Saturday, August 02, 2014

3rd Phantoscope Screening: Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado's EL BURRO JOROBADO

Phantoscope is Triskel Christchurch Cinema's quarterly experimental film event, which I programme. For the next screening, I'm proud and delighted to introduce the work of Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado, a remarkable young Mexican independent filmmaker, to Irish screens.

Working on the lowest of budgets in his home town of Monterrey, he has produced a dizzyingly prolific body of short films, often blurring the lines between personal documentary and fiction. His haunting, elusive and deeply personal feature El Burro Jorobado (The Hunched Donkey, 2009) reflects on this process. After his mother’s death, a young man, essentially the director playing himself, edits the family’s home videos to bring back her image. As he delves into the occult he begins to reveal the paradoxical magic of memories and cinema.

El Burro Joroabdo is personal not just in subject matter but, almost more importantly, in form. The understated elegance of its visual style, moving seamlessly and often mysteriously between home videos and scenes shot specifically for the film, combined with a sense of being witness to images and acts that have a private significance that the audience can sense without perhaps fully grasping, ensure that El Burro Jorobado really gets under the skin. It has several big surprises in store as it unfolds but these are more than just plot twists- they are also quietly astonishing reflections on its own nature. If, at times, it seems poised to follow a familiar route into horror film territory, it ultimately emerges as a profound and profoundly human reflection on how filmmaking interacts with daily life, one that is on par with Abbas Kiarostami's Close Up (1990) or Through the Olive Trees (1994).  

Raúl Quintanilla Alvarado is a major new talent in contemporary art cinema. Keep an eye on him!

El Burro Jorobado
Saturday August 16th, 9pm
Triskel Christchurch Cinema,
Tobin St., Cork

Full screening details:
http://triskelartscentre.ie/events/2779/el-burro-jorobado/

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