You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Argentina’s Fernando Cricenti Unveils ‘Veredas’

Young Argentine directors push into the mainstream

MAR DEL PLATA – Is Latin American cinema shifting mainstream? Art pics remain of course. Indeed, three standouts at Mar del Plata’s voluminous 22-title Work in Progress, which unspooled Thursday and Friday at the seaside resort  – Daniel Rosenfeld’s “To the Center of the Earth,” Ana Pitarbarg’s “Alptraum” and Pablo Aguero’s “Madres de los Dioses,” which treated audiences Geraldine Chaplin’s latest challenging role, as God – would all fit into that category.

But the MDP WIP also featured at least three genre movies and a bevy of titles that are – hopefully upscale – niche mainstream, rather than the artistic plays so common before.

One case in point: Fernando Cricenti’s Buenos Aires-set “Veredas,” which took WIP’s eventual First Mention Prize, a kind of runners-up plaudit. At Mar del Plata, the director said that it drinks at the wells of both classic Hollywood screwball comedy – Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges,  Cricenti said at Mar del Plata – and France’s Nouvelle Vague, in its serial use of outdoor urban locations, dotted around Buenos Aires’ upscale Palermo district.

“The characters move about a Buenos Aires which is contemporary, recognizable but slightly strange,” Cricenti said. He added: “This strangeness is based, more than anything else, on the list and organization of the places of the places which the characters go to and their obsessions and actions: It’s out of synch with normal reality, functions in a different way. I like early ‘60s movies that took the camera out into the street and started shooting.”

Produced by Omar Jadur, at No Problem Cine, and Sebastian Perillo – who separately or together also have at Mar del Plata the International Competition entry “Somebody’s Life” and “El hijo buscado,” an Argentine Competition player – “Veredas” stars actor-playwright Ezequial Tronconi (“La Tigra, Chaco”), who co-wrote the screenplay, as Federico, 30, a writer and seemingly romantic wet-blanket, who’s just been dumped by his girlfriend from hell, and is delighted when a gamine girl, Lucia, played by Paula Reca, whose credits include the Juan Jose Campanella-produced “Belgrano,” jumps into his taxi to follow her b.f, Andrés, whom she was about to pinkslip until she sees him with another woman.

A romantic off-kilter chase movie, chronicling the gradual re-masculation of Federico, thanks to Lucia, “Veredas” boasts a strong ensemble of secondary players – Anita Pauls (“The German Doctor”), Paloma Contreras (“The Fish Child”) – chance meetings, and quirkier settings – the Buenos Aires Zoo, and Carlos Thays’ Rose Garden Walk, for instance. Cinematography is by Fernando Lockett, the regular d.p. of Matias Pineiro (“The Princess of France”), whose credits also include Santiago Palavecino’s Venice player “Some Girls” and “Somebody’s Life.”

Starring Guillermo Francella, “Lionheart” grossed $10.6 million in Argentina for Disney last year. Local romcoms are none too common in the Argentine cinema, Cricenti said.

“I wanted to make an audience-friendly film,” he added.

Beyond films starring Ricardo Darin and Francella, crime thrillers are punching better box office now in Argentina. It remains to be seen if romantic comedies stock can rise too.

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average of [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content