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.

Artificial Paradises

Luisa is 25 years old and fighting a heroin addiction. Having escaped the city she finds herself seeking repose in a fading beach resort that rests on the lush seaside hills of Veracruz, Mexico. Inhabitants and conversations are sparse, but Luisa finds a quiet companionship with 50-year-old local Salomon, an alcoholic widower who spends his days smoking marijuana.

The film’s breathtaking landscape, captured by talented cinematographer Luisa Tillinger, is a slice of serenity, even though the village’s permanent residents grapple with the reality of paradise’s temporal promises. It is an interesting and apt backdrop for this less-than-ordinary love story between two people battling dependency. Director Yulene Olaizola, a rising Mexican directing talent who first gained attention with her award-winning documentary Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s Intimacies, collaborates with co-screenwriter Fernando del Razo and actress Luisa Pardo to create a rich and sincere narrative debut that subverts the typical addiction tale and highlights the subtle yet powerful performances by Pardo and Salomón Hernández.
–Genna Terranova [Courtesy of The Tribeca Film Festival]

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]