WE REVIEW THE SPECIAL ACTIVITIES OF THE DAY AND PRESENT AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRAM FOR TUESDAY THE 8TH
In the Club Español, the Festival presented one of the books it published Por las naciones de América: El cine documental silente de Renée Oro (Estudio histórico y técnico). Pablo Conde moderated a conversation by the authors Lucio Mafud, Georgina Tosi, Mariana Avramo, Daniela Cuatrin, Jazmín Adrover and July Massaccesi in which they reviewed the body of work of the Argentina director and producer.
Lucio Mafud, a researcher at the ENERC library, recounted how the history of the filmmaker's career was reconstructed over fifteen years of research. She referred to a successful trip to Europe in the 1920s to present the film La Argentina, as well as her production of documentaries that showed the geography and resources of different provinces, and the attempt to film La vida de Sarmiento, an unfinished film, whose fragments are in the Cinematheque. Mafud expanded: "Her cinema represents a more or less idyllic vision of Argentine reality, which tried to represent the idea of progress advancing on still wild regions."
The researcher Georgina Tosi explained how the work to recover the material from the film Las naciones de América was carried out: “It was done almost frame by frame, because it is a material that was dispersed. And a lot of the information we managed to dig out came from the movie's intertitles."
When asked by Conde about what it feels like to be in front of a historical discovery, Mariana Avramo, coordinator of the INCAA National Cinematheque, reflected: “The beautiful thing is when people finally see the recovered film; that people can have access and enjoy this find, which bears witness to a memory and an identity”. Then, filmmaker July Massaccesi concluded: "It is essential to know where we come from, who we are and where we are going."
Also in the Club Español, Pablo Conde moderated a conversation entitled Geografías del cine actual, in which Marcos Uzal, editor-in-chief of the magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, and Alberto Lechuga, coordinator of the Spanish edition of the magazine Sofilm, participated. There was a debate about the reasons why at certain times geographical tendencies arise in the cinema that help to give relevance to certain films and filmmakers. Some of the most debated examples were the pre-eminence of cinema from Iran during the 1990s or from South Korea in more recent years.
One of the central themes of the discussion was the distinction between, on the one hand, taking advantage of these distribution trends to position the works of valuable filmmakers, and on the other hand not assuming an uncritical fanaticism that leads to defending the cinematographies of certain countries in and of themselves. In Uzal's words, “geography is important, but it is not a criterion; it is a criterion at a distribution or fashion level, but it should not be at a critical level.” In this sense, it was pointed out that it is common that, once the cinema of a certain country goes out of fashion, only the names of the most outstanding filmmakers remain. The Eurocentric tendency of world cinema was also discussed, and fundamentally the place that France has occupied for decades in the cinematographic world. "Behind these discoveries and fashions there is a great lack of curiosity," said Uzal regarding the central countries, highlighting the existence of unequal geopolitical relations. As a counterpart to the growing globalization caused by the Internet, Lechuga referred to the need to develop projects with the necessary budget and time to carry out serious and rigorous research. Finally, the place that Argentine cinema occupies in the European cinephile was discussed, focusing on the interest recently aroused in France by the films of José Celestino Campusano and the production company El Pampero Cine, and the lack of knowledge of the work of such a personal filmmaker like Leonardo Favio: "In Europe not even God knows him, and it seems like a scandal to me," said Uzal.
The second part of the conversation Opportunities and Challenges of Making Documentary Film Today took place today, in which the critic and programmer Diego Lerer spoke alone with one of the prominent guests of this 37th edition: Heinz Emigholz. The German filmmaker laid out some outstanding concepts, based on the particular relationship that his filmography establishes with architecture, a discipline that his last three films address: Salamone, Pampa, Slaughterhouses of Modernity and Mamani in El Alto, all from 2022 and included in the spotlight that the Festival dedicates to his work.
"I am very curious about architecture which is not usually taught in universities," he said when asked about the work of architect Francisco Salamone, scattered throughout the province of Buenos Aires. He said of it: “I am interested in the fact that it shows the different faces of modernity”, a concept that, in his opinion, “can be used for a good or a bad purpose.”
The director also spoke about cinema as the opposite of internet images, which produce a fragmented view of things. “The Internet destroys the human perception of architecture. We always see the same three images,” he affirmed and said that he is interested in “making documentaries for the cinema, with good image and sound, to represent spaces in a way that the Internet cannot do.”
Screenings, Tuesday the 8th
The International Competition continues with two films: La uruguaya, the second feature film by Argentina's Ana García Blaya, based on Pedro Mairal's novel of the same title, about a writer in the midst of a mid-life crisis who travels to Montevideo in hopes of meeting up again with a young woman he met on a previous trip; and the solo debut of the Brazilian Haroldo Borges with Saudade fez morada aqui dentro, a warm portrait of an adolescent who lives with the certainty that in a few months he will lose his sight.
