Days in Buenos Aires

Robert Koehler has gone straight from the Guadalajara International Flim Festival to the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), and his first photos are coming in… -Doug

By ROBERT KOEHLER

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Arrival in BAFICI means finding the Espacio from last year has been spruced up….here, a group lingers after a panel discussion on how to pitch a project….no, BAFICI isn’t entirely about art.

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Just about everyone’s arrived at BAFICI, including (lt. to rt.) Cinema Scope publisher and Vancouver programmer and Waiting for Sancho director Mark Peranson, our dear friend and Argentine critic (and fabled former BAFICI artistic director) Quintin, and the nose, eye and forehead of Rotterdam’s terrific programmer, Gerwin Tamsa.

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Those who know Lisandro Alonso’s Fantasma will recognize this lobby–the San Martin Cultural Center, home of the Lugones cinema, where I had just watched James Benning’s One Way Boogie Woogie/27 Years Later.

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Indicative of the kind of programming done at Lugones is this survey of Frank Borzage, many on the same extended tour that touched down previously at UCLA Film Archive.

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On Day 2 at BAFICI, a festival programmers’ confab at Espacio BAFICI….from the left, my Cinema Scope colleague and superb Toronto festival “Wavelengths” programmer Andrea Picard; in the middle, Viennale’s great artistic director Hans Hurch; a translator who shall remain nameless; the Cannes Quinzaine programmer Stephane Delorme; and, last but not least Christophe Terhechte, director of the Berlinale Forum. Attempts at radical film programming were the order of the day, as it is every day at BAFICI.

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James Benning, looking pretty satisfied after our panel discussion about his filmmaking practice, with a focus on his recent films being screened in BAFICI: One Way Boogie Woogie/27 Years Later, casting a glance, and his latest masterpiece, RR, which we all referred to as “Railroad,” the term James prefers.

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So we come to BAFICI searching for new films….and here they are, looking, waiting, wondering….

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Always a presence at BAFICI, Martin Rejtman (The Magic Gloves, Silvia Prieto) shows up during screenings of his amusing new made-for-television film (co-directed with Federico Leon), Elementary Training for Actors. There is no more brilliant filmmaker of the comic human condition in Latin America than Rejtman.

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Starbucks’ second shop invades BAFICI–and the Portenos are still drinking at 2:30 a.m. Saturday night……

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The view from my hotel room, of new and old Buenos Aires–the old being the classic post-Deco facade of the former Abasto Market, now the multi-levelled Abasto Shopping Mall, home of BAFICI.

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Roger Koza has arrived from Guadalajara, working on his massive viewing schedule at BAFICI. That’s my laptop open, with a window open on the ridiculous “debate” in newyorker.com between Richard Brody and Tony Scott on “neo-neo-realism”……which, in case they didn’t know, isn’t new, but nearly 60 years old……

2 thoughts on “Days in Buenos Aires

  1. Hello Mr. Koehler! I dont know if you remember me, I asked a few questions in BAFICI (with my poor english) for a work in university. I hope someday to be a jornalist! I cant wait! Your notices help me a lot to improve my english! I hope to keep in contact! best wishes!

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