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In the words of Paranaguá: “Latin American cinema does not exist as a platform of production: the space in which virtually all projects are generated is purely national, at times even local, though there are transnational currents and continental strategies dating from at least the beginning of cinematic sound, if not before” (15).
I was surprised just now on researching the film that it is billed as a comedy, because I remembered it as a tragedy, as a young man on his wedding night who is prevented by Mexico’s rickety buses and accompanying mishaps from reaching his mother’s deathbed.
The next will be “cinema as history; history as cinema,” tentatively scheduled at Harvard University in November 2009.
The aim of the symposia is as simple as it is complex: to bring together critics, historians, filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, actors and others who share an interest in and/or commitment to cinematic production in Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean in order to interrogate, as openly and dialogically as possible, the promises and pitfalls of a trans-Atlantic, Ibero-American rubric in which Spanish and Portuguese, rather than English or French, would be the primary tongues.
Stantic’s understanding of the new priorities of the younger generation of filmmakers and the more subtle political register of their work, offers just one example of how the contemporary cinema requires a different set of critical tools than we were previously accustomed to for studying Latin American film.
At the Harvard Film Archive we have been extraordinarily fortunate to have hosted such exciting young contemporary Latin American filmmakers as Lucrecia Martel and Carlos Reygadas as well as important veterans such as Jorge Furtado, all for extended visits and cinematheque retrospectives.