Tag: Spanish Department

Nine-Film Festival Celebrates Latin American, Spanish Cinema

Presentations by noted South American filmmakers Solveig Hoogesteijn of Venezuela and Raphael Alvarez of Brazil highlight Lawrence University’s second Latin American and Spanish Film Festival April 10-14.

Solveig Hoogesteijn

With a theme of  music, the festival features nine international films, each shown in Spanish with English subtitles. All nine films, screened in the Warch Campus Center cinema, are free and open to the public.

Hoogesteijn, born in Sweden but raised in Venezuela, will introduce “Maroa,” a film she wrote, produced and directed, Thursday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. She also will discuss the state of Latin American cinema.

Alvarez, winner of eight awards for his film “Dzi Croquettes,” discusses the film and his career Friday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. following its screening.

Both director presentations will take place in the Warch Campus Center cinema.

A reception to open the festival will be held Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. and a closing reception will celebrate the festival Sunday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. Both events will be held in the Mead Witter Room of the Warch Campus Center.

The festival line-up:

Wednesday, April 10, “Blancanieves” (Spain, 2012)
The black-and-white silent Spanish drama film directed by Pablo Berger is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Snow White.”  Set in a romantic vision of 1920s Andalusia, the film is intended to be a homage to 1920s European silent films. Winner of 10 Goya Awards, including Best Film, it was Spain’s 85th Academy Awards official submission to the Best Foreign Language category.  5 p.m.

• Thursday, April 11, “Maroa” (Venezuela-Spain, 2006)
Eleven-year-old petty criminal Maroa lives with her violent grandmother in Caracas. After her boyfriend is involved in a shooting, Maroa is arrested and sent to a school where Joaquin, a shy and unconventional teacher, conducts the youth orchestra. He asks Maroa to join and is immediately interested in this naturally talented, but totally undisciplined young girl. Joaquin, the only person to offer hope in the midst of her rejection, finds that through Maroa, his world has also changed forever. 4:30 p.m.

• Thursday, April 11 “Dudamel: Let the Children Play” (Venezuela-USA, 2010)
Children’s and youth orchestras are emerging in many countries of the world, inspired by the Venezuelan musical and educational program “El Sistema,” which immerses children in the world of music, art, team work, discipline, cooperation, fun, learning, creativity and high values. Celebrated Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, a product of “El Sistema,” leads a  journey through the stories of some of the young people who are experiencing the joy of music in the most diverse and contrasting corners of the world. Filmed in seven different countries, the children bring a simple message: art is a universal right. The film provides a glimpse into the world of orchestras, conducting, and the importance of art as a hopeful path to face the educational crisis worldwide. 8:30 p.m.

• Friday, April 12 “Dzi Croquettes” (Brazil, 2009)
A decade ago, a well received documentary called “The Cockettes” chronicled the impact of a San Francisco-based troupe of drag performers during the 1960s and ’70s. “Dzi Croquettes” pays tribute to a similar group of performers in Brazil who may have modeled themselves on the Cockettes. But the Croquettes were making a more highly charged political statement because they emerged during a time of extreme repression in Brazil. Following a military take over of the government in 1964, new laws placed severe limits on artistic freedom. The Croquettes defied governmental restrictions as well as the mores of the time. The film includes interview material with Liza Minnelli. 4:30 p.m.

• Saturday, April 13 “Birds of Passage” (USA-Uruguay, 2012)
Two young Uruguayan songwriters, Ernesto and Yisela, move to the capital, leaving behind their respective hometowns on the borders of Brazil and Argentina. After years of composing songs reflective of their origins, both decide to explore new horizons and fulfill the dream of recording an album. Yisela struggles to reconcile the emerging possibilities of a career in Uruguay with her plans to move to Argentina while Ernesto confronts personal conflicts that threaten to sabotage his creative passion. Fusing documentary film and music, the film interweaves the songs and stories of the two composers. With striking vérité cinematography and an unforgettable soundtrack, the film explores the challenges of being a young artist and the art of searching, inside and outside oneself. 4:30 p.m.

• Saturday, April 13, “Marimbas from Hell” (Guatemala-France-Mexico, 2010) Don Alfonso is a deliveryman. He also plays marimbas, a traditional Guatemalan instrument, in a folkloric musical show in one of Guatemala City’s upscale hotels, but faces a growing lack of interest for his instrument, considered by many out of date and old fashioned. Black is pioneer of the Heavy Metal Guatemalan underground stage. He also is a doctor in the public hospital, but his long hair and tattoos leave patients wary of being treated by him. Don Alfonso and Black meet and soon decide to combine their talents to create a new project — Marimbas from Hell. They could never have imagined the reactions their project would produce. 8:30 p.m.

• Sunday, April 14, “The Wind Journeys (Colombia, 2009)
For most of his life, Ignacio Carrillo traveled the villages of northern Colombia, playing traditional songs on his accordion, a legendary instrument said to have once belonged to the devil. He eventually marries and settles in a small town, leaving his  nomadic life behind. But after the traumatic death of his wife, he vows to never play the accursed accordion again, embarking on a final journey to return the instrument to its rightful owner. On the way, he is followed by a spirited teenager who is determined to become his apprentice. Tired of loneliness, Ignacio accepts the young man as his pupil. Together they cross the vast Colombian terrain, discovering the musical diversity of Caribbean culture along the way. 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 14, “Violeta Went to Heaven” (Chile, 2011)
Like a Chilean Boby Dylan or Edith Piaf, Violeta Parra was a folksinger and pop culture icon whose songs expressed the soul of her nation and protested social injustice. The film tells the extraordinary story of Parra’s evolution from impoverished child to international sensation to Chile’s national hero, while capturing the swirling intensity of her inner contradictions, fallibilities and passions. More than mere linear biography, the film draws on an impressionistic structure and a reverberating performance by actress Francisca Gavilán to unearth Parra’s elusive, charged core. Parra’s heart-wrenching, indelible songs permeate the film and will penetrate the viewer’s soul. 8:30 p.m.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Five-Part Film Festival Examines Soviet and Hispanic Cinematic Traditions

Five rarely-screened international films will be presented Feb. 19-27 in Lawrence University’s film festival “КИÑО: Exchanges between Soviet and Hispanic Cinema.”