In the Latin American Competition, the presentation of the day is Amigas en un camino de campo, a new work by Argentinean Santiago Loza: the story of two friends who, with the excuse of a meteorite falling in the mountains, cross the field accompanied by the shadow of a third friend that passed away. The music of Santiago Motorizado and the poetry of Roberta Iannamico help build the atmosphere of this story filmed in the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires, in the areas of Tornquist, Saldungaray and Sierra de la Ventana.
The Argentine Competition, for its part, presents two premieres. Luminum, a brand new film by Maximiliano Schonfeld, is a documentary about Silvia and Andrea, a mother and daughter who, in a corner of Entre Ríos, on the banks of the Paraná, spend their nights observing the sky in search of extraterrestrial life. In Náufrago, co-directed by Martín Farina and Guillermo “Willy” Villalobos, we accompany Villalobos, who from the small Uruguayan town of Cabo Polonio recalls his experiences as a militant, political prisoner and exile.
This Tuesday will also be able to see two new films from the Altered States Competition. In the first, Lockdown Diaries, experimental filmmaker Jeff Zorrilla captured his daily life in a pandemic for more than a year. Warm and melancholy, shot in 16mm format, the film explores fears, hopes, disappointments and great changes in the life of Zorrilla and his family. The second is Filme particular, the debut of Brazilian Janaína Nagata, which also includes 16mm material, but in this case it is a reel of unknown origin found online. From this material, which shows a family vacation in South Africa in the 1960s, Nagata carries out a meticulous work of research and dissection of the image.
Another important event of this day is the Jonas Mekas Focus, in which the Festival presents three films by the Lithuanian filmmaker. Award Presentation to Andy Warhol (1964), Notes for Jerome (1978) and Happy Birthday to John (1995) are works that share the peculiarity of being dedicated to three artists who were also friends of the director: Andy Warhol, Jerome Hill and John Lennon.
The Auteurs section will screen Don Juan, the new work by Serge Bozon, a musical comedy about an actor who, in the days leading up to the premiere of a theatrical production in which he plays Molière's character, goes through a personal crisis that leads him to see his ex-partner in all the women he comes across.
The Original Soundtrack (OST) section presents La danza de Los Mirlos, by Álvaro Luque, a documentary that recounts the trajectory of Los Mirlos, a pioneering Peruvian cumbia band, and which also works as a genealogy of tropical music from all over the continent.
Por último, en la sección Rescates podrá verse uno de los grandes clásicos del cine argentino: La guerra gaucha de Lucas Demare, épica basada en el libro homónimo de Leopoldo Lugones que retrata, en el contexto de la Guerra de la Independencia, la resistencia de los gauchos comandados por Martín Miguel de Güemes ante el avance de las fuerzas realistas.
Lastly, in the Rescues section one of the great classics of Argentine cinema can be seen: La Guerra Gaucha by Lucas Demare, an epic film based on the homonymous book by Leopoldo Lugones that portrays, in the context of the War of Independence, the resistance of the gauchos commanded by Martín Miguel de Güemes before the advance of the royalist forces.
Check out the rest of the screenings in the Program Guide.
At 13:00 in Museo MAR, the Festival will hold a Conversations with Masters program exclusively focused on its special guest Lita Stantic, the Argentine director, scriptwriter and producer who is a pivotal figure in the explosion of the “new Argentine cinema”, accompanying the first films of Lucrecia Martel, Israel Adrián Caetano and Pablo Trapero. Moderated by Sergio Rentero.
At 15:00 in the Hall Auditorium, the second presentation of Coming soon will be held. A discussion with filmmakers, critics and film programming specialists who will recommend the must-see films of the following three days in a panel open to the public. With Marcos Uzal (editor and chief of Cahiers du Cinéma), Marcela Gamberini (Masters of Humanities and film critic) and Javier Diz (journalist and musician). Moderated by Juan Pablo Cinelli.
At 16:30, in the Sala Nachman, the Festival present a panel discussion entitled New ways of communicating the audiovisual in traditional media and new tools. The topic to be debated will be how, in recent years, the maelstrom of technological tools allows traditional media and social media to coexist. With Liliana Mazure, Antito Perata and Julia Montesoro. Moderated by Jeankarla “La Colo” Falon Plaza (press agent and member of the Argentine Association of Art and Culture Press Agents).
At 17:30, in the Club Español, presentation of the book Cuerpos invadidos. Videodrome de David Cronenberg: Larga vida a la nueva carne (David Cronenberg’s Videodrome: long live the new flesh!), one of the books published by the Festival, focusing on an iconic film from David Cronenberg's career and past and present genre cinema: Videodrome (1983). Using critical texts and historical documents of its reception, autobiographical essays by artists and cinephiles, as well as historic interviews with its director, the Mar del Plata Festival pays homage to a film that brought body horror and the fascination for what is different to the fore. With Paula Sosa Holt, Gerard Casau and surprise panelists. Moderator Pablo Conde.
Check out the rest of the activities in the Program Guide.
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