey - Antoine Blossier
Le Quattro Volte - Michelangelo Frammartino
Rebecca H. - Lodge Kerrigan
Shit Year - Cam Archer
Svinalangorna - Pernilla August
Tuesday, After Christmas - Radu Muntean
The Tree - Julie Bertucelli
Two Gates of Sleep - Alistair Banks Griffin
Where the Boys Are (Short Film) - Bertrand Bonello
What's Wrong with Virginia - Dustin Lance Black
White, White World - Oleg Novkovic
Womb - Benedek Fliegauf
Yelling To The Sky - Victoria Mahoney

"El hombre de al lado", de Mariano Cohn y Gastón Duprat (New Films/New Directors)

By Ed Gonzalez/Slant (2 out of 4 stars)

There's a moment during The Man Next Door where Victor, the boorish character played by Daniel Aráoz, invites his next-door neighbor Leonardo, a successful architect who lives in Buenos Aires's Casa Curutchet (the only residential house designed and built by Le Corbusier in the Americas), to a bar so they can iron out their differences, but refuses to go to the one on the corner because there are too many "negros" there. The word—slang, in Spanish, for a black person, and one whose insult is proportional to the harshness of its intonation—is curiously translated on screen as "redneck." People at the film's press screening laughed at Victor when they should have scoffed at him, since the relaxed manner in which he says the word reveals him to be as problematic a citizen of the world as his condescending neighbor. The sketchy translation makes cute what should have been repulsive.

The film opens with the heady shot of a wall being sledgehammered on one side, the part painted black, with such force that that it creates a hole further down the wall, on the part painted white. This visual motif, like much of the film, feels neat, as it so easily and concisely reduces the film's conflict to a symbol. But in the story, it isn't black that's pitted against white, but the uncouth against the refined, after Victor starts knocking down part of a wall in his home to make a window. In a show of gross haughtiness, Leonardo objects to the construction, claiming that it's illegal and that it allows Victor to peer at his wife and daughter's nakedness, when it's obvious that his real objection is to how the window disrupts the symmetry of the Curutchet's Zen-like architecture. Peering at the darker-skinned man in charge of making the window, Leonardo even makes a comment about the terribleness of his country.

The home, a pretentious repository of Eames-era décor, is itself a symbol: a representation of the coldness and aloofness of snobs like Leonardo, who devotes his life to purposefully complicating the function of common furniture and derives pride from building walls between people. He treats his servant all right, but his daughter inexplicably doesn't speak to him and his equally repugnant wife doesn't fuck him, seemingly content with the occasional peck she asks for while he's at work on his computer. After trying and failing to appeal to Leonardo's common sense and decency, telling him that his window is for the sake of absorbing a little sun, Victor gives up on the window, though in its unfinished state it continues to wreck havoc on Leonardo's mind. What Victor represents—and obviously so—is an affront to Leonardo's blinkered sense of complacency, a barbarian at another barbarian's gate, the Bugs Bunny to his Elmer Fudd, a constant gnawing at his conscience.

But Victor's behavior, the good spirit with which he takes Leonardo's anti-window crusade, feels unrealistic. He's too much a conceit on the filmmaker's part, for a man of his credible crudeness, and one with such a highly tuned bullshit meter, probably would have told Leonardo to shove something up his ass before putting up with his arrogance. His repeated attempts to befriend Leonardo, even when the architect has threatened to sue him, even when the architect has insulted his mentally-handicapped uncle, seem to have no effect on the man or his behavior, even after a predictable incident fortuitously lures Victor into Leonardo's home. The filmmakers unimaginatively and redundantly, though sometimes amusingly, elucidate on two age-old adages: about how men who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and how the more things change the more things stay the same. But the thing they do simplest of all is repeatedly call out Leonardo's incorrigible arrogance—and it becomes like shooting fish in a barrel.

Recomendaciones del BAFICI: "The Girl", de Fredrik Edfeldt

The Girl, de Fredrik Edfeldt (2009), Suecia (8) Los suecos tienen algo con las historias de "coming of age". Me viene a la mente el recuerdo de los filmes de los '80 de Lasse Hällstrom, tanto "My Life as a Dog" como su incursión norteamericana "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?". Salteándome seguramente muchas cosas aparece "Fucking Amal", de Lukas Moodyson, hasta llegar, claro, a la "coming-of-age" definitiva de los últimos tiempos: "Let the Right One in", aquí mala llamada "Criaturas de la noche". Con ese filme, "The Girl" comparte algo importante: su director de fotografía. Pero allí donde todo era helado y oscuro, aquí el look se acerca a un verano campestre, pasado de brillos, bañado por la nostalgia y un recuerdo ligeramente edulcorado.

También comparte una época: "The Girl" transcurre en 1981 y cuenta la historia de una chica de nueve años que se queda sola en su casa cuando sus padres se van a Africa. El filme narrará más el estado de ánimo y las pequeñas peripecias de la niña (con los adultos, adolescentes, amigos de su edad y esos extraños vecinos con look de pedófilos que siempre hay en las pelis escandinavas) y no llega, a mi gusto, a la categoría de Gran Película por cierto excesivo preciosismo, un tinte de nostalgia que por momentos (especialmente al final) bordea lo publicitario (lo que no es raro porque de ahí proviene el director).

Películas suecas sobre niños parece ser el tema del momento si encima se toma en cuenta la ganadora al Premio a la Mejor Opera Prima en Berlín este año: otro filme sueco ( “Sebbe” de Babak Najafi) para y sobre adolescentes. Y también ganaron menciones en Berlín el año pasado y premios por sus cortos y largos. Una cinematografía que empieza a ser reconocida por esos lados (operas primas y cortos) es la que, cuatro/cinco años después, termina "sorprendiendo" al mundo con premios grandes en Cannes. Vayan agendando Suecia!

