Cine-lit VII (2011)
Cine-lit VII and the Northwest Film Center
were proud to present the following filmmakers and films during the 2011 Cine-lit:
SAN SEBASTIAN -- In Chicogrande, veteran Mexican director Felipe Cazals creates an auteur Western that draws specific parallels between the U.S. invasion of Mexico in 1916 to capture the revolutionary Pancho Villa and recent geopolitical events. The weight of this heavy message undercuts the strength of an intermittently captivating film that tells history passionately from a Mexican viewpoint. Deborah Young: The Hollywood Reporter
Oriol Porta’s A War in Hollywood… surveys the history of Hollywood’s engagement with the Spanish Civil War, both in terms of the films produced and the support for the Republican cause among members of the Hollywood community. The film is framed by introductory excerpts from an interview with novelist, screenwriter, and Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran Alvah Bessie (1900-1985) and concluding sequences excerpted from Jaime Camino’s Spain Again (1969), conscripted by Bessie, which dramatizes the return to Spain during the Franco dictatorship of a former member of the international brigades and his visits to the places where he fought during the war. Gary Crowdus, The Montreal World Film Festival.
My Life with Carlos is the journey of a son in search of the memory of his assassinated father. More than 30 years of silence are broken when Chilean-born Germán Berger-Hertz starts to piece together the puzzle of his father's life. In 1973, when Berger-Hertz was only a year old, his father was brutally killed under the newly installed Pinochet regime. Berger revisits the legacy of the man he never knew and the regime that devastated the country. Palm Springs International Film Festival
Filmmaker Ricardo Benet and actress Lucy Liu
What is a city like when you don’t really belong? That’s the question posed by director Ricardo Benet and cinematographer Martin Boege in the independent feature film Nomadas (Nomads).
In his nascent career, Boege has earned Mexican Academy Ariel Award nominations for Best Cinematography for Benet’s Noticias Lejanas and El Violin with director Francisco Vargas, among other accolades. He took home the Ariel Award this year for his work on El Traspatio directed by Carlos Carrera. Kodak. Cinema and Television
Todo lo contrario sucede con dos de las películas mexicanas más interesantes del festival, Nómadas, de Ricardo Benet, y A tiro de piedra, de Sebastián Hiriart. A reserva de hablar en detalle de cada una de ellas en su estreno comercial, cabe señalar una constante temática: el desplazamiento territorial que es búsqueda espiritual y cuestionamiento de la identidad propia al contacto con otra cultura. La película de Benet refrenda la originalidad y fuerza expresiva de su cinta anterior, Noticias lejanas, trasladando la exploración del mundo rural mexicano a un ámbito urbano (Nueva York), donde el protagonista vive del mismo modo complejo su experiencia de soledad y desarraigo. “Nómadas en Morelia”, Carlos Bonfil
It has been 100 years since the Mexican Revolution sought to even the playing field between the country's rich ruling classes and its poor populace. Has anything changed? That's the question asked by Revolución, a collection of short films by some of Mexico's most exciting young directors.
The country's film industry, ignited following a renaissance of the early 2000s, is clearly the right medium for this sort of discussion, and the shorts all follow a simple pattern. They're each no longer than 10 minutes and every one of them is contemporary. They were also created in isolation, with each director unaware of what the others were working on.
And while each short has a different story to tell, the consensus seems to lean towards a conclusion that Mexico is still fundamentally troubled. Stories explore inequalities between the classes, rampant problems with crime and generational and situational disconnects about what it means to be Mexican. Joe Utichi: Cannes Review: Revolución
After 30 years as a filer at a Mexico City insurance company, life is suddenly turned upside-down for 75 year-old Martha when a computer is brought in to replace her. Once she is fired, life has lost all meaning for Martha. With no one around she can trust and with nothing else to live for, she decides to end her life. Compelled by her circumstances, with the help of Eva, the young woman in charge of transferring the files to the computer, her thrilling journey towards death will surprisingly lead her...to life. IonCinema