Los bastardos (2008) - News Poster

(2008)

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Lovecraftian ‘The Untamed’ Awakens On VOD

Lovecraftian ‘The Untamed’ Awakens On VOD
Strand Releasing’s The Untamed is now available on VOD platforms. Celebrated filmmaker Amat Escalante follows up his critically lauded features Heli and Los Bastardos with the award-winning The Untamed, which critics have called “ferociously intelligent” (Jonathan Romney, Screen) and “brilliant, frightening” (Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage). The Blu-ray release includes an 85-minute behind the scenes featurette. “Alejandra is a housewife, […]
See full article at Bloody-Disgusting.com »

Lovecraftian ‘The Untamed’ Awakens in the UK

Lovecraftian ‘The Untamed’ Awakens in the UK
Arrow UK today announced the release of The Untamed in theaters August 18th and on Blu-ray and DVD September 25th. Celebrated filmmaker Amat Escalante follows up his critically lauded features Heli and Los Bastardos with the award-winning The Untamed, which critics have called “ferociously intelligent” (Jonathan Romney, Screen) and “brilliant, frightening” (Rory O’Connor, The Film […]
See full article at Bloody-Disgusting.com »

‘La La Land’ Comes to Morelia Fest as it Hosts Top Festival Winners and Demian Bichir’s Helming Debut

‘La La Land’ Comes to Morelia Fest as it Hosts Top Festival Winners and Demian Bichir’s Helming Debut
World-class festival winners are bowing at the 14th Morelia Int’l Film Festival, including Damian Chazelle’s Oscar-buzzworthy “La La Land,” Nate Parker’s controversial Sundance hit “Birth of a Nation,” Ken Loach’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “I, Daniel Blake” and Berlinale Golden Bear prizewinner “Fire at Sea” by Gianfranco Rosi.

The 10-day fest opens Oct. 21 with Pablo Larrain’s latest opus, “Neruda,” which reps Chile at the Foreign-Language Oscar race, and stars Gael Garcia Bernal who will present the pic. Guests of honor this year include Willem Dafoe, Giada Colagrande and Audrey Tautou. Rising Venezuelan star Edgar Ramirez will be presenting two high-profile pics he stars in, “The Girl on the Train” and “Hands of Stone.”

But Morelia remains an important barometer of the latest in Mexican cinema. Mexican thesp Demian Bichir, Oscar-nommed for his lauded perf in 2011 drama “A Better Life,” is staging the world premiere
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Morelia Film Fest To Unveil Demian Bichir’s Debut ‘Un Cuento de Circo & a Love Song’

Morelia Film Fest To Unveil Demian Bichir’s Debut ‘Un Cuento de Circo & a Love Song’
Mexican thesp Demian Bichir, Oscar-nommed for his lauded perf in 2011 drama “A Better Life,” is staging the world premiere of his directorial debut “Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song” (aka “Refugio”) at Mexico’s prominent film showcase, the Morelia Int’l Film Fest.

Produced by Ag Studios’ Itaca Films, “Un Cuento de Circo…” turns on a young man called Refugio who was born in a circus and journeys from Mexico to New Orleans in search for his lost love. Its cast is led by Bichir, his co-star in FX’s “The BridgeDiane Kruger, and Jason Patric and Eva Longoria.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Cordero, Ecuador’s most renowned helmer (“Europa”), has chosen Morelia for the Mexican debut of his latest pic, “Sin Muertos No Hay Carnaval,” a co-production between his shingle, Carnaval Cine, with producing partner Arturo Yepes, Mexico’s Salamandra Prods. and Germany’s Atkis Film Prod. Bowing in Ecuador on Sept.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #36. Amat Escalante’s The Untamed

The Untamed

Director: Amat Escalante

Writer: Amat Escalante and Gibran Portela

Amat Escalante, protégé of Carlos Reygadas, snagged the Best Director award at Cannes 2013 for his unpleasant but striking third feature, Heli (previously, he’d won the Fipresci prize for his debut Sangre in 2005, while his 2008 sophomore film Los Bastardos playing in Un Certain Regard). He’s back with a very ambitious project, The Untamed, described as a “social/sci-fi movie about machismo, homophobia, and the repression of women,” catalyzed by the crash of a meteorite into a mountain. Based on his heavy-hitting past works, we can only image what’s in store for us with this mixture of ‘horror’ and ‘realism.’

