International: Latin America Reviews

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Blu-ray Review: THE UNTAMED Seduces and Frightens

One of my favourite films of 2016, and part of a new wave of great Mexican genre cinema, The Untamed is coming to Blu-ray and DVD via Strand Releasing. Amat Escalante's fourth feature film is part social realist drama, part...

Morbido 2017 Review: LA QUINCEANERA, Luchagore's Action Web Series Packs Emotional Punches

Alejandra Santos is about to turn 15 years old. She is becoming a woman and so it is time for her coming of age ceremony, the Quinceanera, a Latin American tradition. Alejandra is troubled though because her father is nowhere...

Morbido 2017 Review: TRAUMA, Savage Chilean Horror Flick Condemns a Military Regime

Chile 1978 - A father, and agent of Pinochet’s regime, forces his son to participate in the interrogation and torture of a political prisoner.    Chile 2011 - Four women, sisters Andrea (Catalina Martin) and Camila (Macarena Carrere), their cousin...

Morbido 2017 Review: LOS OLVIDADOS (WHAT THE WATER LEFT BEHIND)

A small documentary film crew is heading to the city of Epecuen, Argentina. Lost to surging flood waters back in 1985 the town has been abandoned for over thirty years. One of the survivors from the town, Carla (Victoria Maurette),...

Morbido 2017 Review: CLEMENTINA, The Horrific Consequences of Domestic Abuse

Jimena Monteoliva’s horror flick Clementina opens to find Juana, pregnant and unconscious on the floor of her flat, lying in a pool of blood. She wakes up in a hospital three days later. She has lost the baby and a...

Morbido 2017 Review: ATERRADOS (TERRIFIED), A Terrifyingly Fun Paranormal Shocker

A husband returns home to find his wife terrified to enter their kitchen because there are voices coming from the pipes. Voices that are promising to kill her. That night as she goes to the bathroom he hears bumping from...

New York 2017 Review: Lucrecia Martel's ZAMA Is the Cinematic Highlight of the Year

Finding the Latin American identity, as European settlers and their offspring, has been the continuous source for great literature over 300 years. Throw in the idea of class, masculinity, racism, sense of belonging, you get a very complex picture of what makes up the theme of Zama.

Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID, Horror and Imagination on the Streets of Mexico

Thousands of people have been murdered or gone missing in the ongoing violent drug war in Mexico. One of the often unacknowledged side effects is the now-orphaned children, many of whom end up on the streets. In her third feature,...

Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: GOOD MANNERS, A Fable of Love, Fear, and Kindness

There is the family you are born into, and the family you make; lovers who stay with you a long time, and ones whose time with you is brief, but make a lasting impact. What then is the nature of...

Fantasia 2017 Review: YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, Good Action, Middling Comedy

Federico Cueva has been working in stunts and special effects in his native Argentina and Spanish cinema for more than 20 years. His work with Santiago Segura in several of the Torrente films, and with Alex de la Iglesia in...

Fantasia 2017 Review: FRIENDLY BEAST, Man Is the Most Dangerous Animal

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant. The waitress, Sara (Luciana Paes) and kitchen staff just want to go home, while the boss, Inácio (Murilo Benício) struggles with money troubles, a nagging wife, and a desire for power and...

Fantasia 2017: Born Of Woman Shorts Programme Highlights a Trio of Haunting Standouts

For its second year at Fantasia, the theme running across the curation for the shorts programme Born Of Woman has moved away from the cerebral physical fetishes, and queer emotional landscapes of last year, towards the nature of haunting. The highlights were...

Review: THE UNTAMED, Riveting and Shocking, It Needs to Be Watched to Be Believed

One of the reasons that I love fantastic genre film is that it can often find the most relevant and interesting metaphors for dealing with issues of social life, be they cultural, political, or sexual. The Untamed, which won the...

Review: In ENDLESS POETRY, Alejandro Jodorowsky Continues to Amaze

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...

Review: HERMIA & HELENA, Lovely Cinematic Playfulness

Matias Piñeiro's Hermia & Helena begins almost identically as his last film Princess of France, looking down at a soccer field. But they are two very different films. Even though his usual light-as-feather approach at twenty-something's bohemian lives and romantic...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: BRIMSTONE & GLORY, Where Cinematography Induces Euphoria & Panic

Do you remember that sequence in Beasts Of The Southern Wild when everyone runs around shooting fireworks at each other in the Bayou? The glorious dance of the visuals and music grasp at the essence and the onslaught of life's...

SXSW 2017 Review: DIVINE DIVAS Goes Behind the Curtains

Vibrant and enlightening, Divine Divas peeks behind the curtains of the Rival Theatre in Brazil, which was one of the first in the country to showcase men dressed as women in the 1960s. Eight artists have gathered for a 50th...

SXSW 2017 Review: BAD LUCKY GOAT, Two Siblings on a Comic Dramatic Journey

A brother, a sister, a goat. A relaxed charmer, Bad Lucky Goat is some kind of wonderful. It starts with an appetizer that establishes its milieu, a ramshackle island community in the Caribbean. The area is in Colombia, South America,...

Berlinale 2017 Review: A FANTASTIC WOMAN, Sebastián Lelio's Masterpiece of Micro-Aggressions

Last year, Álex Anwandter's Chilean LGBT drama You'll Never Be Alone was one of the films that lit up Berlinale's programme from the heart of Panorama (read the review). And since then, Pablo Larraín has cemented his respected standing with...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: Social Satire A DECENT WOMAN Conjures Up Anarchism From A Nudistic Swinger Club

A Decent Woman marries European formalism to Latin American temperament in a social satire embracing anarchism and clothes-optional policy