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Aspects of Mexican cinema : a disenchanted modernity

Along with Argentina, Mexico has had a strong position in art-house cinema on the American continent since the early 90s. The Mexican film industry has a long history, starting to become well know thanks to films such as the “Comedia Ranchera” (Mexican westerns) and the “Cabaretera” (films set in dancing halls). This popular cinema with a large audience following, coexisted since the seventies with art-house films, notably by Arturo Ripstein as well as Alberto Bojórquez, Felipe Casals and Jaime Humberto, whose films accompanied the “new waves” that appeared here and there throughout the world in the sixties and seventies.

The commitment of the Mexican Institute for Cinema (IMCINE) to support young authors, has largely contributed to the development of the Mexican film industry in the past ten years.

Along with a diversity of themes : unhappiness, exclusion, urban marginalization and racism dealt with by Mexican authors with no complacency and even rather cruelly by some, the most important Mexican films of the past decade have all questioned cinematic form.

The deconstruction of narrative in “Amores Perros” by Iñárritu, the interior temporality of an undead in “Japon” by Reygardes, and the fixed camera as a metaphor for the psychological blockage of characters in “Temporada de patos” by Eimbecke, are all successful attempts to explore new ways of capturing reality.

Through sober and un-dramatic mise-en-scène, young Mexican authors, paint an uncompromising and dark picture of a world in limbo that aspires to happiness.

Ikbel Zalila

  AMORES PERROS by Alejandro Gonzales INARRITU - Mexico ( 2000 )
  JAPON by Carlos Reygadas - Mexico ( 2002 )
  TEMPORADA DE PATOS by Fernando EIMBCKE - Mexico ( 2004 )
  SANGRE by Amat ESCALANTE - Mexico ( 2005 )
  FAMILIA TORTUGA by Rubén IMAZ CASTRO - Mexico ( 2006 )
  DONDE ESTAN SUS HISTORIAS by Nicolas Pereda - Mexico ( 2007 )
  PARQUE VIA by Enrique RIVERO - Mexico ( 2008 )
  EL VIOLIN by Francisco VARGAS - Mexico ( 2008 )
  INTIMIDADES DE SHAKESPEARE Y VICTOR HUGO by Yulene Olaizola - Mexico ( 2008 )
  DESIERTO ADENTRO by Rodrigo Pla - Mexico ( 2009 )
  NORTEADO by Rigoberto Perezscano - Mexico ( 2009 )
  EL CASTILLO DE LA PUREZA by Arturo Ripstein - Mexico ( 1973 )
  COMO AGUA PARA CHOCOLATE by Alfonso Arau - Mexico ( 1992 )
  DANZON by Maria NOVARO - Mexico ( 1990 )

Close up on south African cinema

The film industry of South Africa is still largely unknown in the Maghreb, primarily due to linguistic barriers that separate the two regions. For some years now, the visibility of South African cinema has been dependent on the good will of European distributors who decide which films will meet the expectations of a Western audience. But, that is only one aspect of South African cinema. Like all African film industries, large parts of this rich, diverse cinema have been marginalized. To attain international success, the recipe seems to be Hollywoodian violence or good feelings.

Film production in South Africa can certainly not be reduced to just this type of film. An independent film industry with multiple ramifications has prospered for the last decade and has lent itself to alternative presentations based on the consensus of a plural South Africa.

With small budgets, free of the constraints of profitability, enjoying internal distribution through television and DVD, certain fiction and documentary films (inarguably the best in terms of quality) have made possible other approaches to reality in contrast with a society in the phase of redefining its identity.

For all who are interested, within the limits of the space allotted, the tribute paid by Carthage Film Festival to the South African film industry aspires to present the diversity of the cinematographic stage of this country.

Ikbel Zalila

  IZULU LAMI by Madode NICAYANA - South Africa ( 2008 )
  U- CARMEN E KHAYELITSHA by Mark Dornford-May - South Africa ( 2010 )
  ZULU LOVE LETTER by Ramadan Suleman - South Africa ( 2004 )
  SARAFINA by Darell James Roodt - South Africa ( 1992 )
  MAX ET MONA by Teddy Mattera - South Africa ( 2004 )
  THEMBA by Stefanie Sycholt - South Africa ( )
  MON NOM EST TSOTSI by Gavin Hood - South Africa ( 2006 )
  WHEN WE WERE BLACK by Khalo Matabene - South Africa ( 2007 )
  SEA POINT DAYS by François Verster - South Africa ( 2009 )

Cinema from the countries of Ex-Yougoslavia : splits and continuity between war and peace

Relegated to the back seat after a black decade of armed conflicts and the division of former Yugoslavia, cinema from the region is reborn today and we now see Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Montenegrin and Slovenian films.

It is interesting to note that the revival of this cinematography did not happen in a logic of denial of the socialist period during which Yugoslavia had gained a reputation for quality and political impertinence.

The task of re-founding national identities undertaken on the political and cultural level in the various countries of the region was not matched on the level of the film industry where what unites the new generation of filmmakers is stronger than what could differentiate them on the level of national origin.

One of the major themes is the damage of war on bodies and minds although there is a general trend to represent this in a lucid and distant way.

The weight of the past has become heavier as nationalist turmoil has given way to national disillusionment in a context of economic crisis and individual loss.

Stylistically, the predominance of realism is a significant trait of young film-makers of the region. Reality is shown with all its paradoxes, with gravity but also humour and derision.

This tribute paid to cinema from the former Yugoslavian countries was conceived to emphasize the continuity between generations of filmmakers from the region. The programme alternates films by established directors such as Kusturica, Manchevsky, Paskalevic and Zilnic and first or second films, that explore new cinematic possibilities.

Ikbel Zalila

  PAPA EST EN VOYAGE D’AFFAIRES by Emir KUSTURICA - Yugoslavia ( 1985 )
  SOME OTHER STORIES by Marija Dzidzeva, Ivona Juka, Ana Marija Rosi, Ines Tanovic, Hanna Antonina Wojcik-Slak - Tunisia ( 2010 )
  KINO LIKA by Dalibor Matanic - Croatia ( 2008 )
  THE BLACKS by Zvonimir Juric, Goran Devic - Croatia ( 2009 )
  NO MAN’S LAND by Danis TANOVIC - Bosnia Herzegovina ( )
  PREMIERE NEIGES by Aida BEIJIC - Bosnia Herzegovina ( 2008 )
  GRABVICA by Jasmila ZBALIC - Bosnia Herzegovina ( 2010 )
  DUST by Milcho MANCHEVSKI - Macedonia ( 2010 )
  I AM FROM TITOV VELES by Teona STRUGAR MITEVSKA - Macedonia ( 2007 )
  ORDINARY PEOPLE by Vladimir PERESIC - Serbia ( 2009 )
  THE OLD SCHOOL OF CAPITALISM by Zelimir ZILNIC - Serbia ( 2009 )
  THE POWDER KEG by Goran Paskalevic - Serbia ( 1998 )
  GRAVE HOPPING by Jan CVITKOVIK - Slovenia ( 2005 )