Fernando Birri

  • Fernando Birri – Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes AKA A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings (1988)

    1981-1990CubaDramaFantasyFernando Birri

    An elderly man with wings is blown off course during a tropical storm in this symbolic fantasy. The Old Man (Fernando Birri) lands near a Caribbean island where a poor family gives him shelter in a hen-coop. Father Gonzaga (Luis Alberto Ramirez) is the skeptical priest who rushes to damn the creature. Soon the Old Man becomes the subject of curiosity seekers as Elisinda (Daisy Granados) and Pelayo (Asdrubal Melendez) start charging admission. A traveling carnival of human oddities camps near the Old Man as people flock to see the show. The Old Man is reduced to being an unwanted pet, and after six years, he mends his wings and flies away.Read More »

  • Fernando Birri – El siglo del viento AKA Century of the Wind (1999)

    Documentary1991-2000ArgentinaFernando Birri

    The book EL SIGLO DEL VIENTO, the third part of a trilogy about the history of Latin America, is not a traditional historical work. The Uruguayan writer and journalist Eduardo Galeano (1940) was even exiled for a long time to prevent his headstrong and critical style from becoming too famous. His style, which combines dry facts about the exploitation, the oppression and the violence in South America with individual anecdotes and literary creativity, is preserved in the documentary that Fernando Birri adapted from the book. In ‘chapters‘, each dealing with a certain period in the history of this century, an image is created of a continent that is constantly afflicted by setbacks and misery. Read More »

  • Fernando Birri – Tire dié AKA Throw Me a Dime (1958)

    1951-1960ArgentinaDocumentaryFernando BirriShort Film

    Fernando Birri’s Tire dié (Throw Me a Dime, 1958) begins with an aerial shot of the provincial city of Santa Fe, Argentina. The association of voice-of-God narration with perspective-of-God images only reveals the full extent of its parodic intent as the narration progresses and conventional descriptive data (such as geographical location, founding dates, population) give way to less conventional statistics (the number of streetlamps and hairdressers, loaves of bread consumed monthly, cows slaughtered daily, and erasers purchased yearly for government offices). Read More »

  • Fernando Birri – Org (1979)

    1971-1980CultExperimentalFernando BirriItaly

    ORG and excess roads to wisdom
    Fernando Birri
    “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” said William Blake. This was the mantra we attempted to analyze in the non-film ORG. I want to try to make this lecture correspond formally to its subject, an experimental film. This may or may not work, but I want to attempt an experimental lecture as a way into the film.

    I chose Memories of Fire by Eduardo Galeano because I think it gets to the heart of our experience. That is, the Americas as a vessel for delirium. This has as much to do with dreams as it has to do with the creative energy that some call poetry.Read More »

  • Fernando Birri – Los Inundados aka Flooded Out (1961)

    1961-1970ArgentinaDocumentaryDramaFernando Birri

    From Allmovie:
    Government bureaucracy and ineptitude, as well as social foibles, get a drubbing in this socio-political satire by director Fernando Birri. Everything starts when the families in a poor, mud-hut neighborhood lose what little they own in a bad flood. In steps the militia to rescue them, and then the local government comes next as the politicos hope to gain points by relocating the group of unfortunates. Nothing goes right for the essentially honest, simple villagers who are now the dispossessed. One family seeks temporary shelter in a boxcar and ends up being attached to a train that then takes them on an interesting journey. Meanwhile, no one seems able to help them out and when the hubbub has died down, the families are not much different than when the flood first washed them out. Director Fernando Birri was particularly interested in Neorealism and would eventually move to Cuba.Read More »

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