An exploration of an exiled poet. The Australian premiere of legendary filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's latest feature. An effort that's being called Peru's first bona fide horror movie. They're just three of the films in first-ever Cine Latino Film Festival lineup, as Australia's first national fest dedicated to showcasing the best in Latin American cinema tours the country in August.
While the complete program features more than 30 movies from Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala and Puerto Rico, there's a reason that the first of the flicks mentioned above, the Pablo Larraín-directed, Gael García Bernal-starring Neruda, has been plucked straight from Cannes to open the festival. The last time the filmmaker and actor worked together, the excellent No was the end result, so expect another insightful look at Chilean politics from their second collaboration.
Jodorowsky's Endless Poetry should rank among the festival's just-as-eagerly-anticipated titles, especially by fans of the director's '70s cult classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain and his most recent effort The Dance of Reality — or anyone who marvelled at what could've been when they watched the entertaining documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. And while The Womb doesn't come with quite the same pedigree, it does boast a chilling storyline involving one of the horror genre's favourite topics: motherhood.
Elsewhere, a chronicle of the pop star known as the 'Mexican Madonna', an insight into current state of a formerly luxurious Havana hotel, and more than a couple of soccer-themed efforts all feature among the feast of Spanish and Portuguese-language fare, as do Peruvian road movie Solos and Venezuelan beauty queen black comedy 3 Beauties. Just perusing the program is enough to make you want to jump on a plane for Latin America, however for those who can't enjoy an overseas holiday at the moment, immersing yourself in the films of the region really is the next best thing.