By Brian Brooks | Indiewire August 22, 2005 at 9:04AM
A slew of American premieres from south of the U.S. border will once again be the spotlight of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's LatinBeat, taking place at the Walter Reade Theater in Manhattan. Nineteen films from nine countries will screen this year. Additionally, the program will again salute a major Latin American artist with a mini-retrospective within the festival. This year's spotlight will focus on Federico Luppi, who is widely considered Argentina's greatest living actor.
The Film Society describes Federico Luppi as very much an "actor's actor." Beyond Argentina, his fame and impact go well beyond that country, thanks to his highly acclaimed performances in several recent Mexican, Spanish, and American box office hits. LatinBeatwill present seven of Luppi's films, spanning his career from the prominent Argentine films of the 80s such as Fernando Ayala and Juan José Jusid's "Plata dulce" (Easy Money), "Tiempo de revancha" (Time of Revenge) and Héctor Olivera's No habrá más pena ni olvido (Funny Dirty Little War) to notable recent films like Adolfo Aristarain's "Martin H" and "Lugares Comunes" (Common Places). From the U.S., the series will screen Guillermo del Toro's "The Devil's Backbone" and John Sayles' "Men With Guns."
Among the films slated for the series is Bolivian director Marcos Loayza's "The Heart of Jesus" (El Corazón de Jesús). According to the fest, the film centers on a Bolivian government ministry worker named Jesus who has a heart attack one day at work. After he recovers, his wife decides to leave him and abscond with much of their meager savings, leaving him with a hospital tab he can't possibly afford. Alex Bowen's "My Best Enemy" (Mi mejor enemigo) follows a Chilean border patrol unit that gets lost on their march to the Argentinean border. When the soldiers set off from the barracks, their goal is to "kill five Argentine soldiers each with 20 bullets," but after days of wandering the pampas encountering no more than a stray dog, they soon become disillusioned with their role in "the war that never was."
In Brazilian director Sergio Bianchi's "What is it Worth?" (Quanto vale ou e' por quilo) Bianchi gives a provocative look at what is commonly considered a taboo subject in his native Brazil: race relations. Loosely based on Machado de Assis's short story "Father Against Mother," Bianchi's film contains a series of vignettes that point up the contradictions in even the most progressive and open encounters between Brazilians of various ethnic backgrounds. Julia Solomonoff's "Sisters" (Hermanas), meanwhile tells the story of two sisters, exiled Argentinean journalist Natalia (Ingrid Rubio) and Elena (Valeria Bertuccelli), also exiled, who are reunited in suburban Texas in 1984 and discover that their late father, an intellectual and journalist, has left behind an unpublished novel that is the veiled story of their family during the years of the military dictatorship.
For the first time this year, LatinBeat will be shown nationally. In association with Emerging Pictures, a selection of films from this year's LatinBeat will be digitally distributed to theaters around the country contemporaneous with events at Lincoln Center. Cord Dueppe, Marcela Goglio, and Inés Aslan curate the series.
[ For more information and the full list of films, please visit http://www.filmlinc.com ]