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Afterimage: The Films of Nicolás Pereda

December 2, 2011 - December 4, 2011

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One of the major new voices in contemporary Latin American (and world) cinema, the young Mexican Canadian filmmaker Nicolás Pereda has emerged in the past year from seemingly out of nowhere to be feted with career retrospectives, festival screenings, and glowing critical praise. Rarely does a body of work epitomize the key elements of contemporary cinema—long, quiet takes; the blend of documentary and fiction; the use of nonactors; etc.—while also forging something strikingly original, inspired as much by Pereda’s fascination with silence, movement, and place as it is by current aesthetics.

Although compared to Pedro Costa and Lisandro Alonso for his attention to setting and atmosphere, and to Tsai Ming-liang and Aki Kaürismaki for a deadpan humor, Pereda seems most interested in using cinema to evoke a physical sense of place—in this case, modern Mexico. “My concern is to understand and ultimately to evoke the experience of the everyday, and to convey through film—albeit a visual medium—a physical and intangible sense of feelings, place, and culture,” he writes. Uncluttered with needless dramatics or plot pyrotechnics, focused on the patterns of everyday life, his films indeed focus not on how a story is told, but how it is lived.

We are delighted that film critic Robert Koehler will be in conversation with Pereda following our screening of Pereda’s first film, Where Are Their Stories? on Sunday, December 4. Koehler will also introduce Together on Friday, December 2. He writes extensively on cinema, including for Variety, Cinema Scope, Cineaste, Film Journey, MUBI, and the LA Weekly.

Jason Sanders, Film Notes Writer

Friday, December 2, 2011
7:00 p.m. Together
Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada, 2009). Nicolás Pereda in person. Introduced by Robert Koehler. Three housemates try to overcome faulty plumbing, a missing dog, and their own failing relationships in Pereda’s deadpan examination of a young adulthood spent with no funds, no fun, and no love. “Recalls the meditative comedy of Tsai Ming-liang” (Harvard Film Archive). (73 mins)

Friday, December 2, 2011
8:45 p.m. Perpetuum Mobile
Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada, 2010). Nicolás Pereda in person. Pereda’s bemused, down-market city-symphony follows two hapless Mexico City moving-van “entrepreneurs” through a succession of run-ins with clients, friends, and family, all of whom are in perpetual motion—usually just spinning in circles, and rarely heading upwards. (86 mins)

Saturday, December 3, 2011
6:30 p.m. Summer of Goliath
Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada/Netherlands, 2010). Nicolás Pereda in person. All forms of fiction, documentary, fantasy, and reality are under question in Pereda’s particular blend of documentary and fiction, set amidst the intrigues, small-town gossips, and class divides of rural Huilotepec, Mexico. “A microcosm of the Mexican social order” (Filmmaker Magazine). Preceded by the short study of grief, Interview with the Earth. (94 mins)

Saturday, December 3, 2011
6:30 p.m. Summer of Goliath


Sunday, December 4, 2011
3:00 p.m. All Things Were Now Overtaken by Silence
Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada, 2010). Nicolás Pereda in person. Based around a staging of Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz’s poem “First I Dream” by the actress/artist/political activist Jesusa Rodríguez, this experimental video piece investigates the concept and use of silence, space, and stasis as a way to form meaning. (62 mins)

Sunday, December 4, 2011
5:00 p.m. Where Are Their Stories?
Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada, 2007). Nicolás Pereda and Robert Koehler in conversation. Pereda’s remarkable feature debut introduced his deadpan, darkly comic vision of cinema, where the relationships among character, place, and time are elemental. Hoping to prevent his grandmother’s farm from being sold, a young man heads to the city to find his mother—and a lawyer. (73 mins)

Series curated by Kathy Geritz. Afterimage: The Films of Nicolás Pereda is part of our ongoing series Afterimage: Filmmakers and Critics in Conversation, which is made possible by generous funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association® and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees. With thanks to Sandro Fiorin and Alex Garcia at FiGa Films.