"The Girl" no será una obra maestra a lo "Criaturas de la noche". Pero estas criaturitas del día podrían ser sus parientes cercanos...

"Te irás al campo" de Fran Gayo

Ya que no hay artistas internacionales, bien podría el BAFICI hacer que su coordinador de programación, el Sr. Fran Gayo (voz) nos regale un conciertillo en el Espacio BAFICI. Media pila, Fran!

"Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa" (Criterion DVD Extras - Online)

Link (Entrevista de Jean Pierre Gorin a Pedro Costa)
Link (Trailer japonés de "Juventud en marcha")

By Cyril Neyrat
The work of Pedro Costa has progressed in slow, measured steps, but each step has been a giant leap. His slowness is both the condition and the consequence of ethical standards he shares with precious few directors of his generation. This is no longer the old question of the relationship between subject and form but one of a daily work ethic endowing each decision regarding the frame or the lighting, and searching every face or word, with the same emotional gravity, the same seriousness, so that the film’s rhythm is perfectly attuned to the rhythm of life. Yet nothing could be further from the documentary pseudo-transparency inherited from Direct Cinema than these monumental, hieratic, and feverish films, realized with ceremonial rigor. The singularity of Pedro Costa’s work is found in an unrelentingly hardworking approach to form, but one based on a rare quality of patience, passivity, and surrender to the people and places filmed.

Ossos, In Vanda’s Room, Colossal Youth: until the next one comes along, these films form a temporary trilogy at the heart of Costa’s body of work. We’ll call it the Fontainhas Trilogy, so long as we agree that the name refers to a community as much as to a place. Fontainhas is the name of a Lisbon neighborhood that no longer exists, that was demolished, a squalid outlying area, a mix of casbah and shantytown, where a population of Portuguese subproletarians and Cape Verdean immigrants once tried to scrape by. In discovering these people and this neighborhood and setting up camp there, Costa became who he is and found his own territory, both in life and in film.

One could identify two primal scenes, two authentic foundations of this territory, both of which are distinct from the chronological beginnings of Costa’s career.

Nineteen ninety-four: Costa has just shot his second feature in Cape Verde, Casa de lava. This first break with his past—the decision to film there, in the former colony, lost off the coast of Africa—takes the opposing course to his first feature. Shot after he finished film school in Lisbon, O sangue (1989) is an unusually beautiful film, but one that is closed, fantasized, shot in the sphere of a cinephile mythology and saturated with references and admiration. To leave for Cape Verde was to set out to sea, to choose to be on Portugal’s margins for the first time, and to run the risk of losing himself. It was a salutary perdition, for over there Costa discovered a land, a history, and a sense of humanity from which he would never stray. As he prepared to return to Portugal, he was asked to play postman, to deliver letters and presents to Cape Verdean immigrants in the suburbs of Lisbon. Thus he discovered Fontainhas and loved it immediately, for both its human and its aesthetic qualities. He began hanging out there, meeting people, having drinks and smoking cigarettes with them. One day, he met Vanda and Zita Duarte, two junkie sisters, savage beauties who spent their days in their bedroom, talking and smoking heroin. He decided to make his next film there, with these people, these women. That would be Ossos.

His work’s second primal scene has taken on the luster of legend, though it is undoubtedly true and absolutely practical. In 1997, Pedro Costa made Ossos in Fontainhas. This was a traditional production, shot in 35 mm, with tracks, floodlights, and assistants. Costa was a professional, a part of the Portuguese film industry. The shoot proceeded with everyone doing his job, following the routine of European art film. And the uneasiness grew, the feeling that a lie was being told, that an imbalance both moral and totally concrete was taking root on both sides of the camera. Costa later said: “The trucks weren’t getting through—the neighborhood refused this kind of cinema, it didn’t want it.” Too much squalor and despair in front of the camera, too much money, equipment, and wasted energy behind it. And too much light shining in the night of a neighborhood of manual laborers and cleaning women who got up at 5:00 a.m. So one night, Costa decided to turn off the lights and pack up the extra equipment, in an attempt to diminish the shameful sense of invasion and indecency. His action was doubly groundbreaking because in what he did, Costa found his own light, that quality of darkness and nuance he would constantly hone from that night on, and because he understood that the cinema of tracking shots, assistants, producers, and lights was not his. He didn’t want it. What he wanted was to be alone in this neighborhood with these people he loved. To take his time, to find a rhythm and working method attuned to their space and their existence. To start with a clean slate, from scratch. To reinvent his art. Three years after this leap into the void, In Vanda’s Room became the result of this departure—in Costa’s work but also in the history of the cinema.

But let’s come back to Ossos. Today, we should be able to appreciate the film both on its own terms, putting aside the works that followed, and in relation to In Vanda’s Room and Colossal Youth, the distance traveled from it to them. In and of itself, it is one of the most beautiful films of the nineties, exemplifying a current of the era’s auteurist cinema yet already reaching beyond it. The last fires of a dying European aesthetic glow in Ossos: an elliptical plot, highly composed wide shots held for a long time, the generally unmoving and silent presence of characters who preserve their mysterious density until the end. But a new energy is blowing on the embers, that of a brutal reality that auteur cinema had always avoided confronting: that impossible but oh-so-real location, those desperate people, enraged and resisting, suddenly visible, radiating a dark light. What is striking, when we consider the films that came after, is the extent to which Costa is already taking flight, despite the weight of traditional filmmaking. The people of Fontainhas—Vanda, Zita, and the others—play characters, embody parts. But Costa is already filming their pure presence in space, their strength, their resistance, capturing what is beneath the actors, the truth of the individuals.

