|6 films to see at the Argentine Film Festival|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Monday, 15 April 2013 14:51|
The Argentine Film Festival London returns for a second year this Wednesday – and I’m rather excited about it. I think you should be too. As the Cannes Film Festival starts to wind up its media machine, Argentine Film Festival London may not get as many column inches, but it’s lovely to see a young festival continue on the back of sheer audience demand – almost all of the festival’s screenings sold out last year.
In fact, it’s not just returning - it’s actually gotten bigger. In 2012, the festival was based in the sexy Ritzy Brixton. Now, it’s expanded to include the equally attractive Hackney Picturehouse and the always-glamorous Cineworld Haymarket. And, judging by last year’s programme, which contained some real gems, Festival Director Sofía Serbin de Skalon (helped by London Film Festival’s regular Programme Advisor Maria Delgado) should pack out all three venues with the kind of stuff that makes Latin American cinema some of the more interesting in the world today.
They may not have serial killers like Sweden or graphic violence like Hong Kong, but Argentina’s films have a character, social relevance and humour that can make them provocative, charming or often both. Here are six films I’m hoping to see at the second Argentine Film Festival London:
If you’ve seen The Secret in Their Eyes, you’ll know how excellent Ricardo Darin is. If you’ve seen Carancho, you’ll know how impressive director Pablo Trapero is – and, more importantly, how fantastic they can be when they work together. Taking Trapero’s trademark social grit and combining it with Ricardo’s grizzled charisma (and impressive facial hair), White Elephant’s story about Buenos Aires slums is less a hard-hitting drama and more a raw piece of filmmaking that punches repeatedly you in the face. Read our review from last year’s London Film Festival.
Showing: Friday 19th, 9.15pm
Last year, one of my favourite parts of the Argentine Film Festival was seeing some old Argentine silent movies – a very cool insight into the development of cinema in another country. This year, they go in the opposite direction to highlight short movies by up and coming filmmakers. The result should be equally fascinating.
Showing: Saturday 20th, 4pm
The Lost World Cup
Did a World Cup really take place in the middle of World War II? Lorenzo Garzella and Filippo Macelloni’s film argues yes, uncovering the tale of a Jewish-Hungarian count who put together his own tournament in 1942 without FIFA’s blessing. Featuring cameos from Gary Linekar and even the collections officer at Preston’s National Football Museum, this semi-documentary looks like an intriguing little piece. The fact that the Lost World Cup may not even exist just makes it even more interesting.
Showing: Saturday 20th, 6.30pm / Sunday 21st, 5.30pm
The Dead Man and Being Happy
Javier Rebollo may be Spanish, but the director jumps to Argentina for his third feature, a seemingly-bonkers road movie about a pension-collecting hitman who gets diagnosed with cancer. Go for the OAP assassin - stay for the fact that it’s co-written by Las Acacias’ Salvador Roselli. Read our review of Las Acacias from last year’s Argentine Film Festival.
Showing: Saturday 20th, 6.45pm / Sunday 21st, 3pm
A dwarf and a doctor walk into the fetish film business. It sounds like a weird joke - but Sadourni’s Butterflies isn’t afraid to run with it, following a circus performer’s release from prison following his wife’s betrayal. How does he insert himself back into society? I can’t wait to find out. This black-and-white debut from Dario Nardi sounds as demented as it does delirious.
Showing: Friday 19th, 6.45pm / Sunday 21st: 8.30pm
The Man Next Door
Man lives in an apartment designed by Le Corbusier. Man’s next door neighbour starts smashing through the wall. Class war? Check. Dark farcical comedy? Check. Best Cinematography prize at Sundance? Check. On my must-see list? Check and check.
Showing: Saturday 20th, 9.15pm / Sunday 21st, 7pm
For more information on the Argentine Film Festival London, visit the official site.