South American Cinema on DVD

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
Message
Author
User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

#26 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:35 pm

Just watched the Chilean film Chacal de Nahueltoro, El (1969) (The Jackal of Nahueltoro). A somber film about a poor migrant worker who drunkenly/inexplicably kills a poor woman and her many children.

It's a sad film which starts with "the jackal" on trial and recreating his crime for the court. There's little hope for any of the characters, until prison teaches the killer to read and make handicrafts and gives him some sense of humanity and self-worth. Which all comes too late because he gets the death penalty for such a callous crime.

The film is in b&w, and alternates between a gritty realism and some defamiliarizing techniques (dizzying rapid cuts and blurring sweeps) to capture the nightmare of the killer's reality. A fine piece of acting from Nelson Villagra, who captures the brute animal qualities of the illiterate killer and then his nascent transformation into a reformed, acceptable member of society.
Last edited by Lemmy Caution on Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lino
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
Posts: 3529
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:18 am
Location: Sitting End
Contact:

#27 Post by Lino » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:47 pm

Glauber Rocha's Idade da Terra (Age of the Earth) is being released on April, 1 in Brazil as a 2xDVD set with english subs. No-brainer here!

Bajaja
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:39 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

#28 Post by Bajaja » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:39 pm

Thanks for the news. The Rochas from Versatil have been very decent packages. But unfortunately, my Brazilian source seems to have closed, and something bad is happening with shipping costs from Brazil. Where are you ordering your copy?

User avatar
Lino
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
Posts: 3529
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:18 am
Location: Sitting End
Contact:

#29 Post by Lino » Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:51 pm

This time around, I think I'll try this vendor here.

User avatar
vertovfan
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:46 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#30 Post by vertovfan » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:17 am

Just ran across this Sanjines set. I don't know Spanish very well, but it looks to me like something that's still in the works? And with English subtitles?

User avatar
Trelkovsky
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 6:39 am
Location: Málaga, Andalucía, Spain

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#31 Post by Trelkovsky » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:31 pm

Yes, that's exactly what it says.

User avatar
Gregory
Posts: 5307
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#32 Post by Gregory » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:19 pm

Glorious news. Yawar Mallku (Blood of the Condor) and El Coraje del Pueblo (The Courage of the People) have been very difficult to see. Ukamau and La Nación Clandestina (The Clandestine Nation) have been practically impossible to get ahold of on any format.

Sanjinés was a great artist and theorist, and the first three of these films were far ahead of their time in several ways. His work came long before, and I think in a real sense prefigured, the relatively recent rise of influential indigenous movements in South America and the visibility that has come with that. There was barely any Bolivian film production at all to speak of when he began, and the idea of making films not only involving indigenous people but intended for them as an audience must have seemed incredibly strange and daring at the time.
I think this will be a crucial release for anyone seeking to understand globally the changing role of cinema in the 1960s and '70s. Now I just hope that this set will be affordable and that eventually Sanjinés's early shorts and his other two features from the '70s will someday become available.

call_me_ishmael
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:29 am

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#33 Post by call_me_ishmael » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:29 am

I'm excited by The Clandestine Nation! Have wanted to see that for ages!

La Hora de los Hornos (Hour of the Furnaces)? I know this on DVD, and have seen part one (amazing), but where can it be bought easily, does anyone know?

Also, La Libertad by Lisandro Alonso? I saw Los Muertos last night, I found it quite striking.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14117
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#34 Post by knives » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:00 pm

Is the Hour of the Furnaces any good. I've heard it tossed around before but I don't know much about it. Amazon has a DVD available, but I'm not sure about the actual film.

Perkins Cobb
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#35 Post by Perkins Cobb » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:10 pm

Since this has popped up again, let me put in a recommendation for The Red Light Bandit (O Bandido da Luz Fermelha) (1968), Rogelio Sganzerla's exuberantly stylized, Godardian exploitation movie / political treatise. On DVD from Versatil, the same outfit that released the Glauber Rocha discs (which unfortunately seem a lot more compromised in the image quality dept. on my plasma than they did when I watched them on the old 4:3 TV).

santhanu

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#36 Post by santhanu » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:00 am

anybody has the english subtitles(link) for Death of a Bureaucrat?Pls

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14117
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#37 Post by knives » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:46 am

Network in the UK has a subtitled DVD that looks about the same as all the other Alea films out there.