The film was welcomed by moviegoers, given a prize at Venice, praised by the critics—and co-opted by the Portuguese political class and media, seemingly stunned to discover in their city of Lisbon such a level of poverty, of which they feigned ignorance. In the career of any European auteur, Ossos would be a great first peak; for Pedro Costa, it marked the realization that he had reached a dead end, the conclusion of a certain way of making films. He could have continued in the same vein and become one of the masters of European auteur film. Leaving that well-worn path, he ventured into unknown territory, territory that politicians and the media could no longer touch. (In Vanda’s Room and Colossal Youth were celebrated by critics and festivals the world over—the latter screened in competition at Cannes in 2006—but they did not have the box-office success of Ossos. Still, they had something better: in each viewer who felt the films looking at him or her, they sparked the certainty that an essential encounter—an expansion of life—had taken place, something far beyond admiration.)

Nineteen ninety-eight: For three years, Danish and other filmmakers had been shooting films with small digital cameras. A hypocritical Dogme claimed to return to the sources of cinema, but its vow of chastity only disguised the same old stories and seductive provocations. Costa bought a Panasonic DV and went to Fontainhas alone, every day. Vanda and Zita had invited him into their room: “Come, you’ll see what our lives are really like. You used to ask us to be quiet; now we’re going to talk, you’re going to listen. That’s all we do, talk and take drugs.” Over six months, alone with his DV camera, a mirror he found on-site, and cobbled-together reflectors, Costa reinvented his cinema: facing the bed, he looked for frames and strove to master the light that came in through a single tiny window, as in a Dutch painting. When he left this green room, he would meet some guys and get to know them, learn to film them. They talked a lot less than the girls: they shot up, tinkered, survived. After the six months, a sound engineer came to lend a hand from time to time. He recorded the girls’ speech, the murmur of Fontainhas, the sounds of the bulldozers and the mechanical diggers tearing the condemned neighborhood’s houses down one by one. The miracle of In Vanda’s Room is that of a new agreement between the world and the film, of a recovered equality between the two sides of the camera.

A year of shooting, a year of editing. Taking full advantage of the working possibilities offered by DV, this liberated cinema reversed the formula adopted by Ossos and traditional productions: no money, making do with the absolute minimum, but time regained and unlimited. Costa reinvented a solitary, craftsmanlike cinema, operating at the pace of everyday life: going into the neighborhood each morning, looking, working, doing nothing, picking from the stream of life and energy flowing before the camera something that might give rise to a scene. And then repeat it, do it over—up to twenty times—until the beauty and the intellectual and imaginary power of a sculpted reality made dense and musical are revealed. With In Vanda’s Room, Costa strips cinema bare, but far from wallowing in an aesthetic poverty that would add to the humiliation of the underprivileged of Fontainhas, he rediscovers in this subtraction the aura of the great primitive and classic cinemas, and their ability to reveal and celebrate the beauty of the world, the beauty of sounds and colors, of a ray of light passing through shutters to illuminate three bottles set on a wood table. Not a cosmetic beauty but one that is caustic and critical—a beauty that allows us to see, hear, and feel the strengths and weaknesses, the pride and shame, the despair and the life that resists and rises up against destruction and annihilation. Notions of fiction and documentary become obsolete; nothing is written or made up, but the people speaking or silent before the camera populate the richest, most bewitching cinematic universe.
Thus the leap into the void opened the possibility of and set the example for a rejuvenation and renewed power of cinema, the power of bearing witness and telling stories, the political power of an art that has tipped to the other side of the world, taking the side of the other half that Jacob Riis and fellow citizen photographers documented in the slums of New York in the early twentieth century. In Vanda’s Room places cinema back in the greatest tradition of realism: a diagonal that cuts through the art of the twentieth century, connecting Griffith and Straub, Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Warhol and Costa.

By the time In Vanda’s Room was released, the Portuguese government had nearly completed the demolition of Fontainhas. Yet Costa knew he would remain faithful to the neighborhood and that other films would accompany the history of this people. Once again, it wasn’t an idea but an encounter that ignited the flame. Costa met Ventura, an enigmatic presence who seemed to have walked out of a Tourneur film and who had haunted the shoot of In Vanda’s Room without ever finding a place on-screen. Attracted then impressed by Ventura and his soothsayer’s eyes, sorcerer’s silences, and zombie stiffness, Costa made him the soul and guide of a new epic journey. The fruit of three years of dogged work, Colossal Youth was another giant leap into another cinematic dimension.

In Vanda’s Room the film resembles Vanda the girl and the direct, equal-to-equal relationship Costa established with her. Colossal Youth is as different from the earlier work as Ventura is from Vanda. Ventura is the one to dictate the film’s form, to invite Costa to leave behind the horizontality of the chronicle for the verticals and oblique lines of the great epic form. Ventura is a block of strangeness, an anachronistic presence who carries within him the entire history of his people and their neighborhood. Costa keeps a low profile in front of Ventura, sets his camera at a low angle to raise the film to the heights of its hero. Everything starts here, before the singularity of a character. In Notes for an African Orestes, Pasolini recognized the characters of Aeschylus’s tragedies in the demeanors and faces of Ugandan farmers. Costa repeats this gesture of magical incantation by seeing in Ventura a king without a kingdom, by hearing in his story that of a strange prophet who carries his slow gait and oracular words through the ages. This is no longer the dense, musical present of In Vanda’s Room but a multiple and ambiguous time, an arrangement of layers of time, traversed and connected by Ventura’s body and words. His words also change dimensions: no more prosaic conversations and logorrhea, but a tangle of monologues telling legendary tales and dialogues spoken without looking, in a vision beyond sight, punctuated by the sharp, decisive, and founding words of Ventura. It is also another articulation of life and death. The destruction of Fontainhas set the line of flight for In Vanda’s Room, on which some would die and others would survive. In Colossal Youth’s sedimented time, the living and the dead hold each other by the hand, wander together between memories of the past, the dark ruins of Fontainhas, and the uninhabitable whiteness of so-called social housing. But already life was demanding new spaces. After Colossal Youth, Costa shot two short films with Ventura—Tarrafal and The Rabbit Hunters—stories of exile and wandering that may herald a continuation: after the loss of a neighborhood, a space to live in, the necessity for Ventura and his children to invent a country and a territory for themselves, over the course of a film. That would be the next step.

