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Chicago Latino Film Festival

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The tenth annual edition of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, produced by Chicago Latino Cinema and Columbia College, runs from Friday, April 22, through Thursday, May 5. Film and video screenings will be at Pipers Alley, 1609 N. Wells; at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton; at the Three Penny, 2424 N. Lincoln; at the University of Chicago's Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St.; at the University of Chicago's Cobb Hall, 5500 N. Saint Louis; at Columbia College, 624 S. Michigan; at Spanish Coalition for Jobs, 2011 W. Pershing; and at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. Ticket prices per program (apart from free screenings and opening and closing nights, which cost a lot extra) are $6, $5 for students, senior citizens, and disabled persons, and $4 for Chicago Latino Cinema members. Festival passes, good for all screenings except opening and closing night, are $70, $60 for Chicago Latino Cinema members. For more information call 431-1330.

The Border

A 1992 Mexican documentary by Ernesto Rimoch about the 2,000-mile border between Mexico and the U.S., to be shown on video. (Harold Washington Library Center, noon)

Videos: program one

Cristine List's Crisis Point: Guatemala Under Serrano (1993) and Patricia Goudvis and William Turnley's If the Mango Tree Could Speak (1993), both from the U.S. (Facets Multimedia, 6:30)

Short Films From Chile

Astor Piazzolla's Either, Or (1993), Myriam Braniff's The Waiting (1989), and Ignacio Aguero's Dreams of Ice (1993). (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Videos: program eight

A gay and lesbian program: Jorge Lozano's Samuel & Samantha, the Emancipation of All (1993), from Canada; Patricia Montoya's A Ride Out (1991), from the U.S.; Osa Hidalgo-de La Riva's Primitive and Proud (1991), from the U.S.; Karim Ainouz's Seams (1993), from Brazil; Raul Ferrara-Balanquet's Cities of Lust (1993), from the U.S. and Cuba. (Facets Multimedia, 8:30)


A feature film from Cuba divided into three segments, each examining a separate historical period with a different "Lucia" engaged in a particular kind of struggle. The first Lucia is from the colonial upper class caught up in the Spanish-American War of 1898; the second Lucia is the companion of an urban guerrilla fighting against Machado in the early 30s; the third Lucia is the contemporary Cuban woman, struggling with her husband to participate in the "revolutionary life." Humberto Solas directed. (DD) (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)



A fascinating early experimental feature from Brazil by Mario Peixoto (1931), also known as The End, rarely shown or talked about; I haven't seen it for about two decades, but I can recall being impressed. Two women and a widower sharing a boat lost at sea after a shipwreck recall their separate (and desperate) stories to one another. Recommended. (Univ. of Chicago Noyes Hall, 3:00)

That's the Point

A Mexican comedy classic (1940), at least by reputation, starring Mario Moreno Cantinflas--usually known simply as Cantinflas--as a Chaplinesque city tramp, and directed by Juan Bustillo Oro. (Pipers Alley, 3:00)

Short Films: program one

From Mexico, Juan Carlos de Llaca's I Am Going to Escape (1992), Moises Ortiz Urquidi's Date in Paradise (1992), and Maria Novaro's Autumnal (1992); from the U.S., Bruno de Almeida's The Debt (1993); from Brazil, Sung Sfai's The Unmaid (1993); and from Spain and Cuba, Rolando Diaz's The Long Journey of Rustico and Javier Caldas's The Last Heartbeat (both 1993). (Facets Multimedia, 3:00)

Blood of the Condor

Long banned in its native Bolivia until protests forced its release, Jorge Sanjines's 1969 film is a fictionalized account of a U.S.-sponsored population-control program that led to the involuntary sterilization of several thousand Quechua Indian women. (DK) On the same program, Jose Sanchez's short La Paz. (Three Penny, 3:00)

Videos: program three

An all-Brazilian program: Sandra Kogut's Parabolic People (1991), Vincent Carelli's Video in the Villages (1989) and The Spirit of TV (1990), Carelli and Dominique Gallois's Meeting Ancestors (1993), and Dilma Loes's When Blacks "Dance" (1988). (Facets Multimedia, 3:30)

Light Trap

A 1993 Portugese thriller by Jorge Marecos Duarte, about the only surviving witness to a terrorist attack in Africa. (Univ. of Chicago Noyes Hall, 5:00)

