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The Chicago Latino Film Festival

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The Chicago Latino Film Festival

The 14th annual edition of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, produced by Chicago Latino Cinema and Columbia College, runs Friday, April 17, through Monday, April 27. Film and video screenings will be at Water Tower, 175 E. Chestnut; Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton; 500 Nations Cafe, 1820 S. Ashland; Dominican University Fine Arts Building, 7900 W. Division, River Forest; Calles y Sue–os, 1900 S. Carpenter; Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted; Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. Saint Louis; Centro Cultural Guadalupano, 1814 S. Paulina; and Concilio Hispano, 13 W. Main, Suite 3, Bensenville. Tickets for most programs are $8, $7 for students, senior citizens, and disabled persons, and $6 for Chicago Latino Cinema members. Festival passes, good for 10 screenings excluding special events, are $60, $50 for Chicago Latino Cinema members. For more information call 312-431-1330.

FRIDAY, APRIL 17

What It's All About

A 1994 Spanish feature directed by Ventura Pons and divided into 15 chapters that examine and illustrate various aspects of human behavior (desire, love, jealousy, honesty, passion, belief, etc). The actors introduce each section. (Water Tower, 6:30)

The Ambassador From India

A 1986 Colombian variation on Gogol's The Inspector General, directed by Mario Ribero. On the same program, the short film Tango Forever. (Water Tower, 7:00)

Short Film Program 1

Short films from Mexico and the U.S. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Life According to Muriel

A 1997 first feature by Argentinean director Eduardo Milewicz, about a woman who leaves Buenos Aires with her nine-year-old daughter for an adventurous trip south. (Water Tower, 8:00)

Video Program 6

Videos from Guatemala and Venezuela. (Calles y Sue–os, 8:00)

The Elephant and the Bicycle

Juan Carlos Tabio's 1995 feature is set in 1925 on an island off the Cuban coast, where natives are introduced to a silent film about Robin Hood and begin to read it as a revolutionary statement. On the same program, the short film Two Feet, One Angel. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Deep Crimson

The crimes of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez, who were executed in 1951, were the inspiration for this murderous 1996 romance about a couple pretending to be brother and sister to exploit lonely hearts for financial gain. Coral (Regina Orozco) is a nurse whose search for her personal Charles Boyer ends when she meets confidence man Nicolas (Daniel Gimenez Cacho) through an ad. Coral knows that her weight may make her unappealing, but her powers of persuasion get results. Nicolas's personality, by contrast, hinges on his appearance, though his compulsive need to wear a toupee (also a focus of the news coverage of Fernandez) seems overemphasized by writer Pax Alicia Garciadiego and director Arturo Ripstein. Restless, fluid cinematography and the frequent presence of mirrors make for beautiful, impressive images that certainly reflect the characters' self-esteem. But the motif gets to be a bit much as the couple execute their sloppy scams, which are doubly frightening because they rarely turn out to be lucrative--confirming that the lovers' motivation is something much more complicated than greed. (LA) (Water Tower, 9:00)

Tango, the Obsession

A 1997 documentary by Argentinean-born director Adam Boucher, who now lives in San Francisco. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

SATURDAY, APRIL 18

The Bird of Happiness

The late Pilar Miro directed this 1993 Spanish feature about a middle-aged woman in Madrid recovering after being attacked by hooligans. (Water Tower, 5:00)

Short Film Program 4

Short films from Puerto Rico, Brazil, and the U.S. (Facets Multimedia, 5:00)

Video Program 10

Videos from Spain, Uruguay, and the U.S. (Centro Cultural Guadalupano, 5:00)

Tango, the Obsession

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Water Tower, 5:30)

Macario

Based on a story by B. Traven (author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), this 1959 Mexican production tells the story of a peasant who is granted the power to cure; as his fame spreads around the country, a local doctor begins to call for an inquisition. Roberto Gavaldon directed, and the black-and-white cinematography, which won a prize at Cannes, is by Gabriel Figueroa. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Video Program 2

Alejandra Islas's Eisenstein in Mexico: The Eternal Circle (1996) is a mediocre video documentary made for Mexican television. Its fascinating subject--Sergei Eisenstein's celebrated unfinished film of the 30s, Que viva Mexico--can't help but carry some interest, especially when Islas includes glimpses of Eisenstein's unedited footage. But don't go looking for revelations or even a comprehensive account of what's already known about the project. (JR) (Facets Multimedia, 6:00)

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

A new feature from the U.S. about five LA men who chip in to buy a white suit, which they each plan to wear one night a week. Directed by Stuart Gordon and based on Ray Bradbury's short story of the same title. (Water Tower, 7:00)

Short Film Program 3

Four short films from Nicaragua and the U.S. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Actresses