Between In Vanda’s Room and Colossal Youth, Costa directed Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, a portrait of filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet as they worked on their film Sicilia! in the editing room: Costa refining his method in another chamber film, alone with his DV camera in a single room with a door opening on a hallway. Lessons from the venerated older masters Straub and Huillet permeate Colossal Youth in a way not seen in Costa’s previous films—the hieratic radiance of bodies and faces, the incantatory power of speech. Standing motionless in door frames, Ventura provides a tragic variation of Straub’s comical routine at the entrance of the editing room. Though Colossal Youth’s space is infinitely more complex, it remains a chamber film, in the sense of the term chamber music. Restricted space, masterfully delineated with natural light, becomes a resonance chamber for physical presences and voices differentiated and modulated like musical instruments. On this score, Costa reaches for Godard’s highest ambition with the combined means of Straub and Tourneur.

Costa admits to being proud of one thing: of creating an archive of a people and a neighborhood, one film at a time. Yet he does even more: he writes their legend, paints their history, sculpts their monument. His is also the counterhistory of a country, the Portugal of the betrayed revolution. Ossos, In Vanda’s Room, Colossal Youth: the movement that connects and separates these three films goes back further, to an older source, found in the room where, in the late seventies, the student Pedro Costa ruminated on the Portuguese betrayal, in a solitude populated by punk antiheroes and rebellious filmmakers.

Cyril Neyrat has served on the editorial board of Cahiers du cinéma and as editor in chief of the film journal Vertigo. His film criticism has been published internationally in periodicals, in catalogs, in collected volumes, and on the website independecia.fr. He works as a programmer and curator for a variety of festivals and institutions, and teaches film at the Geneva University of Art and Design. He collaborated with Pedro Costa on a book of interviews published with the French edition of the DVD of In Vanda’s Room.

Translated by Nicholas Elliott.


Recomendaciones BAFICI: agregados

La mujer sin piano, de Javier Rebollo (8) Rebollo quiere hacer una suerte de Kaurismaki español y le sale bastante bien, gracias especialmente a Carmen Machi (cuyo rostro funciona para el efecto pavloviano que produce el filme) y un increíble personaje polaco que arregla televisores y que ofrece muchas de las mejores frases del año. Si Kaurismaki hubiese hecho "Después de hora", de Scorsese, no se parecería a esto. Pero casi.

La religiosa portuguesa, de Eugene Green (7) Lejos de sus dos obras maestras anteriores, es el caso de un cineasta que llega a una ciudad -en este caso, Lisboa- y pierde la chapa por sus callecitas, su música, sus paisajes. En medio de eso, claro, mezcla su mundo de citas medievales y su estilo parco, bressoniano, de actuación. No es "Fados", de Saura, por suerte, pero tampoco es "En la ciudad de Sylvia", del otro JLG.

Norteado, de Rigoberto Perezcano (7) Esta película mexicana sobre un tipo de Oaxaca que quiere cruzar la frontera con EE.UU., rebota y se queda varado en Tijuana, donde conoce dos mujeres solas que, bueno, ya saben, podría haber sido terrible. Pero Perezcano maneja muy bien un tono discreto, sensible, por momentos visualmente rico y evita caer en el melodrama. El plano del hombre-sofá es, sin dudas, un gran momento del cine de los últimos tiempos.

Aclaración: saqué las funciones de prensa porque aparentemente va a haber algunos cambios y las están revisando. Esto es asi: un work in progress...

Candidatos para el Festival de Cannes (Cineuropa)

Rumours are circulating in Paris two weeks ahead of the press conference at which the official selection for the 63rd Cannes Film Festival (May 12-23, 2010) will be unveiled. And uncertainty will reign until April 15 for this year many films are apparently caught up in a race against time to be ready for Cannes.

According to our sources, the race for the Palme d’Or will almost certainly include Tree of Life by US director Terrence Malick; Biutiful by Mexico’s Alejandro González Inárritu (see news); Tamara Drewe by UK director Stephen Frears (see news); Another Year by fellow Brit Mike Leigh; and two Korean films: Poetry by Lee Chang-dong and The Housemaid by Im Sang-soo.

The competition line-up may also include US director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Miral by fellow US filmmaker Julian Schnabel, Outrage by Japan’s Takeshi Kitano, and two Argentinean features: Pablo Trapero’s Carancho and Diego Lerman’s Moral Sciences. Hungary also hopes to be selected in extremis with Bela Tarr’s The Turin Horse, or even Kornel Mundruczo’s The Frankenstein Project (see news).

On the French side, the die is not yet cast, although favourites include Olivier Assayas’s Carlos (which would be screened in its long version - see news); Bertrand Tavernier’s La Princesse de Montpensier (see news); and Rachid Bouchareb’s Outside the Law (see news). Guillaume Canet’s Little White Lies (see news) is an outsider favourite.

Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s French/Italian co-production The Certified Copy could be selected out of competition (the fact that its star Juliette Binoche appears on the Cannes 2010 poster seems incompatible with a competition screening), as could Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux’s French animated film The Rabbi’s Cat.

