Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Crimson Peak: Would you be mine?

Crimson Peak is a 2015 gothic romance-horror film directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Matthew Robbins, out now in theaters. I am very excited to see it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Netflix and Chill: Beast of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation is a 2005 novel by the Nigerian-American, Harvard-educated author, Uzodinma Iweala, that takes its title from Fela Kuti's 1989 album with the same name. This year Netflix adapted it for film. A film which is so devastatingly engrossing and haunting that it will shake you to your core. It's a masterpiece of  the craft and not to be missed. 



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Invest in Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story

With your support, together we can bring the story of Afrolatinos to the world! Siempre Pa'lante!


2013 indigogo Video from Renzo Devia / Creador Pictures on Vimeo.

Learn more: http://www.afrolatinos.tv/ Also follow on Facebook, TwitterTumblr and Instagram. Conectate!

 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Mexican Film Macario & My Uncle the Projectionist

When I was a little girl, my uncle worked as a cinema projectionist, operating the movie projector in a local New York City movie theater. Whenever, I visited my grandparents, especially during the holidays, he would bring out his old movie projector and show films right onto the back wall of the house for all of us, young and old, to see together. It was great and I have so many happy memories of these special private screenings.

One movie we saw that has always stuck in my head was Macario (Mexico, 1960).


The story of Macario, a poor starving mexican woodcutter, who dreams of eating a whole roast turkey by himself. It weaves a tale of magical realism, in which encounters with the Devil, God, and Death with unexpected results. It is based on the novel The Third Guest by the writer known as B. Traven. The first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film in a Foreign Language, Macario is a must-see.


It's funny because I never thought these private family screenings out of the ordinary or especially cool back then but now I look back and see how my upbringing shaped me (my love of the arts, culture and media, technology, and foreign language cinema) and how very lucky I am.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bonsái & Proust in Bed

Summer Love! 

Bonsai is a 2011 Chilean drama film directed by Cristián Jiménez, based on a book by the same name by Alejandro Zambra that has just been released in the United States.

ABOUT
Cristián Jiménez’s charming debut celebrates love, literature and botany in his portrayal of a struggling writer, who, in order to keep up a lie that he has told his current lover, finds himself writing a book about his very first experience with love. Nostalgic and moving, Jiménez captures the essence of first love, and the loss of innocence that occurs when it disappears.



See the reviews herehere.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cannes Selects Puerto Rican Film For Shorts Competition

Mi Santa Mirada by Alvaro Aponte-Centeno made the shorts lineup cut for this year's upcoming Cannes Film Festival earlier this month.

The short film tells the story of "Samy, a quiet and solitary man who lives from the drug business. The most important things in his life are his younger brother, who he is responsible for, and his horse. Tired of being a drug trafficking subordinate, he decides to betray his boss Papo. This short film reveals daily life at the marginalized spaces in Puerto Rico."


Congrats to Aponte-Centeno and team! Verdict: Boo, hiss at the tired focus on drug dealing but Yay on giving a voice and a platform to Puerto Rico's marginalized issues.

To learn more about the current issues plaguing La Isla del Encanto, check out Fear and Loathing in the Island that Doesn't Exist.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MAMITAS: Movie Debut

I wished I would've had the chance to see Mamitas last year at the New York Latino International Film Festival where it was nominated as Best Narrative Feature Film.

Since then the small indie film has gone on to win accolades at the Independent Spirit Awards, the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, the 2011 Urbanworld Film Festival, and the 2011 Napa Valley Film Festival.

 This is the first movie from Nicholas Ozeki, a latino USC film student, who wrote and directed the film. The cast includes: Pedro Armendáriz Jr., EJ Bonilla, Veronica Diaz-Carranza, Jennifer Esposito, among others.

The story follows an East LA High School boy and his struggles in life. Set in Echo Park and against Los Angeles' downtown skyline, this beguiling coming-of-age romance introduces two phenomenal young actors in EJ Bonilla and Veronica Diaz-Carranza. At school, Jordin (Bonilla) is a cocky but charming guy; One day Jordin meets Felipa (Diaz-Carranza), a bookish, no-nonsense New York girl who sees past the swaggering facade. The two immediately embark on an unlikely friendship that inspires Jordin to find out who he really is.

A movie about Latino identity, featuring a bookish, street smart Latina New Yorker, what? I am so in!

