NOW PLAYING!!! Chile Film in NYC
Chilean Cinema has come to America…kind of.
A respectable showing of films made in Chile is at the Quad-Cinema on 13th St, in a neighborhood where Bar Six is, where I met the guy who imports Los Amantes mezcal (like tequila, except smoky, more hallucinogenic and if poor quality, a worse hangover).
It is here, one block from the lefty New School, where selections from the whole gamut of Chilean filmography will be displayed from the 9th to the 14th. Most of the contemporary films are from around 2005, when it seemed like Chilean film had woken up from years of forcefully induced sleep and was prepared to open its eyes and speak again. We are still waiting for what else it has to say. Chileans at the New School for a loose conference with Bize, Lelio and Wood talked about their films in the film festival. Bize and other Chileans there, including Jeronimo Rodriguez, a Chilean film critic at NY 1, gave me the indication that there is, in fact, a new and upcoming crop of youngsters with much to say. It may be a simplistic indicator…but just go to YouTube and check out Chilean 15 year olders on film.
Films from past include the recently retouched version of the film by Miguel Littin, El Chacal de Nahueltoro, to Patricio Guzman, who I love to hate because its just so simple, with La Memoria Obstinada, and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Fando y Lis, his first feature film. Also, Silvio Caiozzi, who I know nothing about.
Contemporary offerings include portrayals of the under-thirty, Post-Pinochet, film-making world by Matias Bize with En La Cama (originally shown in 2006 at the MOMA) and Sebastian Lelio (Campos) Sagrada Familia.
La Sagrada Familia was written up by the New York Times with lukewarm but positive results, and the Village Voice with destructive results. Both of these folks and their generational counterparts, which include Alicia Scherson of Play (who is doing a take on a Roberto Bolano story), were fawned over by the French film magazine Cahiers du Cinema back at the Valdivia Film Festival of 2005, when they all were screened publicly. Bize just one a couple awards at Valdivia for his new film Lo Bueno de Llorar.
Also, see Padre Nuestro, by Rodrigo Sepulveda, which I know nothing about, but was selected by the Chilean film industry to be the official selection to the Oscar foreign language film category.
Also the documentary by Maria Elena Wood, La Hija del General, which tracks Chile’s first female president from a year out of the election. It’s like a film write-around, like Guy Talese’s profile of Frank Sinatra! For the first four months of filming the director was denied all but public access to her subject.
The history of the family, the director has said, is like the history of Chile of the past forty years. A valuable portrait by the journalist sister of Andres Wood, the director of the film, Machuca.