33 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FESTIVAL

With no order or hierarchy, with no favoritism. The editorial team responsible –and entrenched behind– the Festival’s website set out to produce a somewhat whimsical outline of a large portion of the program. An invitation to experience every section of this edition. 

 

 

 

 

Masterclasses on Sound x2: Lucrecia Martel and Mark Berger

Yes, you read that correctly: the Argentine director and the American sound engineer who won four Academy Awards -Apocalypse Now, The Right Stuff, Amadeus and The English Patient- will offer master-classes on how sound works in relation to the image. From her always lucid and peculiar point of view, the director of Zama will offer an approach on time and space through sound. In turn, Berger will reflect on how dialogue, music and effects work together to manipulate emotions and improve the impact of films.

 

Jia, Lee, Hong and Tsai

It is known: every year, the Festival offers an update of the finest contemporary Asian cinema. We could practically say that this is a festival-within-the-Festival. Some of them are names the audience is familiar with: the new films by Jia Zhanh-ke, Lee Chang-dong, Hong Sang-soo and Tsai Ming-liang clearly prove that these auteurs are at their peak. A love story with a mafia backdrop -Ash Is Purest White-, the (free) adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami -Burning-, a meeting between two characters in crisis -Hotel by the River- and a poetic essay on faces and their stories -Your Face- are the tales with which these directors, who are among the best in the world, update their relationship with the Mar del Plata audiences.

 

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, before Netflix

Alfonso Cuarón dedicated this nostalgic, beautiful and painful black-and-white film to his own childhood. Even though it’s based on his own experiences growing up in the Mexico City neighborhood that gives the film its title, the point of view of the film is that of Cleo, the maid at a household inhabited by four children. A great opportunity to see Roma on a big screen before its release on the streaming platform.

 

Jean-Pierre Léaud’s Visit

Yes, Jean-Pierre Léaud will be present in Mar del Plata. A main figure in the sentimental education of many cinephiles will present four of his films and give a public conference on Tuesday, November 13. A beautiful chance to revisit The 400 Blows, Stolen Kisses, The Mother and the Whore and The Death of Louis XIV in a movie theater. 

 

Laura Huertas Millán’s Ethnographic Cinema

The work of this young French-Colombian director –who will also be a member of the jury of the new Altered States competition– revolves around the ethnographic documentary and the boundaries that filmmaking establishes when trying to capture the reality or the experiences lived by the people portrayed on the screen. An artist interested in history, people and the resources film provides in order to talk about all this and, at the same time, always question it.

 

Film and Gender Perspective Forum

In line with the recognition of the women movements –both local and international, from #NiUnaMenos to #MeToo–, the Mar del Plata Film Festival –for the first time directed by a woman, Cecilia Barrionuevo– presents a space to debate gender roles and stereotypes within the field of cinema. Over the course of two days, different speakers and participants moderated by Analía Barrionuevo will go over a series of specific quandaries in order to put new approach strategies into play. Participants will include Lucrecia Martel, Velérie Massadian, Ana Katz, Mercedes Morán, Marina Glezer, Calu Rivero and Muriel Santa Ana, among many other actresses, filmmakers, technicians and specialized journalists.

 

The Latest from Spanish Director Carlos Vermut

We’ll start off with the capricious selection of titles. Because the impression left by the two previous films from by young Spanish director -Diamond Flash and Magical Girl, both screened in past editions of the Festival-, raise our expectations for his new work. And the premiere of Quién te cantará will be one of the most emotional moments of this edition; a unique moment of pure cinema, the kind only a few are able to create. Not to be missed.

 

Maya Deren’s Experimental Shorts

A retrospective by the pioneer of American experimental film in restored 16mm versions. A director, choreographer, poet and dancer, Maya Deren and her work created a strange connection between dreams, surrealistic images and the capturing of bodies in motion like no one else. 

 

Fran Healy

"What’s the leader of the band Travis doing here?,” some might say… Well, the first piece of news is that he has directed a film. And the second one (attention!) is that he will be presenting it in Mar del Plata. Almost Fashionable: A Film about Travis is a documentary about his own band, from the point of view of a rock critic who, after having doubts on the talent of the Scottish band, reveals the melodic power of their songs, which were born to be immortal.

 

Drive-in Theater at the MAR Museum

Turn your engines on: the 33rd Festival will offer audiences the chance to see two recent Argentine cinema hits -Gastón Duprat’s My Masterpiece, on Sunday the 11th, and Juan Vera’s An Unexpected Love, on Monday the 12th at the MAR Museum's drive-in theater. One of the most popular exhibition formats in history returns to Mar del Plata with two audience favorites.

