10 items from 2014
Generally speaking, all a viewer needs to do while watching a Lisandro Alonso film is look and listen. Starting with La Libertad (2001), the Argentine director’s features -- the rest of which are Los Muertos (2004), Fantasma (2006), Liverpool (2008), and now Jauja -- have foregone anything resembling conventional, narrative-based filmmaking. Alonso’s recurring subject -- the relationship between people and the landscapes that surround them -- is disarmingly primal, showing non-actors conduct their daily business (La Libertad’s subject is a woodcutter, for instance) in something resembling real-time. Alonso is not interested in backstory or psychology, at least not in the ways these are usually broached and exploited in mainstre »
“Jauja” premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Fipresci Award. It’s also an official selection of the Toronto and New York Film Festivals.
“Jauja” will open theatrically in early 2015.
The story is set in 1882 at a remote Patagonian military outpost during the a genocidal campaign against the aboriginal population. Mortensen portrays a captain who has come from Denmark with his 15-year-old daughter to take an engineering job with the Argentine army. The daughter falls for a young soldier and they run away together.
All five of Alonso’s films — “Liverpool” (2008), “Fantasma” (2006), “Los Muertos” (2004) and “La Libertad” (2001) — have premiered at Cannes. He has been named this year’s Filmmaker in Residence of the New York Film Festival.
Variety’s Scott Foundas »
- Dave McNary
The Toronto International Film Festival added more than 100 features to its 2014 slate today, with pics starring Dustin Hoffman, Kristen Wiig, Benicio del Toro, Diane Keaton, John Travolta, Keira Knightley, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Connelly and Arnold Schwarzenegger among the two-dozen titles joining the Gala and Special Presentations programs.
Contemporary World Cinema adds 51 (22 world preems), City to City shines the spotlight on Seoul with eight pics (two world preems), and Wavelengths delivers 46 titles, including 13 features.
Gala world preems “Boychoir,” which marks the return of Quebec helmer Francois Girard (“Silk”) to the big screen and stars Hoffman as the tough conductor of a world-class music school, as well as Italian multi-hyphenate Andrea Di Stefano’s feature bow “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” starring del Toro as the notorious Colombian drug lord.
- Jennie Punter
Another year, and another edition of the Lima Film Festival is upon us. Just in time for its milestone 18th birthday, the Fest has released their full slate of films, both in the Fiction and Documentary competitions and other sections.Argentina, the biggest film industry in South America, has a couple of highlights. If you've been wondering where Viggo Mortensen has been hiding for the last few years, he can be found in Jauja, a drama from renowned director Lisandro Alonso (Los Muertos, Liverpool). There's also the eagerly anticipated Wild Tales, Damián Szifron's dark humoured anthology film.With more and more movies being made here, it's no surprise that Peru has four films in the Fiction Competition. Álvaro Velarde (Destiny Has No Favorites) returns to local screens with...
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The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre revealed award-winning Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso as their 2014 Filmmaker in Residence. The announcement took place last night at a dinner in New York co-hosted by Charles Finch, Lesli Klainberg, Bennett Miller, Todd Solondz, and Lisa Cortes. Last year the role was held by director Andrea Arnold ("Fish Tank," "Wuthering Heights"), who utilized the post to develop her next film "American Honey" and work within the local community, speaking at New York Film Festival panels and nearby high schools. Read More: Here's Why This Was the Best Cannes Film Festival in Years Alonso's work had been described as minimalist comparable to Tarkovsky blending documentary and film. Alonso has directed five features, including "La Libertad" (2001), "Los Muertos" (2004), "Fantasma" (2006), and "Liverpool" (2008). This year he debuted his most recent, »
- Oliver MacMahon
Argentine director Lisandro Alonso will be the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 2014 Filmmaker in Residence.
A minimalist filmmaker whose narrative work has a documentary-like aesthetic, Alonso’s most recent film was “Jauja” with Viggo Mortensen, which was nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
“Many times I think less is more,” Alonso told Variety. “It makes for a nice contrast to many big U.S. films.”
Alonso told Variety that he plans to use his residency to develop his next project, an exploration of people who live (and search for gold) in the Amazon jungle environment.
“I’m thinking about what kind of film can I make [in Brazil] about people who live outside of civilization and society and all these kinds of structures that we have, »
- Brent Lang
There’s more dialogue in the first reel of Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja” — Alonso’s first film made with a professional cast and a screenwriting partner — than in all four of the young Argentinian director’s prior narrative features combined. Yet this hallucinatory head-trip Western remains unmistakably Alonso’s film from first frame to last — a metaphysical road movie in which origin and destination are markedly less important than the journey itself. While the film’s intense visual beauty and the presence of star Viggo Mortensen assure it the widest distribution of any Alonso film to date, “Jauja” will still find its natural audience at the fests and specialized venues that have long championed the helmer’s boundary-pushing work.
At the start of “Jauja,” which also reps Alonso’s first foray into period filmmaking, we are in a remote military camp somewhere on the coast of Patagonia, and the time »
- Scott Foundas
Cannes - "Did you see the Lisandro Alonso?!" came the eager text from a friend not in Cannes, mere minutes after I had, indeed, seen Alonso's "Jauja" -- an Argentine western turned existential comedy turned, well, any number of alternate-dimension subgenres. I envied him his excitement. Alonso has built up a fiercely devoted band of admirers with his opaque brand of slow-cinema puzzle picture, as demonstrated in the likes of "Liverpool" and "Los Muertos"; for those of us who have never gained access to that club, "Jauja" is unlikely to bring us much closer. Intermittently playful, consistently confounding, finally petrified, it's a film of fussy, cultivated austerity; Alonsolytes will debate what it's hiding, while others will suggest "an actual movie" as the answer. Initially, improbably, it seems that we're in for more hand-holding than usual from Alonso, as proceedings open with a lengthy block of text that helpfully gives context »
- Guy Lodge
A strikingly shot odyssey story that makes extensive use of the dramatic, varied landscapes of rural South America and moves at a pace that would see it quickly outflanked by the average glacier, “Jauja” may involve the talents of the biggest star he’s ever worked with in Viggo Mortensen, but it’s resolutely a Lisandro Alonso film, for better, or if you like watching things happen, largely for worse. We can’t say we’re massive fans of the director’s previous features (2008’s “Liverpool” and 2004’s “Los Muertos” feel like the closest siblings to "Jauja," and both frustrated the hell out of us), but the director has gained a fairly worshipful critical following elsewhere, especially among the “narrative”-is-a-dirty-word brigade. Still, we were hopeful that his tendency for tedium might be mitigated this time out, as the film not only stars an actor we admire, but has a relatively rich logline, »
- Jessica Kiang
Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso was last seen at Cannes in 2008 with his drama about a sailor, "Liverpool." He's exploring the natural world yet again in "Jauja," the Un Certain Regard entry starring Viggo Mortensen as a father who treks with his daughter from Denmark to an uncharted desert in South America. Costarring Ghita Norby, "Jauja" is cowritten by Alonso and first-time scribe Fabian Casas, and this is Alonso's first narrative feature since "Liverpool." He made an international splash in 2004 with "Los Muertos," another mystery that turned on the relationship between father and daughter. Take a look at images from the set of "Jauja" below, and Indiewire has an exclusive on the beautiful new poster here. The film will compete for the Un Certain Regard prize, under Argentinian jury president Pablo Trapero. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
10 items from 2014
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