Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Festivales de Buenos Aires

By Section

Acidto top

“Why do we need so many stories, and so many images? Where do we get this desire to sit on the dark and focus our eyes on the screen, the place where other people live without us being able to answer them or intervene in their actions?

Adolescencesto top

Adolescence as the moment in which freedom starts, or at least when you realize you don’t have any: the young people in this films are leaning into a world they haven’t fully understand yet, where they move clumsily but also with determination. When they forget about themselves and go back to being children they can actually be happy, like the main character in L’estate di Giacomo, but they often become aware of the inequalities that surround them (Nosilatiaj. La belleza) and in some cases experience them from a very early age (Kids Stories). Escaping can be an option, whether they do it by land or by sea (Un mundo secreto) or unleashing fantasy, like the girls in Palácios de pena. They can even cross the ocean on a boat’s stomach, like Guinean David’s adventure, which he describes in the Santa Fe documentary El gran río. Everything goes if you’re trying to be yourself, and be different.

Family Albumto top

Every family is its own universe. Although it has a few documentaries with almost literary elements of drama, this mostly fictional section includes all kinds of families: a separated couple fighting for their children (Everybody in Our Family), sick parents who affect the rest of the clan (Best Intentions, Home for the Weekend), a father with suicidal tendencies (El huaso), daughters who learn how to cook because their parents are working (Los días), or the maid who has to stay indifferent to the problems of their employers (Totem). And sometimes, families are disintegrated, so cinema tries to somehow reunite them, like the director of the Chilean documentary Hija does, when she sets out to find her biological father. In every case, families are an environment for conflict and evocation, an Utopian place or a burrow they need to escape from.

Boca do Lixoto top

The Boca do Lixo (‘Mouth of Garbage’) is first and foremost a physical place in the center of São Paulo, covering a few blocks of the Santa Ifigênia neighborhood behind the city’s main railway terminal. The prevalence of banditry and prostitution in the area earned it its namesake in the film world (by the late 1980s, the area was better known as ‘Crackland’). Unglamorous in the absolute, the Boca was a place for young producers to set up shop on little to no budget. The working-class ethos of the neighborhood provided a production infrastructurEdición / Editing: construction materials for sets, props, food, costumes, etc., were all furnished cheaply and locally. A restaurant owner could cater for a film shoot with the promise of earning back-end profits. Its proximity to central railway lines also brought added convenience for shipping films to cinemas all over Brazil. In the early 1950s, distributors and small production outfits had already installed themselves on the Boca’s main arterial pathway: Triunfo Street. By the end of the next decade, Triunfo Street was a hangout for aspiring filmmakers, starlets, journalists, students, and many others. Studio exiles and young intellectuals congregated in the Boca; its peculiarity as a quick-and-dirty production center meant producers were more likely to take risks on unconventional material. By 1973, the Boca do Lixo had entered its golden era.

Carlos Pratesto top

Two cities fight for the title of Brazil’s cultural epicenter, but the Rio-Sao Paulo axis is not a theme in the mountain paths through which the girls of Noites do sertão walk by; or the fallen wagon in the western/style shootout at the beginning of Minas-Texas; or the train where the elegant main character of Cabaret mineiro meets the girl of his dreams.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Eloisa Solaas

Planetarium Cinemato top

Ever since its creation, Bafici has worked as both a barometer and seismograph for cinema, analyzing the directions and movements it makes, seeing what’s taking place, and predicting what will happen. But this time, it adds a new environment, which is equipped with instruments meant to watch –or dream, or imagine that we ’re watching– nothing less than the sky. Watching more is yet another defining feature of Bafici. But it’s also defined by “watching things differently”, and so this Fulldome program –which contemplates a 360º field– is incorporated with a special selection that includes programs for kids of different ages –from Topos and their animals with philosophical names to the intriguing Jeepers Creepers– or rather young people and adults open to new experiences –The Wall or U2. They’re all connected through their taste for a kind of cinema that, for a long time now, has ceased to be an art only enjoyable in old coliseums or museums, and it has opened up in a thousand directions. Cinema is around us. This time literally.

Argentine Competitionto top

There were some years when we would have a lot of trouble finding films for this competition. Although, to be more precise, the thing that we couldn’t find was dialogues between the films, the aesthetic and production systems, the generational clashes, the hyperrealism and artifice crossing each other in heavy traffic. In short, the politics of cinema. This year we’ve selected fourteen films. Half of them are first films. Four are second films. And three others were made by “veterans” who have already made four or five films. They don’t show the reality of Argentine cinema but instead expose cinema to multiple realities. This Argentine Competition may be debated, but it can never cease to establish tensions. It’s strong because it is diverse. Power lines. Films that bet on genres ( Masterplan, Villegas), or pulverize them ( Cassandra). Documentary logics that twist expectations, turning perspectives into politics ( 17 monumentos), families into fiction ( Papirosen), memory into a malleable obsession ( La chica del sur), or heterodoxy into a system of narrative lines and rational labyrinths ( Ante la ley). The geographics of silence ( Igual si llueve) or words ( Mis sucios 3 tonos). Underlying sexual tension ( El espacio entre los dos), which can be explicit ( Al cielo) or symbolic ( Salsipuedes). Cinema as interrogation ( Dioramas) or savage poetry ( Dromómanos). Discoveries, changes of direction, confirmations. All arguable evaluations aside, this cinema is alive. Sergio Wolf
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.

Argentine Short Films Competitionto top

Almost five hundred short films were submitted for this edition of the festival: each and every one of them was watched, considered, and debated, as part of an intense dialogue that renews itself every year. We’re always asking ourselves how to organize an heterogeneous and lively selection of films with personal procedures and reasons, which could invite everyone to rethink the path of cinema. Restless films that would express surprise, regardless of the shape they adopt. We’re interested in the wide range of possibilities that opens up thanks to the articulation of genres or the tension between them: fiction is experimental (it has always been), a comedy can also be a documentary, and documentary is fiction (we’ve known that for a while now, but it’s still surprising, and we love to see how that happens). This selection is formed by two competitive programs and a series of exhibitions, and there are no best and worse here. Although there is a competition, it makes sense only if it can stimulate filmmakers –apart from the fact that awards always shed some light and shadow. We celebrate the fact that the different sections of Bafici have films with all kinds of durations, and that they can argue in favor of their size and timeframe and connect with other films in order to make us reflect on the new possible meanings that result from that connection. We also celebrate that people are using both digital and analogical cameras, and that it’s still safe to say that as long as there are ideas and concerns, you can even film without a camera.
Violeta Bava y Eloísa Solaas
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.

Fernand Melgarto top

Fernand Melgar was born into a family of Spanish unionists exiled in Tangiers, Morocco. His parents smuggled him with them when they migrated to Switzerland as seasonal laborers in 1963. In the early Eighties, he dropped his business studies in order to found, together with several friends, the Cabaret Orwell in Lausanne, which would soon become a Mecca for Switzerland’s French-speaking underground culture. Later, he created the internationally renowned rock music venue La Dolce Vita, also in Lausanne, which screened a video-art program. A self-taught, freelance film director and producer, in 1983 he began compiling various experimental films and iconoclastic interviews for television. In 1985 he joined Climage, a collective of independent and engaged filmmakers and one of Switzerland’s most prolific documentary production companies today.

Gérard Courantto top

Cinema can be defined in all of its techno intimacy and scientific heart as being simply, and literally, serial photography –a way to shoot over and over the canonical 24 frames per second in order to register and project its uniqueness, its being, and persist on our eyes like any good mobile illusion. The history of cinema is a trip by people who established alliances and formed boycotts with and against that serial nature each film carries in its genes. To be a series or not to be one? That is the question. And Gérard Courant, a filmmaker who remained invisible in our country until today, was the seed of this issue through a prolific work that extends for over four decades in his quest for continuity and rupture within the serial métier.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Diego Trerotola

Grant Geeto top

In the end, having good taste matters. Because it’s more than just something you can brag about at dinner parties. If we consider the case of British director Grant Gee, his good taste as a cultural consumer determines his criteria as an audiovisual creator. The objects of his works have always carried a great bouquet. This means Gee –as a subject of those same works– proves already that he has a well educated pallet. And if it’s not his pallet, it’s his ear. Considering that most of his filmography –his music videos, creative-videos, short films, or documentaries– is related to music, we should celebrate that Grant Gee chose with such fine taste the people he teamed up with: Radiohead, Gorillaz, Joy Division, Scott Walker, John Cale… They’re all sharp bands and artists who usually escape massive preferences and the doubts about their creative validity –although there’s always a spectator willing to discuss it, of course (“Radiohead is not that good!”).
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Joan Pons

Pagan Visionsto top

Paganism lies there where it is rejected by the sacred. It’s a territory that sometimes assumes itself to be orthodox and ritual, with its own churches and icons: that’s where we find the rave scene in Anna Pavlova Lives in Berlin, or the farmers that lead their cattle to a hand in hand fight in Battle of the Queens; or if we go to a more spiritual ground, the healers and their therapies in Quantum Men (with Cristóbal Jodorowsky as a guest star) and Esas voces que curan (singing as redemption for the body). The passage from sacred to pagan is attractive and tempting, as the Mormon teenager in the drama Electrick Children knows as she travels to Las Vegas. On the contrary, finding the sacred in everyday life requires a great observational effort, like the one Michael Pilz does in Roman Diary. Or the one artist León Ferrari, a specialist in iconography as the expression of underlying myths in culture, performs in the documentary Civilización.

João Canijoto top

At the presentation of his latest film Sangue do meu sangue in the San Sebastián Film Festival, João Canijo explained how this film –and his entire work– tries to reflect the Portuguese social reality without having to show everything that marks and conditions it. Canijo picks moments in his characters’ lives because “when testifying on a concrete reality you don’t need to show everything for something to remain”.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Quim Casas

Law of Desireto top

It is well known: sex can be a game, a punishment, or even a profession. But, above all, it’s an instinct, which reminds us we’re part of the animal kingdom. The fiction films in this group are in a boiling state, from the transgressor girls in Q to the mark of physical love in Un amour de jeunesse, including also sexual visitations as forms of payment in The Slut. To balance it out, there are also documentaries on prostitution (Buy Me!, Whores’ Glory), and another one about famous French porn actor HPG (Il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel), an exploration or queer sexuality (Community Action Center) and Argentine filmmaker Homero Cirelli’s somewhat experimental portrait of a modern defender of sexual slavery (Sado). Our own Albertina Carri, in turn, goes back to the beginning of the text (the animal element) in Pets, an explosive short film.

Argentine Short Films Exhibitionto top

Narcisa Hirschto top

Lonely Patagonic sunsets and crowded urban happenings; dolls and apples; minimalism and excess; structural films and documentary records… One could keep inventing pairs that define the whole range of Narcisa Hirsch’s films and her intimate sensitivity that works as an antenna for different states of poetic transformation of cinema. They’re different conjunctions that create universes that could have been opposed, but instead coexist united by the view that involves them. A sort of connective link that contains a fluctuating aesthetic range, Hirsch’s film perspective is a way of persisting on creative freedom through a cinema that has differentiated itself from any sort of industrial logic while building a parallel track that goes independent from fashionable artistic parameters and the need of being legitimated. Hirsch’s cinema grew on the margins, but it remained connected to the world and its time, and searched for alternative beauty in order to live beyond the limits of the times her caméra-stylo experienced.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Diego Trerotola

Space Oddyseys - Cinema and Architectureto top

All the films in this section are related to the dream of building or designing something that could challenge imagination and the horizon the world destined for us. Several refer to big architectonic projects, like apartment complexes planned as a solution for housing problems (Tlatelolco, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth), avant-garde college pavilions from the time Cuba’s revolutionary impulse was intact (Unfinished Spaces), or the incredible Argentine refuge for Dante’s ashes (El rascacielos latino) or, if we think of a more unleashed utopia, the building of an alpine ski run in Dubai (Alpi). Several of these documentaries tap into these projects’ decadence and failure. The range extends from author-architecture (Parabeton) to the pure impulse of housing desperation (Errantes), and their effects transcend the aesthetic field and include urban, social, and even political perspectives.

Peter Von Baghto top

Peter von Bagh has seen every movie worth seeing, usually more often than once; during his half century in film, he has met every icon and every genius, every maverick and every overlooked auteur, every underrated master and even every interesting underachiever from this our art’s ancient mornings –every one, given that he has lived long enough; and being a great raconteur, graced with a strong, commanding voice as well as a perennially bemused smile around the eyes, he knows how to tell a good story about each of them– for he loves to pass on what he learnt during all those hours spent in their company. Yes, Von Bagh is truly a rare example of cinema lived to the full: a legend of old-school cinephilia.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Olaf Möller

Ruth Beckermannto top

The films of Ruth Beckermann (Vienna, 1952), with all their varied topics, territories, and styles, have silently built a theory of storytelling and memory (all stories are memory, all memories are inventions, all images are impressions) where narration links to the world of senses. After making some documentaries that recorded social movements, made collectively in the 70’s, the past gained importance in her films, which since then swing between observation, testimony, and essay works with texts read by a voice over in the style of Chris Marker. But even if Return to Vienna, the oldest one programmed here and the last she co-directed, uses archive footage, from that film on Beckermann reduces that tool to a few photographs: she has begun to question the role of images as records of the past.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Fernando Chiappussi

Signe Baumaneto top

To dive into Signe Baumane’s world of lubricious and festive stories should easily fulfill multiple needs. For example, drowning your sorrows and experiencing a healthy catharsis with the rest of the people in the screening room. Or seeing how the sublime and miserable nature of our erotic misfortunes reflects on the film screen. So, you’re in for a sure laugh, but also for that blushing spot that comes from relating to what we see on the screen.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Fran Gayo

