Bitter Sugar, Waking Ned Devine, No One Writes the Colonel

Lisa Franek
Filmmaker and lecturer, SDSU

Arturo Ripstein’s No One Writes the Colonel is just beautiful. The camerawork is amazing; it’s filled with rich colors. It’s a beautiful storyline that’s dark and dreary but still really beautiful. And I have two more of Ripstein’s films that I’m looking forward to watching.

I just bought the Criterion version of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran, which has as one of the bonus features a documentary by Chris Marker about Kurosawa. It’s one of my favorite films, beautifully shot, epic story, and Shakespearean. Long but totally worth it.

I also purchased In the Mood for Love by Kar Wai Wong, my all-time favorite film. Beautiful, romantic, thoughtful, artistic; the music is amazing. You just can’t top Wong Kar Wai.

No One Writes to the Colonel (1999. Starring: Fernando Luján, Marisa Paredes, Salma Hayek)
(Mexico) 1999, Maverick

Ran - Criterion Collection
(Japan) 1985, Criterion Collection

In the Mood for Love - Criterion Collection
(Hong Kong) 2000, Criterion Collection

Andy Gonzalez
Director/coordinator, Arte de Latino

Three films I’d recommend are ones I’ve seen at previous San Diego Latino Film Festivals. One is a beautiful movie called Bitter Sugar, about a couple in Cuba who meet and fall in love but the man has totally bought into the ideas of Castro while the woman just wants to leave Cuba. They have a hard time seeing eye to eye. The soundtrack is fantastic.

I really liked The City of No Limits; it holds your attention for a long time, and it has a twist at the end. I really like films that can fool me.

El Juego de Arcibel is a thinking movie; there’s not a lot of action. It’s about a man who writes a chess column and the government thinks that the chess moves are signals he’s feeding to the antigovernment guerrillas. So he gets put in jail and teaches the inmates how to play chess.

Bitter Sugar
(Cuba) 1996, New Yorker Video

The City of No Limits (En la Ciudad Sin Limites)
(Spain/Argentina) 2002, 20th Century Fox

El Juego de Arcibel
(Argentina) 2003,Venevision

Nancy Mendez
Festival attendee

Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Lightning in a Bottle is a documentary/reunion of blues singers pairing old veterans with more contemporary singers. It’s great to see singers like Macy Gray and Natalie Cole with Odetta. Very well done.

For a good laugh, there’s Waking Ned Devine, filmed in Ireland, a place that I’ve been before and loved. Very good movie, and it’s really nice to see a major cast of characters who are much older and bring out the humor of a fun story.

The Bronze Screen is a documentary that I stumbled upon when I was in a rental mood. It’s about Latino actors and filmmakers and the realities of what they’ve had to face — like stereotypical casting. It also shows the barriers that still need to be broken. An eye-opening, well-done documentary.

Lightning In a Bottle: A One Night History of the Blues
(USA) 2004, Sony Pictures

Waking Ned Devine
(England/USA) 1998, 20th Century Fox

The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood
(USA) 2002, Questar

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