Featuring 19 New York premieres among its 21 films, a special tribute to Julio Cortazar, and nine filmmakers on hand to discuss their work, this year's Latinbeat festival -- showcasing what the Film Society of Lincoln Center calls "the best in Latin American cinema" -- looks to provide entertaining and thought-provoking times at the Walter Reade Theater over the next 16 days.
TrustMovies has only seen four of the films so far but can assure you that simply terrific entertainment is provided by the two films (covered below) that share Opening Night honors -- Mariana Chenillo's NORA'S WILL (Cinco días sin Nora) and Hernán A. Golfrid's MUSIC ON HOLD (Música en espera). Two more, to be covered in the days to come, provide darker and more surprising journeys: Claudia Llosa's THE MILK OF SORROW (La teta asustada) and yet another ground-breaking documentary, SHAKESPEARE AND VICTOR HUGO'S INTIMACIES (Intimidades de Shakespeare y Víctor Hugo) by Yulene Olaizola. You can view Latinbeat's the complete schedule here.
Although Nora's Will is a comedy, and though I urge you to see it, expect no crass laughs. You'll have a smile on your face for much of its length, however -- until it takes you into unexpectedly moving territory without ever becoming maudlin. At this point, I don't know whether you will smile, cry or hold your breath in disbelief that a mere movie can accomplish what has just happened -- and so quietly, unassumingly that you may not, for some moments, know what hit you. This is a comedy in the Shakespearean meaning; pathos, if not tragedy, is waiting just around the corner.
I hope it will not be taken amiss -- or sexist -- if I say that I cannot imagine this movie having been directed by a man. It is too alert, observant and humane. There are no villains (unless you ascribe that role to one very angry, or maybe hurt, rabbi). This is as full-bodied a group of people as I have seen in a modern comedy, and the film's cast enlivens each rich character with life and depth.
Saturday, September 12, at 1;
and Sunday, September 13 at 9:15.
Saturday September 12, at 7:30;
and Wednesday, September 16, at 8:30.