31° Mar del Plata Film Festival Chronicle #1

Don’t you just love it when you don’t have to score a review.

by Benjamín Harguindey

The 31st Mar del Plata International Film Festival is currently on its fifth running day. Lovely as it would be to cover all 36 competing feature-length movies across the three main categories in a 10-day span, we must compromise and as usual default to the International Competition, which after all climaxes in the festival’s top prize – the Golden Astor (in honor of tango composer Astor Piazzolla). So here’re some choice picks from the International Competition.

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Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

In the land of the dark, the silver screen is king.

By Iñaki Oñate

Uruguayan film director (and Sam Raimi prótegé) Federico Álvarez reminds us of the power of cinema with an outstanding horror film that reinvigorates not only the genre but the possibilities of storytelling.

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Review: The Neon Demon (2016)

Women and violence in a fashionable light.

by Lisa Nieri

The Neon Demon (2016) opened in theatres a few months back this year. However late, it’s definitely worth your list of “Movies You Should Have Already Seen”. The film is the very personal point view of Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, one of the main cinematic auteurs who keep giving something to talk about. He’s the kind of director who can make even the most violent scenes look beautiful.

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Review: Lady Macbeth (2016)

From the annals of the Bath Film Festival

by Joanna van der Veen

Lady Macbeth (2016) is a strange and captivating film: a hybrid that could be variously categorised as gothic period drama, cold-blooded thriller or noir-tinged romance.

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News: The 31st Mar del Plata Film Festival Begins

Festival runs from Friday 18 to Sunday 27.

The 31st Mar del Plata International Film Festival – one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in all of the Americas, as well as one of only 13 competitive film festivals recognized by the Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films – begins tonight with the premiere of opening film Neruda (2016), by Chilean Pablo Larraín. Larraín won Best Script for his biopic Jackie (2016) earlier this year at the 73d Venice Film Festival but his movie won’t be competing.

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Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Franchises and How to Start Them

by Benjamín Harguindey

It is a credit to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) that it manages to be its own thing despite being ostensibly “from J. K. Rowling’s wizarding world”. Rowling herself writes the script (as well as toting a producer credit) and for what it’s worth it feels less like a fanfic than the “eighth Harry Potter book” did. No, Fantastic Beasts features nary a conciliatory reference to Hogwarts and its headmaster and instead decides to focus on a largely original, entertaining and ultimately pointless story.

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Review: Arrival (2016)

Good kind of sci-fi & good kind of thriller make good kind of film

by Benjamín Harguindey

Denis Villeneuve has been making movies since 1988, as well as doing frequent rounds at the Cannes and Berlin film festivals, but it wasn’t until his 2010 mystery-drama Incendies that the French Canadian director caught worldwide interest and was officially incepted into the mainstream industry.

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