Follow @wuba
Diary of an Unsophisticated Girl at a Sophisticated Film Festival

by Fabiola Feyt


Everyone around me is critiquing films I haven’t seen, praising marginal directors with last names that are impossible to pronounce, and worse (for me), they are talking (out loud) about how much they are spending on their own productions “that take place in the future but are filmed in the north of Argentina; more indigenous, ya know?” Despite all that, the Festival de Cine de Mar del Plata (which today is in the sixth day of its 26th edition) always feels more authentic to me than the BAFICI, although both make me feel slightly unsophisticated and a little incompetent in the art of film discussion. The parade of nerds present at the conference led by Joe Dante, as part of the “Master Talks”, makes me feel more at home. Dante is one of the festival’s central figures: director of both Gremlins (1984 and 1990), and a few more gems that mix science fiction, humor, horror and the absurd, like Piranha (1978), Matinee (1993) and a few epic episodes of “Masters of Horror”. He has been invited to the festival to discuss his last film The Hole 3D as well as his creative processes.

Later on we catch Faust, by Russian director Alexander Sokurov, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival this year. There are a million people waiting outside, 80 percent of which are older than 70. My travel buddy, who came to find tan skaters, wants to die and falls asleep in the first 20 minutes. I hold out for this sick adaptation of Goethe, the final part of a saga that began in 1999 in which Sokurov explores the destructive effects of Hitler, Lenin and the Japanese emperor Hirohito. No happy endings here, surprise surprise.


I haven’t taken a shower in a while. Before getting on the bus to Mar del Plata, the guy that’s lending me the apartment calls to tell me that there is no hot water and due to the bureaucracy between the buildings management and the plumbers we’ll stay dirty for who knows how long. Today we make a decision that’s some might call reprehensible: we are only going to see one film, and not until 1am. In between, we check into a hotel with real showers and then head over to Antares, the mythical artisanal brewery. After a failed flirting attempt with a nerdy bartender he recommends that we go to a trashy rock party (“Ramones trashy or Rolling Stones trashy?”, I ask. “Dead Kennedy’s trashy”, he responds and I fall in love instantly). We get off at Peralta Ramos, the avenue that runs along the coast and confirm that Mar del Plata is the prettiest of pretty cities. The sea is dark, boats in the middle with their faintly shining lights, the water breaking for the boys that surf through the night. Drunk, for variety’s sake, we arrive to the Ambassador to see Straight from Hell Returns, a restored version of the original 1987 film, a punky spaghetti western directed by Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid & Nancy) whose charm is in its cast: Joe Strummer, the head of a gang of thieves that stumble into a town they think is deserted, Dennis Hopper playing his normal nasty self. There is also Courtney Love as a dangerous prego, The Pogues lead a shoot out, and Jim Jarmusch will bust your head right open.

Diary of an Unsophisticated Girl at a Sophisticated Film Festival

bff´s: me and Joe Dante



Today we have four films on the agenda. We run into Joe Dante before going to see his film Movie Orgy, a delirious 4 hour documentary (it was originally 7) that displays all of tv´s pop iconography from the 1950´s to the present. We leave in the middle and lose the contest to see who can last until the end, “I don´t have a prize but I´d like to know who can make it to the final.” We head over to Paseo Diagonal to see Slacker, a film that´s been on Cuevana for ages but that I have to see in a theater. In this 1991 classic Richard Linklater shows the day in the life of a few Austin, Texas personalities whose lifestyles would later take on the same name as the movie. There is almost no physical action, a camera skips from girl to boy, it crosses the street and goes into a concert, there´s a stoned conversation about some profound philosophical question. Bits of Daniel Johnston, Butthole Surfers and Crust make up the soundtrack. It´s a perfect movie, a generational gem, and to celebrate 20 years the producers present Slacker 2011, a sort of homage to vagrants, proto-intellectuals and places that never change. I skip out on the third film, Dragonslayer, because I´m tired of seeing skaters and forgotten youth.


As my own finale to the festival, I go to see The Future, the new film by Miranda July. For years she has occupied a key space in North American independent film and in The Future (or “love between two weaklings (myself included)”) she reaffirms her place as indie director extraordinaire and her own preferred actress. A thirty-something couple grow tired of killing time together and decide to live one atypical month. Nothing happens except that the romance slowly dissolves and that they adopt a cat that can freeze time so that everything doesn´t go to the can. Inevitably, it hurts. If I were a film critic I´d say, “excellent film, don´t go see it”.


