10 items from 2015
Working together for the first time since their collaboration in Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness, Award-winning actors Gael García Bernal (Babel, Motorcycle Diaries) and Alice Braga (I Am Legend, City of God) star in Ardor, a visually sumptuous adventure about a mysterious man who emerges from the Argentinian rainforest to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a poor farmer.
Written and directed by Pablo Fendrik (Blood Appears, The Mugger), the film’s magical realism, jungle setting and social context put a fresh, contemporary twist on the western genre.
When fires sweep through the rainforest near their property along the Parana River, a poor tobacco-farming family goes on high alert. The head of the family, João, (Chico Díaz) correctly suspects the fire is a result of slash-and-burn tactics by ruthless land-grabbers intent on acquiring the farm he shares with his lovely daughter, Vânia (Braga), and her partner, Jara (Lautaro Vilo)
Help arrives in the »
- Michelle McCue
★★★★☆ A small farmstead is beset by a gang of ruthless mercenaries attempting to coerce the inhabitants from their land until a mysterious loner arrives to put an end to the injustice. Clearly modelled on a familiar western narrative, Pablo Fendrik's The Burning (2014) both embraces and playfully inverts the tropes that define its genre classification. The spirit of Leone or Ford may hang potently in the air, but it is the spirits of the Argentinian rainforest locale that preside over any narrative and thematic concerns. The characters aptly teeter on the edge of both physical and moral wilderness, but the landscape in question here is not the arid desert at all, but a dense, sweltering jungle.
- CineVue UK
Ahead of its release next month, a UK poster and trailer have arrived online for Pablo Fendrik’s acclaimed revenge thriller The Burning, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal (Babel, No) and Alice Braga (I Am Legend, Elysium); check them out here…
Kai (Garcia Bernal), a mysterious and mystical figure, emerges from the Argentinean rainforest to rescue Vania (Braga), who has been kidnapped by mercenaries. Together they face off against the men who have ruthlessly murdered Vania’s father, a poor farmer, and taken over his land.
Part love story, part western, Fendrik turns this latter genre on its head as so-called civilisation becomes a destructive force over both the rich jungle setting and the communities living within it.
The Burning opens in the UK on June 19th.
- Gary Collinson
Gael García Bernal gets dangerous in the newest trailer for his upcoming Argentinian revenge thriller “The Burning,” which you might already know as "El Ardor." Written and directed by Pablo Fendrik (“Blood Appears,” “The Mugger”), “The Burning” stars Bernal as a mysterious stranger who emerges from the rainforest to help save Vania (Alice Braga) after her father is murdered and her family farm stolen. “The Burning” debuted at Cannes last year and finds Bernal hurling bamboo spears, firing guns and hacking his enemies with machetes. Clearly this is one of the most viscerally aggressive roles the actor has taken on in his career. The trailer itself hints at Fendrik’s aesthetic sensibility. He uses the natural landscape, as well as smoke, costumes and camera angles to obscure a lot of the visuals. It’s an interesting choice, especially given the subject matter (crazed, animalistic, discombobulating fighting), and could very well promise a visually inspired film. »
- Zach Hollwedel
The Burning is a thriller that subverts the old maxim about revenge being a dish best served cold. Judging by this new poster and trailer, it'll be flame-grilled and served using a big old machete in the new Gael García Bernal vengeance movie.brightcove.createExperiences();Bernal plays Kai, a near-mythical figure who emerges from the Argentinean rainforest looking to snatch back the grieving Vania (Elysium's Alice Braga) from the mercenaries who have kidnapped her. They’ve already killed her dad, a poor farmer, and now they’ve come for her. But while Kai still has breath and a bloody great cleaver, they’ll be given some good reasons to think again.This one looks like combining the political edge of South America’s Cinema Novo with a classic Western yarn, lit up with the trippy visuals of an Apocalypse Now. We may never see Bernal’s Zorro, so this could »
Taking off the table the only Spanish-language title confirmed to date for Cannes, Arp Selection, one of France’s premier arthouse distributors, has acquired French rights to David Pablos’ “The Chosen Ones” (“Las Elegidas”).