Videos: program four

From the U.S., the collectively made Ramona: Birth of a Mis-ce-ge-NATION (1992) and Another World of Dance, and Coco Fusco and Paula Heredia's celebrated The Couple in the Cage (1993); and from Puerto Rico and Cuba, Irma Iranzo's Yemaya (1988). (Facets Multimedia, 6:00)

The Dead Mother

A 1993 Spanish thriller directed by Juanma Bajo Ulloa, about the relationship between a thief and his lover. (Pipers Alley, 6:30)

Knocks at My Door

See Critic's Choice. (Three Penny, 6:30)

Short Films: program four

From the U.S., Susan Todd and Andrew Young's Lives in Hazard (1993), about the making of American Me, and Luis C. Ruiz's Man in America (1992); from Canada, Jorge Lonzano's The Three Sevens (1993). (Facets Multimedia, 6:30)

Videos: program six

Four videos from the U.S. made in 1993: Darrell Holdaway's The Hispanic Choir of San Francisco, Nelson Nazario's The Two Georges, John Esaki's Maceo: Demon Drummer From East L.A., and the unsigned Education Is the Future. (Facets Multimedia, 8:00)

The Beginning and the End

A three-hour feature directed by Arturo Ripstein, one of Mexico's most celebrated directors, adapted from a work by the Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz, about the adjustments made by a family to the sudden death of the father; the setting has been transferred to Mexico City. Winner of the grand prize at the 1993 San Sebastian film festival. (Pipers Alley, 9:00)

The Century of Enlightenment

A 1992 Cuban feature based on Alejo Carpentier's epic novel of the same title, set in the 18th century and ultimately involving populist uprisings in France, Spain, and Haiti; Humberto Solas directed. (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

Hanging Gardens

A 1993 Spanish feature written and directed by Pablo Llorca, set at night in an apartment complex, where a tailor and the building's owner both become obsessed with the same woman. (Three Penny, 9:00)

Memories of Underdevelopment

Adapted by Cuban filmmaker Tomas Gutierrez Alea from Edmundo Desnoe's novel Inconsolable Memories, this 1969 film portrays the alienation of a bourgeois intellectual caught in the warp of a rapidly changing social reality. A thoroughly mature and original creation, Alea's film does not caricature Sergio--a 28-year-old living off reparations from his nationalized property--but rather strikingly portrays the existential contradictions of a man living in a vacuum, in a mixture of past and present, whose only response to the missile crisis is to watch it through binoculars while his more intellectually authentic (if less well schooled) countrymen respond with action. Told from Sergio's viewpoint, the film is a call to continued action for Cubans and an engrossing psychological portrait. (DD) (Facets Multimedia, 11:00)


Short Films From Chile

See listing under Friday, April 22. (Facets Multimedia, 3:00)

Short Films From Argentina

Half a dozen short films made in 1993. (Three Penny, 3:00)

Wild Flower

A 1943 Mexican feature directed by Emilio Fernandez about the troubled relationship between a radical and his wealthy family during the Mexican revolution. (Univ. of Chicago Noyes Hall, 3:00)

Videos: program five

Four videos from the U.S.: Marta N. Bautis's Home Is Struggle (1991), Renata Gangemi and Ruben Gonzalez's Talking Back (1992), Gonzalez's Keep Hope Alive (1993), and Jorge Sandoval's City of Passion (1993). (Facets Multimedia, 3:30)


In Mexico in 1900, under the regime of dictator Porfirio Diaz, a priest attempts to live the life of Christ and meets only humiliation and hostility. Luis Bunuel's 1958 meditation on the folly of pure Christianity is widely respected, and deservedly so. But it lacks his brilliant wit and seems much less adventurous than his 60s masterpieces. (DK) (Pipers Alley, 4:30)

Hand in the Trap

A gothic thriller from Argentina by Leopoldo Torre-Nilsson, with a teenage girl interfering fatally in her aunt's love life (1961). (DK) (Univ. of Chicago Noyes Hall, 5:00)

Short Films: program two

Juan Alejandro Ramirez's All and Nothing (1993), from Peru and the U.S., and Ana Maria Garcia's For Rock or Salsa? (1992), from Puerto Rico. (Univ. of Chicago Cobb Hall, 5:00)

