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.
2018, Luis Ortega, Argentina/Spain, 118 min.
“Hypnotic…Ortega has a real eye for flashy, chaotic set pieces and a real ear for excellent Latin rock.”--Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
“An achingly cool period sensibility, and a stunning debut performance by 19-year-old Lorenzo Ferro.”--Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times
Remorseless murder, ambiguous sexuality, and the disarming power of male beauty make
for a recipe for mayhem in this amoral yet picaresque tale produced by Pedro Almodóvar,
and based on the real-life story of Carlos Robledo Puch, a legendary serial killer known
as “the Death Angel,” who terrorized Argentina in the Sixties. Carlitos (Ferro), a wild-
child teen with a mop of golden curls and the heavy-lidded gaze of a born seducer, teams
up with working-class dandy Ramón (Darín) during a stint in reform school. Ramón’s
low-life dad provides the natural habitat for launching heists of drugs, jewelry, guns, and
more, but the daring of their angelic new accomplice leaves them bringing up the rear on
the runaway train that is Carlitos. Director Ortega splashes the film with outsized
sensuality, homoerotic attraction, and a rock ‘n’ roll sensibility, as sexuality and the taste
for transgression merge in one reckless and irresistible package. In Spanish with English
subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
Happy New Year Tijuana
Feliz Año Tijuana
2018, Andrew van Baal, Mexico/USA, 73 min.
The reckless air of a border town gives extra flavor to a Mexican New Year’s Eve when the night urges Latin American Studies professor Alejandro (Deveze) into the waiting arms of temptation. A missed flight to his home in León strands the cautious middle-aged professor in Tijuana, where the town’s seedy air suggests danger, but the energy in the streets issues an irresistible invitation. After an unexpected encounter with pretty blonde former student Ana (Veta), an American, he joins a party of reveling academics. It’s the first course in an evening laced with comic undertones that will evolve into a tangled odyssey of new sights, new emotions, and a dangerous attraction. Director van Baal (LARGO) makes superb use of Tijuana’s colorful panorama of street action as Alejandro mixes with the vendors, mystery characters, sex workers, and would-be friends who will challenge his status quo. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
2018, Jenny Murray, Nicaragua/USA, 97 min.
"Provocative…full-bore charisma and intelligence." - Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter
Heroines of Nicaragua's 1979 Sandinista Revolution get their due in this documentary that underlines for posterity the leading role of women in the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) through present-day encounters with the female leaders who made it happen. First-person accounts by key women, including former commander Dora Maria Téllez, reveal how thousands of sheltered country girls and home-bound wives and mothers answered the call of the nation's struggle for social and economic justice to become warriors who shattered gender barriers and matched or bested the men in combat against the troops of the totalitarian Somosa regime in the U.S.-backed Contra War. Compelling historical interviews and combat footage serve to create then-and-now portraits of the film's featured interview subjects, who ushered in a new era of equality, only to see their place in history gradually diminished and erased under the administration of Nicaragua's current president Daniel Ortega. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)