Thursday, October 28, 2010

Frivolous Lists: Latin America, 2000-2009

Cinema Tropical recently polled 35 experts to create a list of the ten best Latin American films of the decade, and the IFC Center screened the ten winners last week. No one asked me for my list, but:

1. Ana y los otros (Ana and the Others) (Celina Murga, Argentina, 2003)
2. Sangre (Amat Escalante, Mexico, 2005)
3. Japón (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico, 2002)
4. Stellet licht (Silent Light) (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico, 2007)
5. Una semana solos (A Week Alone) (Celina Murga, Argentina, 2008)
6. Cinema, aspirinas e urubus (Cinema, Aspirin and Vultures) (Marcelo Gomes, Brazil, 2005)
7. Mutum (Sandra Kogut, Brazil, 2007)
8. Huacho (Alejandro Fernández Almendras, Chile, 2009)
9. Os Inquilinos (The Tenants) (Sergio Bianchi, Brazil, 2009)
10. 40 dias (40 Days) (Juan Carlos Martín, Mexico, 2008)

Runners-up (in alphabetical order): Amorosa Soledad (Victoria Galardi and Martín Carranza, Argentina, 2008); Aniceto (Leonardo Favio, Argentina, 2008); Cochochi (Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán, Mexico, 2007); El custodio (Rodrigo Moreno, Mexico, 2006); Drama/Mex (Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico, 2006); Los guantes mágicos (The Magic Gloves) (Martin Rejtman, Argentina, 2003); Hamaca Paraguaya (Paraguayan Hammock) (Paz Encina, Paraguay, 2006); Jogo de cena (Playing) (Eduardo Coutinho, Brazil, 2007); Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso, Argentina, 2008); O céu de Suely (Suely in the Sky) (Karim Aïnouz, Brazil, 2006); Parentésis (Time Off) (Pablo Solís and Francisca Schweitzer, Chile, 2005); Voy a explotar (I'm Gonna Explode) (Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico, 2008); Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico, 2001).

Of course there are a great many contenders that I haven't seen. Of those, I especially wish I had caught Los bastardos (Amat Escalante, Mexico, 2008) and Madame Satã (Karim Aïnouz, Brazil, 2002).


Michael C said...

A really interesting list - like all good lists it's piqued my curiosity, as i hadn't heard about all of the last half of the top ten. I'm looking forward to poking around and finding out some info on these films - cheers, you've set off the Latin American cinephile in me!!

I'm the other way around, re: Escalante's films - I've seen Los Bastardos but not Sangre. Los Bastardos is fantastic, and I've had Sangre in my must-see list for ages.

I'm surprised certain films/ directors aren't placed higher in the Cinema Tropical list. Pablo Trapero's films are lower down the list than I expected - not that I know a great deal about his films first-hand, having only had the chance to see La Bonaerense. Been meaning to see more of his films.

No Lucrecia Martel in your list? I was surprised again (sounds like the list made me jump out of my seat, no i'm not that flighty) to see La Cienaga at the top of Cinema Tropical's list, not an 'obvious' choice like City Of God or Amores Perros. I finally sat down and watched Martel late last year, and was utterly mesmerised.

I can't help but throw in my top picks - from the top of my head: Silent Light, The Headless Woman, Los Muertos, Tony Manero, and Los Bastardos.

Cheers for the list!!

Dan Sallitt said...

Michael - after seeing his episode of Revolución recently, I'm convinced that Escalante is a major guy. He has it all: a complex personality that's both grim and humorous, a very strong sense of space and of physicality, a thoughtful overview.

I have a little trouble grasping Martel, though The Headless Woman was my favorite so far. Something about her depiction of people's dark side seems to me a bit lurid; and I don't really understand what she's up to on the level of big structure.

I used to like Trapero without going wild over him, and then Born and Bred didn't sit well with me. I should get back on the horse, I guess. Los Muertos is pretty cool - I suspect that I would have listed it with one more viewing.

Michael C said...

Damn, Revoluciόn just played here in Melbourne, one screening only and I missed it due to prior commitments.
I forgot one other film that really surprised me a year or so back – Cesare Charlone and Enrique Fernandez's El Bano del Papa. I saw it on a whim and was taken in by it's charm, sweet but without the saccharine taste, spiced with a tinge of quiet desolation. Perhaps not a 'top tenner', but definitely in the running for Latin 'sleeper' film of the decade.

Jesús Cortés said...

It´s amazing not to see Mariano Llinás "Historias extraordinarias", probably the best of all and instead the horrendous Reygadas.

Dan Sallitt said...

Historias extraordinarias screened once in NYC at Lincoln Center, but I missed it.

rohmerin said...

I know very bad the cinema of Latin America, and it's a shame because they speak Spanish. I make a short list with 5 I liked and I note all you guys have said to be watched in the future.

(not in order)
-Historias mínimas, Sorín (Argentina)
-Madeinusa, Claudia Llosa (Perú)
-Whisky, Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll (Uruguay)
-En la cama, Matías Bize (Chile)
-Luna de Avellaneda, Campanella (Argentina)

Dan Sallitt said...

I've seen a few of these films, but Bize is new to me - I'll keep watch for him.