4 items from 2015
Argentine powerhouse Pablo Trapero (“Carancho,” “White Elephant”) takes a case so upsetting many refused to believe it was possible and retells it in ghastly detail from the p.o.v. of the perpetrators in “The Clan,” a muscular, Hollywood-style account of the Puccio fiasco, in which a relatively well-to-do San Isidro family kidnapped their rich neighbors in order to extort ransoms from their relatives. Opening nearly 30 years after the Puccios’ sensational arrest, the film has been an explosive success back home, raising the bar for strongest opening ever for an Argentine film with half a million admissions in four days, before heading to competition berths at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, sure to propel this vicious Almodovar brothers-produced crime saga onto the world stage.
- Peter Debruge
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox, made by the producers of “Wild Tales” and bowing Aug. 13, Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan” sold 504,000 tickets over in its first four days in Argentina, setting a new record for the best opening ever of an Argentine movie.
Running up this record, “The Clan,” a dark abduction thriller, slaughtered “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” (400,000 in 12 days) and came out of the gates even bigger than Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales,” 10% up on its “Wild Tales’’” first-frame 450,000 admissions.
Produced – like “The Clan” – by Buenos Aires’ K & S Film, the Almodovars’ Madrid-based El Deseo and Argentine broadcaster Telefe, as part of Telefonica Studios’ drive into movie investment, “Wild Tales” went on to sell 3.45 million tix in Argentina last year, becoming the highest-grossing Argentine film in history. “The Clan” is also co-produced by Fox International Productions. »
- John Hopewell
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Aside from Brazil and Mexico, Argentina has had perhaps the most well developed Latin American base for popular cinema, and it’s been home to a number of respected filmmakers for many years now. The late Fabien Bielinsky from Buenos Aires made a nice, twisty con man film in the form of 2000’s “Nine Queens,” and Juan José Campanella took home an Oscar for "The Secret In Their Eyes." Pablo Trapero has broken out with "Carancho" and "White Elephant." But Perhaps one of the most underappreciated filmmakers from this region is Lucrecia Martel. She made a splash with her gentle, disturbing debut, “La Cienaga,” or as it translates in English, “The Swamp.” An actual swamp does figure in the movie’s plot in the early goings, but the title has a metaphorical resonance as well: “La Cienaga” is a slow-moving, largely plotless mood piece that drops in on one particularly »
- Nicholas Laskin
4 items from 2015
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