Tomas Alfredsonto top

Swedish filmmaker Alfredson is a mystery-director. Yes, he’s known in Argentina for the release of his two last films: Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Or, as the local posters said: Criatura de la noche: Vampiro and El topo, respectively. Coincidence or not, these Argentine titles refer to beings that survive away from the light. One escapes from it because of the time he can live, and the other one lives hidden underground. Vampires who betray immortality. Turned-over spies who betray their country and colleagues. In both films, Alfredson narrates, but his films are above all descriptive. He is interested in what is like to be a female vampire, or what was like to be a spy in London during the Cold War. Look at these lives, they have those characteristics. Yeah, sure, if you’re a female teen vampire there is a good chance things will happen to you that are worth narrating. And also if you’re a spy during the Cold War. But Alfredson is not fascinated by events: it’s the blood on the snow; it’s taking shelter in the power of immortality at an age when everything is extreme; it’s the constant cigarette, the brown suits, the ephemeral crossing of feelings and ideas that undergo passionately beneath cerebral red-tape. Watching Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy means entering those worlds. As a matter of fact, the novel in which Let the Right One In was based was called Déjame entrar (“Let me in”), just like the film in Spain.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Javier Porta Fouz

Trancesto top

Yes, this is a section devoted to drugs. Not so much to their sensorial effects or the addiction they may trigger, but about its circulation. Out of all the related stories, the most incredible ones are usually about “exchanges” and that’s the orientation of the documentaries of American filmmaker Billy Corben, who in recent years seems to have specialized in the subject. Bafici presents four of his films: the essential Cocaine Cowboys (parts I and II), a story told in the first-person about how the white powder entered into American territory in the 80’s and 90’s, and even affected Miami’s real estate market (!); Limelight, which deals with the connection between electronic music clubs and design drugs; and the remarkable Square Grouper which revolves around marihuana. As a bonus extra, the section features another documentary on LSD, its creator Albert Hofmann, and its most famous promoter, “reverend” Timothy Leary.

Travelling Buenos Airesto top

Edgardo Cozarinsky has always been an errant filmmaker and writer with a persisting interest for characters who move from one place to another, searching for their place in the world and moved by their own impulses and the pulse of their time. But whenever he used a city as the emotional and dramatic center of his films, it has always been Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires as movement, displacement, mutation. A city that is observed but also observes itself and others.
Sergio Wolf. Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.

Viennaleto top

In the great international circuit of film festivals there are a number of smaller and medium-sized festivals that are connected through a kind of political and esthetic affinity and maintain friendly relations to one another. Compared to the large, exclusive festivals, they are not defined by their event character, market strategies and mutual competition, but rather by the cause itself –cinema and the people who are creatively involved in it. These festivals exist all across the globe, from Korea to Canada and Portugal to Argentina, some of them more well-known than others. What they share in different ways is their interest and passion for open-minded, independent cinema, their joy of discovery and readiness to take risks, ideas of the history of cinema, and activities for a future beyond market interests and competition.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Hans Hurch, Viennale Director

Wei Te-Shengto top

Wei Te-Sheng’s career is strange. In 1999 he made his first film About July, a film about a teenager and his connection to the gangster world, among other things. Years later, in another decade, century, and millennium, Wei did his second film. This second one he actually made it to get the money for his third one, which would have been the second one if he would have had the money at the time. Anyway, the story that deserves to be told is about the one that actually became the second one, Cape No. 7, which became nothing less than the most popular film in the history of Taiwan, grossing more than ten times what it had cost and influencing the country so much that several lines of the script became common expressions in everyday life. Abroad, the film circulated through some other Asian countries, some European festivals (Asian cinema events, mostly) and its only American screening took place at the Hawaii Film Festival. The most popular films in countries “outside Hollywood” have had a hard time getting to other territories for quite some years now. In Argentina, for example, we don’t even know which the most popular films in Italy are, or the names of their biggest stars.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Javier Porta Fouz

Zellner Bros.to top

American cinema has many brothers, like the Marxs and the Coens. This Bafici introduces the Zellners. Although they were born in Greeley, in the state of Colorado, David and Nathan became Texan filmmakers. From the city of Austin, to be more precise. Thanks to their short films –an incredibly wide sample of different kinds of comedy– they became regulars at Sundance, the festival in Park City, in the state of Utah. In the short film program you will find a very particular birth, dogs, a crazy monkey, and even a very contradictory way to come out of the closet.
Read the full story in the Festival catalogue.
Javier Porta Fouz


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