14 Feb GFF opens the Scottish film festival’s season with various renowned Ibero-American titles

by Eva Yera

Glasgow Film Festival is around the corner, and once again, it has made room for some appealing Ibero-American works. If last year a full strand was devoted to Argentinian cinema, in 2017 they have included six films produced in different countries of Ibero-America. Let’s have a look at them:   

Aquarius (Brazil / France)

A David-against-Goliath story penned by Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho and starring Sônia Braga. She plays Clara, a retired music writer and sole resident of an old building called Aquarius. A construction company wants to buy-out her apartment in order to tear down the block and build a new one, but she refuses; and her decision will have consequences. The film, nominated for the Palm d’Or in Cannes Film Festival, has created great controversy in Brazil for exposing some political and social issues ongoing in the country.   

When? Saturday 25 at 17.45 and Sunday 26 at 10.45

Where? Glasgow Film Theatre

 

Mimosas (Morocco / Spain)

Awarded in Cannes, Cairo, Minsk and Seville, among others, this film with a Western-in-the-Middle-East slant lands now in Glasgow. Oliver Laxe’s second feature proposes a journey through the Moroccan mountains where death, life and faith travel alongside the protagonists, all wrapped in a rare, poetic, mythical atmosphere. Laxe himself has claimed that the only thing he knows for sure is that his work is different, and that seems to be what engages and fascinates the critic and the audience.

When? Saturday 25 at 11.00 and Sunday 26 at 15.45

Where? CCA

Neruda (Chile / Argentina / France / Spain)

While his debut in English, ‘Jackie’, has just hit the cinemas, Pablo Larraín’s work ‘Neruda’ is still very alive in awards and festivals. This unconventional biopic shows different facets of Chilean poet, politician and fugitive Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) through the eyes of a fictional, clumsy detective portrayed by Gael García Bernal. These touches of fantasy coexist with real-life Neruda’s rhymes, communist ideology, and his pursuit by González Videla’s government.

When? Friday 17 at 17.50 and Tuesday 21 at 13.25

Where? Glasgow Film Theatre

The Night of the Virgin (Spain)

Nico is a wimpy and shy boy whose objective for this New Year’s Eve is to lose his virginity. Medea, a mature woman he meets during that night, seems to be the perfect candidate. However, what it was meant to be a pleasant event, turns into something else. Blood, flesh, guts, sex and comedy result in this perfect splatstick movie with the signature of Roberto San Sebastián. That’s a plan for a Saturday night! Maybe not the best screening to accompany with a hotdog, but surely thrilling and hilarious if you aren’t too squeamish.

When? Saturday 25 at 23.20

Where? Glasgow Film Theatre

The Ornithologist (Portugal / France / Brazil)

Fernando (Paul Hamy) is an ornithologist who is about to begin a journey through which he is revealed as Saint Anthony of Padua (in his secular version). The concept of a “secular saint” may sound like an oxymoron, but the truth is that everything fits in this surrealistic tale into which director Joao Pedro Rodrigues has put five years of work. Twisted tourists with a hunger for rituals, ancient tribes and a nude romance are some of the episodes occurring in a time and space out of context: now, in a natural reserve in northern Portugal.  

When? Thursday 23 at 20.30 and Friday 24 at 13.15

Where? CCA

The Untamed (Mexico / Denmark / France / Germany / Norway)

Amat Escalante’s new film has astonished and scandalised. It has its origin in a homophobic article in a Mexican newspaper, and that is one of the many topics this movie touches on. The Untamed is a domestic drama, a critic of conservative societies, an ode to free sexuality and a science fiction work. Because along with the human protagonists, there is a role reserved for a creature from another world that is able to deliver pleasure and destruction.

When? Friday 24 at 23.00 | Saturday 25 at 13.15

Where? Glasgow Film Theatre | CCA

 

There are two more features that, while not being produced in any Ibero-American country, are set in parts of this region. This is the case with ‘Brasilia: Life After Design’ and ‘Transpecos’. The former is a documentary that shows what life in Brazil’s capital is like, a city built on a plan in which contradictions come up as evidence; the latter, offers a reflection on border politics and personal ethics placing the viewers in the shoes of three US agents working on the border with Mexico.

Brasilia: Life After Design (Canada / UK)

When? Wed 22 Feb (18.15)

Where? Glasgow Film Theatre

Transpecos (US)

When? Saturday 25 at 21.00 and Sunday 26 at 11.15

Where? CCA