Among the other most-cited possible Croisette contenders (a non-exhaustive list including all sections) are Jean-Luc Godard’s Socialism; Black Heaven by France’s Gilles Marchand (see news); Tournée (“Tour”) by fellow French director Mathieu Amalric; Rabbit Hole by US director John Cameron Mitchell; Uncle Boonmee by Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul; The Essence of Killing by Poland’s Jerzy Skolimowski (see news); Romanian features Aurora by Cristi Puiu (see news) and Principles of Life by Constantin Popescu; Adrienn Pal by Hungary’s Agnes Kocsis (see news); R U There by Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek; and All Good Children by young Brit director Alicia Duffy (see news).


Posibles títulos para el Festival de Cannes (Screendaily)


Aditya Assarat
High Society (Thailand)

Im Kwon-taek
Untitled 101st film (South Korea)

Im Sang-soo
The Housemaid (South Korea)

Jia Zhang-ke
Untitled documentary (China)

Lee Chang-dong
Poetry (South Korea)

Takeshi Kitano
Outrage (Japan)

Takashi Miike
Thirteen Assassins (Japan)

Sion Sono
Cold Fish (Japan)

Johnnie To
Death Of A Hostage (Hong Kong)

Tran Anh Hung
Norwegian Wood (Japan)

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand)

Hiromasa Yonebayashi
The Borrower Arrietty (Japan)


Shirley Barrett
South Solitary

Julie Bertucelli
The Tree (France-Australia)


Xavier Dolan
Love, Imagined


Olivier Assayas
Carlos (mini-series)

Zingaro Revisited

Xavier Beauvois
Of Gods & Men

Bertrand Blier
The Clink Of Ice

Rachid Bouchareb

Laure Charpentier

Jean-Paul Civeyrac
Des Filles En Noir

Isabelle Czajka
Living On Love Alone

Lola Doillon
Sous Ton Emprise

Jean-Luc Godard
Film Socialism

Otar Iosseliani

Abdellatif Kechiche
Black Venus

Abbas Kiarostami
Certified Copy

Gilles Marchand
Black Heaven

Julian Schnabel

Bertrand Tavernier
The Princess Of Montpensier


Benedek Fliegauf
Womb (Germany-Hungary-France)

Lars Kraume
The Days To Come

Chris Kraus

Pia Marais
At Ellen’s Age

Sophie Schoukens
Marieke, Marieke

Oliver Stoltz
Chanda’s Secrets

Tom Tykwer


Sergio Castellitto
La Belezza Del Somaro

Saverio Costanzo
The Solitude Of Prime Numbers

Daniele Luchetti
La Nostra Vita

Mario Martone
We Believed (Noi Credevamo)

Alberto Negrin
Memories Of Anne Frank

Gabriele Salvatores
Happy Family

Latin American

Patricio Guzman
Nostalgia De La Luz (Chile)

Pablo Larrain
Post Mortem (Chile)

Sergio Machado
The Two Deaths Of Quincas Wateryell (Brazil)

Michael Rowe
Ano Bisiesto (Mexico)

Pablo Trapero
Carancho (Argentina)

Middle East

Maryam Keshavarz
Circumstance (Iran)

Dover Koshashvili
The Duel (US-Israel)

Russia And Easter Europe

Marian Crisan
Morgen (France-Romania-Hungary)

Nikita Mikhalkov
The Exodus — The Fortress: Burnt By The Sun 2 (Russia)

Kornel Mundruczo
Untitled (Hungary)

Cristi Puiu
Aurora (Romania)

Danis Tanovic
Cirkus Columbia (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Bela Tarr
The Turin Horse (Hungary)


Susanne Bier
The Revenge (Denmark)

Stig Bjorkman
Flashback Bergman (Sweden)

Per Fly
The Woman That Dreamed About A Man (Denmark-Sweden-Norway)

Bent Hamer
Home For Christmas (Norway)

Petter Naess
Shameless (Norway)

Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson
Sound Of Noise (Sweden)


Iciar Bollain
Even The Rain

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Julio Medem
Room In Rome

Guillem Morales
Julia’s Eyes

Jonas Trueba
Todas Las Canciones Hablan De Mi

Andrucha Waddington


Stephen Frears
Tamara Drewe

Mike Leigh
Another Year

Kevin Macdonald
The Eagle Of The Ninth

David Mackenzie
The Last Word

Peter Mullan


Woody Allen
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger (US-Spain)

Darren Aronofsky
Black Swan

Gela Babluani

John Cameron Mitchell
Rabbit Hole

Sofia Coppola

Jodie Foster
The Beaver

Lodge Kerrigan
Rebecca H

Terrence Malick
The Tree Of Life

Oren Peli
Area 51

Kelly Reichardt
Meek’s Cutoff

Bruce Robinson
The Rum Diary

Robert Rodriguez

David O Russell
The Fighter

Sylvester Stallone
The Expendables

Julie Taymor
The Tempest

Peter Weir
The Way Back

Festival de Cannes: poster (alta definición)

copyright © Brigitte Lacombe – graphic design Annick Durban

BAFICI: doce consejos estúpidos

-No compren entradas para películas que después se estrenan. Son las más difíciles de conseguir, curiosamente, y en general todas están online.

-No crean que las películas que están en competencia son mejores que las otras ni se manden directo a comprarlas. Lo único que las diferencia de las demás es que son primeras y/o segundas películas y que le gustaron a casi todos los programadores del festival. Las demás están menos "consensuadas", pero pueden ser mejores.

-Las películas nacionales en Competencia Internacional y/o Competencia Argentina tampoco tienen porqué ser mejores que las demás argentinas, ni las primeras mejores que las segundas. BAFICI a veces programa "a contrapelo" y eso está muy bien.

-No crean que pueden llegar en 15 minutos del ABASTO al MALBA. Siempre tengan en cuenta los cinco minutos de promo antes de cada peli y que suelen empezar otros cinco tarde. Ahi ya te quedan cinco para ir al Malba. Taxi y rezar, única opción posible.

