International: Latin America Reviews

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Locarno 2016 Review: In ENDLESS POETRY, Alejandro Jodorowsky Ups the Ante

Chilean born Alejandro Jodorowsky can be called many things: Mystic, sage, tarot master, director, screenwriter, actor, mime, graphic novel scribe, healer, philosopher, novelist, playwright, spiritual guru. All that and more could fit on his resume... if he was a man...

Lima 2016 Review: A Couple Reopens Old Wounds In LA ULTIMA TARDE

Estranged couple Laura (Katerina D’Onofrio) and Ramón (Lucho Cáceres) meet up after 19 years to sign their long overdue divorce papers. A bureaucratic mishap -- anyone who’s ever been to a public office in Peru sadly knows how common those...

Lima 2016 Review: In EPITAFIO, Man Dares To Defy Nature

In 1519, Spanish conquistador Diego de Ordaz was tasked by Hernán Cortés – then in the midst of conquering Mexico – with ascending to the top of the Popocatepetl, the second highest volcano in the country, at over 17,000 feet...

Lima 2016 Review: LA LUZ EN EL CERRO, A Morality Play in the Andes

As Lima Film Festival’s 20th edition kicks into high gear this week, it’s been refreshing to see that most of the Peruvian films both in and out of competition are all pretty solid; it’s a sign that local cinema is...

DVD Review: A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS, Desperately Seeking Solutions

It's a nightmare. When a beloved family member falls victim to a debilitating illness, it's devastating. When the diagnosis becomes terminal, the pain becomes indescribable. When a possible medical alternative is refused to your loved one because of bureaucracy, desperation...

Guanajuato 2016 Review: EL TAMAÑO SÍ IMPORTA, Starring Ximena Ayala And Vadhir Derbez

Rafa Lara’s El Tamaño Sí Importa, which world premiered at the Guanajuato International Film Festival, is a romantic comedy that merely intends to sell its two protagonists as rising Mexican stars: The Amazing Catfish’s Ximena Ayala and Eugenio Derbez’s 25-year-old...

BiFan 2016 Review: EVA DOESN'T SLEEP Spins a Elliptical and Thought-Provoking Tale

Few politician's wives have been as mythologized as Eva Peron. The wife of the President of Argentina in the late 1940s, she reached iconic status during her life, as a poor girl from the countryside who married well, rose to...

Neuchâtel 2016 Review: Jonas Cuarón Crafts a Savage Manhunt in DESIERTO

Having learned a few tricks working on his father’s multi-award winning space thriller Gravity, Jonas Cuarón brings the action down to earth to craft a similarly intense tale of human survival. The idea of putting up a wall between Mexico...

Opening: YARN Knits Together Women Artist's Tales Around The World

Una Lorenzen's documentary Yarn opens in New York this weekend at IFC Center and continues to roll out across the States all Summer.   Meet the artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet, bringing yarn out of...

Review: RIO, I LOVE YOU, A Pretty But Unsatisfying Travel Package

Film franchises aren’t just for the multiplexes anymore, or for movies featuring the likes of Batman, Superman, and the Fast and the Furious road racing crew. The arthouse has them too, and one of the highest-profile ones is the “Cities...

Review: WE ARE THE FLESH, Lucifer Rising

The budding filmmaker Emiliano Rocha Minter, a 26-year old from Mexico, emerged with his feature debut at International Film Festival Rotterdam earlier this year, finished only a couple of days before landing in Netherlands. It wasn't his first visit to...

Review: Gabriel Mascaro's NEON BULL Mingles Naturalism And Sensuality In Brazil

Brazilian helmer Gabriel Mascaro is a keen observer of human behaviors. With his documentary work, such as Housemaids, High-rise, he demonstrated his anthropological tendencies and lent sharp insights into complex Brazilian society while being playful and adventurous with the cinema...

Berlinale 2016 Review: YOU'LL NEVER BE ALONE, A Smart Chilean Debut

There perhaps hasn't been that many films to blow your socks off at Berlinale so far this year, but Alex Anwandter's You'll Never Be Alone could well be the first. Definitely proving to be yet another example of how great contemporary South...

Berlinale 2016 Review: First, SOY NERO Dazzles, Then It Disappoints

How important is a single shot? Not a sequence, nor an edit. Can a solitary, unbroken shot make or break a film? Can it upend one's total reception of a work? Because there is a shot at the very beginning...

Review: EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, A Spiritual Quest With A Political Regret

Inspired by Theodor Koch-Grunberg and Richard Evans Schultes, the first explorers of the Colombian Amazon, Embrace of the Serpent is a spiritual quest with a political regret. We follow two stories of German explorers (one of them is Jan Bijvoet...

Review: BLEAK STREET, True Crime Turned Into A Visually Striking Dark Carnival

Bleak Street, the very appropriately named new film from veteran Mexican director Arturo Ripstein, is ripped from the headlines, much like the TV show "Law and Order." Inspired by the double murder of two dwarf men who were popular luchadores...

Review: LUNA DE MIEL (HONEYMOON) And Its Twisted Views On Love And Survival

Isabel lives across the street from Jorge, a doctor who lives alone in an immaculate home. To say that Jorge is infatuated with Isabel is a bit of an understatement. When Luna De Miel (Honeymoon) opens we see that Jorge...

Los Cabos 2015 Review: YOU'LL KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ME (SABRÁS QUÉ HACER CONMIGO), The Mysteries Of Men And Women

Nicolás thinks it's love at first sight. Emerging from an appointment with his doctor, Nicolás (Pablo Derqui) sees a lovely woman at a hospital. Their eyes meet, and the attraction is instantaneous and mutual. They exchange light banter, and Nicolás...

Review: FRANCESCA, A Visually Striking Homage To The Famed Italian Genre

Francesca, daughter of the renowned storyteller, poet and dramatist Vittorio Visconti, disappeared 15 years ago. A psychopath, inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, is intent on cleansing the city of "impure and damned souls". Moretti and Succo, the police detectives in...

Short Film, Short Review: If You Listen Closely You Can Still Hear Their VOICES

A young newspaper reporter Alonso is sent to investigate police reports of the disappearance of children down a mysterious hole that suddenly appeared in a warehouse. There he bumps into Ramon who describes himself as a "news reporter, journalist, and...