March 10, 2014
Filmic summer interlude at José Ignacio
For the Herald
All screenings take place out in the open at the posh Uruguayan resort“We want to offer an alternative to what people are familiar with. Our main concern is the artistic quality of the films featured. In this edition, we have some seven films from different nationalities. Except for Tanta agua, by Uruguayan filmmakers Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, the rest of the films have not been commercially released yet, neither in Argentina nor in Uruguay,” says Pablo Mazzola, one of the organizers of the fourth edition of the José Ignacio International Film Festival (JIIFF), which kicked off yesterday with the screening of Paolo Sorrentino’s La grande belleza, at this posh resort in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Apart from its notable programming, what makes this festival a one-of-a-kind event is that all screenings take place out in the open with a large screen, in three well known natural environments: the Bajada de los Pescadores, at La Mallorquina farm, and at the Old Train Station of Pueblo Garzón. So picture yourself watching movies on gorgeous beaches and peaceful countryside spots, at sunset, with perfect weather. Needless to say, this is a summer interlude not to be missed.
In addition, viewers are asked to vote for the best film, which will receive an art piece designed by Argentine goldsmith Juan Carlos Pallarols. The programme is as follows:
Tuesday 7 — Perro malo, by Mariana Rondón (Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Germany, 2013). Junior is nine years old and has “bad hair.” He wants to have it straightened for his yearbook picture, like a fashionable pop singer. This puts him at odds with his mother Marta. The more Junior tries to look sharp and make his mother love him, the more she rejects him, until he is cornered, and comes face to face with a painful decision. Winner of the Golden Shell at the 2013 San Sebastián Film Festival. Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 2013 Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
Wednesday 8 — Los dueños, by Agustín Toscano and Ezequiel Radusky (Argentina, 2013). Sergio and his family work at an estate in Argentina’s northern region. When their employers aren’t home, they occupy the main house and emulate the life of the owners. Pia, the eldest daughter of the owner, arrives at the estate with the intention of staying a few days until her father’s marriage. Special Mention at the Semaine de la critique at Cannes Film Festival.
Thursday 9 — Tanta agua, (Uruguay, Mexico, Netherlands, Germany, 2013), by Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge. Early in the morning, a divorced father who doesn’t live with his kids picks them up to go on holidays. There’s a teenage girl and her younger brother. The three of them are going to some kind of a resort, a small and modest one, to spend some days doing nothing at all. But the weather forecast says it will rain non-stop for quite some time. Expect water, water and more water. So, what will they do with so many free days and such lousy weather? Best Film and Best Script Miami Film Festival.
Friday 10 — Only Lovers Left Alive, by Jim Jarmusch (United Kingdom, Germany, France, USA, Cyprus). After being around for centuries, vampire Adam is a rock star who cannot get accustomed to the modern world with all of its new technology. While he lives in Detroit, his wife Eve lives in Tangier, flourishing in the new world. But when she senses Adam’s depression with society, she gets on a plane and goes to see him. Shortly after Eve gets there, her younger sister, Ava, shows up after 87 years and disrupts the couple’s idyllic reunion. Jury Special Prize at Sitges Film Festival in 2013.
Saturday 11 — The Congress, by Ariel Folman. (Israel, Germany, Poland, Luxembourg, France, Belgium, 2013). An aging actress with a reputation for being fickle and unreliable, so much so that nobody is willing to offer her any roles anymore, agrees to sell the movie rights to her digital image in exchange for a hefty sum and the promise to never act again. After her body is digitally scanned, the studio will be able to make movies starring her using only computer-generated characters. Critics’ Award at the 2013 Sitges Film Festival.
Sunday 12 — La Mary, by Daniel Tinayre (Argentina, 1974) Running out of competition and as the Closing Night Picture, the JIIFF offers a re-mastered version of the legendary Argentine movie starring local diva Susana Giménez and famous boxer Carlos Monzón. A humble worker who lives near the Riachuelo river in Buenos Aires is about to go to work with two partners. His daughter Mary calls him from her bed; the girl has a fever and this forces the worker back. The tram that the three workers missed falls into the river and almost all the passengers die. For this and other episodes, Mary earns a reputation for being able to predict the future.