-Las funciones de prensa se reconocen porque la gente no se ríe, toma café todo el tiempo, se habla más en inglés que un sábado a la noche en La Cabrera y todos se hacen (nos hacemos) chistes privados que los demás no entienden. Lo divertido es que pueden ver quien se queda dormido...

-Si lo encuentran a Sergio Wolf paseando por algún pasillo, no le hablen. Las consecuencias de una conversación con Wolf en "estado BAFICI" siempre terminarán dejándote nervioso y preocupado quien sabe porqué motivo. Con Fillipelli puede pasar lo mismo: sólo que encima vas a terminar borracho.

-No confíen en los textos del catálogo. Ningún programador va a decir que la peli sobre la que está escribiendo "es medio una poronga..."

-El wifi de Starbucks se transformará en la nueva sala de prensa? Estoy muy tentado...

-No crean a los periodistas que pasan delante de las colas con la excusa "estamos trabajando". Por más que sea verdad, no es motivo para colarse.

-Indefectiblemente, la función post-almuerzo es la más difícil de todos los festivales. Si no palmás ahí, te dan un premio a la resistencia. Salvo que hagas como un colega peruano que ve las películas parado al fondo para no dormirse!

-Cuatro películas por día es más que suficiente. A la quinta, el cerebro deja de distinguir entre la pantalla, la cena, la cama y la cara de Ricardo Fort.

-Buena forma de programarse un festival. Más pelis los primeros días (al comienzo se permiten hasta cinco), descendiendo levemente hasta llegar a una, el último día. Treinta por festival está más que bien. No entren en la competencia por títulos: siempre va a existir alguno que vio más que vos. Y que yo...


Radio Micropsia: Episodio 19

Por Radio Nacional (FM 93.7), domingos de 20 a 22hs.
O por internet, entrando por aquí.

Novedades musicales (sí, la banda de sonido de "Greenberg", con música de James Murphy, además de Rufus Wainwright, Paul Weller, Divididos, She & Him, MGMT, Dante Spinetta) y, otra vez más, qué películas ver en el BAFICI. Eso, o lo que salga...

Recomendaciones del BAFICI: 57 películas y un Top 20 (Work in Progress)

Mañana comienza la venta de entradas e imagino que el programa del BAFICI es bastante inabarcable e inexpugnable. Como ahora no me da el tiempo de ir analizando película por película (cosa que empecé a hacer y seguiré haciendo antes y durante el festival), lo que sigue es, simplemente, la recomendación (o no) con puntajes de las películas que vi y de las que tengo buenas referencias.

Entonces, sólo aquí aparecerán las películas ya vistas con un puntaje de
1 a 10 y películas recomendadas por colegas confiables (o con los que comparto cierto gusto y criterio; no cuentan los programadores del BAFICI por motivos obvios), las que llevarán una R (de Recomendada).

Remarcadas en negrita, un TOP 20 de las que considero IMPERDIBLES (ahí no tomo en cuenta las recomendadas por otros, sino sólo las que yo vi). Lista que irá actualizándose, con las películas que tengo para ver antes del festival.

De vuelta, no habrá Recomendaciones sobre películas argentinas de las competencias. Tampoco de cortometrajes. Esas saldrán en su momento, salvo las que ya se vieron públicamente antes.

Ahí vamos:

Película de clausura

-Los condenados, de Isaki Lacuesta (2009), España (8)

Competencia Internacional

-Mary and Max, de Adam Elliot (2008), Australia (8)
-Der Räuber (The Robber), de Benjamin Heisenberg (2010), Austria/Alemania (9)

Os famosos e os duendes da morte, de Esmir Filho (2009), Brasil (6)
-Cuchillo de palo, de Renate Costa (2010), España (R)
La mujer sin piano, de Javier Rebollo (2009), España / Francia (R)
Go Get Some Rosemary, de Josh & Benny Safdie (2009), EE.UU. (R)
Putty Hill, de Matt Porterfield (2010), EE.UU. (6)
Les Beaux Gosses, de Riad Sattouf (2009), Francia (R)
Ajami, de Scandar Copti (2009), Israel / Alemania (7)
La bocca del lupo, de Pietro Marcello (2009), Italia (R)
-Alamar. de Pedro González-Rubio (2009'), México (8)
Police, Adjective, de Corneliu Porumboiu (2009), Rumania (8)

Competencia Argentina

-El recuento de los daños, de Inés de Oliveira Cézar (2010), Argentina (6)

Competencia Cine del Futuro
Morrer como um homem, de João Pedro Rodrigues (2009), Portugal / Francia (9)
-Zona Sur, de Juan Carlos Valdivia (2009), Bolivia (R)
Oxhide II, de Jia Yin Liu (2009), China (R)
El vuelco del cangrejo, de Oscar Ruíz Navia (2009), Colombia (5)
-Sweetgrass, de Ilisa Barbash y Lucien Castaing-Taylor (2009), EE.UU./UK/Francia (8)
-El calambre, de Matías Meyer (2009), México / Francia (R)

Noches Especiales
-Rompecabezas, de Natalia Smirnoff (2010), Argentina / Francia (7)
Los santos sucios, de Luis Ortega (2009), Argentina (6)

-Agua fría de mar, de Paz Fábrega (2009), Costa Rica / Francia (R)
Carcasses, de Denis Côté (2009), Canadá (R)
Celda 211, de Daniel Monzón (2009), España / Francia (7)
The Girl, de Fredrik Edfeldt (2009), Suecia (R)
Hamilton, de Matt Porterfield (2006), EE.UU. (R)
Navidad, de Sebastián Lelio (2009), Chile (6)
Norteado, de Rigoberto Perezcano (2009), México / España (R)