Videos: program seven

From Chile, David Gutmann's Life of the Peasant Family in Chile (1993) from Chile, and from Ecuador, Alberto Muenala's Let's Defend Our Land and Lives (1992) and My Little Music (1991). (Facets Multimedia, 6:00)

La gran fiesta

Marco Zurinaga's 1987 film is set in Puerto Rico's old San Juan in early 1942, just after the outbreak of the war, when a formal grand ball marks the takeover of an exclusive club by the U.S. Armed Forces. Daniel Lugo and Cordelia Gonzalez star in this rare Puerto Rican feature, which is said to encompass a love story, family conflicts, and political intrigues, and has a special appearance by Raul Julia. (Pipers Alley, 6:30)

That Obscure Object of Desire

Luis Bunuel explores the problematic relationship between lover and beloved as an aging aristocrat (Fernando Rey) yearns after an unattainable young woman, Conchita--who, since she is played by two different actresses, is both more and less than a standard movie character. Constantly changing, she is unknowable, complicated, perverse, but she is also an eternal erotic principle. Bunuel draws his paradoxes--is it love or sex, sadism or masochism, life or death?--with a perfectly clear, perfectly impregnable style. The old surrealist created another masterpiece in this, his final film (1977). (DK) (Facets Multimedia, 6:30)

Visa U.S.A.

A 20-year-old Colombian youth stuck on a chicken farm (Armano Gutierrez) falls in love with a bank manager's daughter he tutors in English (Marcela Agudelo) and dreams of becoming a radio and TV star in the U.S. A 1986 comedy by Lisandro Duque (Miracle in Rome). (Three Penny, 6:30)

Short Films: program three

Lori J. Shinseki's U.S.-Mexican The Least of Our Brothers (1993) and, from the U.S., Aldo Romero's Symbiosis (1993) and Lisa Gonzalez's Graffiti Man (1992). (Univ. of Chicago Cobb Hall, 7:00)

Videos: program 2

From the U.S., Jon Alpert's Cuba: Between a Blockade and a Hard Place (1993) and Jose Pelaez's Souvenirs (1992); and from Cuba, Kelly Anderson's Looking for a Space. (Facets Multimedia, 8:00)

Light Trap

See listing under Saturday, April 23. (Facets Multimedia, 8:30)

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

Set in 1901, this independent feature (1982) tells the true story of a Mexican horseman pursued through Texas by a 600-man posse for a crime he didn't commit. Robert M. Young (Short Eyes, One Trick Pony) directed; with Edward James Olmos, James Gammon, Tom Bower, and Bruce McGill. (DK) (Three Penny, 8:30)

The Dark Side of the Heart

Argentinean filmmaker Eliseo Subiela's disappointing 1992 follow-up to his Man Facing Southeast (1986) and Last Images of a Shipwreck (1989) chronicles the misadventures of a boorish, self-absorbed, and, to all appearances, untalented poet searching for the woman of his dreams in contemporary Buenos Aires. He's approached mainly by prostitutes, and gets along by reciting lines of his verse to passing motorists in exchange for handouts. It's hard to sustain much interest in such an insufferable character for 126 minutes. Moreover, Subiela's magical-realism devices look distinctly shopworn. The light satire of the Argentinean avant-garde, mainly expounded through the film's treatment of the hero's artist friends, shares with Woody Allen's movies and Borges and Bioy Casare's Chronicles of Bustos Domecq too much contempt for bohemian art, which makes it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff; ultimately this leads to a smirking middle-class complacency about "so-called" artists that seems flagrantly unearned. (See The Second Heimat at the Film Center for a treatment of avant-garde art, good as well as questionable, that at least knows what it's talking about.) (Pipers Alley, 9:00)


The Shining Warrior's Saga

Rosemberg Cariry's 1993 Brazilian farce with political overtones, set among the people of a village in the harsh northeastern part of the country. (Pipers Alley, 7:00)

Hanging Gardens

See listing under Saturday, April 23. (Univ. of Chicago Noyes Hall, 7:00)

Knocks at My Door

See Critic's Choice. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

La gran fiesta

See listing under Sunday, April 24. (Three Penny, 7:00)

Visa U.S.A.

