When people talk about the boom in Latin American cinema in the 00s, they tend to focus on flashier films that came out of Brazil and Mexico at the time. Yet Argentina has proved just as fascinating a landscape for arresting, textured cinema, from Nine Queens and Bombón el Perro, to XXY and 2009’s Oscar-winner The Secret In Their Eyes. This Wednesday, the Argentine Film Festival celebrates its second year in London with a selection of its nation’s features.
The festival opens with Daniel Burman’s comedy All In, in which a twice-divorced father of two decides to have a vasectomy in the hope of a commitment-free sex life, a decision that’s complicated when his ex-girlfriend re-enters his life. Winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, Burman has been labelled the Argentinean Woody Allen for his ability to successfully juggle humour and drama. Also playing is White Elephant, which won positive notices when it premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last year. Telling the story of two priests working in the slums of Buenos Aires, it stars The Secret In Their Eyes’ Ricardo Darín and French actor Jérémie Renier (The Son).
Fans of Carlos Sórin’s charming Bombón el Perro will want to grab a ticket for his latest, Gone Fishing, in which a recovering alcoholic attempts to reconnect with his daughter on a shark-fishing holiday on the Patagonian coast. On the more extravagant end of the scale, those with rich palates might want to attend the screening of The Lost World Cup, a documentary surrounding one man’s efforts to stage the World Cup in Argentina during World War II, which will include a complimentary bottle of Gaucho Mablec to all diners at Gaucho Piccadilly beforehand and afterwards.