 

Pierre Richard Tribute

The French comedian who cheered up the afternoons of audiences who grew up with his films during the ‘70s and ’80 arrives in Mar del Plata for the first time in order to be celebrated and present four features that prove the validity of this worldwide comedy icon: La Chevre, The Fugitives, The Troubles of Alfred and The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe

 

Wang Bing’s Dead Souls

An 8-hour film? Yes. Wang Bing continues filming and expanding the history of his country, China, during the 20th century. A monumental film that reconstructs the experience of more than 20 survivors –now elderly– of the labor camps from the 1957-1978 period and its actual consequences. A doctor, a philosopher, a literature professor, a leader: despite the interviewee’s profile, what lies beneath is the eagerness to not lose sight of a vital portion of Chinese history that needs to be told and processed by its protagonists for the future generations.

 

The World Premiere of the Restored Print of The Last Indian Attack

One hundred years after its release, and as a world premiere, the Festival will screen Alcides Greca’s The Last Indian Attack (1917), an avant-garde ethnographic document that laid the foundation for anthropological films. The screening of this print, which was though lost and was restored by the Pablo Ducrós Hicken Film Museum, will feature live music by Maia Kowning.

 

Valeria Sarmiento and Patricia Mazuy

One of the Festival’s most important conferences will be led by two of the most interesting contemporary film directors, who will be presenting their new films -The Black Book and Paul Sanchez Is Back, respectively. The dialogue will include a walk through their career, the peculiarities of the craft, the changes within the industry and the need for a female point of view in current cinema.

 

The Argentine Films of the International Competition

Like every year, two films by local directors compete for the Golden Astor for Best Picture. In this edition, the names are Iván Fund, with There Will Come Soft Rains, and Alejandro Fadel, with Murder Me, Monster. This time, the films share the fact that, even though they’re quite different from each other, they are both genre films. While Fund’s film is a children’s adventure tale set in a desolate, post-apocalyptic environment, Fadel’s work is an astonishing trip to the most hidden corners of the human psyche, in a contaminated cop film with one foot set in fantasy. Good luck to both!

 

Léos Carax’s Filmography, Revisited

From his beginnings, Carax established a unique relation between the love for cinema’s past and its modernity, creating moments destined to be classic and unforgettable. In this edition of the Festival, Carax arrives as a guest in order to give a conference, and four of his great features, Boy Meets Girl, Mauvais Sang, The Lovers on the Bridge and Holy Motors, will be screened.

 

Andrei Ujica and Out of the Present

A unique piece of film history returns in a restored version brought by the director himself: Andrei Ujica will not only be a juror in this Festival edition's International Competition, he wil also present a new version –restored in 2017, of his 1995 modern classic Out of the Present, which features the story of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who had to stay on Mir space station between May 1991 and March 1992. Ujica's film –with opening and closing footage taken in space by a 35mm camera!– documents Krikalev's special journey as the only man to who took off from the USSR and landed, quite some time later, in Russia. 

 

Chained for Life, de Aaron Schimberg

Aaron Schimberg's second feature us one of the many jewels of the program. In this story set during a horror film shooting that revolves around a cast with actors that have some sort of physical deformity, Schimberg reveals himself as a director with a very personal view, capable of reflecting on horror and beauty, approaching characters in a very humane way, with an estranged yet natural tenderness. This will be one of the findings of this Festival.

 

The relentless Narcisa Hirsch

This pioneer of experimental cinema returns to Mar del Plata to present the short film Kosmos, the Uncertainty, a natural sequel of Kosmos -32nd Festival. Based on the tensions between creation and chaos, this project was co-directed by Robert Cahen and Rubén Guzmán. A well-established director, curator, and video creator, Guzmán also presents his short film Amelina in this edition. 

 

Wolfgang Staudte: A Full Retrospective in 35mm

Regarded as the "master" of post-war German cinema, Wolfgang Staudte (1906-1984) and his work haven't been revisited enough. This comprehensive retrospective programmed by German critic Olaf Möller and sponsored by Goethe-Institut includes 11 feature-length films and one short –all of them screened in 35mm– directed by one of the few filmmakers who managed to work in both East and West Germany, and summarize both film cultures in his body of work.

 

Dennis Hopper x 2

He represents the paradigm of independence both in American cinema and film in general. Ever since that historical time when he conquered Cannes with Easy Rider, Hopper's interventions –as an actor or director– , took every project to welcomed areas of unpredictability and risk. This year, the Festival will screen his masterpiece The Last Movie, a legendary film, in a restored version -thanks to the work of David Marriott, co-CEO and co-founder of Arbelos Films, who will participate in a conference on film restoration on Thursday 15th. And the cherry on top: the screening of The American Dreamer, a documentary record of Hopper surrounded by women, illegal substances and guns, while his producers keep waiting for him to finish his damned movie. 

 

The premiere of Ana Katz's Florianópolis Dream

The new film by the Argentine director –the Festival's Opening Night film– is a family dramedy starred by Mercedes Morán and Gustavo Garzón as a couple going through a middle-age crisis. The erotic conflict between them and their teenage children unfold against the beach setting in the city of the title. Ranging from seriousness to lightness, Florianópolis Dream is also a reflection on the deceitful dead hours of vacations. 

