21st Century Cinema
Directed by Rodrigo Reyes • 2020 • Mexico
To reflect on the five-hundred-year anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, director Rodrigo Reyes offers a bold hybrid-cinema experience exploring the brutal legacy of colonialism in contemporary Mexico. Through the eyes of a ghostly conquistador, 499 recreates Hernán Cortés’s journey from the coasts of Veracruz to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, the site of contemporary Mexico City. As the anachronistic fictional character interacts with real-life victims of Mexico’s failed drug wars and Indigenous communities in resistance, the filmmaker portrays the country’s current humanitarian crisis as part of a vicious and unfinished colonial project, still in motion nearly five hundred years later. Provocative, unique, and strikingly cinematic, 499 mixes nonfictional and performative elements with conventions of the road movie to show how past traumas continue to shape contemporary reality.
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Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth
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Starring Freddy McConnell
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Directed by Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou • 2004 • United States
Starring Charles Jang, Jeng-Hua Yu, Wang-Thye Lee
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Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi • 2015 • Japan
Starring Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara
A powerful affirmation of the immersive potential of cinema, HAPPY HOUR is a slow-burning epic chronicling the emotional journey of four thirtysomething women in the misty seaside city of Kobe, Japa...