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Carancho (2010)
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Directed by: Pablo Trapero

Carancho tells the story of Sosa (Ricardo Darin), a lawyer specialized in traffic accidents in Buenos Aires. Thanks to the corrupt system and insurance companies, he takes advantage of countless families victims of the roads who end up with nothing of the money these lawyers end up keeping. One night, while searching for a new client, Sosa ends up meeting Lujan (Martina Gusman), a young ER doctor who keeps herself awake with drugs.

Pablo Trapero’s thriller is filled with loads of good elements starting up, from your sassy young medical student, and a somewhat rough-on-the-edges Sosa and his victim-lawyers-insurance dealings. There’s fraud, and brutal beat-ups… however, it all falls apart in the last act. We don’t exactly understand why Lujan would end up willing to give it all up for Sosa, who promises to leave his way of earning a living behind, but we know from the start that it won’t be possible.

In the end, Trapero decides to wrap it all up nicely, but ends up feeling a bit desperate with an over-the-top rescue mission.

3/5

COMPETENCIA OFICIAL – FICCION

Screenings:
Saturday 7 – 10.15pm – Centro Cultural Católica – Sala Roja
Sunday 8 – 8pm – Cineplanet Alcázar – Sala 5
Monday 9 – 2.15pm – Centro Cultural Católica – Sala Roja
Tuesday 10 – 8pm – Cineplanet Primavera – Sala 1
Thursday 12 – 7.15pm – Centro Cultural Católica – Sala Roja
Friday 13 – 9.45pm –  Cineplanet Alcázar – Sala 1

Entre a Luz e a Sombra (2009)
Genre: Documentary
Directed by:  Luciana Burlamaqui

Between Light and Shadow is a documentary that spans 7 years into the life of a Brazilian actress, who devotes herself to working with the prisoners in Carandiru — which was the largest penitentiary in South America [there’s even  a movie about the 1992 massacre there]– A couple of the prisoners, Rap duo 509-E members Dexter and Afro-X, who were there for different sentences, are encouraged to create music.

The documentary shows that even though the actress [whose name escapes me, and doesn’t show up anywhere] and the guys from 509-E were born in the same city, but where born in different parts of town and in different families, there’s a disconnect. This is why The Actress spends 20 years of her life working with prisoners on theater workshops, dancing, encouraging them to create music, or paint, while also supporting 509-E in their rap careers in and outside prison. The rap duo is granted permission to perform at events outside prison while still doing their sentences because the judge granting these permissions is convinced that this is a good way to give prisoners a second chance.

Of course politicians and police enforcement officers are against prisoners going out and commenting on political issues. And of course the duo, young at that time, was against “The Man” so they didn’t waste any time to speak up.

There are problems in Carandiru, the prisoners take over the prison with hostages — “We have women and kids” read one of the messages they hung — and the situation got out of control. The prison was closed down, the prisoners transfered, and Carandiru was demolished. With terrorist groups running rampant in and out of prison, government officials stopped letting prisoners do public events… even when 509-E was winning big in the Rap festivals and awards.

Finally, as time passed by, Dexter and Afro-X split after Dexter was transfered to another prison, and Afro-X was given probation because he was fathering a child with singer Simony.

In a telling ending, both Dexter and The Actress — who were a couple in the beginning of the documentary — tells us what we’ve known all along. Maybe it’s just better to put your best effort in keeping children out of the prisons. Because once people live “the life” and feel proud of it, there’s never going back.

2.75/5

COMPETENCIA OFICIAL – DOCUMETAL

Screenings:
Tuesday 10 @ 4pm in Centro Cultural Catolica – Sala Azul

La Yuma (2009)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Starring: Alma Blanco
Directed by: Florence Jaugey

La Yuma — don’t ask me what Yuma means, but La Yuma is the boxing nickname of the character — tells the story of a girl from the poor neighborhoods of Managua, Nicaragua, who wants to become a professional boxer. One day she sees her brother mugging a young journalist who loses a disc with his work, so she decides to return it to him, and decides that she likes him. As she deals with her possible love life, as well as her family life with her younger siblings, good-for-nothing mother with her good-for-nothing boyfriend, she finally gets the chance to train under renown boxing trainer Polvorita.

La Yuma pretty much reminded everyone of Girlfight — which launched the career of now the familiar Michelle Rodriguez — for their “tough girl who wants to box” theme, but ultimately La Yuma distances itself from boxing, and focuses on what Alma Blanco’s character has to do for her and her siblings to survive.

Since the story starts out as a boxing film, and then distances itself from it… La Yuma seems a bit disjointed, as if you were watching 2 or 3 different films. However, the film’s protagonist is interesting — she’s tough and sassy with a sense of humor — she keeps bringing you back into the story. The acting is a bit uneven, especially from Ernesto (Gabriel Benavides) the “love interest” and you wonder why La Yuma feels attraction towards him, but characters like Doña Scarlett (María Esther López), or La Cubana (Juan Carlos García) are enjoyable and memorable enough.

3/5

COMPETENCIA OFICIAL – FICCION

Screenings:
Monday 9 @ 5.15pm in Cineplanet Alcazar  – Sala 1
Tuesday 10 @ 7.30pm in Centro Cultural Catolica – Sala Azul
Thursday 12 @ 9.45pm in Cineplanet Alcazar – Sala 1

For the phone interview I did with her.

I’m actually thinking about it, and it seems surreal. I was so nervous, I couldn’t speak any English. I mumbled a lot – at least, it feels like it – and the interview seemed like a mess in my head. However, looking at it on paper, it’s not bad, I think.

But you know how I am, right? You ask me about something I know, and I want to tell you everything about it, so when I mentioned Bibi, and Diane (she told me to call her that) asked me about her, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. LOL But it seemed good, it seemed more of a conversation than an interview…

Diane also found peculiar that I was a Peruvian girl talking to an American songwriter about a Chinese vocalist. “How do you know a Chinese vocalist in Peru?” she asked me. That’s when the fangirl in me came out. Anyway, I’m in a short-sleeved t-shirt, and I’m freezing now at 3am. Transcript is done, and the article… at least, at the moment, has around 2010 words. And! It will show up in issue011 of YAM.

Also, don’t forget we are giving away the pop-up book Uso. by Yu Aoi. If you want to learn how to be able to enter the draw, you’re gonna have to read issue011 when it comes out next month.

There’s a very great interview with Bruno Maag about his er… dislike of the use of Helvetica. I, for one, don’t mind Helvetica as you can see, but I try to use other type when it fits. A friend of mine told me “When in doubt, use Helvetica”. I personally agree with Maag when he talks about Univers, it’s very clean and very helpful for reading. I also think that Helvetica’s quirks gives it the warmth he mentions.

Patrick Burgoyne: Bruno, where does your deep-seated hatred of Helvetica come from? Isn’t hating Helvetica pointless? It’s like air or vanilla ice cream, it’s just there…

Bruno Maag: That’s the point, it is vanilla ice cream.

My fave type is Futura, though. I like the roundy-ness xD

But when it fits, it fits. LOL

Read the whole thing over at Creative Review.

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