 

100 Years of Ingmar Bergman

Argentina was one of the first countries in recognizing the talent and process the work of the Swedish filmmakers. Now, in the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Festival will revisit that connection screening eight of his finest films -Persona, Fanny and Alexander, The Seventh Seal, among them. There will also be an exhibition dedicated to his work at the Castagnino Museum, and a luxury edition a documentary book written by specialists and coordinated by Raúl Manrupe, that will be available for purchase in the Festival's information desks.

 

Pachamama and Juan Antin

Young audiences are very much a part of this Festival through Children by the Sea, the special program section for all-ages, which this year includes three feature-films and seven shorts. A must is the premiere of Pachamama, directed by Juan Antin -who returns to animation 15 years after Mercano, el marciano. The film is a portrait of Andean cosmovision through the adventures of a young indigenous man who aspires to become a shaman at the time of the European colonization of the Americas. For all audiences. 

 

Hal Ashby and Generación VHS

He was one of the main figures of the so-called New Hollywood: a generation of American filmmakers who dazzled the world with their creative freedom and stories that broke through social conventions. The case of Ashby was probably even more valuable, because he didn't receive enough recognition, and because he expressed his spiking ideas on class differences, racism, and social marginalization in his country. This year, Generation VHS pays tribute to him screening two of his classics: Harold & Maude and Shampoo, as well as the premiere of Hal, a documentary about him. 

 

Marta Minujín and Art, Art, Art

The Argentine concept artist lived one of her great adventures when building her magnanimous piece The Parthenon of Forbidden Books in documenta Kassel. Because this scale replica of the Greek monument built in the middle with books that were forbidden by different reasons causes diverse reactions and marks a turning point in her career. The origins of such a project, the repercussions among the audiences, and the artists reflections are all captured by the camera of Alessio Rigo de Righi, who manages to make this new parthenon dialogue with the first one the artist created in Buenos Aires in 1983, following the return of democracy. 

 

Super 8 and 16mm are still in force 

It's no coincidence that the Festival still has a section dedicated to Super 8 and 16mm formats: for the seventh consecutive year, three programs –curated by Pablo Marín– prove production is still active and includes contemporary experimental approaches. We recommend that you attend these screenings to see the directors operate their projectors by hand. On the other hand, Program #3 will exhibit the work of two figures from the past, Juan Villola and Luis Bras, establishing a dialogue between different generations of filmmakers. 

 

Nicolas Cage

We couldn't help ourselves. His performance (can you call that "acting"?) in Mandy is such a massive and outrageous thing we had to highlight it. For several years now Cage has turned his histrionic manners in low-budget films and doubtful taste into a personal brand. But in Panos Cosmatos' new film he reaches incredible areas, turning a hallucinatory film into an amazing one. See it to believe it. 

 

The Filmmakers of the Future

Every year, one of the most stimulating section of the Festival is New Auteurs, which features a handful of name you may not know today, but definitely should keep an eye on because we are probably dealing with some of the top directors of the future. Let's bet on Daniel Barosa's Boni bonita -starring Ailín Salas-, Flesh Memory, from critic and director Jacky Goldberg -a jury member for the Original Soundtrack section-, Claire Pijman's Living the Light - Robby Muller -about one of the most relevant cinematographers in film history-, Puzzle, by Marc Turtletaub -a producer of Little Miss Sunshine, among many others- and actor Paul Dano's directorial debut Wildlife, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Don't say we didn't tell you.

 

Olivier Assayas

The French director's return to comedy is something we can't let go unnoticed. Specially when he did it this way: acid, critical, challenging viewers with current topics many people will relate to, which makes it even more attractive. A book publisher can't get used to the new ways of consumers; a TV actress who hates her job; a writer who curses at the tweets people write against him. ¿How can we not love that? 

 

Midnights at the Ambassador

As years go by, a collective ceremony became a Festival's mandatory appointment: midnights at the Ambassador 1. That's when hundreds of people choose to end each Festival day in community, celebrating the most extreme, adrenaline-driven and positively nightmarish films of the year. Join this journey into the unknown. 

 

Strong Characters

We can't know for sure, but we think several characters will captivate the Festival's cinephile audiences with their magnetism in front of the camera. The list includes the following (although it's the viewers task to discover many more!): Cassandro, the queer wrestling champion who stars in de Marie Losier's Cassandro, the Exotico!, and Julia Katharine, the Japanese-Brazilian trans actress who tells us her stories of love and sorrow in Gustavo Vinagre's I Remember the Crows. We should also highlight Melissa McCarthy (Gilmore Girls) in a dramatic role that fits like a glove: American writer Leonore “Lee” Israel in de Marielle Heller's Can You Ever Forgive Me?.

 

 

Bruno Dumont's CoinCoin and the ExtraHumans

One of the Festival's most fun moments ever was the presentation of Bruno Dumont's crazy series Li'l Quinquin, which surprised everyone. Quinquin has grown up now, and his name is Coincoin. Don't ask, just let yourselves go with this new series -four excellent 50-minute episodes- that tells the story of a small town where a series of strange crimes occur after a curious black, slimy liquid from outer space creates replicas of the town's people. A mandatory appointment of the Senses of humor section. 

 

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