Nicolás Pereda – Minotauro (2015)

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Nicolás Pereda / Mexico-Canada, 2015 / New York, Toronto / 53′

Two young men and a young women occupy a flat in Mexico City. They spend their days reading alone, reading aloud, and sleeping. From time to time, a maid arrives to tidy their quarters. Time and even space cease to exist; there is only the present somnambulant moment, drifting between sleep and wakefulness.

A wraithlike fantasy capturing the languorous texture of privilege, Minotaur studies both the nearly-obsolete ritual of cloistering oneself from the world to read, and the social status that would make such an activity possible. Nicolás Pereda’s seventh film premiered at both the New York Film Festival and Toronto. Continue reading

Alfonso Cuarón – Sólo con tu pareja AKA Love in the Time of Hysteria [+Extras] (1991)

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The hero of Alfonso Cuarón’s “Sólo Con Tu Pareja” is Tomás Tomás (Daniel Giménez Cacho), a young man living alone in a roomy Mexico City apartment with a tedious job writing advertising copy and a hyperactive romantic life. Apparently and perhaps not quite plausibly irresistible to women, he is also unable to resist them, which is believable enough, since the women in this movie favor garter belts, half-slips and other kinds of retro-sexy lingerie, which they seem happy to display, or to remove, in Tomás’s presence.

Mr. Cuarón made this film, his first feature, 15 years ago, before departing Mexico for Hollywood and making “A Little Princess” and “Great Expectations,” returning home for “Y Tu Mamá También” and then coming back to direct “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

This zigzagging has made him an intriguing and in some ways exemplary figure in contemporary world cinema, and the movies themselves show remarkable exuberance and versatility. All of which partly justifies the belated release (simultaneously in theaters and on DVD) of “Sólo Con Tu Pareja,” a lively calling card from a young, ambitious director working with limited funds and a screenplay he wrote with his brother Carlos. Continue reading

Gerardo Naranjo – Voy a explotar AKA I’m Gonna Explode (2008)

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Tale of a young couple who throw caution to the wind and set out in search of their true fate. Román is the son of a contemptible, right-leaning congressman. Recently enrolled in a new high school, the rebellious teen clumsily attempts to hang himself on-stage at the big talent show. Maru is the sole member of the audience to applaud, earning both students a day of detention. After bonding during the course of their punishment, Román and Maru grab daddy’s gun, steal a Volkswagen, and hit the road bound for nowhere. Continue reading

Ernesto Contreras – Sueño en otro idioma AKA I Dream in Another Language (2017)

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A millenary language agonizes: Its last two speakers, Evaristo and Isauro (70´s) had a quarrel 50 years ago and haven’t spoken to each other since. Martin, a linguist, will undertake the challenge of bringing the two old friends back together and convince them to talk again in order for him to be able to obtain a record of the language. Yet, hidden in the past, in the core of the jungle, lies a secret hidden in the language that makes it difficult to believe that the heart of Zikril will beat again. Continue reading

Michel Franco – Las hijas de Abril AKA April’s Daughter (2017)

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Valeria is 17 and pregnant. She lives in Puerto Vallarta with Clara, her half sister. Valeria has not wanted her long-absent mother, April, to find out about her pregnancy, but due to the economic strain and the overwhelming responsibility of having a baby in the house, Clara decides to call their mother. April arrives, willing to her daughters, but we soon understand why Valeria had wanted her to stay away. Continue reading

Arturo González Villaseñor – Llévate mis amores AKA All Of Me (2014)

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The parts of the Planet we call Mexico and the United States share the greatest region with socio-economic-political differences. That makes it a bridge for thousands of migrants who expose themselves to every danger as they travel through the continent on a train called “The Beast.” That’s where they meet the Patronas, a group of women from the part of the Planet we call Mexico who, every day since 1995, make food and toss it to the helpless as the train rushes by. Continue reading