 

 The film opens: April 27 in select theaters in LA. More information available at Mamitasthemovie.com

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Safe House: Denzel & Ruben Blades

Announcement:

From Universal Studios Home Entertainment: Safe House
Academy Award®-Winner Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds
Star in the Year’s Most Explosive Action Blockbuster
SAFE HOUSE
Available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet™ and Digital Copy 
as well as DVD & On Demand
on June 5, 2012

"Tobin Frost (Oscar® winner Denzel Washington), one of the CIA’s most dangerous traitors, resurfaces in South Africa after eluding capture for almost a decade.  During his interrogation, the safe house is attacked by brutal mercenaries forcing rookie agent, Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) to take the infamous Frost on the run.  As the masterful manipulator toys with his reluctant protégé, shaking the young operative’s morality and idealism, the unlikely allies must fight to stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them both dead.  Packed with intense action and thrilling suspense, Safe House takes you on a deadly ride through a covert world where no one and no place is ever safe."

www.nooneissafe.com

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wall Writers: Documentary on Graffiti in its Innocence


WALL WRITERS Promo Video from R. Rock Enterprises on Vimeo.
From director Roger Gastman—a producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop—comes Wall Writers, a documentary on graffiti in its innocence.

Through unprecedented access to TAKI 183, CORNBREAD, and a host of other legendary writers, Wall Writers tells the story of a time when underprivileged city kids refused to keep lurking in the shadows, when the streets were so wild that fame and infamy became indistinct, when art became a democracy and self-promotion became an art.

And the narration is done by John Waters!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rain Town by Hiroyasu Ishida - Beautiful!

The storyline reminds me of The Lost Playground, my childhood favorite (shout-out to Mostly Frederick Sometimes Sam).

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima" Being Made into a Movie

Read more here: www.variety.com



BLESS ME, ULTIMA has been challenged/banned historically and is also a novel on former First Lady Laura Bush's Top 10 Reading List for All Ages.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Latino Films this Weekend



In the Pit aka En el hoyo
Trailer: http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=340438


REVIEW

Literally and existentially down and dirty, “In the Pit” is an absorbing documentary about work and the transformation of men into laborers. Directed and shot with sensitive attention to detail by Juan Carlos Rulfo, the film takes us into a world apart, populated by members of the construction crew building the second deck of the Periférico beltway in Mexico City. For the city’s inhabitants, each of whom apparently spend an estimated 1,485 hours a year commuting, and mostly on public transportation, the construction is at once a nuisance and a possible solution.

For the most part, like construction sites everywhere, it is also hidden in plain sight. Mr. Rulfo takes a distinctly personal approach to his subject, eschewing issues of public policy, environmental impact or even much by way of factual information or history about the beltway. — Manohla Dargis , The New York Times


***



East of Havana



REVIEW


So much of American pop thrives on a bratty facsimile of courage that when you see the real deal, it's a revelation. "East of Havana" is the real deal. Directed by Jauretsi Saizarbitoria and Emilia Menocal, it's a nonfiction feature about young Cuban rappers exercising the artist's prerogative to tell the truth in a country that muzzles free speech.


Although the film is set in 2004 during the weeklong run-up to the International Festival of Rap Cubano and in the shadow of Hurricane Charley, there's no phony urgency. The filmmakers are mainly interested in hearing the music and learning about the musicians' compelling personal stories. — Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times

Friday, January 12, 2007

Support Hispanic Film: Movies to See This Weekend


Children of Men

Review:

Mexican director, Alfonso Cuarón once again proves his dexterity at turning his hand to different genres and subjects with this thrilling adaptation of a PD James novel, which is his first film since directing ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ and his first screenwriting credit since his 2001 arthouse hit ‘Y Tu Mamá También’. Set in Britain in 2027, it’s a sort of sci-fi movie, but it’s the film’s nervous and energetic verité style, and creepy familiarity – not any wild vision of the future – that make it so involving. It helps, too, that Cuarón doesn’t allow the writing or the performances, most notably from Clive Owen and Michael Caine, to sink amid the film’s futuristic detail and pointed ideological concerns.

‘Children of Men’ is a clever and credible vision of London in the near future – a violent, paranoid, claustrophobic time when Britain is the only surviving nation, and a fertility crisis means that no babies have been born for 18 years. The Department of Homeland Security has ordered a militarised police to arrest all illegal immigrants and dispatch them to a fortified compound at Bexhill-on-Sea. Meanwhile, a rebel outfit of guerrilla refugees (or ‘fugees’) known as The Fish loom threateningly in the background, fighting for the rights of illegal immigrants and determined to cause major unrest. Cuarón’s smart trick is not to explain too much. Instead, he leaps straight in to his story, which is a good old-fashioned chase yarn that’s gilded with some unobtrusive and cheeky social commentary.

It’s civil servant Theo (Owen) – hapless innocent, reluctant hero and middling everyman – versus a miserable world in which his activist ex Julian (Julianne Moore) continues to take a political stand that he’s long since abandoned. It helps that Cuarón’s prognosis of the future is gripping from the off. Theo (wearing a faded ‘London 2012’ sweater) is buying a coffee on Fleet Street when he notices a news report on TV. The newsreader (a voice recognisable from television today) announces that the world’s youngest person, 18-year-old Diego, has died in a street brawl. It’s major news. The public weep. Theo takes a day off. And it’s no leap of the imagination to connect the reaction to Diego’s death with the death of Diana in 1997. It’s a moment that’s symbolic of Cuarón’s film: the future is not another planet, but a familiar version of our own.