This 1996 Catalan feature is one of two in the festival by Ventura Pons; the other, What It's All About, shows Friday, April 17, and I hope it's better than this. Apart from its obtrusively kitschy music, Actresses is seriously done: preparing for an audition, a young drama student interviews three veteran actresses--an international diva, a TV star, and a dubbing director. Some of the women's tales conflict, and the overall story has a lot to do with the mesh made by these separate conversations. All four leads are good, but the relatively slender material fails to sustain interest. (JR) (Water Tower, 7:30)

Pandemonium, Hell's Capital

A 1997 Venezuelan feature about an eccentric, dysfunctional family--initially, a crippled poet, his mother, and his young lover--living in a slum basement. Roman Chalbaud directed. (Water Tower, 8:00)

Video Program 4

Videos from Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay. (Facets Multimedia, 8:00)

Video Program 9

Videos from Costa Rica, Colombia, and the U.S. (Calles y Sue–os, 8:00)

Stolen Moments

Oscar Barney Finn directed this 1997 Argentinean feature, set in 1947 Patagonia and focusing on a village housewife who gets involved with a mysterious stranger. (Water Tower, 9:00)

Perfumed Ball

A Lebanese filmmaker based in Rio de Janeiro tracks down a famous outlaw in the Brazilian countryside. Lirio Ferreira and Paulo Caldas directed this 1997 feature. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

The Jew

Tob Azulay's 1996 Portuguese feature is a fictionalized biography of 18th-century playwright Antonio Jose da Silva, who came from a family of converted Jews in Brazil. (Water Tower, 9:30)

The Zafiros: Blue Madness

A 1997 biopic about the popular Cuban vocal group of the 60s, Los Zafiros. Directed by Manuel Herrera. (Water Tower, 10:00)

SUNDAY, APRIL 19

Tango, the Obsession

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Water Tower, 4:00)

Short Film Program 1

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Facets Multimedia, 4:00)

Video Program 10

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Facets Multimedia, 4:00)

The Elephant and the Bicycle

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Water Tower, 4:30)

The Ambassador From India

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Water Tower, 5:00)

Video Program 7

Videos from Puerto Rico and Cuba. (Centro Cultural Guadalupano, 5:00)

Deep Crimson

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Video Program 5

Videos from Mexico and the U.S. (Facets Multimedia, 6:00)

A Chrysanthemum Burst in Cincoesquinas

A young Jewish man in turn-of-the-century Argentina seeks revenge for the murder of the woman who nursed him when he was a child. Daniel Burman directed this 1997 drama. (Water Tower, 6:30)

One Life and Two Trails

A 50-year-old man returns to his childhood home in the remote Venezuelan Andes and confronts his past. Alberto Arvelo directed this 1997 feature. (Facets Multimedia, 6:30)

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Water Tower, 7:00)

Video Program 4

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Calles y Sue–os, 7:00)

Life According to Muriel

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Water Tower, 8:00)

Video Program 1

Three videos from Cuba. (Facets Multimedia, 8:00)

A Kiss to This Land

A 1995 documentary by Daniel Goldberg, about Jewish immigration to Mexico in the 20s and 30s. (Water Tower, 8:30)

The Bird of Happiness

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Facets Multimedia, 8:30)

The Zafiros: Blue Madness

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Water Tower, 9:00)

MONDAY, APRIL 20

Video Program 5

See listing for Sunday, April 19. (Chicago Circle Center, 3:00)

Perfumed Ball

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Soccer Stories

Andres Wood directed this 1997 Chilean feature that combines three stories about soccer players. (Water Tower, 6:30)

Pizza, Beer and Smokes

Bruno Stagnaro and Israel Caetano directed this 1997 Argentinean feature about teenage squatters and thieves. (Water Tower, 7:00)

Pandemonium, Hell's Capital

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Video Program 4

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Northeastern Illinois University, 7:00)

Victory Forever

Juan Carlos Desanzo's 1997 Argentinean feature recounts the life of Che Guevara in six chapters. (Water Tower, 8:15)

The Oyster and the Wind

The daughter of a lighthouse keeper on a remote island dreams up an imaginary male companion in this 1997 Brazilian feature by Walter Lima Jr. It's supposed to register like a fairy tale, but in practice it's fairly dull. The movie tries for the magic of a Raul Ruiz fantasy and doesn't make it, yet the colors are pretty. (JR) (Water Tower, 8:30)

The Zafiros: Blue Madness

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Water Tower, 9:00)

Actresses

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

TUESDAY, APRIL 21

Video Program 1

See listing for Sunday, April 19. (Chicago Circle Center, 5:00)

A Chrysanthemum Burst in Cincoesquinas

See listing for Sunday, April 19. (Water Tower, 6:00)