36 vues du Pic Saint Loup, de Jacques Rivette (2009), Francia / Italia (8)
-The White Ribbon (La cinta blanca), de Michael Haneke (2009), Austria /Alemania (5)
-Ruhr, de James Benning (2009), Alemania (8)
Hadewijch, de Bruno Dumont (2009), Francia (9)
-In the Shadows, de Thomas Arslan (2010), Alemania (R)
Leslie, My Name is Evil, de Reginald Harkema (2009), Canadá (R)
-Like You Know It All
, de Hong Sang-soo (2009), Corea del Sur (9) FOTO
-A religiosa portuguesa, de Eugène Green (2009), Portugal/ Francia (7)
-Trash Humpers, de Harmony Korine (2009), EE.UU. / UK (8)
Viajo porque preciso, volto porque te amo, de Marcelo Gomes y Karim Aïnouz (2009), Brasil (8)
-Vincere, de Marco Bellocchio (2009), Italia / Francia (7)
Visage, de Tsai Ming-Liang (2009), Francia/ Taiwán/ Bélgica/ Holanda (6)
-Yuki y Nina, de Hippolyte Girardot y Nobuhiro Suwa (2009), Francia (9)

La Tierra Tiembla
-Crossing the Mountain, de Rui Yang (2009), China (4)
Videocracy, de Erik Gandini (2009), Suecia / Finlandia / Dinamarca / UK (5)

-Let Each One Go Where He May, de Ben Russell (2009) EE.UU. / Surinam (7)
Cordão Verde, de R. Torres y H. Suzuki (2009) Portugal (7)

-Kinatay, de Brillante Mendoza (2009) Filipinas / Francia (7)

La Vía Láctea, de Luis Buñuel (1969) Francia / Italia / Alemania (9)
Lourdes, de Jessica Hausner (2009) Austria / Francia / Alemania (9)
-Tiro de gracia, de Ricardo Becher (1969) Argentina (7)
-Stromboli, de Roberto Rossellini (1950), Italia / EE.UU. (8)

-Oxhide Jia Yin Liu (2005) China (8)
-The Happiest Girl in the World Radu Jude (2009) Rumania (R)
-The Oath Laura Poitras (2010) EE.UU. (R)

Foco Covi & Frimmel
-La Pivellina Rainer Frimmel / Tizza Covi (2009) Austria / Italia (9)

Foco Alain Guiraudie
-Pas de repos pour les braves Alain Guiraudie (2003) Francia / Austria (8)
-Le Roi de l'évasion Alain Guiraudie (2009) Francia (R)


Los premios del Festival de Toulouse

22a Encuentros Cines de América Latina de Toulouse

Gran Premio Coup de Corazón de la 22 ª reunión:

Este Grand Prix Coup de Corazón es una distribución de la ayuda de premios en Francia, d un valor de € 6100 que se divide en tres áreas: dotación de personal de 3.000 euros para el distribuidor, con el subtítulo de una copia, por valor de € 2500 ofrecido por Titra Film y la asistencia de traducción en virtud del presente cerrado con un valor de 600 euros por Fila 13.

El jurado estuvo formado por:

Iván Giroud, Presidente del Jurado, director del Festival de La Habana (Cuba), Laurent CROUZEIX, Festival de Clermont-Ferrand (Francia), Ignacio Durán , especialista en cine latinoamericano (México), Kleber Mendonça Filho, Director (Brasil), y Nicolás Pereda, Director (México)

Premio del Público "Intramuros" ex-aequo:

(Argentina, 1h 50, 2009)

(Argentina, 1h 33, 2009)

Premio Descubrimiento de la crítica francesa:

(Colombia, 1h35, 2009)

Una mención especial se otorga a


El jurado estuvo compuesto por:
Eric Derobert (positivo), Julio OTF (Radio Francia Internacional), y Nadia Meflah (Radio Libertaria).

Premio FIPRESCI de la primera obra

(México, 1h15, 2009)

El jurado estuvo compuesto por:
Barbara Lorey de Lacharière (Junge Welt, Alemania), Tatiana Vetrova (Latinskaya América, Rusia) y Maja Volk (filmografías, Serbia)

Premio SIGNIS Documental

(Brasil, 1:11, 2009)

El jurado estuvo compuesto por:
Nathalie Bramble (Francia), Magali Van Reeth (Secretario General a firmar Francia) y Davide Zordan (Italia)

Premio "Courtoujours"

(Colombia, 24 min, 2009)

Una mención especial se otorga a

(Argentina, 12min, 2010)

El jurado estuvo compuesto por estudiantes de Toulouse:
Sarah Hilliard (Presidente del Jurado), Silvina Bramard Clemencia Canet, Celia Graciana, Thibaut Notario y Marie Soubiran

(Colombia, 1h35, 2009)

El jurado estuvo integrado por los espectadores de tren!!!

Premio de Cine en Construcción 17 - Toulouse

(Colombia, 90 min)

El especial de película de cine "Construcción de Toulouse"


Entrevista a Leonardo DiCaprio (Clarín)

Recomendaciones del BAFICI: "Hadewijch", de Bruno Dumont

HADEWIJCH, de Bruno Dumont (9) Esta vez Dumont se mete de lleno en la religión y crea la que tal vez sea su mejor película, ya que baja la cuota de impacto y shock para atrapar la atención del espectador y deja que la emoción vaya capturándolo de a poco, por acumulación. Es decir: cada vez menos Lars von Trier y más Robert Bresson. La referencia a Bresson es directa, ya que el filme –que cuenta la historia de una chica devota de Dios y su imposibilidad de hacer frente al mundo “real”-- tiene elementos de “Diario de un cura de campaña” y de “Mouchette” de manera muy obvia. Pero también hay Dreyer y Rossellini y el universo del propio Dumont, que desde “La vida de Jesús” viene amagando con hacer una película centrada directamente en el tema de la fé. Las peripecias de esta creyente “expulsada del paraíso” que quiere “unirse a Dios en cuerpo y alma” son realmente sobrecogedoras. D.L.