One of 14 Un Certain Regard titles unveiled last Thursday by Thierry Fremaux, “Chosen” is lead-produced by top Mexican production house Canana, founded by Pablo Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, whose credits include Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bala,” Cary Fukunaga’s “Sin Nombre” and the Luna-directed “Abel” and “Cesar Chavez.”
“The Chosen Ones” is co-produced by Paris-based Manny Films, founded by Philippe Gompel, which also co-produced Pablo Fendrik’s “El Ardor” with Argentina’s Magma Cine, Canana and Brazil’s Bananeira Filmes.
Produced by Cruz and a love story with thriller elements and ethical dilemmas, “The Chosen Ones” turns on 15-year-old, Ulises, »
- John Hopewell
"We must defend ourselves." Another foreign film that definitely seems worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of actor Gael García Bernal. Participant Media has debuted a Us trailer for the upcoming summer release of Ardor, originally El Ardor, a film starring Bernal as a mysterious man who emerges from the Argentinean rainforest to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a poor farmer after mercenaries murder her father and take over his land. The film earned mostly positive reviews at festivals last year, like this one from THR, and looks like a solid action thriller described by another critic as a "machete Western". This actually looks pretty damn good, with solid action and cinematography, I'm interested in seeing it soon. Here's the official Us trailer for Pablo Fendrik's El Ardor, in high def on Apple (via The Film Stage): When fires sweep through the rainforest near their property along the Parana River, »
- Alex Billington
Gael García Bernal takes an uncharacteristically violent turn in Pablo Fendrik’s new film. Set in the Argentinian rainforest, “Ardor” (aka “El Ardor”) follows Bernal as Kaí, a mysterious man who emerges from the jungle to exact revenge for a farmer murdered by land-grabbing mercenaries and rescue his kidnapped daughter. The film is being touted as a Latin American Western and purportedly employs some pretty gruesome violence. “Ardor” debuted at Cannes last May, and though it has screened at a handful of international festivals since, news of the film has been relatively sparse over the past 10 months. At long last, however, an official trailer for the picture has made its way online. The film was shot on location in Argentina, and from the looks of the trailer, it promises some pretty scenery, at the very least. (Early response to the film at Cannes was unfortunately short on praise.) “Ardor” marks »
- Zach Hollwedel
Read More: Cannes: Helmer Pablo Fendrik Talks About Turning the Western on Its Head The western genre is getting a foreign spin in Pablo Fendrik's "Ardor," starring Gael García Bernal, Alice Braga and Chico Díaz. The film premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and vied to be Argentina's Best Foreign Language Oscar submission after earning 10 nominations at the Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences Awards. Despite losing the Oscar bid to "Wild Tales," "Ardor" became a hit in its home country and will finally hit the states this summer. Bernal stars as Kaí, a mysterious Amazon shaman who goes on a violent offensive to protect a poor tobacco family against ruthless land-grabbers. In the process, he forms a special bond with the family's daughter, Vânia (Braga), and learns just how far he's willing to go in order to save his fellow indigenous people. Written and directed by Pablo. »
- Zack Sharf
Underscoring the rapid consolidation of top-echelon Brazilian producers as diversified multi-project film-tv production houses, Sao Paulo’s o2 Filmes, whose credits include Fernando Meirelles’ “City of God” and “The Constant Gardner” and Stephen Daldry’s “Trash,” has eight TV fiction dramas in development, including half hour comedy “The Friends of My Baby” and the corruption-themed “Matriarca.”
Meirelles began his career working in TV. But the size of O2 Filmes’ current development slate suggests that Brazil’s top companies are taking the opportunities for TV production based out of Brazil very seriously indeed.
In early development, “The Friends of My Baby” is a comedy about a single father and a baby. Gnt, Brazil’s most prominent femme-targeting cable TV channel and one of the jewels in the crown of Globosat, Globo’s giant pay TV operator, has acquired Brazilian rights.
“Matriarca” is a “dark humored” fiction drama about Brazil’s political classes and corruption, »
- John Hopewell
10 items from 2015
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