Monday, 11 September 2017 09:01

Mi mamá lora

Mi mamá lora

My Mother is a Parrot

Martin Musarra | Argentina | 2016 | Fiction | 80 min | NM Premiere

Mi mama lora

Martín Musarra is the author and director of this magical feature film.  We are calling him an author because his screenplay for this film feels so much like a magical story converted to the contemporary cinematic platform.  Imagine the genius of Walt Disney, Roald Dahl and Guillermo del Toro all rolled into one.  That is Mi mama lora

In real life, there are mysterious and seemingly magical powers floating all around us - sometimes if you look at something just right, it may even feel surreal, like you're in an animated story.  Many artists throughout history have touched on this feeling in their work. In both the fields of literature and animation, famous works like James and the Giant Peach, Alice in Wonderland, so many of Walt Disney's stories, as well as more recent imaginations of the theme in hits like Toy Story capture this common sensation that we feel everyday on some level: surreality.  Wiktionary defines surreality as "the state of being incongruous"; in other words, the state of being or feeling out of harmony with your normal surroundings.  That's why you'll hear someone say, "Oh my, you should have seen it, it was surreal!"  The word surreal connotes something extraordinary happening within otherwise ordinary surroundings.  It reminds me of the great film Matilda, and director Musarra has mentioned in interviews that working on children's films opens up the doors to a lot of creativity and storytelling.  

Combining all the best parts of magic, surrealism, and magic realism, El Mar del Plata film festival writes about Mi mama lora: “Shot in Concordia, Entre Ríos, Martín Musarra’s film is impregnated with Latin American magical realism aesthetics as it tells a strange fable—between animal and human—that reflects on our essence. Mi mamá lora breaks every stereotype of beauty, genre, and power, and that is—together with its fine cinematographic rhythm—its most precious treasure.“

Musarra teams up with screenwriters Diana Russo and Paula Mastellone, as well as music composer Yair Hilal.  Hilal, Argentinian, has previous clients that include Honda, Toyota and McDonald's.  He has done work in television and film before, but this will be his biggest chance to shine; or perhaps Musarra wanted a music composer who would simply deliver something solid and not over the top.  After all, Musarra wants to create a highly realistic magic.  Think hi-def magic realism.  Costume design is incredible.  This is a perfect film for the entire family.  It will stimulate and nourish our minds with fresh angles and ways of looking at everyday life and interactions.  The children are sure to be wide-eyed in wonder and the adults are to be mesmerized by the storytelling and Kafka-esque metaphors for life.  See you all there!!  

Published in Cine Magnifico

“My Straight Son” (“Azul y no tan rosa”) is the Venezuelan actor/writer/director Miguel Ferrari’s first major feature length film, and his ‘opera prima’ that deals with social intolerance against homosexuality won him recognition from around the world, as well as the prize for Best Iberian-American Film at the Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent to the American Academy Awards.  Aside from superb acting, writing and music, the story’s main attack on the ridiculousness of homophobia and its sincere portrayal of family is what brought this Venezuelan film across the borders with such success. ferrari goya

Ferrari stated in an interview with the Spanish film review "El Antepenultimo Mohicano" that in his home country of Venezuela there has always been a ridged taboo against homosexuality, and the few times homosexual characters have actually been presented in Venezuelen cinema, they have been portrayed “through a burlesque and disrespectful perspective”.  He added that television and cinema, despite having the power to change social paradigms, is as responsible as any other field of media production for the distorted representation of LGBTI characters and topics that have been disseminated to the public, and above all to the youth. 

Ferrari, who left Venezuela to study cinema production in Spain and subsequently returned to produce films in his home country, acknowledged the great risks involved in undertaking a project like “My Straight Son”; despite the good social intentions of the script, if carried out improperly a film such as this can actually run the risk of offending viewers even within the LGBTI community. 

Azul-y-no-tan-rosa-para-gustos-hay-colores

 However, that has clearly not been the case with this film, which has moved viewers towards the ideal of social openness and understanding in audiences throughout the world.  Most importantly, the film has made a great impact in Ferrari’s home country of Venezuela, where the subject of homosexuality has been particularly ignored, even in comparison to other Latin American countries that maintain a similar streak of social conservatism and homophobia within their societies.  In the last decade, a couple of important films containing LGBTI subjects came from joint projects involving Argentine, Uruguay and Spain, from the writer/director Lucia Puenzo, a Buenos Aires native. 

 To see those films, check out “XXY” and “The Fish Child” (“El niño pez”).  In addition, the theme of social intolerance is not only confined to topics of sexuality; in fact, “Bad Hair” (“Pelo malo”) will be showing on Sunday at Cine Magnifico, a film that involves filmmakers in Argentina, Venezuela and Peru, deals with similar social pressures that arise from homophobia and engrained class distinctions. 

Clearly there is a tide of films with intense messages and depictions of social issues that are often overlooked, left under the table in the proverbial dining room of Latin American culture and society.  Look no further than our film lineup this year at Cine Magnifico, not only including “My Straight Son” and “Bad Hair”, but also “The Golden Dream”, which deals sincerely with intense social pressures and culturally ignored subjects.  

“My Straight Son” will be a moving and enlightening film screening, not only for Miguel Ferrari’s prize-winning script and cinematic direction, but also for the way this film fits into the rising trends of Latin American cinema over the course of the last two years.  “My Straight Son” will be our Showcase Film on Saturday night, September 12th @ 8 PM.  See you there for a wonderful showcase presentation!!            

Published in Films