Cannes showcases Latin American cinema
Films from Latin America always get major billing at the Cannes Film Festival and 2012 is no exception.
A very respectable turn-out this year in Cannes for the Spanish and Portuguese speaking filmmakers with six films between the parallel festivals - Director’s Fortnight and Critic’s Week.
And among the four films in the official competitions including the Golden Palm and Un Certain Regard, Mexican Carlos Reygardas, is here with Post Tenebras Lux (After Darkness Light), a Mexican, French, German, Dutch co-production.
The photography is up to Reygardas’ usual standard, and he adds a talking point with exteriors filmed with a prism lens where the centre of the image is in focus and the edges fuzzed-out.
The other talking point in the film is an animated red devil who appears in a domestic interior setting .
While nature is rendered in all its splendour, from flooded fields to tree bark, the film is otherwise a slow-moving story about an unhappy couple with two cute small children. Reygardas does portray the particularly sensitive Mexican themes of the European-origin versus indigenous communities and environmental protection.
A film entry in Un Certain Regard is of a different register.
Seven short films shot in Cuba, one for every day of the week, made by seven different directors (Benicio del Torro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Gaspar Noé, NJuan Carlos Tabio, Laurent Cantet).
It’s called Seven Days in Havana.
Elia Suleiman is one of the seven. He filmed on Thursday. His film, Diary of a Beginner, stands out as the funny, touching one, with Suleiman playing himself, or is he imitating Peter Sellers, taking the rise out of Fidel Castro’s trademark lengthy speeches?
While Suleiman has been in the business for a couple of decades now, he admits that this experience was enriching.
Seven Days in Havana, seven quite different cinema experiences that, in the space of two hours and nine minutes, transported us from a Film Festival in the South of France to the Cuban capital.