PANORAMA LATINX is an initiative of the Gene Siskel Film Center dedicated to year-round Latin American film programming. We engage the dynamic Latinx community of greater Chicago through showcasing the work of emerging and established Latinx filmmakers, educational screenings, and community partnerships.
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice
2019, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, USA, 95 min.
“A beautiful, deeply moving and well-deserved tribute to this utterly singular woman and her talent.”—Katie Walsh, Chicago Tribune
“I adored practically every frame…an absolute delight from the first moment to the last.”—Peter Sobczynski, eFilmCritic.com
The sound of Linda Ronstadt’s voice is the great pleasure and renewable joy of this music-packed documentary. Starting with early hits like "You’re No Good” and “Different Drummer,” the ranch-raised Tucson girl with proud Mexican roots triumphed in a man’s world of rock, filling stadiums with Grammy and platinum-winning hits. Her extraordinary talent is showcased through a thrillingly non-stop flood of performance clips and studio sessions, following the trajectory of her career through a wide-ranging musical curiosity that led to adding Mexican canciones, light opera, and Sinatra standards to her recording repertoire. Ronstadt owned any song she performed, and her eclectic choices made her the first simultaneous chart-topper in pop, country, and R&B. Colleagues and collaborators including Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Emmylou Harris attest to her love for the music, her generous embrace of fellow artists, and her feminism. In part, Ronstadt narrates her own story, including her current struggle with Parkinson’s disease. DCP digital. (BS)
End of the Century
Fin de siglo
2019, Lucio Castro, Argentina, 84 min.
With Juan Barberini, Ramón Pujol, Mía Maestro
"One of the most evocative gay films of the decade...Few films have captured the dual fleeting and enduring nature of intimate connection as poignantly."—Jude Dry, Indiewire
"A gorgeous examination of what 21st century relationships can look like."—Manuel Betancourt, Remezcla
What starts out looking like a gay variation on BEFORE SUNRISE becomes, through a series of unexpected temporal and emotional shifts, a haunting reflection on contingency, missed chances, and destiny in director Castro's critically acclaimed first feature. The film begins with a wordless sojourn in Barcelona as Ocho (Barberini), a recently separated poet from New York, strolls through the becalmed, enchanted city and catches the eye of Javi (Pujol), a TV director with a husband and small daughter back in Berlin. Their hook-up is swift, passionate, and seemingly fleeting, until Javi reveals that they have met and had sex before. The film jumps back twenty years, to 1999, when the two men were both closeted, and an ecstatic encounter on a disco dance floor (to Flock of Seagulls' "Space Age Love Song") led to a kiss, a hand job, and a backlash of guilt. After redefining the present through the past, director Castro then deepens this tale further with an audacious third act in which both are redefined by the conditional future of what might have been. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)
1976, Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz, USA, 58 min.
"A map through a virtually unknown musical landscape; it's also a joyous, angry, complicated film."—Michael Goodwin, Village Voice
"The best visual record of Tex-Mex and Norteño music."—Ry Cooder
Les Blank was the cinema's master chronicler of regional music, whether it be Louisiana Zydecko, Delta Blues, Oklahoma country-rock, or, in this case, Norteña, the music of the Texan-Mexican border. Blank doesn't explicate his subject in traditional documentary fashion; instead, he immerses us in the world that nurtures the music—the landscapes, the food, the families, the farm workers, the dusty streets, the crowded cantinas. CHULAS FRONTERAS hangs out with such giants of the genre as Flaco Jiménez, Los Alegres de Terán, Lydia Mendoza, and Narisco Martínez, in songs that range from nostalgic to politically charged to prideful. These exceptional 4K restorations capture the richly saturated colors of the original 16mm reversal stock with pristine clarity. In Spanish (with English subtitles) and English (with Spanish subtitles).
Preceded by DEL MERO CORAZÓN (1979, Maureen Gosling and Les Blank, USA, 29 min.), a companion-piece to CHULAS FRONTERAS, filmed at the same time in the same region, but focusing exclusively on love songs, some sweet, some bitter, all of them del mero corazón—"straight from the heart." In Spanish with English subtitles. (MR)