Get out!: a weekend of Argentine films

A classic Herald section returns with recommendations for a night out in Buenos Aires to enjoy Argentine cinema 

The classic Herald weekend recommendation section Get Out! is back. The first installment is devoted to Argentine movies as a tribute to National Cinema Day (May 23). The date honors the premiere of the first Argentine fiction film on record: Mario Gallo’s La Revolución de Mayo, a 1909 take on the revolution that sprung Argentina’s first government.

As the local film industry endures the government’s relentless austerity plan for the cultural sector, here is a short list of films you can enjoy over the weekend and also see what Argentine professionals are fighting for. 

1. María Luisa Bemberg films at CCK

Sala María Luisa Bemberg Theater & Sala A, 6th floor at the Centro Cultural Kirchner — (Sarmiento 151)

From May 24 to June 1
The screenings do not require ticket reservations, admission is on a first-come, first-served basis until the capacity of the room is filled.

The Kirchner Cultural Center is presenting a special program devoted to María Luisa Bemberg’s films, including a documentary about her work by filmmaker Alejandro Maci (her former assistant director), and a conference by film historians, friends, and colleagues. 

One of the most renowned Argentine filmmakers and scriptwriters, Bemberg directed six feature-length and two short films before passing away in 1995 at 73. A fervent and lucid feminist who proved too modern for her contemporaries (she founded the Argentine Feminist Union back in 1970), Bemberg’s films brought empowered women to the screen before such a notion even existed in our country’s mainstream culture, often with a revisionist perspective on Argentine history. 

Her period melodrama Camila — the true and forbidden love story between young aristocrat Camila O’ Gorman and Jesuit priest Ladislao Gutiérrez in mid 19th century Buenos Aires — was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1985.

Here are the screening times:

Yo, la peor de todas / May 24 — 6 p.m.

Señora de nadie / May 24 — 8 p.m. 

Camila / May 25 — 6 p.m.

Momentos / May 25 — 8 p.m.

De eso no se habla / May 31 – 6 p.m.

Miss Mary / May 31 – 8 p.m.

María Luisa Bemberg: El eco de mi voz + conversation with Alejandro Maci /
June 1 — 6 p.m.

El mundo de la mujer & Juguetes (short films) + conversation with María del Carmen Vieites Mato, Annamaría Muchnik and Marcela Visconti / June 1 — 8 p.m.

2. Leyenda Feroz (Denise Urfeig & Mariano Frigerio)

Gaumont Cinema (Av Rivadavia 1635)
4.30 p.m. (Except Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Tickets (AR$400) are available at the box office, open from noon until the day’s last screening.

Thirty years ago, a 1994 fiction film called Tango Feroz tapped into the birth of Argentine rock music as the biopic of one of its most obscure pioneers: Tanguito (the alias of José Alberto Iglesias).

Tanguito was the co-author of the iconic 1960s song La balsa, which became a landmark of local rock history when pop band Los Gatos, led by frontman Lito Nebbia, recorded it. Director Marcelo Piñeyro’s Tango Feroz was a love story drama focused on young musicians and artists living in the effervescent 1960’s Buenos Aires. The film, which featured both original songs and classics like Moris’ El oso, was a box office hit and became one of the most popular films in Argentine history.

Denise Urfeig and Mariano Frigerio’s Leyenda Feroz goes over the history of Tango Feroz drawing testimonies from the actors, the original musicians, and film critics. The solid documentary covers several issues, from the controversy surrounding the true story of Tanguito and the use of La balsa in the movie to the film’s critical reception and the production of the soundtrack, one of the most successful Argentine albums of the decade.

3. Pizza, Beer and Cigarettes (Pizza, Birra, Faso; Bruno Stagnaro & Adrián Caetano)

Gaumont Cinema (Av Rivadavia 1635)

Saturday, May 25 – 8 p.m.
Tickets (AR$400) are available at the box office, open from noon until the day’s last screening.

Gaumont Cinema is having its annual National Cinema Month, featuring past and present Argentine classics. On May 25th, the program features the film that spearheaded the so-called New Argentine Cinema of the early 2000s. Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes echoes the social realism of directors like Argentine Leonardo Favio and Spaniard Luis Buñuel in its depiction of a group of young friends trying to survive as petty thieves wandering the streets of a grim downtown Buenos Aires. 

The setting worked as the most illustrative scenario of a broken society that was suffering from the neoliberal economic reforms of the 1990s. With its familiar and endearing delinquent characters, coupled with a fresh aesthetic Argentine cinema was lacking, Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes caused a sensation after its premiere at the Mar del Plata Film Festival in 1998. It went on to become a box-office hit as well as a cultural phenomenon.


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