Macabro 2014 Review: Leopoldo Laborde's PIEL ROTA, No-Budget Horror At Its Best

Leopoldo Laborde is a veteran Mexican guerrilla filmmaker. Piel Rota his 19th production. It world premiered at Macabro 2014 and it is another no budget movie, but one in which you can see the director's experience of 20+ years reflected... More »
  

Review: Great Performances And A Gritty Ending Make THE QUISPE GIRLS A Must See

One of the most anticipated Chilean movies of last year was this particular approach and almost austere way of film-making that was The Quispe Girls, but no film festival in Chile managed to snag it in 2013. Being selected in... More »
  

Review: CANTINFLAS, A Romanticized Biopic

Actor Óscar Jaenada might be Spanish but he was the perfect choice to play the role of Mario Moreno, also known as "Cantinflas," one of Mexico's most beloved and legendary comedians. In Sebastián del Amo's Cantinflas, Jaenada delivers a performance... More »
  

MICGénero 2014 Review: MI VIDA ES UN ALBUR, Or, Being A Tough Woman In Tepito

Mi Vida Es Un Albur is a documentary set in the "barrio bravo" Tepito, one of Mexico's toughest neighborhoods. Located in downtown Mexico City, very near Garibaldi and the Palace of Fine Arts, Tepito is best known for its enormous... More »
  

Review: PERRO GUARDIAN, A Gritty Character Study Based On Reality

The trailers for Perro Guardián, the debut feature from Bacha Caravedo and Daniel Higashionna, were selling it as a gritty action thriller. They got the grit part right, but this is actually a slow-burn psychological study of a difficult character,... More »
  

Review: THE SUMMER OF FLYING FISH Tries To Tackle A Centuries Old Conflict

The year 2013 was a special one for Chilean cinema, I talked about it in my list of the best Chilean movies of 2013 that I posted here on Twitch. One of the main reasons was the amount of films from... More »
  

Review: H2OMX, Or, Mexico City Has A Lack Of Water Problem

José Cohen and Lorenzo Hagerman's H2Omx is in the vein of those documentaries that have raising awareness on a current problem as main objective.Its subject might be a local issue, that affects Mexico City and other nearby places, but the... More »
  

Review: ROOT (RAIZ) Is Somewhat Literal In Its Symbology

The winner of the Chilean Competition in last year's Valdivia Film Festival, Raíz (Root) managed not only to get chosen to participate in many festivals from Latin America and beyond, but also snagged a Chilean distribution deal, something that doesn't... More »
  

Lima 2014 Review: VIEJOS AMIGOS, A Light, Harmless Comedy About Growing Old

The debut film from director Fernando Villarán, Viejos Amigos is one of the most anticipated local films of the year. For some odd reason, its theatrical run has kicked off on the same week it plays at the Lima Film Festival, which just... More »
  

Review: WE ARE MARI PEPA (SOMOS MARI PEPA), An Honest Portrait Of Youth With A Dose Of Punk Rock

Mari Pepa is the name of a punk rock band in We Are Mari Pepa (Somos Mari Pepa), Samuel Isamu Kishi Leopo's extension of his own 18-minute short film Mari Pepa. "Mari" refers to marihuana, while "pepa" is slang for... More »
  

Review: DARKER THAN NIGHT (MÁS NEGRO QUE LA NOCHE), An Embarrassingly Bad 3D Remake

The original Más Negro Que la Noche, or Darker Than Night, was written and directed by the late Carlos Enrique Taboada in 1975. Widely considered as one of the most important Mexican horror films ever made, it is everything this... More »
  

Lima 2014 Review: Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Differently In TO KILL A MAN

Jorge (Daniel Candia) is a meek, introverted park ranger who spends most of his day alone in the forest. On the way home one night, he runs into a group of thugs led by the neighborhood bully, Kalule (Daniel Antivilo),... More »
  

Lima 2014 Review: REFUGIADO, A Truthful Account Of The Impact Of Domestic Abuse

No topic is taboo when it comes to movies, but some of them do require care. If certain subjects are not handled correctly, filmmakers can be accused of being exploitative and/or insensitive. It takes a deft directorial hand successfully work... More »
  

Review: HEIGHTS (CUMBRES), A Subtle Character Piece Inspired By The Killer Of Cumbres Case

Inspired by a real life high-profile crime that happened in Monterrey, Mexico, Heights (Cumbres) is a film that in the wrong hands could have been a disaster, close to the sensationalist journalism that covered said case back in 2006. However,... More »
  

Lima 2014 Review: GUEROS Takes You On A Ride Through Mexico City

Gueros, the debut film from director Alonso Ruiz Palacios, begins on a high note: a stylish, energetic opening detailing the inevitable collision between a woman carrying her baby on a stroller and a badly timed water balloon. This little act... More »
  

Review: THE MAGNETIC TREE Attracts, But Fails To Surprise

This Spanish-Chilean co-production was among the most lauded of the Valdivia Film Festival last year. Though it failed to win any official festival prizes, The Magnetic Tree (El árbol magnético) was easily one of the most spoken-about movies. It managed... More »
  

FIDOCS 2014 Review: THE WALTZ OF THE USELESS Is An Accurate Chronicle That Lacks Focus

Personally, I think that the sign of a good documentary is when it sets out to "document" something and lays out the facts in the ground in a clear and proper fashion, either it be through interviews, narrations, or whatever... More »
  

FIDOCS 2014 Review: TIMOTEO'S FABULOUS RAGGED CIRCUS, A True Crowd Pleaser

FIDOCS (Festival Internacional Documentales Santiago Chile) has always been a showcase of the best documentary output that the world has to offer. At the same time it has managed to always choose the best documentaries that will have Chile talk for... More »
  

FIDOCS 2014 Review: PROPAGANDA Is Ultimately Universal

FIDOCS is one of the most important film festivals in Chile, as it's maybe one of the finest venues for documentaries from Chile and the world to be featured and seen in one week. Propaganda is a difficult film, due... More »
  

Review: HELI, Important And Unforgettable, Yet Still Taking The Easy Way Out

In Mexico there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Amat Escalante's third feature Heli. Yes, Steven Spielberg loved it at Cannes and Danny Boyle praised it at the Guanajuato Film Festival, but there's a large group of Mexican critics... More »
  
 
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