User avatar
rohmerin
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#38 Post by rohmerin » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Leopoldo Torre Nilsson is an ignored artist. La casa del ángel and La mano en la trampa are stunnig, somwhere between Welles' Amberson and Carlos Saura portraits of ruined bourgeois families. Simply two of the best films I've ever seen and I'd like to know if there are DVDs in Argentina.
I found rubbish print to download made like 12 years ago. Really bad prints, but what 2 masterpieces !

In Spain there are avalaible five late Torre's etapa that I'm afraid are not good.
Last edited by rohmerin on Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
leo_floyd
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#39 Post by leo_floyd » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:09 pm

Sorry, but unfortunately not even here the first years of his filmography are available on DVD. We probably have the same DVDs that are available in Spain, that is Martin Fierro, Boquitas Pintadas, La Maffia, Los Siete Locos and maybe one or two more titles from his late years.

User avatar
rohmerin
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#40 Post by rohmerin » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:59 pm

Finally I contact with an argentino. Nos gustaría saber de tiendas on line (o en Buenos Aures en su defecto) de tu país. Gracias. Una pena lo de Torre Nilsson. Me estoy bajando Días de odio, que al parecer escribió Borges.

User avatar
leo_floyd
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#41 Post by leo_floyd » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Well, as you may imagine the stuff I buy online is mostly at Amazon.com, coz if I want to get an argentinian DVD is easier for me to go the store. That being said, I'm almost sure these 2 stores have an online service, Hope this helps, otherwise lemme know!

User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#42 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:03 am

Film Movement has a pretty nice catalog of more recent South American film.
I especially liked The Wind Journeys, which I've touted in another thread. Film Movement has another Colombian film coming out soon, Karen Cries on the Bus (2011).

I watched an interesting double feature of Colors of the Mountain (Colombia 2009; Film Movement) and Mutum (Brasil 2007; Global Lens) both dealing with a small boy trying to grow up and comprehend the world amidst adult violence. In the case of Colors, the villagers are trapped between the guerrillas and the army; while Mutum focuses on family dysfunction.

While Criterion continues to primarily churn out films which I already own in various other editions, I've found it rewarding to turn to such smaller labels.
Trigon also has a good selection of mostly recentish South American films, and from other far flung countries, though their website doesn't seem to provide any simple country breakdown.

User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

SA, now with Venezuela, too ...

#43 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:42 am

Gregory wrote: Finally, here are some titles that I believe are some of most important films to come out of South America but which have not been released on DVD with English subtitles:
Argentina: The House of the Angel aka End of Innocence (Leopoldo Torre Nilsson), Man Facing Southest (Eliseo Subiela), Hour of the Furnaces (Getino, Solanas, Alvarez), Time for Revenge (Adolfo Aristarain)
Bolivia: Blood of the Condor (Jorge Sanjines), The Clandestine Nation aka The Secret Nation (Jorge Sanjines), or really anything by Sanjines.
Brazil: Barravento (Glauber Rocha), Antonio das Mortes (Glauber Rocha), The Heirs (Carlos Diegues), Bye Bye Brazil (Carlos Diegues), O Alienista (Nelson Pereira Dos Santos), Rio 40 Degrees (Nelson Pereira Dos Santos), Of Gods and the Dead (Ruy Guerra), Macunaima (Pedro de Andrade), Prato Palomares (Andre Faria), Limit (Mario Peixoto)
Chile: The Battle of Chile (Patricio Guzman), Machuca (Andres Wood), Moon in the Mirror (Silvio Caiozzi), Scraps of Life (Gayla Jamison)
Peru: In the Mouth of the Wolf (Francisco Lombardi)