See listing under Sunday, April 24. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

The Beginning and the End

See listing under Saturday, April 23. (Three Penny, 9:00)

The Dead Mother

See listing under Saturday, April 23. (Pipers Alley, 9:00)


River Bottom

A fictional portrait of "the lives of some of California's dispossessed," a 1993 U.S. feature by Robert Diaz LeRoy. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

The Century of Enlightenment

See listing under Saturday, April 23. (Univ. of Chicago Noyes Hall, 7:00)

Julio Begins in July

A 1979 Chilean feature by Columbia College graduate Silvio Caiozzi, about a wealthy 15-year-old boy who falls in love with a prostitute in 1917. (Three Penny, 7:00)

Kiss of Sleep

A 1992 Spanish feature by Rafael Moreno Alba, whose title refers to a prostitute's technique of drugging her customers in order to steal their money. (Pipers Alley, 9:00)


Luis Bunuel returned to his native Spain to create this 1961 masterpiece, which marked his rebirth as a filmmaker of international repute. Mexican star Silvia Pinal plays the title character, a girl about to enter a convent whose confident plans for sainthood are interrupted by her uncle's announcement (false) that he has raped her in her sleep. She forges ahead anyway, filling her uncle's estate with beggars and madmen in an obsessive demonstration of Christian charity. Franco's government, which financed the film, later attempted to suppress it, burning all the prints that remained in Spain. Luckily, a few had already been sent to France, and the rest--Bunuel's brilliant late period--is history. With Fernando Rey and Francisco Rabal. (DK) (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

Gatica "the Monkey"

A 1993 Argentinean feature directed by Leonardo Favio about Gatica, a famous illiterate prizefighter of the late 40s. (Three Penny, 9:00)


The Border

See listing under Friday, April 22. (Spanish Coalition for Jobs, 7:00)

That Obscure Object of Desire

See listing under Sunday, April 24. (Pipers Alley 7:00)

The Shining Warrior's Saga

See listing under Monday, April 25. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Last Train Out

A 1993 feature from the U.S. by Frank Perry Lopez about a son of Mexican migrant workers who attends Harvard Law School while dreaming of becoming a photojournalist and documenting his childhood experiences. (Univ. of Chicago Noyes Hall, 7:00)

The Jackal of Nahueltoro

Miguel Littin's Chilean film (1969) is based on the true story of a peasant who drunkenly murdered his common-law wife and five children. He learns to read and write in jail, and by the time he has been reborn as an educated man he is ready for execution. With Raul Ruiz and Aldo Franca, Littin was one of the filmmakers who created the new wave of Chilean cinema in the late 60s--a movement, of course, that was crushed with the overthrow of the Allende government. (DK) (Three Penny, 7:00)

El Norte

The independent American cinema is slowly becoming slicker than the Hollywood product it is supposedly a reaction against. Gregory Nava's film (1983), about a Guatemalan brother and sister who escape the political oppression of their home country for a difficult life as illegal aliens in the United States, applies a variety of sophisticated rhetorical techniques to a sentimental, manipulative story line. The show-offy style, with its overanalytic editing, rhyming transitions, and portentous accordion inserts, condescends to the puppy-dog siblings by adopting a detached, superior point of view. Nava is clearly less interested in exploring the tragic reality of the situation than in wringing a few tears from Anglo audiences. Though his subject is a serious one and his intentions are apparently noble, Nava has made a film that is essentially indistinguishable from Love Story. (DK) (Pipers Alley, 9:00)

Report on Death

A 1993 Peruvian thriller directed by Danny Gavidia Velezmoro about a TV reporter from Caracas who's sent to cover a prison rebellion in Lima. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

The Smoking Fish

A 1977 Venezuelan feature directed by Roman Chalbaud about a young boy who works for and eventually takes over a brothel known as the Smoking Fish. (Three Penny, 9:00)


The Almost True Story of Pepita the Gunslinger

Based on a true incident, this 1993 feature from Uruguay directed by Beatriz Flores Silva concerns a young single mother who commits a series of successful robberies in Montevideo. To be shown with a short film from Uruguay, Mario Handler's I Like the Students (1968). (Spanish Coalition for Jobs, 7:00)


A U.S. feature by Chicagoan Juan J. Frausto about three Mexican American cousins and their different feelings about their Mexican roots. (Pipers Alley, 7:00)

River Bottom

See listing under Tuesday, April 26. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Kiss of Sleep

See listing under Tuesday, April 26. (Three Penny, 7:00)

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