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What To Watch This Week

This week, make sure to catch the virtual theatrical release of Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña‘s stop-motion tour de force The Wolf House, winner of the Cinema Tropical Award for Best First Film. “A visually engrossing, reference-rich and disturbing tale” (Hollywood Reporter), The Wolf House is easily one of the most accomplished, transporting, and conceptually rich animated features to appear in recent memory.

The film will be available for streaming starting on Friday, May 15 through Anthology Film Archives in New York, the Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles, and additional locations across the country and Canada. For those looking for something visually-demanding and conceptually-rich, The Wolf House is not to be missed.

And this Wednesday join us for a special TropiChat with Brazilian filmmaker Caetano Gotardo, on his second feature film Your Bones and Your Eyes, currently streaming on Tropical on Demand. The director will be in conversation with film critic Fábio Andrade via Cinema Tropical’s Facebook Live. Tune in at 7pm EDT.

Premiering Online This Week:

Virtual Theatrical Release:
THE WOLF HOUSE 

(La casa lobo, Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, Chile, 2018, 73 min. In Spanish and German with English subtitles)

Maria, a young woman finds refuge in a house in the south of Chile after escaping from a sect of German religious fanatics. She is welcomed into the home by two pigs, the only inhabitants of the place. Like in a dream, the universe of the house reacts to Maria’s feelings. The animals transform slowly into humans and the house becomes a nightmarish world. Inspired on the actual case of Colonia Dignidad and winner of the Cinema Tropical Award for Best First Film, The Wolf House” masquerades as an animated fairy tale produced by the leader of the sect in order to indoctrinate its followers.

Premieres Friday, May 15

Virtual Theatrical Release:
OUR MOTHERS

(Nuestras madres, César Díaz, Belgium/Argentina, 2019, 78 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Guatemala, 2018. The whole country is immersed in the trail of the soldiers who sparked the civil war. Victim statements come one after another. Ernesto (Armando Espitia) is a young anthropologist working for the Forensic Foundation; his job is to identify the missing. One day, while hearing the account of an old woman, he thinks he has found a lead that might guide him to his father, a guerrillero who went missing during the war. Against his mother’s wishes, he flings himself body and soul into the case, looking for truth and resilience.

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The Cinema Tropical Collection:
IS THE CITY ONLY ONE? 

(A cidade é uma só?, Adirley Queirós, Brazil, 2011, 79 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. New York Premiere)

The fascinating debut feature from Adirley Queirós (director of White Out, Black In and Once There Was Brasília) is a fiction/documentary hybrid focusing on a satellite city of Brasilia called Ceilândia. Is the City Only One? reflects on the spatial and social exclusions that have defined the relationship between the federal district, its surroundings, and the people who built the city from nothing.

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Daily Recommendation:
DEATH OF A BUREAUCRAT

(La muerte de un burócrata,  Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cuba, 1966, 84 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

One of the most surprising films to come from Cuba, Death of a Bureaucrat is a black comic attack on bureaucracy. The situation in the film involves a worker who invented a machine to produce plastic busts of socialist heroes, who dies, and who is honored by being buried with his union card. His widow then needs the card to claim her pension; regulations prohibit an exhumation and her nephew tries to help by stealing the body in the coffin. There are more regulations against reburial and the endless comic possibilities of disposing of a body and a coffin are exploited in the comic tradition of Harold Lloyd, Buñuel, Laurel and Hardy, etc. to all of whom the film is dedicated.

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Daily Recommendation:
KILLED THE FAMILY AND WENT TO THE MOVIES

(Matou a Família e Foi ao Cinema, Júlio Bressane, Brazil, 1969, 80 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

Killed the Family and Went to the Movies interweaves the stories of several (mostly nameless) proletarian, petit bourgeois, and bourgeois urbanites united only by their individual acts of homicide. Eschewing psychology through the casting of the same actors in multiple roles, Bressane paints an unflinching portrait of the asphyxiating patriarchal and machista social order of dictatorial Brazil. Centered around two lesbian relationships, the film disquietingly probes the limits of personal revolt in the face of the total repression and persecution of political dissent.

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Daily Recommendation:
JONAS AND THE BACKYARD CIRCUS

(Jonas e o Circo Sem Lona, Paula Gomes, Brazil, 2015, 80 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

Jonas is thirteen and his dream is to. maintain the circus that he created in his backyard. He was born in a traveling circus,  but his family left the circus and settled down in a violent neighborhood. Jonas has never adjusted to the new lifestyle, so he created his own circus. Now, Jonas is growing up and adolescence is imposing upon him thousands of challenges. So, while Jonas’ circus goes crumbling he realizes his powerlessness, leading us to a journey where we at least find a great question: What do we do with our dreams when we grow up?

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Films Available to Stream Now:
Virtual Theatrical Release:
THE INFILTRATORS

(Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra, USA, 2019, 95 min. In Spanish and English with English subtitles)

The Infiltrators is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center—on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, The Infiltrators tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language.

Watch Now

The Cinema Tropical Collection:
YOUR BONES AND YOUR EYES

(Seus Ossos e Seus Olhos, Caetano Gotardo, Brazil, 2019, 118 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

In Caetano Gotardo’s follow-up to The Moving Creatures, João, a middle-class filmmaker living and working in São Paulo, has extensive conversations with friends and strangers, including best friend Irene, who cannot let go of memories of her ex, or a young man he tries to pick up on the metro. Piece by piece, João’s encounters, discussions, and monologues increasingly inspire him, and he begins to reconsider his attitude toward the world around him. In addition to life and love, the creative process emerges as a recurring theme, recalling the films of Éric Rohmer and Hong Sang-soo.

Watch Now 

The Cinema Tropical Collection:
IN THE HEART OF THE WORLD 

(No coração do mundo, Gabriel Martins and Maurilio Martins, Brazil, 2019, 121 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

A sprawling feature by Gabriel and Maurílio Martins, In the Heart of the World offers a vivid depiction of a close-knit community in the city of Contagem, where the filmmakers are from. In this multi-character ensemble, the inhabitants of a poor neighborhood yearn for a better life: some get involved in crime, others just try and get by. Using a mix of professional and amateur actors, the directors create a kaleidoscopic, inventively photographed portrait of struggle, hope, and faith.

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Daily Recommendation:
RUINS, YOUR REALM

(Ruinas, tu reino, Pablo Escoto, Mexico, 2016, 64 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

This lyrical and immersive documentary reminiscent of films by Peter Hutton and Kazuhiro Soda, follows the rhythms and tides of Mexican fishermen in extreme, minute detail. Fish are glimpsed underneath the water and gasping on the deck of a ship; men hoist their nets and sails. Interspersed with these quotidian images are snippets of text and poetry, juxtaposed against black background.

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Daily Recommendation:
DAYS IN SINTRA

(Diario de Sintra, luminosa, Nicolás Pereda and Gabino Rodríguez, Mexico/Canada, 2019, 40 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

In Days in Sintra, Gaitán creates a deeply moving meditation on memory and time as she chronicles her return from Brazil to Sintra, Portugal, where she lived in exile with her husband, the Brazilian filmmaker Glauber Rocha (1938-1981), and their children before his untimely death. In the form of an experimental narrative, she deftly interweaves Super 8 home movie footage and photographs taken of Rocha in 1981 with beautifully composed, evocative contemporary images of the Portuguese landscape.

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