LATIN AMERICAN FILM
As far as ﬁlm distributors Metro Pictures are concerned, there is cinematic life outside of London, as the Glasgow Film Theatre gears up to co- host the Fourth Latin American Film Festival along with the Metro Cinema down south. Once again, the company has assembled a programme that promises to be hotter than a dish of
This year, the focus is on Argentinian cinema, with eight of the twenty ﬁlms hailing from the land of the pampas. Only two years ago, home~based production was at an all-time low as stellar inﬂation racked the country’s economy, but recent policy changes have stimulated the industry and the pockets of the audience, with the result that Argentine ﬁlms can ﬁght back against the Hollywood dominance of the box ofﬁce. The result can be seen across the board, from the lush, rural settings of human drama A Place in the World to the strikingly experimental Standard, which uses nonsense dialogue that transcends subtitling.
Among the Mexican features, Dana Rotberg's Angel de Fuego, was one of the strongest titles in the Edinburgh lntemational Film Festival's focus on new Mexican cinema this year. Its challenging tale of a young circus performer, cast out because she is carrying the child of her now-dead father, shows the gritty edge that the younger generation of ﬁlm makers has brought to Latin American cinema across the continent. One of the most anticipated titles in the Metro fest is another from Mexico, My Dear Tom Mix, a ﬁlm within a ﬁlm in which the legendary cowboy rides out of the silent screen into the lives of a humble Mexican family of the 19305.
Elsewhere in the programme, Venezuela packs a punch with boxing movie End of the Round and historical love triangle Madam Bolero, while
Brazil pitches in with middle-class parody For Elise and Scent of Gardenia. Cuba’s Transparent Woman is intriguing in the way that it has encouraged several of the country’s young ﬁlmmakers to create a combined vision of the women who live in such a macho society. Alternatively, Peru’s You Only Live Once captures the powerful political turmoil — here the Shining Path guerilla movement — that has eroded much of Latin America’s economic ability to make ﬁlms while simultaneously giving the ﬁlmmakers a tenacious, artistic edge.
Surprising, but by no means without relevance, is the inclusion of three American titles. The names of Allison Anders (Mi Vida Loca), Edward James
Standard Olmos (American Me) and Taylor Hackford (Blood In, Blood Out), should open the wider aspects of the festival to new audiences and reveal how Latin American culture has slowly begun to be treated with some respect in the United States itself. It could hardly be called a commercial move, as perhaps only the latter — a three-hour long epic from the director of An Officer And A Gentleman - will achieve a low-key distribution after this showcase moves on. (Alan Morrison)
The Latin American Film Festival gets underway at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Friday 3 September: running until Thursday 16. For details. see Listings and Index.
_ APRES L’AMOUB
French writer-director Diane Kurys, the iirst nanre in intelligent slush, returns to top form with this glossy, neatly observed and emotionally
tangled tale of screwed-up
thirtysonrethings. lsabelle lluppert is a talented novelist who hasn’t quite managed to work her own life out, sharing live-in lover, architect Biradeau, with tie, his previous partner and the nrother of his children. Well, until she meets groovy guitarist illppolyte Biradot, that is, and starts up a clandestine affair, which is pretty exciting tor the both oi then until his wite gets wind of it and starts up a little aiialr oi her own. Honestly, the
Kurys's ill- is patlcularly good at detailing the snowballlng inter relationship maybe. that’s the inevitable result when people don’t know whether they’re happy or not. Almost all concerned are in stable partnerships - Yvan Attal (another towering pedomance) as Giradeau’s
stout and dependable brother being the honourable exception - but don’t see. able to resist the ‘what-it?’ itch plaguing their hearts and naughty bits. Pretty soon, they’re up to their necirs in the lost absurd situations, yet Kurys never norallses: the question of balance here is an individual one, the notion that individual freedom rnay be stylied within a stagnant relationship pararnount to her.
The result is flawlessly acted, engrossing and at tirnes has the painful ring oi truth. it’s the best old wallow you’ll have all year. And it you get bored, you can always looir at the turnitnre. (Tmor Johnston)
Apres L’Aruour (15) (Diane Kurys, France, 1992) lsabelle iluppert, Bernard Blradeau, illppolyte Giradot, Ym Attal. 105 wins. Froru Fri 21: Glasgow Film Theatre.
LAWS OF GRAVITY
Writer/director Nick Gomez didn't expect this ﬁlm to be shown outside the festival circuit, and so its imminent commercial release proves that Newton's law of the title doesn't apply here. The story follows a pair of friends — Jonny and Jimmy — who dabble in selling stolen ﬁrearms as a sideline to their opportunistic shoplifting sprees, while Jonny is being hounded by loansharks and the police. Back home, Celia and Denise are just managing to cope with what life throws at them, but without taking any shit from their respective partners.
This episodic ﬁlm makes use of hand-held cameras to create the agitation and restlessness of the characters without resorting to slick action shots. With a partly improvised script, it reflects the reality of life in Brooklyn, where there is no time to plan: people can only trust their instincts, often making irrational decisions for short-term survival. Gomez avoids presenting a psychological background for the characters or the motivations behind their actions — we experience them only as they present themselves to us.
Unfortunately, the critics have already blasted Laws Of Gravity as a remake of 70s classic Mean Streets, with a ‘how darest thou rip-off the mighty Scorsese‘ attitude. However, drawing simply on the obvious comparisons sadly overlooks the ﬁlm‘s unique qualities. This is not 1973 but 1993, where female characters act rather than react. and ﬁlm acknowledges rather than ignores its audience, as in the ﬁnal scene, where
Jimmy shouts out through the blacked-out screen. ‘00 home, go home' — and we do. (Julie Boyne) laws 0f Gravity ( l 8) (Nick Gomez. US, 1992) Peter Greene. Adam Trese. [00 mins. From Fri 27: Edinburgh Cameo. From Fri 3: Glasgow Film Theatre.
The List 27 August-9 September 1993 87