I know I've left out Venezuela; I admit I don't know much at all about that country's cinematic output, but I know there has been some.
Since this was an '06 post from Gregory, I was wondering about current dvd availability of these films now that we live 5 years in the future. The ones I've bolded are out on Dvd. Though I've only seen an edition of Antonio das Mortes without English subs.
The Battle of Chile is remarkable, very powerful, and a must-see. Guzman's 2004 doc Salvador Allende is also available. As is his recent documentary Nostalgia De La Luz (2010), which essentially uses the barren Atacama Desert as a metaphor for modern Chile. Guzman presents an interesting array of astronomers and relatives of the disappeared, and manages to entwine the two. There are also assorted left-wing intellectuals and artists, plus one military coup leader who reflects back and evades responsibility.


As for Venezuelan film, I caught up with the 1959 documentary Araya.
It was shown at Cannes and shared the Int'l Critics Award with Hiroshima Mon Amour. The director Margot Benacerraf became an important proponent of Venezuelan film:
Benacerraf founded the Nacional Film Library in 1966 and was its director for three years consecutively. She was a member of the board of directors of Ateneo de Caracas, and in 1991, with the help of the writer and patron of the Latin American cinema Gabriel García Márquez, created Latin Fundavisual, the foundation in charge of promoting Latin American audio-visual art in Venezuela.
The salt marshes of the Arayan Peninsula were discovered by the Spanish in 1500, initiating a trans-oceanic salt trade. There are only two ways of making a living in barren Araya -- fishing or harvesting the salt beds. Whole families participate in both activities. The conceit of the film is that this way of life has been unchanged for the past 450 years. The timeless choreographed labor of life.
Dredging up hunks of salt from the sea floor, then washing, drying, wheelbarrowing and finally dumping baskets of cleaned salt on the enormous salt hills/pyramids.
Ironically, the filmmakers had to work quickly to catch this timelessness, as mechanization was rapidly encroaching. The arrival of dump trucks and large processing machinery forms the climax of the film. Man of Aran is a near-relative of Araya.

The fine (correction) Milestone disc includes Benacerraf's 30 minute film Reveron (1952), on the interesting Venezuelan painter Armando Reverón. Along with a pair of docs about Araya and Benacerraf, who is still going strong at 85.

Here's a wiki list of Venezuelan films. Román Chalbaud has had a career of over half a century and more than 25 films, but I don't know more than that about him. If you scroll to the bottom of the wiki Venezuelan list, you can select other countries. Not sure how exhaustive any of these lists are -- I noticed that only one Argentinian director is listed for the period 1897-1917 -- but it is a good beginning resource for early films from countries whose cinematic histories aren't well known.
Last edited by Lemmy Caution on Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Gregory
Posts: 5307
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: SA, now with Venezuela, too ...

#44 Post by Gregory » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:28 am

Good post. There's not a great deal I can add, unfortunately, both because only a handful of films have become available on DVD since then and because frankly my interest in Latin American cinema has waned considerably in the last three years. It used to be a major interest of mine, and I've tried to continue seeing the occasional new film at special festival screenings when I can but have yet to find any really promising new talents, which is certainly not to say there are none.

Guzman finally becoming familiar to viewers in the U.S./Canada has been a great thing. Another Chilean film that's become available is Machuca, in a nice inexpensive release from Artificial Eye. An extremely different film from The Battle of Chile, but they make a good pairing because of the common historical context.

Hour of the Furnaces is now available on a DVD from Argentina that can be found at Amazon Marketplace, eBay, etc. The most widely seen Argentinean film in the last several years has probably been The Secret in Their Eyes, which has come out not only on DVD but Blu-ray as well. It's well worth seeing, but I'd probably stop short of recommending it as a blind purchase.

There was supposed to be a Jorge Sanjinés set a few years ago, as noted earlier in the thread, but the website disappeared and I never heard anything about whether the DVDs were released, aside from an occasional vague rumor.