The festival will explore the cinematographic and thematic exchange between Soviet and Hispanic cinematic traditions.

All films, with English subtitles, will be shown in Main Hall 201 at 4:30 p.m. on their respective dates. Each film will be preceded by a small presentation and an interactive audience discussion will follow the screening. All film showings are free and open to the public.

Organized by Lawrence’s Russian and Spanish departments and the film studies program, the festival showcases films by prominent directors such as Sergei Eisenstein and Luis Bunuel, whose work reflected the political climate of their own countries as well as those experiencing revolution far away.

The film festival schedule includes:

• Tuesday, Feb. 19— “Que Viva Mexico!” 1932, Soviet Union, directed by Sergei Eisenstein.
Shot in 1931-32, “Que Viva Mexico!” originally was intended to be an episodic study of Mexico’s ethnography and symbols against the backdrop of its colonial history up to the early 20th century. But a series of political and economic intrigues prevented legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein from properly editing his film. In 1979, this version of the film was reconstructed by Eisenstein’s assistant director from his former mentor’s notes.

• Wednesday, Feb. 20 — “Maria Candelaria,” 1943, Mexico, directed by Emilio Fernández.
Maria Candelaria, a young woman, is shunned by local townsfolk because her mother once posed naked for an artist and was stoned to death because of the incident. She must consider the consequences while making a similar choice.

• Thursday, Feb. 21 —”Soy Cuba,” 1964, Cuba, Soviet Union, directed by Mikhail Kalatozov.
Set in the final days of the Batista regime in Cuba, the movie uses four distinct short stories, two to illustrate the ills that led to the revolution and two that highlight the call to arms.

• Tuesday, Feb. 26 —“The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” 1972, France, Spain, directed by Luis Buñuel.
Luis Buñuel’s Academy-Award-winning film follows a group of well-to-do friends who attempt to gather for a social evening but are thwarted at every turn. Seeming at first to be a simple scheduling mistake, the obstacles become increasingly bizarre.

• Wednesday, Feb. 27 —“Death of a Bureaucrat,”  1966, Cuba, directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.
After an inventor dies and is buried with his union card, government red tape prevents his widow from collecting any pension money, so she attempts to rob her husband’s grave. A morbid subject with a humorous treatment, the film mocks Cuba’s bungling bureaucracy.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Latin American and Spanish Cinema Showcased in Lawrence Film Festival

Nine international films representing seven countries will be showcased May 9-13 in Lawrence University’s first annual Latin American and Spanish Film Festival.

The theme of the festival focuses on the body and sex. All films will be shown with English subtitles and are free and open to the public.

Paul Julian Smith

Highlighting the festival will be a presentation by Paul Julian Smith, internationally recognized literary and film critic in Hispanic cultural studies. Smith will discuss the work of acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar in the address ” Almodóvar’s Women” Friday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium.

Smith has written dozens of reviews as the Spanish film critic for the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound magazine. The author of “Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar,” he has established himself as one of the world’s leading scholars on the work of the Spanish filmmaker.  Smith is currently a Distinguished Professor in the Ph.D. program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at City University of New York

The film festival schedule includes:

May 9 — “The Skin I Live In” (Spain)
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession. Warch Campus Center cinema, 6 p.m.

May 9 — “The Fish Child” (Argentina)
A desperate love story between two young girls. Unable to find a place for their love in the world they live in, they are pushed to commit a crime. Warch Campus Center cinema, 8:30 p.m.

May 10 — “Reverón” (Venezuela)
The story of the famous visual artist Armando Reverón from 1924 to 1954, including his personal relationship with the woman named Juanita who would become his inseparable companion. Warch Campus Center cinema, 6 p.m.

May 10 — “Leap Year” (Mexico)
Laura’s personal life consists of one affair after another. She meets Arturo, and the pair begins an intense sexual relationship. As the days go by, Laura crosses them off on a calendar, revealing her secret past to her lover. Warch Campus Center cinema, 8:30 p.m.

May 11 — “A Year Without Love” (Argentina)
A writer living with AIDS searches for a cure and human interaction in the hospitals and sex clubs of Buenos Aires. Wriston Art Center auditorium, 8:30 p.m.

May 12 — “Undertow” (Peru)
An unusual ghost story set in the Peruvian seaside. A married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover with his town’s rigid traditions. Warch Campus Center cinema, 6 p.m.

May 12 — “Love For Sale” (Brazil)
In order to raise money, a young woman in the northeast of Brazil decides to raffle her own body. Warch Campus Center cinema, 8:30 p.m.

May 13 —  “Mosquita y Mari” (USA)
In a fast-paced immigrant community where dreams are often lost to economic survival, two young girls contemplate life as they awaken sexual desires in each other. Warch Campus Center cinema, 6 p.m.

May 13 —“Chico & Rita” (Spain)
Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment. Warch Campus Center cinema, 8:30 p.m.

Spanish Department page about the Festival

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.