8th Los Angeles Latino film festival 2004Los Angeles Latino Film Festival 2004

8th Los Angeles Latino film festival 2004

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Los Angeles Latino film festival
Hollywood, California

Duration: July 16-25
City: Hollywood
Country: USA
Edition: 8th/2004
Venues: Egyptian Theatre
Web: LA Latino film festival
For the Los Angeles Latino film festival 2006 coverage & reviews, click here

Plume Noire was at the 8th Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival in Hollywood. The L.A. Latino Film Festival was fun, laid-back, unpretentious and the staff was very friendly. Each time the co-founder of the festival, Edward James Olmos, appeared in the Egyptian courtyard, he drew applauds from the crowd waiting in line. There were over 100 films available from around the world and various genres.

Arcibel's Game Arcibel's Game
With El Juego de Arcibel, Argentine director Alberto Lecchi has crafted a compelling allegory of revolution and the Latin American left.

The Debutantes The Debutantes
In Los Debutantes, while director Andrés Waissbluth has successfully created a seedy nightlife, his vision of Chilean yakuza isn't entirely convincing and his John Woo finale is too over the top to take seriously.

Desnudos Desnudos
The director's desire to approach nudity as a natural facet of acting is obvious onscreen, and he certainly succeeds at this level thanks to the cast's glorious lack of inhibition.

Matta: The Eye of the Surrealist Matta: The Eye of the Surrealist
There is a dimension to this documentary which, despite its flaws, makes it a unique piece: Matta: the Eye of the Surrealist is a historic work—at least in the field of art.

Punto Y Raya Punto Y Raya
Part buddy movie, part political satire, Punto Y Raya follows the adventures of an unlikely duo, a crook enrolled by force in the Venezuelian army and a honest and naive Columbian serving his country.

Sex, Love & Betrayal Sex, Love & Betrayal
Sex, Love & Betrayal, a romantic comedy from Brazil, is a variation on a recent Mexican hit, transposed in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Sex With Love Sex With Love
Opening with an amusing parents-teacher sexual education meeting at a school in Santiago, Sex With Love then follows its protagonists to the heart of their homes, as they deal with their own sexuality.

Los Angeles Latino Film Festival Comedy Shorts Program 2 Comedy Shorts Program 2
The program included 7 comedy shorts of various lengths and styles.

Gabi Award Night

I usually don't attend film festival galas as Plume Noire's vocation is to focus on films rather than on red carpet arrivals. But given that the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival is above all a cultural affair, that the recipient of this year's Gabi Lifetime Achievement Award was Rita Moreno, the first and only Latina actress to win a string of awards from film and TV to theater and music, and that the event was to have a Cuban flavor, I courageously decided to hit that red carpet ride of festivities.

After a rather discreet red carpet arrival, the crowd gathered in the Egyptian theatre where co-founders Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice, Mi Familia) and Marlene Dermer introduced Rita Moreno and showed clips from her versatile career. I won't pretend to be very familiar with her work, but I certainly remember her in West Side Story (my dad made me watch that at an early age—he actually remembers her even better!). After she received her award and made a short speech one of her films, Four Seasons, was shown, a rather entertaining comedy drama about three couples going on vacation together back in the 70's.

When the lights came back on, the event moved to the Egyptian courtyard, where we were treated with tasty Cuban food, while beautiful "chicas" heated up the impromptu dance floor with their moves to Cuban music and salsa. This was a weird but exciting mix, seeing Cuban flags hanging on the Egyptian's hieroglyphic walls, but certainly a classy event full of beautiful people—and quite a contrast with the American Cinematheque's usual gatherings of geeks for Godzilla retrospectives. After the cake was sliced, the crowd started to disperse and after the gala started to wrap up around 1a.m., it was time to go.

As the festival is a celebration of Latin American culture, attending the gala is undeniably a part of the experience and the event was as warm and colorful as a European gringo like me had expected it to be.

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