Cast: Tba.

Production Co./Producer(s): Mantarraya Film’s Jaime Romandia, SnowGlobe Films’s Katrin Pors

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. Tbd (domestic) Tbd (international).

Release Date: The film’s producers have stated the project will be ready for May,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

The Details: Home Again, Home Again

  • MUBI
Amat Escalante's Los bastardos is playing on Mubi in the Us through December 9.Having directed three Mexican feature films, Spanish-born director Amat Escalante, grows more and more ambitious with each film as he refines his sobering and rigorous long-take aesthetic. At the same time, these features form a cohesive unit in which narratives center on, in, and around houses. If Roman Polanski has his apartment trilogy, Amat Escalante has his house trilogy. For now.In the spare opening of Sangre (2005), a man lies flat on his back. Blood trickles down his forehead. As he slowly sits up, a woman briskly walks through the frame, from the upper right to the bottom left-hand corner. She ignores the man completely. What is this abstract image of? Ignorance? Humiliation? Defeat? Sangre unfolds the image like an accordion. The supine position mutates and varies all throughout the film, evoking resting, sex, defeat, and death.
See full article at MUBI »

DVD Review: 'Heli'

  • CineVue
★★★☆☆The third film from Mexican director Amat Escalante (Los Bastardos, Sangre), Heli (2013) could perhaps be accused of following the shoulder-shrug school of social commentary. An at times almost-unspeakably brutal portrayal of one young family caught up in a cocaine deal gone wrong, Escalante's Cannes prize-winner offers little respite for its titular factory worker, who finds himself horrifically tortured for his unwitting role in the theft of several parcels of prime marching powder. Neither does the filmmaker offer any fresh optimism for his country's future, torn apart as it is by corruption, gang violence and narcotics. And yet, Escalante still manages to evoke beauty through some exemplary visuals.
See full article at CineVue »

Review: Heli, Important And Unforgettable, Yet Still Taking The Easy Way Out

In Mexico there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Amat Escalante's third feature Heli. Yes, Steven Spielberg loved it at Cannes and Danny Boyle praised it at the Guanajuato Film Festival, but there's a large group of Mexican critics who aren't quite impressed. I'm right in the middle, as Heli hits me as an important piece that looks at the Mexican drug trade, but it also delivers weak acting, dialog, and a lazy conclusion. It feels less focused than Escalante's previous effort, Los Bastardos, and yet I'm pretty sure some of its scenes will remain with me for a long time. Heli is set in Guanajuato, Escalante's hometown, although that fact is never mentioned in the film. Hence we can say it's about any...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Narco Thriller Heli Makes War-Zone Art

Narco Thriller Heli Makes War-Zone Art
So far onscreen, Mexican narcoculture has generated mostly grim documentaries, but given the carnage and the proximity, you can easily imagine the movies coming from both sides of the border: the mezzobrow hand-wringers, the trigger-joy gangster trips, the based-on-true-story crusades. What we might not have seen coming is something like Heli, a dead-eyed, lyrical art film that kicks you in the throat.

