The Wild Wide Range Of Films In The Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival

Roving reporter Manuel Bláuab gives BFJ a look at the programme for Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival and picks his highlights.

The name is kind of long, not unlike the selection of almost four hundred films for this year’s edition, though from now on let’s call it BAFICI like most people do. We are talking about one of the biggest  and most important independent film festivals around, so there’s why we see so many people from abroad participating in the eleven days of film festivities. This 16th edition brings a variety of films so different from each other that they can only be together in a festival like this one where liberty is a key criteria of the programmers.

The Wild Wide South

One of the local prides, Necrophobia in 3D, the very first National 3D Terror movie by Daniel de la Vega, (winner of the Argentinean Competition in Mar del Plata 2012), is one of the attractions for this genre lovers and the festival in general. We find in the Avant Garde and Genre Competition, the section for the new challenges and ideas for cinema also featuring Living Stars by the duet Cohn and Duprat, which basically is about regular people, such as your dentist, dancing in his office to Rocky Horror’s ‘Sweet Transvestite’ (Not exactly what happens in the film, though that would be great).

living-stars-6Living Stars

We all have seen Grease and danced and sung along with ‘You’re the One that I Want’ with Danny and Sandy. But, how about a new perspective on the film? I mean, what if someone were to re-edit the original motion picture? Well, Antoni Pinent merges Grease into four horizontal and simultaneous segments different parts for a reduction of 20 minutes film. I know, I know, it’s hard to imagine at first. 

Suppose that you are having a pleasant evening at the local pub in Addis Adeba, Ethiopia and just like that, Hitler’s clone appears. How bizarre can night get with the short-film Chigger Ale, by Fanta Ananas? I’m looking forward to finding out in this 11 minute Ethiopian production which will be screened in a set with the documentary The Joycean Society by the Spanish director Dora García about a group of enthusiasts who dedicate their lives to decode the pages of Finnegan’s Wake.

I remember being a teenager and watching a good deal of films per week but also TV shows, among them The Critic with Jay Sherman, who thought that every single commercial film stank. And maybe he had a point, the poor misunderstood guy. I also recall the promotion of the show which said that ‘every film critic was in deep a frustrated filmmaker. This might be partially true though; this year’s BAFICI will feature a film by the previous festival director, Herr Sergio Wolf, with The Colour Out of Space. Rejected and unloved filmmakers: Now it’s your turn to judge!

Wait a minute. I know that one!

The festival is an all independent and beautiful thing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the regional premiere of another TV show turned movie loved by a whole generation– Veronica Mars. (OK, I might overreacted with the ‘loved by a whole generation statement. That would explain why the three screenings haven’t sold many tickets yet.)

vm-movieVeronica Mars

What do Greenaway, Godard and Edgar Pêra have in common? 3X3D, a film divided in three episodes in 3D directed by these youngsters, just like New York Stories. It’s hard to comment on this one in particularly because I haven’t seen it yet there’s more to see on the screen than to predict with words.

There are no good festivals without an interesting Restored Classics offer. BAFICI’s 2014 menu has Nosferatu, (Murnau) Big (Penny Marshall) Shivers (David Cronenberg) and The Last Emperor in 3D (Bernardo Bertolucci).

Phew! Enough for now. The wide genre and aesthetic selection of films in a festival is what identifies this Festival among others, inviting a larger and eclectic public. And isn’t that the purpose of cinema?

Stay tuned for more!

Tags from the story
BAFICI, Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, chigger ale, living stars, neocrophobia, the last emperor, veronica mars
Manuel Bláuab
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Manuel Bláuab
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