Apr 09

Throwback Thursday: Nine Queens

nine queensArgentine cinema began exporting some remarkable films in the 1970’s starting with 1974’s The Truce and continuing over the next 30 years including the 1985 Oscar winning film The Official Story, nominated film Son of the Bride, second winner The Secret in Their Eyes, and last year’s nominated Wild Tales. In 2000, Argentina sent us the delectable con artist film Nine Queens. From Rotten Tomatoes,

Early one morning Juan is pulling a bill-switching scheme in an all-night deli when Marcos, an apparently innocent bystander, pretends to whisk him off to the police. But Marcos is a con artist, just helping out a new recruit, and he enlists Juan in a plot that he claims will set them up for early retirement. Juan is skeptical at first, but agrees to work with Marcos after he impresses him with a few sophisticated cons. A once-in-a-lifetime scheme then seemingly falls in their laps–an old time con man enlists Juan and Marcos to sell a forged set of extremely valuable rare stamps–The Nine Queens. The tricky negotiations that ensue bring into the picture a cast of suspicious characters including Marcos’ beautiful sister Valeria, their innocent younger brother, Frederico who idolizes Marcus–as well as a slew of thieves, con men and pickpockets. As the action moves from humble barrios to luxury hotels, it soon appears that the city itself is part of an elaborate plot.

Find Nine Queens in our library catalog.
Find The Official Story in our library catalog.
Find The Secret in Our Eyes in our library catalog.

Oct 07

7 Boxes

7 boxesRarely do the critics average score on Rotten Tomatoes come to 100. Paraguay’s 7 Boxes does just that. 25 reviews – all perfect. From Rotten Tomatoes,

Víctor, a 17 year old wheelbarrow leader, dreams of becoming famous, often absorbed by the TV in the appliance store in the Municipal Market. He receives an unusual proposal, to carry 7 boxes of unknown content, in exchange for a torn half of a $ 100 bill. He will get the other half when he finishes the job. Víctor, who has never seen this much money, has no idea how much it really is. But he also knows well that his need is greater than his curiosity. With a borrowed cell phone, the contractor uses to tell him the way, Víctor embarks on the journey. Crossing the eight blocks of the market seemed easy but things get complicated along the way. There is something in those boxes that starts a high-speed wheelbarrow chase in the secret and gloomy corridors of the market. Without even realizing, Víctor and his pursuers will get involved in a crime of which they know nothing.

Find 7 Boxes in our library catalog.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

 

Dec 31

No

Gael García Bernal stars as real-life Chilean advertising executive René Saavedra in Pablo Larraín’s smartly executed film No.  Following the 1988 referendum by Augusto Pinochet to determine if the country wanted him to continue as president, no one expected the election to be fair.  So the left decided to go out on a limb and hire a creative, sophisticated ad man to oversee the 15 minutes of airtime each side had every evening for 27 days prior to the election.  Shot in as Slate.com called, “a deliberately scruffy visual aesthetic,” Larrain enlists cinematographer Sergio Armstrong to give the film a washed out 80′s style that adds authenticity and grit to compliment the intense story.  This film has a very modern feel to it.  In Spanish with English subtitles.
Click to see No in the catalog.

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