With his two previous films, Sangre (2005) and Los Bastardos (2008), Amat Escalante has been finding his way between self-conscious minimalism and ball-busting shock, and with Heli he strides ever closer to a war-zone balance, a style that dovetails poetic resonance and unblinking horror. In the meantime, he and his mentor, Carlos Reygadas, have red...
See full article at Village Voice »

Film Review: 'Heli'

  • CineVue
★★★☆☆Despite an audacious scene near its midpoint that will undoubtedly prompt much tongue-wagging, Amat Escalante's third feature, Heli (2013), is largely about just how commonplace unexceptional cruelty and bloodshed has become in his native Mexico. His previous film, Los Bastardos (2008), concerned a shocking act of violence committed impassively by two immigrant labourers in Los Angeles. On this occasion, that same callousness is a symptom of a national malady. Claiming the Best Director prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival, Escalante's Heli proves grim viewing that never quite locates a meaningful thesis above a desire to bear witness to Mexico's warped mentality.
See full article at CineVue »

Lff 2013: 'Heli' review

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ Heli (Armando Espitia), the protagonist of Amat Escalante's 2013 Palme d'Or nominee of the same name, is a young Mexican who lives with his father, his son, his young wife (Linda Gonzalez) and 12-year-old sister, Estella (Andrea Vergara). He's prone to bad luck, keen on his naps and, when a census taker comes to the house, hesitates about how many people live there with him. However, when 17-year-old army cadet Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacios) falls in love with Estella and makes plans for the two of them to run away together, Heli's cataclysmic knee-jerk reaction will plunge the family into pitiless and brutal violence.

Narrative films concerned with roving drug gangs, political corruption and barbaric acts of extreme and horrendous violence are depressingly common nowadays and have formed the backdrop for several high profile Hollywood movies in recent years, including Oliver Stone's Savages (2012) and Mexico's own Miss Bala (2011). However,
See full article at CineVue »

Review: Heli, Unforgettable Images Drawn From A Flawed Script

In Mexico there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Amat Escalante's third feature Heli. Yes, Steven Spielberg loved it at Cannes and Danny Boyle praised it at the Guanajuato Film Festival, but there's a large group of Mexican critics who aren't quite impressed. I'm right in the middle, as Heli does hit you as an important piece that looks at the Mexican drug trade, but it also delivers weak acting, dialog, and a lazy conclusion. It feels less focused than Escalante's previous effort, Los Bastardos, and yet I'm pretty sure some of its scenes will remain with me for a long time. Heli is set in Guanajuato, Escalante's hometown, although that fact is never mentioned in the film. Hence we can say it's about any place in...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Top 20 Alternative Picks for Cannes 2013: Amat Escalante’s Heli

HeliAmat Escalante

Section: Main Competition

Buzz: Steadily guided by Cannes’ fest head honcho Thierry Fremieux, Amat Escalante receives a major big stage showing for his long-awaited third film (worth noting it was among the four hand-picked winners for the 2010 Sundance/Nhk International Filmmakers Awards along with Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Elena” and Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild“). Sangre (Un Certain Regard – 2005), his debut feature announced the helmer as an up-and-comer in Mexican cinema, while his home-invasion follow-up Los Bastardos divided up the critical mass when it showed once again in Cannes in 2008 (Un Certain Regard).

The Gist: In a small Mexican town, where most citizens work for an automobile assembly plant or the local drug cartel, Heli is confronted with police corruption, drug trafficking, sexual exploitation, love, guilt and revenge in the search for his father who has mysteriously disappeared.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Amat Escalante’s Heli, Cannes 2013

Police corruption, drug trafficking, sexual exploitation and love – all included in Amat Escalante‘s upcoming Heli movie, which has been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Today, we’re here to give you an official poster and the first clip from this Mexican drama. Definitely worth your attention, check it out… Escalante, who stands behind 2005′s “Sangre” and 2008′s “Los Bastardos”, brings us this quite intense story which revolves around a 12-year-old girl named Estela, who falls in love with a young police cadet. The pair plans to run away and get married, but the violence in the region...
See full article at Filmofilia »

Exclusive: Clip & Poster For Cannes Competition Drama 'Heli'