One Life and Two Trails

See listing for Sunday, April 19. (Water Tower, 6:30)

What It's All About

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Water Tower, 7:00)

Life According to Muriel

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Short Film Program 3

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (500 Nations Cafe, 7:00)

Video Program 6

Videos from Venezuela and Guatemala. (Northeastern Illinois University, 7:00)

Stolen Moments

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Water Tower, 8:00)

New York (Under the New Law)

A 1997 comedy from the Dominican Republic, about a man's struggle to attain legal residency status before the U.S. immigration laws change. Directed by Angel Mu–iz. (Water Tower, 8:30)

The Day You Love Me

Sergio Dow's 1986 Colombian feature El dia que me quieras is set in 1935 in Caracas, Venezuela. Dramatizing the plight of a country living under a dictatorship, the story involves the arrival in town of tango singer Carlos Gardel, who cheers up the oppressed populace. (Water Tower, 9:00)

Macario

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22

Video Program 10

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Chicago Circle Center, 5:00)

Pizza, Beer and Smokes

See listing for Monday, April 20. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Soccer Stories

See listing for Monday, April 20. (Water Tower, 6:30)

The Color of the Clouds

Mario Camus' 1997 Spanish feature about two boys--one a Bosnian war refugee, the other a loner from Madrid--who cross paths with a middle-aged woman, her stepson and niece, and a fisherman. (Water Tower, 7:00)

A Man of Principle

A 1984 Colombian feature set in the 40s and 50s during the country's undeclared civil war. A quiet, asthmatic bookshop owner (Frank Ramirez) carries on a double life: a Catholic mystic and extremist, he serves the conservative leadership as "the Condor," a political assassin. Directed by Francisco Norden; with Isabela Corona. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Short Film Program 4

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (500 Nations Cafe, 7:00)

ÁYa Basta! The Battle Cry of the Faceless

A 1997 Mexican documentary about the Zapatista Army of National Liberation's 1994 takeover of several Mexican municipalities. On the same program, the 1997 "mockumentary" A Day Without a Mexican. (Dominican University, 7:00)

Video Program 3

Videos from Cuba and Spain. (Northeastern Illinois University, 7:00)

Deep Crimson

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Concilio Hispano, 7:00)

Things I Left in Havana

Three young sisters emigrate from Cuba to Spain and fall under the control of their conniving aunt. Manuel Gutierrez Aragon directed this 1997 comedy-drama. (Water Tower, 8:15)

Thanks for the Tip

Two uncles, one homosexual and the other a ladies' man, try to raise their two orphaned nephews in Valencia in the 60s. Francesc Bellmunt directed this 1997 Catalan film. (Water Tower, 8:45)

Them . . . the Women

A 1997 Portuguese romantic comedy about five professional women in their 40s; Luis Galvao Teles directed. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

The Oyster and the Wind

See listing for Monday, April 20. (Water Tower, 9:30)

THURSDAY, APRIL 23

Video Program 7

See listing for Sunday, April 19. (University of Illinois at Chicago, 5:00)

Perfumed Ball

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Water Tower, 6:00)

A Couple of Three

For five years a husband has been carrying on with his wife's best friend, never realizing that his wife had talked her friend into the relationship. Antoni Verdaguer directed this 1996 comedy in Catalan. (Water Tower, 6:30)

Soccer Stories

See listing for Monday, April 20. (Concilio Hispano, 6:30)

Time to Die

Jorge Ali Triana directed this 1985 Colombian western about a man emerging from 18 years in prison to reclaim his fiancee and confront the sons of the person he murdered. Novelists Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes scripted, working from a 1966 film by Arturo Ripstein. (Water Tower, 7:00)

Otario

A noirish mystery set in Buenos Aires in the 40s. A detective is hired by a woman to retrieve her husband from Montevideo; when the detective returns to find the woman murdered, he suspects the husband. Diego Arzuaga directed this 1997 film from Uruguay. (Facets Multimedia, 7:00)

Little Voices

A rape victim who doesn't speak Spanish becomes a missionary in Guatemala in Kim Flores and Mike Swenson's 1997 U.S. feature, based in part on a true story. (Dominican University, 7:00)

Things I Left in Havana

See listing for Wednesday, April 22. (Water Tower, 8:15)

The Ambassador From India

See listing for Friday, April 17. (Concilio Hispano, 8:30)

Victory Forever

See listing for Monday, April 20. (Water Tower, 8:45)

Kill Me Over & Over

Jose Angel directed this 1997 black comedy from Spain. Two old friends find the body of an old woman and try to switch it with another corpse so they can perform an experiment, but the woman, it turns out, isn't really dead. (Water Tower, 9:00)

The Jew

See listing for Saturday, April 18. (Facets Multimedia, 9:00)

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): The Oyster and the Wind film still.

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