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Wednesday, Sep 17 1997
Festival !Cine Latino!
For its Fifth Annual Festival ACine Latino! at three local theaters, CineAccion is presenting seven features, a whole bunch of shorts, and five films shot by Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. There will be work from Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, and the United States. Traditionally, CineAccion specializes in work from young directors; the films are often raw, sometimes experimental, but thoughtful and usually fairly energetic. Be sure and catch the shorts, where some of the most experimental work gets a play.

Opening night, Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Victoria Theater, features the Chilean film Football Stories by Andres Wood and a Brazilian short by Beto Brant and Ralph Streleur, Jo. These are debut films that exhibit the tentativeness of young filmmakers but all the creativity and inventiveness as well. The opening reception (6 to 8 p.m.) will feature entertainment from Chile, refreshments, and food. The filmmakers will be present. The fest also includes AGuantanamera! (Friday, Sept. 19, at the Victoria), by Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabor, the team who did Strawberry and Chocolate. The screening is something of a tribute to the late Alea. Though not one of the best films to come out of Cuba, it does scratch that itch to see more of the beautiful island so long denied us. A couple of notable animation shorts are included in the "Toons and Tunes" evening (Saturday, Sept. 20, at 5 p.m. at Center for the Arts). The Figueroa tribute includes three seldom-seen films by Mexican director Emilio Fernandez: Maria Candelaria, Rio Escondido, and La Perla. Also in the tribute are Nazarin by Luis Bunuel and John Ford's The Fugitive. These films exhibit wonderful high-contrast lighting, moody skies, and tragic portrait shots. Figueroa has a field day with the planes of the faces of stars like Henry Fonda and Delores Del Rio. Figueroa's life was interesting, too. He was blacklisted in the '50s, and refused to work for Elia Kazan on Viva Zapata! because of Kazan's cooperation during the HUAC hearings. He also turned down Rambo, reportedly calling it "a nauseating piece of film." Figueroa died this year on April 27 at the age of 90. His son, Gabriel Figueroa Flores, will be at the festival.

-- Kathleen Maher

Festival !Cine Latino! runs Sept. 18 to 28 at three venues: The Victoria Theater, 2961 16th St. (at Mission); Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street); and the UC Theater, 2036 University (at Shattuck) in Berkeley. Tickets for most shows are $7. Call CineAccion at 553-8135 for more information.

About The Author

Kathleen Maher


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