The focus on migrancy and terrorism has an uneasy potency (not least when a bomb blows up Starbucks), and signals Cuarón’s determination to avoid distancing sci-fi tropes. It’s a film that could have been ridiculous. When Theo finds himself unwitting guardian to the only pregnant woman on earth (Claire-Hope Ashitey), a Messianic tone threatens to infect the film, but Cuarón backs off from stressing the Biblical overtones of James’s tale; at one point, he pointedly pulls the needle off a solemn John Tavener number and returns to the din of conflict as immigrants battle it out amid Bexhill’s ruins.In Cuarón’s hands, this film emerges as quite an achievement, both technically (look out for the impressive one-shot take that graces a battle scene late on; Cuarón resists the cut throughout) and dramatically (even Caine is amusing as Theo’s old mate Jasper, a cardigan-wearing, pot-smoking old sage).

It’s the director’s boldness that makes it work. He doesn’t bother with easy explanations, choosing instead to plunge straight into the action, shooting in a frenzied, documentary style (always handheld) and employing only the most necessary of special effects. His London is ours. The same red buses crawl the streets, only they’re older and more tatty. It rains incessantly and, though the city’s grey buildings are now adorned with moving-image advertising, the majority of our cityscape endures, from Brick Lane to the gloomy fly-overs of the East End. There’s fun to be had from all this – zebras roam St James’s Park and Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ now hangs in a (finally!) refurbished Battersea Power Station. But this is no joke: this is as real and as provocative as the future gets on screen. Dave Calhoun

Source : Time Out London Issue 1883: September 20-27 2006

http://www.childrenofmen.net/


Trailer:
http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/childrenofmen/medium.html



Or:
Pan's Labyrinth

Synopsis


The guardian of a labyrinth tells a young girl that she is the long lost princess of a magical kingdom and sets her three dangerous tasks that she must complete in order to achieve her destiny.
Review:<

A girl on the cusp of adolescence is inducted into a threatening fantasy world where she discovers her own power. It’s a familiar, even archetypal story well suited to the dreamlike parallel reality of cinema: Alice, Wendy and Dorothy found their ways on screen and have been joined by the young heroines of ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Mirrormask’, to name just a few.
Pan’s Labyrinth’ is another version of the tale, but an unusual one in that it isn’t suitable for children. Not only is it replete with violence visited on the body, but its lessons – in the inadequacy of fantasy as a countermeasure to repression – might have sensitive youngsters chucking in the towel. As in ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and a prospective new project, ‘3993’, Guillermo del Toro (who is Mexican) arranges his supernatural drama against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War.


The setting is 1944, so the conflict proper is over, but skirmishes continue between anti-fascist guerrillas and forces under the command of sadistic, narcissistic Captain Vidal (Sergi López) – or ‘father’, as young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is instructed to address him when she arrives at his forest base with her pregnant, ailing mother (Ariadna Gil), Vidal’s new bride. The maid, Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), is friendly and in some ways a mirror character for Ofelia, but the girl is basically alone – until a large cricket transforms into a fairy and leads her to a crumbling stone maze in the grounds, where an ageing faun greets her as a lost princess, pending her completion of certain tasks…It’s no coincidence that the fairy appears after the double-killing that establishes this fable isn’t kids’ stuff, or that the jeopardy of Ofelia’s challenges pales in comparison to real-world struggles.


Reality increasingly dominates the story; in fact, the faun’s realm can seem merely the stage for a series of set-pieces whose grotesque and detailed design impresses more than any sense of momentum or high stakes. Yet as escapist fantasies go, this supernatural is markedly muddy – both literally, as when Ofelia ventures into the belly of a great tree, and in the general creepiness that marks even those ostensibly sympathetic to her, like the faun, with its unnerving habit of appearing in her bedroom.


The labyrinth has echoes of authentic atrocity: a pile of children’s shoes lies ominously near the banqueting table of a bald-bodied, blank-faced baby-eater. At least as evident, though, is del Toro’s own immersion in fantasy and horror cinema, with nods to ‘Don’t Look Now’, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘The Shining’ among others (not to mention Goya and ‘The Spirit of the Beehive’). It’s as a filmmaker, rather than storyteller, that del Toro is most successful here: a disjunction remains between the story’s childlike form and its gruesome execution, but few directors are so adept at conveying both the uncanny in the real and the recognisable in the fantastic.Ben Walters


Source : Time Out London Issue 1892: November 21-28 2006

Trailer:
 
Web Analytics