films

By the Fire

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Sat, Apr 21

   9:00 / Kabuki
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Sun, Apr 29

   3:00 / Kabuki
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Wed, May 2

   3:00 / Kabuki
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Sentados frente al fuego

New Directors

Chile/Spain/Argentina/Germany, 2011, 95 min

CREDITS

dir
Alejandro Fernández Almendras
prod
Eduardo Villalobos Pino
scr
Alejandro Fernández Almendras
cam
Inti Briones
editor
Jerónimo Rodríguez, Alejandro Fernández Almendras
mus
Los Jaivas, George Gurdjeff
cast
Daniel Muñoz, Alejandro Yañez, Daniel Candia, Thichi Lobos
source
El Remanso Cine, Gerona 3450, 7790767 Santiago, Ñuñoa, Chile. EMAIL: laloconce@elremansocine.com. WEB: www.sentadosfrentealfuego.cj


Daniel and Alejandra, a working class couple in their late 30s, move to the countryside near the Andes Mountains to begin the next chapter of their life together. Alejandra is ill, and Daniel looks after her, his soul mate. He scratches out a living doing farm work, while dreaming of buying his own plot of land. Over the course of a year, director Alejandro Fernández Almendras captures a life of love and frustration as Alejandra’s condition worsens, and Daniel can do nothing but keep on struggling. Like a growing number of young Latin American filmmakers, Almendras’s naturalistic approach goes beyond the language of commercial cinema, eschewing close-ups and embracing long takes and a mostly nonprofessional cast, to reveal truths that melodrama can’t fathom. Yet his seemingly detached camera divulges deep emotions below the surface in a story that feels lived, not written. “Intimacy goes beyond sex,” Almendras says. With the magnificent Andes as backdrop, Daniel endures his daily labor through the seasons, cutting grass with his sickle, building a sled in the winter. Frustration turns to resignation, and beyond resignation lies hope.

—Miguel Pendás



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Alejandro Fernández Almendras

Alejandro Fernández Almendras was born in Chillán, in rural southern Chile, the setting of his two features to date. His first, Huacho (2009), participated in the Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival and in the Horizontes Latinos section at the San Sebastian Film Festival. His short films have screened in numerous festivals.