×

Sebastian Hofmann’s Sundance World Cinema Contender ‘Time Share’ Unveils Clip (EXCLUSIVE)

Tropical hotel-set dramedy stars ‘Club of Crows’’ Luis Gerardo Méndez and ‘Breaking Bad's' R.J. Mitte

Caribbean holidays may never be quite the same after watching “Time Share,” the second movie from Sebastián Hofmann, one of the most admired young talents working in Mexico, which is world premiering in World Competition at Sundance.

Visit Films has acquired international sales rights, Paradigm is selling U.S. domestic rights; Variety has had exclusive access to a clip from an early stretch of the film. Hofmann impressed with his debut “Halley,” which also played Sundance. Now he is back with a much better-known cast, including Luis Gerardo Méndez, star of Netflix’s “Club of Crows,” and R.J. Mitte, best known for “Breaking Bad,” and a smart dramedy – as Mexican comedies now prove repeatedly to be among the highest-grossing foreign-language movies in the U.S.

Co-written and produced by Julio Chavezmontes at Mexico City’s Piano, the edgy production shingle he owns with Hofmann, “Time Share” turns on two men at a tropical resort who slowly become obsessed – but maybe rightly so – by the idea that the resort is trying to take their loved ones away through a twisted time share scheme.

One of these, Pedro, played by Méndez, discover in the clip that his dreamed-of getaway villa, where he hoped to spend quality time with his wife and young son, has been double-booked. Pedro and the other family’s father, Abel, travel by buggy to the front desk of the pharaonic hotel.

“I tried to make a serious comedy,” Hofmann said. “Time Share” deals with “a layer of globalization” as big business takes over international resorts, presenting the hotels as families and attempting “to create a sense of belonging in tourists, and loyalty in the employees. It’s rather like being part of a sect,” Hofmann told Variety.

“Hyper-realist,” says Hofmann, “Time Share” was inspired by a year Hofmann spent living in a hotel in Acapulco with his mother who sold time-shares on commission.

The clip suggests some reasons why Hofmann is one of Mexico’s most buzzed-up young directors. Just as the resort’s business practices are unnatural, so is its decor, fore-fronted in many shots, and lensed in unnatural tones. The camera constantly creeps forward, like in horror films; a vertical shot of the hotel’s lobby worthy of a Hitchcock film has the feel of a haunted house comedy – though isolation, sadness and what might be paranoia take the place of supernatural beings.

“Time Share” is a Mexico-Netherlands co-production between Piano and Circe Films. Stienette Bosklopper, Lisette Kelder and Hofmann himself co-produce.

“The guiding principle for Piano has remained the same since Sebastián and I established the company in 2011: To produce innovative and uncompromising films with diverse aesthetic sensibilities,” said Chavezmontes.

He added: “‘Time Share’ is a very different film from ‘Halley’ or ‘We are the Flesh,’ but what they share in common is a willingness to surprise audiences and defy classification.”

More Film

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content