By Scott Foundas/Cinema Scope

Like The Sound of Music without the music, Bruno Dumont’s Hadewijch opens in a present-day convent, where the eponymous young novitiate—a girl of about 20—has run afoul of the mothers superior. She confuses abstinence with martyrdom, they say, as evidenced by her acts of starvation and self-mortification. And she has taken the idea of becoming a “bride of Jesus” altogether too literally. How do you solve a problem like Hadewijch? By returning her to secular society, the sisters agree, in the hope that she may find her “true self.”

Dumont’s typically uncompromising fifth feature—in part, a continuation of his career-encompassing study in the origins and varieties of human violence—follows Hadewijch on her journey beyond the convent walls, from the Left Bank of Paris to the West Bank and back again, as she becomes radicalized in her search for divine grace. Like her namesake, the 13th century Flemish mystic and poetess who wrote at length about her own sublimated love for the Almighty,Dumont’s Hadewijch, whose actual name is Céline (played by newcomer Julie Sokolowski), hails from an affluent family, the daughter of a government minister with a richly appointed apartment on the Île Saint-Louis. Thus, for the first time in his films, Dumont trades his beloved Bailleul for the City of Lights, which he shoots ravishingly (albeit not in his customary widescreen), rarely more so than when Céline catches a ride on the back of a stolen motorcycle with Yacine, the Arab youth she meets in a neighborhood café. Yacine steals the bike as payback for what he perceives as a disapproving glance from its proper owner—a moment that calls to mind the casual humiliation of the young Arab man in Dumont’s debut feature, La vie de Jésus (1997), here rendered in similarly sharp relief.

Although Yacine clearly has eyes for Céline, she rebuffs his advances, claims she’s saving herself for you know who. Still, in Dumont’s interpolation of Stanley Kramer, Céline invites her new friend over for dinner, to the obvious discomfort of her distant, withdrawn mother and the complete obliviousness of her father, who makes patronizing small talk about job prospects with the unemployed Yacine. In Act 2 of this cross-cultural exchange, Yacine introduces Céline to his older brother, Nassir, who invites her to join his Islam-centric religious discussion group—current topic of discussion: the significance of “the invisible.” “You must act if you have faith. You must continue the Creator’s work,” Nassir advises. And with that, Céline/Hadewijch begins her transformation into a full-fledged soldier in the army of God.

Dumont’s film arrives on the heels of a series of movies devoted, in part or in whole, to the subject of armed religious fanaticism, including Paradise Now (2005), The Hurt Locker, (2008) and Julia Loktev’s Day Night Day Night (2006) (to which it could almost be considered a prequel). But where those films have all been, elementally, procedurals—how-tos in bomb making and prevention—Dumont aspires to make the audience share in Hadewijch’s awakening; to make us feel physically, spiritually something that we may not at all agree with, or even entirely comprehend; in short, to make the invisible, if not exactly visible, then at least tangible. Dumont is working closely here to the Dreyer of The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) and the Bresson of Journal d’un curé de campagne (1951) and, like them, he has cast a lead performer of an almost metaphysical intensity, who has a face fit for Medieval painting and who seems to experience sensations and emotions more acutely than other people. Her acting, like Hadewijch’s faith, seems to spring from some deep inner recess that few have the ability to access. The latest in Dumont’s gallery of neo-religious icons—which also includes the epileptic gang member of La vie de Jésus, the forlorn detective Pharaon De Winter of L’humanité (1999) and the hulking, soft-spoken soldier Demester of Flanders (2006)—she is the first to be presented in a distinctly religious context.

Although Hadewijch travels with Nassir to Palestine (or somewhere where bombs rain down from the skies—as in Flanders, the particular war zone is never named), it would as grossly reductive to view Dumont’s intentions through such a narrow political prism; some will no doubt suggest Dumont himself is being by conflating Islamic fundamentalism with Catholic theology. Originally a philosophy professor by trade and still very much one at heart, Dumont and his expansive interest in human barbarism know no temporal or geographical boundaries. Indeed, time and again he reminds us that we are all, in so many ways, still cave people warming by the fire. In this respect,Hadewijch will make few new converts to Dumont’s oeuvre, despite the filmmaker’s repeatedly stated desire to broaden his audience.

On some fundamental level, Dumont is probably too insular and idiosyncratic a director to ever command a large public, even the arthouse hoi polloi—a filmmaking autodidact who, despite his two Grand Jury Prizes at Cannes, remains very much an outsider figure even in his own national cinema, committed to filming people and places far removed from the fashionable circles of bourgeois Paris and, despite his reputation for extreme and controversial content, unfailingly sincere in his efforts to parse the moral complexities of the human soul. When Dumont provokes, it is not to get an easy rise out of the audience, but to bring us closer to some shared understanding. And if Hadewijch isn’t one for the multiplexes, Dumont does seem to have seized on a new economy of means here, in the speed and precision with which he moves through the visual and narrative space of the film, and in his willingness to break from old habits that might have begun to verge on the self-parodic. (Among its other novelties, this is the first of Dumont’s films lacking in a single episode of violent, animalistic fucking.)

The movie ends with a bang—or seems to—after which Hadewijch returns us to the convent for what at first feels like a flashback, and then like a dream (both of which would also be Dumont firsts), and which, even taken literally, ranks among the most haunting and profoundly beautiful sequences in all of Dumont’s work. It is a sequence that begins with an act of penance and builds to the long-delayed meeting between Hadewijch and a grubby-faced construction worker (Henri Cretel, who was the cuckolding friend in Flanders) labouring on the convent grounds. Like so much in Hadewijch, what happens between them can be seen as something entirely of this world or as an act of divine intervention. Either way, it reaffirms that Dumont himself is a cause very much worth believing in.