For Brazil, the Rocha films have been available for some time with English subs, including Barravento. They're available on eBay and are not cheap, but zedz's write-ups in the Rocha thread should convince most folks with any potential interest to bite the bullet and order these releases, which are of quite a high quality.
There were murmurings a few years ago about Criterion releasing Macunaima which never materialized. Too bad, since it's quite a fascinating work and a good adaptation of the book (though different in some key respects). Limite has been restored by World Cinema Foundation, but who knows when Criterion will get that group of films out.
Rio 40 Graus is available as a very inexpensive bootleg DVD-R for those who want to see it. I haven't seen the disc but would imagine it's serviceable. Anyone interested can PM me, but I have no connection with the seller.

The Araya release was fantastic (Milestone, not Olive Films, actually). It's definitely a valuable relic of its time, right before the 1960s ushered in drastically more politicized work. It's indeed sad that the film made such a splash internationally but Benacerraf never followed it up with another film. There are probably some general lessons that can be drawn from that. Chalbaud is a major talent but his work has been typically hard to access in North America. There's a good, brief overview of his work in John King's book Magical Reels (along with countless other Latin American filmmakers) but by now it's pretty far from up-to-date.

I made two research trips (not on cinema!) to Caracas but found it virtually impossible to find films, either screenings or DVDs. When one looks beyond Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba, there is a sharp fall-off in national film production in Latin America, though Venezuela has frequently been near the top FWIW. The sad reality is that Hollywood and the multiplexes have long since taken over the markets throughout the entire region, preventing the promise of the "new cinema" from being fulfilled, at least in terms of a body of work emerging that can being widely seen and appreciated. Government programs to fund filmmaking will ultimately not be fruitful unless there is a way for the films that are produced to at least have a chance of breaking even at the box office.

User avatar
Wu.Qinghua
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#45 Post by Wu.Qinghua » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:34 pm

At least Hour of the Furnaces / Hora de los hornos has also been released by the Swiss outlet Trigon (2 DVDs with French, German and English subs included). There are some other South American DVDs like Mendez' Dias de Santiago, which have been released with English subtitles by Trigon, but most of them unfortunately feature French and German subtitles only as you might have already known.
Last edited by Wu.Qinghua on Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10358
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#46 Post by zedz » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:07 pm

I'm very excited to hear that Hour of the Furnaces has finally been unleashed. Has anybody seen / can they recommend either the Argentine or Swiss edition?

User avatar
Wu.Qinghua
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#47 Post by Wu.Qinghua » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:26 pm

zedz wrote:I'm very excited to hear that Hour of the Furnaces has finally been unleashed. Has anybody seen / can they recommend either the Argentine or Swiss edition?
I haven't seen it the Swiss DVD yet but as it's at the top of the films I have to see in the next weeks I'll try to have a look at it next week.

Perkins Cobb
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#48 Post by Perkins Cobb » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:00 pm

Hugo Santiago's Invasion (1969), which was screened at the New York Film Festival this year, is available on DVD in Argentina (but apparently only purchasable there), and in France as an exclusive from Dissidenz that will set you back about $80 including shipping to the US.

User avatar
Saturnome
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:22 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#49 Post by Saturnome » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:35 am

Pedro de Andrade's Macunaima is on DVD with english subs (both in Brazil and in France, though France's release is part of a 5 film boxset) yet a Criterion release would make it less expensive. I hope there is still a possibility that it could suddenly be released. Where did this years old rumor came from?

User avatar
Gregory
Posts: 5307
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: South American Cinema on DVD

#50 Post by Gregory » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:20 am

A forum member reported that Robert Stam had stated at a public event that Criterion would be releasing it. Stam had done extras for Criterion (Jules and Jim, Contempt, etc.) so I certainly thought he would know what he was talking about, and I can only assume Criterion ran into some problem.
If I recall correctly, the time I saw the film was on VHS, but I've held off on the French DVD(s) (Carlotta did release it on its own, I believe) hoping that Criterion would put it out on Blu. I wonder if their policy of releasing everything on both formats impacts which titles they choose, if the source they could obtain would be up to snuff for 1080p.

Post Reply