Leading intellectuals, artists and social scientists from Latin America and the United States come together for a conference on film and social criticism across the Americas. Organized by the CalArts School of Critical Studies and curated by James Wiltgen and Martín Plot, the three-day symposium focuses on how various forms of aesthetic and critical discourse cut across borders and memories--both collective and individual. The program offers roundtable discussions and film screenings, including the Los Angeles premiere of the prize-winning Temporada de patos (Duck Season, Mexico, 2004, 90 min.) by Fernando Eimbcke; Enrique Piñeyro’s provocative thriller Whisky, Romeo, Zulu (Argentina, 2004, 105 min.); and the taut, uncompromising drama Bolivia (Argentina, 2001, 75 min.) by Adrián Caetano.

Detailed Program Information:

Friday, February 24, 2006
8:30 pm

Adrián Caetano, Bolivia (Argentina, Bolivia, 2001, 35mm, 75 min.) Part of a new generation of filmmakers form Argentina, Adrián Caetano's feature film Bolivia employs elements of Italian Neo-realism as it tells the story of Freddy, an immigrant from Bolivia who goes to Buenos Aires to seek employment to support his family. He finds a job in a bar-restaurant, which serves as a microcosm of Argentinean society in the grip of the devastating economic crisis of the early part of this decade. The stories within the film point to the various strands of memory and narrative, each with its own political valence, and attest to the violence, complexities, and crossings of contemporary urban life in the Americas.

Saturday, February 25, 2006
4:00 pm
To the Other Side

Natalia Almada: Al Otro Lado (México, To the Other Side, DigiBeta, 70 min). In an extremely topical film, this documentary examines the economic crisis affecting the Mexican state of Sinaloa, where for many of the young people the only alternatives are either becoming a musician or smuggling drugs. In the state that produced Los Tigres del Norte and Chalino Sanchez, the film follows the plight of Magdiel, a 23 year-old composer as he struggles with the dilemma of stark choices, and writes corridos, Mexican ballads, to chronicle the situation.

Saturday, February 25, 2006
6:00 pm
Crossings Panel I: Border Questions

A conversation on the construction, policing, and crossing of borders in the early 21st century. Panelist will include artist and CalArts instructor Theresa Chavez, Mexican filmmaker and Ph.D. candidate in the Visual Culture Program at UCI Mariana Botey, and noted artist Rubén Ortiz Torres. The panel will focus on the US-Mexico border, its history, its impact on the citizens on both sides of the line, and the continuing efforts to re-imagine a different relationship to its past and future. How will debates about increased security along the border, a guest-worker program, dual citizenship, and government participation in the various issues play out in the coming months?

Saturday, February 25, 2006
8:30 pm
Temporada de Patos

Fernando Eimbcke: Temporada de Patos (México, Duck Season, 35mm. 87 min.) Nominated for the Best Foreign Film at this years upcoming Independent Spirit Awards, first time director Eimbcke displays an assured hand as he follows three teenagers and a pizza deliveryman on a Sunday afternoon in an anonymous Mexico City high-rise. With a deft wit and keen eye, the adventures of this unlikely group owes much to early Jarmusch and the current wave of Argentinean film, supplying an interesting counterpoint to such Mexican fare as Amores Perros and Y Tu Mamá También.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
Crossings Panel II: Construction of Memories

How does memory function, who creates it, how does it become history? These and other provocative questions on the ways in which the life of nations and peoples become narratives form the basis for a conservation on these crucial forces in the Americas. Moderated by Maria Cristina Pons from the Latin American Center at UCLA, the panel will include Freya Schiwy from the Hispanic Studies Department at UC Riverside, Horacio Legras from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCI, and Claudia Soria, Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at USC. As the world continues to globalize the struggle over memory and narration maintains a centerpiece in political and aesthetic concerns, capable of powerfully affecting the entire population of the region.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
Whisky, Romeo, Zulu

Enrique Piñeyro: Whisky, Romeo, Zulu (Argentina, Whiskey, Romeo, Zulu, 2004 35mm. 105 min.) Based on the experiences of the director, who also stars in the film, this political thriller addresses his attempts to stop the corrupt and ineffective practices of the airline where he works. The importance of his efforts only become clear upon the crash of a LAPA Boeing 737, which demonstrates the effects of corrosive deregulation, rapacious corporations, and corrupt government officials.

Associated Images: 


Date/Time G ST CA
Fri 2.24.06, 8:30 pm $8 $6 $4
Sat 2.25.06, 4:00 pm$8$6$4
Sat 2.25.06, 8:30 pm$8$6$4
Sun 2.26.06, 8:30 pm$8$6$4

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff