Film-Forward

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South American

Aquarius | NYFF 2016

Writer/director Kleber Mendonça Filho’s highly observant film follows Sonia Braga in a tour de force performance.

Embrace of the Serpent

Peter Matthiessen’s 1978 novel The Snow Leopard recounts his journey through the Himalayas with a team of Sherpas as guides. Among them was Tukten, for whom Matthiessen felt a particular reverence, often referring to him as a “shaman” for an unnamable, soulful quality, despite a tendency toward unreliability and pesky behavior. Tukten teaches one of […]

The Club

Talk about your tough sell. Critics have their work cut out for them when discussing well-made but audience-repelling films. For example, Room, centered on a mother and her five-year-old son kept captive in a shed for years on end, is one of the lowest grossing films to be nominated for the best picture Oscar. The Auschwitz-set Son of Saul has earned wide acclaim, but it […]

Boy and the World

There’s no intelligible dialogue in this animated odyssey about a nameless boy who leaves his home in the countryside in search of his father, but it still manages to speak to the heart. The father has left for the city to find work, and his lonely son undertakes a dreamlike pursuit. Growing in sinister stature […]

The Pearl Button

It’s hard to imagine a more fascinating place on earth than Chile. If we had to pick one country to show an alien race what varying geographical features our planet has to offer, it would probably be that country. It has more than 4,000 kilometers of coastline and the highest volcano and part of the […]

Ardor

Written and Directed by Pablo Fendrik Released by Participant Media Spanish with English subtitles Argentina/Mexico/Brazil/France/USA. 100 min. Not rated With Gael Garcia Bernal, Alice Braga, and Claudio Tolcachir In the beginning, an intertitle explains that residents of the northern Argentine rainforest beseech river spirits to aid them when they feel threaten. Thus, early on, Gael […]

A Wolf at the Door

Written and Directed by Fernando Coimbra Produced by Caio Gullane, Fabiano Gullane, Debora Ivanov, Gabriel Lacerda, Rodrigo Castellar, and Pablo Torrecillas Released by Outsider Pictures Portuguese with English subtitles Brazil. 100 min. Not rated With Leandra Leal, Milhem Cortaz and Fabiula Nascimento Every parent’s nightmare takes place in this searing Brazilian drama, which has a […]

Jauja

Directed by Lisandro Alonso Produced by Alonso, Viggo Mortensen, Ilse Hughan, Sylvie Pialat, Jaime Romandía, Andy Kleinman, Helle Ulsteen, Michael Weber, Ezequiel Borovinsky and Leandro Pugliese Written by Alonso and Fabián Casas Released by Cinema Guild Spanish and Danish with English subtitles Argentina/Denmark/France/Mexico/USA/Germany/Brazil/Netherlands. 108 min. Not rated With Viggo Mortensen, Viilbjork Mallin Agger, Ghita Norby, […]

Futuro Beach

Directed by Karim Aïnouz Produced by Geórgia Costa Araújo and Hank Levine Written by Aïnouz and Felipe Bragança Released by Strand Releasing Brazil. 107 min. Not rated With Wagner Moura, Clemens Schick, Jesuita Barbosa, and Savio Ygor Ramos Swathed in gleaming jewel tones and with a soundtrack of the pacifying acoustics of crashing waves, Futuro […]