Today, the Cannes Film Festival revealed the official screening schedule, and this year finds the line-up unusually backloaded, with many of the splashy big titles unspooling in the final days of the fest. And while some may be disappointed (particularly those who weren't planning to stay for the whole fest), it does give the smaller films a better chance to shine and get some attention. One such film that will benefit from a bit more space to spread its wings is Mexican entry "Heli." The film comes from Amat Escalante, a rising filmmaker who first came to Cannes with "Sangre" in 2005, which landed a slot in the Un Certain Regard section, and won the Fipresci Prize from the International Critics. In 2008 he returned to Un Certain Regard with "Los Bastardos," and this year he's in the main Competition with "Heli."  Starring Armando Espitia, Andrea Vergara, Linda Gonzalez and Juan Eduardo Palacios,
See full article at The Playlist »

Top 5: Best in Mexican Cinema in 2010

[Editor's note: I've asked our team of world film correspondents to dish out their top 5 films of the year from their respective countries. Here's Christine Davila's take on the Best in Mexican Cinema in 2010.] To be clear, this is a list of Mexican films which either: traveled far in the 2010 film festival front, were critically acclaimed, received a healthy theatrical run, and which I consider the strongest celluloid among the Mexican narrative feature film trenches from where I culled and screened deep. Okay maybe not that deep, considering there are only about 100 feature narrative films produced in Mexico a year. But given that figure, this small percentage illustrates a strong dose of diversity and range of genre, budget, but more importantly original strong stories and voices. Before I begin....one special mention goes out to REVOLUCIÓN by Carlos Reygadas, Amat Escalante, Fernando Eimbcke, Mariana Chenillo, Patricia Riggen, Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Garcia, and Rodrigo Plá. The first time I ever heard use of the word Portmanteau was when this movie starting popping up at festivals beginning with the world premiere
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Cannes 2011: 20 Predictions for Next Year's Festival

If the Main Competition suffered because of the lack of film output from last year (Venice and Tiff have already seen the benefits), next year's edition of the Cannes film festival is already shaping up to be a fantastic year with names like Pedro, Von Trier, Dardennes, Cronenberg, PTA and Salles in the possible line-up. For those who made a case about there not being much female representation -- they'll be pleased to see that the latest works from Andrea Arnold and Lynne Ramsay should be in the line-up --- and although I didn't add him to the list below, we could also see Steve McQueen's latest project in the fest. Here are a list of 20 projects I think will be in the fest next year. - If the Main Competition suffered because of the lack of film output from last year (Venice and Tiff have already seen the
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Cannes 2011: 20 Predictions for Next Year's Festival

If the Main Competition suffered because of the lack of film output from last year (Venice and Tiff have already seen the benefits), next year's edition of the Cannes film festival is already shaping up to be a fantastic year with names like Pedro, Von Trier, Dardennes, Cronenberg, PTA and Salles in the possible line-up. For those who made a case about there not being much female representation -- they'll be pleased to see that the latest works from Andrea Arnold and Lynne Ramsay should be in the line-up --- and although I didn't add him to the list below, we could also see Steve McQueen's latest project in the fest. Here are a list of 20 projects I think will be in the fest next year. A Dangerous Method - David Cronenberg Many of you might still know it as A Talking Cure - the screenplay received lots of
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2010: Amat Escalante's Heli

Like his mentor Reygadas, Escalante favors a brute force aesthetic realism that goes a long way in describing the realities of modern day Mexico. - #23. Heli Director/Writer: Amat EscalanteProducers: Jaime Romandia (producer for Carlos Reygadas' films)Distributor: Rights Available. Photo Exclusive: Featuring filmmaker Amat Escalante. The Gist: In a small Mexican town, where most citizens work for an automobile assembly plant or the local drug cartel, Heli is confronted with police corruption, drug trafficking, sexual exploitation, love, guilt and revenge in the search for his father who has mysteriously disappeared. Cast: None mentioned so far, but I imagine he'll use non-actors who might have experienced some of the realities proposed in the screenplay.     Why is it on the list?: Like his mentor Reygadas, Escalante favors a brute force aesthetic realism that goes a long way in describing the realities of modern day Mexico.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »
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