Exitos del Cine Latino, presented by the San Diego Latino Film Festival, is a seven-day event showcasing 14 documentary and narrative films from around the world. AMC Plaza Bonita Cinemas will play host to daily screenings, musical performances and art installations celebrating Latino culture beginning on Friday, Aug. 26, running through Thursday, Sept. 1.
The program features a diverse selection of genres and celebrity headliners, including opening night film El tamaño si importa starring Ximena Ayala, a bromance titled Truman with Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara, and the Gael Garcia Bernal frontera thriller Desierto.
CityBeat was lucky enough to preview two other very different films that are not to be missed.
Feredico Veiroj's El Apostata satirizes the extreme bureaucracy and hypocrisy one man faces while trying to erase his name from Catholic Church records in Spain. Anchored by an achingly deadpan lead performance from Álvaro Ogalla, this dark comedy dabbles in surrealism and dream logic to express a heightened frustration with the status quo. He quickly realizes that playing by the rules only solidifies his status as a statistic of religious doctrine, so naturally an exorcism of identity is in order.
There's no such levity in the somber Colombian drama La Tierra y la sombra, where an estranged grandfather returns to his farm after his grown son suddenly falls ill. Surrounded by sugar cane and unspoken regret, he tries to mend ties with a family that is already being ripped apart by poverty.
César Augusto Acevedo's strong debut is a visual stunner, featuring blankets of falling ash and dense widescreen vistas. Lateral tracking shots help convey an intimate sense of distance and scale. The film peaks during a wordless last supper where a child's tears communicate volumes of pent-up sadness.
For more information on Exitos del Cine Latino, including screening times and how to purchase tickets, visit exitos.sdlatinofilmfestival.com.
One Time Only
Don’t Breathe: Three friends break into the house of a rich blind man hoping to steal his loot only to find out he’s a serial killer.
Exitos del Cine Latino: This seven-day showcase presented by the San Diego Latino Film Festival features 14 films, musical performances, parties and more. Opens Friday, Aug. 26, and screens through Thursday, Sept. 1, at the AMC Plaza Bonita.
Hands of Stone: A legendary boxer and his trainer change each other’s lives on the way to a championship bout. Starring Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez.
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World: Madman filmmaker Werner Herzog contemplates the history, morality and human impact of the Internet, interviewing robotics specialists, scientists and philosophers.
Mechanic: Resurrection: Jason Statham’s retired assassin must return to his old profession in order to save the love of his life.
Miss Sharon Jones: An inspiring documentary that about Blues singer Sharon Jones’ fight against pancreatic cancer. Screens through Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
One Time Only
Point Break: Kathryn Bigelow’s muscular action film is about a hotshot FBI agent (Keanu Reeves) who must infiltrate a crew of surfing-obsessed bank robbers. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Blazing Saddles: Mel Brooks detonates the Western genre with this delirious story about a newly hired black sheriff who teams up with a deputy to foil the plans of a corrupt businessman. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 25 and 26, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.