Greatest Hits

When Gabino’s father returns home after a long absence, the two men awkwardly attempt to re-establish a relationship; but Gabino and his mother quickly tire of this man who has become a stranger to them and decide to kick him out, before realizing that he has already left. Gabino eventually tracks his father down and spends time with him in his rundown apartment, trying to figure out if there is any possibility for the two of them to ever truly communicate. Though Greatest Hits continues Pereda’s exploration of his perennial themes of absence, masculinity and the difficulty of maintaining a family, it opens up a whole new set of aesthetic questions through a bold formal gambit: halfway through, the entire narrative reboots and starts from scratch with another actor playing one of the key characters, leading to different iterations of events already witnessed.

The Cinema Hold Up

Negus, Chale, Sapo, and Chata are teenagers living in Mexico’s Guerrero colony. Friends since childhood, they have too much time on their hands and spend most of it drowning their problems in a constant haze of marijuana, lusting after the opposite sex, and hanging out at skate parks, graffiti hot spots, and hip-hop jam sessions. One day, inspired by the pain of empty pockets and the crush against the gritty boundary between adolescence and adulthood, the foursome have a massive brainstorm that will solve all of their problems—they decide to rob the local cinema. Each finds his or her reason to go ahead with the caper, unaware that the ordeal may threaten the only thing they have—their friendship.

“The Cinema Hold Up” is a vibrant, authentic, and wonderfully observed portrait of the tempo and texture of today’s Mexican youth culture. First-time feature director Iria Gómez Concheiro draws pitch-perfect performances from the talented ensemble cast and registers a strong and original voice in Mexican cinema. [Synopsis provided by the Sundance Institute]

Summer of Goliath (Verano de Goliat)

Summer of Goliath is a documentary/fiction hybrid that narrates various stories of the people of the town of Huilotepec in rural Mexico. Teresa’s husband has disappeared and she believes he has left her for another woman. Gabino, her son, is a soldier who searches cars at the side of a country road, where very few cars pass by. He hopes one day him and Alberto, his soldier partner, will get machine guns to further intimidate the people driving by. Amalio, Nico, and Oscar are three brothers whose stories we learn through a series of interviews and reenactments. Their father left them many years ago, and their mother can barely support them. Oscar has gained the nickname Goliath after the mysterious death of his girlfriend.

Minotaur

Acclaimed Mexican-Canadian auteur Nicolás Pereda (Greatest Hits) returns to the Festival with this lovely, wraithlike fantasy that observes three thirtysomethings as they sleep, dream, read and receive visitors in a Mexico City apartment. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Lucifer

An angel falling from heaven to hell unexpectedly lands in a Mexican village where his presence affects the villagers in surprising ways. Lucifer is a mesmerizing, moving, and unique experiment in form, presented in the director’s original format, Tondoscope. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]

The Absent

An old man lives alone in a shabby cabin in a remote mountainous area of Mexico. His house is set to be demolished in order to facilitate the redevelopment of the area. He doesn’t know how to protect his house. Time goes by and one day a young man shows up on his doorstep. Looking exhausted, he starts his new routine here, cooking and doing laundry just like the old man.

The Searches

Revenge, redemption and chance are the topics that underpin José Luis Valle’s new film. A man runs his errands: cleans the house, picks up the dry cleaning, pays his debts and buys groceries. Then, inexplicably commits suicide. His death smites his wife, Elvira, who is unaware of the reasons for suicide. At another point, Ulises is assaulted and stripped of the portfolio that held the only photo he kept of her deceased daughter. He sets out to find the thief and kill him. The lives of Elvira and Ulises intersect unexpectedly.

I Am Happiness on Earth

Emiliano looks at his life with the eyes of a film director, mixing the objective reality with the processes of the artistic creation. The story he is filming flounders with his daily life, until his world is trapped in the lens of his camera. Confused, always alone and in front of a screen, now become a transfigured reality, but at the same time a measurable, controllable and manipulable one, he listens in loop to a song: one of those songs you sing or repeat as a prayer and forcing you to remember, believe and convince yourself.

La última película

A famous American filmmaker travels to the Yucatán to scout locations for his last movie. The Mayan Apocalypse intercedes