Diary of an Unsophisticated Girl at a Sophisticated Film Festival



It´s the end of my mini-vacation. It´s fucking hot outside but there´s no time to go swimming. Massacre is playing at the opening of a new skate shop. My arms and face are tanner. We sit and watch the skaters, who range between 7 and 50 years old. It always happens, when I travel to a city that´s not Buenos Aires everything looks so much fresher and sincere. The movie buffs are different, so are the skaters. I´m writing all this stuff down on little scraps of paper, any idea that pops into my head, making it harder to want to board the bus back home.


Che Polo Welcomes 2nd South American Bike Polo Tournament
Damas Represent at this Year's BAFIM
Ladies of New Folklore Live
Extranjeros #5 - Liza
A Day with Bandoleiro
Video Premiere for Olga's "Avalancha de Sonrisas"
Extranjeros #4 - Adélaïde
Skateboarding in Alpargatas: A Visit to the Republic of Mataderos
Chili Arrives to Buenos Aires
Daisy Gate
A Home for the City's 'Jazz-os'
"Listen Online, Buy It at Mercurio"
Video Premiere for Chancha Vía Circuito's "Amelia"
The Mixed Grill
Future Sounds of Buenos Aires
WUBA Releases First Print Edition
Extranjeros #3 - Gabi
Lulacruza Releases Road Trip Documentary "Esperando el Tsunami"
An Interview with Rolando Bruno, or How to be a Modern Sandro de America?
Moacir, For the Love of Music
Extranjeros #2 - Evy
Discovering the City Through a Lens
Toto la Momposina, Queen of the Cumbia
Bomba Estereo Returns to Buenos Aires
Listen to: Paloma del Cerro
Border Hopping: Astro releases first LP
Extranjeros #1 - Estefanía and Paz
Los Hermanos McKenzie present "Siamés"
Javi Punga, The People´s Singer
Sofía Viola, This Year´s Revelation
My Favorite Night Out: La Fiesta Muda
Val Veneto, Making the Dancefloor Vibrate
Organic City, Pt. V: Green Guerrillas
Party with WUBA
Happy Sundays at the Vuela el Pez
Tomi Lebrero, A Voice for the Curious Porteño
Catnapp, Breakin' All the Rules
Passionaria: Passionately Losing Control with Soema Montenegro
Countdown to Universo Kerpel
Niños en Casting
Organic City, Pt. IV: Community Tune-Up at La Fabricicleta
A Street Art Renaissance
They Call Him Lolo
Pompeya Shakes Up Winter
Fede Lamas and Mónica Heller open BRUTAL
The Bondies present their album "Stereotrip"
Mind Blowing Circus? Yes.
WUBA RADIO: Vol. III - The Lulacruza Mixtape
Behind the Scenes with Flamboyant Paradise
Los Labios
A Night with Marc Van der Aa
Springlizard, Acoustic Dreams
Organic City, Pt. III: Recycled Art at the CC Recoleta
Dietrich Takes Over the IMPA
Systema Solar Closes "Colombian Invasion" Series
Viva Elástico, Pop´s Little Beast
WUBA RADIO: VOL. II - Free Music Weekend
WUBA Raffles Tickets to Bag Raiders
WUBA RADIO: VOL. I - The Colombian Invasion
On Sale & Delivering - Tranq - al - Gatas!
Sidestepper Kicks Off Colombian Invasion
Ulises Conti - Little Concerts
Lustre - A Live Cinema Experience
Late Night Bike Tales
The New Queen Bee
Hippies and Happenings at the MALBA
The Importance of Singing Falsete
Vincent Moon - Temporary Buenos Aires
Kumbia Queers Are Back with New Album !
The Art of Therapy
When All That's Left is a Loaf of Stale Bread
Organic City, Pt. II: A Piece of the Country in the Middle of the City
ZZK's Tremor Brings the Future Sounds of Buenos Aires to WOMEX *Updated!
San Telmo's Secret
Ulises Conti: On the Frontier
The History of Fire
Little Concerts for a Single Listener
The Digital Underground
Dreams for Sale
Be A Part of a Record Label - Support Buenos Aires Emerging Culture!
The Time Bomb
A Film from the Other Side of the Tracks
Between Love and a Hard Place
ArteBA - A Few Observations
ArteBA - Who Said the Art World is Stuffy
Tremor's Search for Sounds
Agriculture in an Art Space?
Lysergic Cumbia
Photographic Paintings
Dirty Dancefloor
Organic City
If You Build It...
Buenos Aires plus Cape Town equals Cross Cultural Fun
Unreal Night @ Aula Magna
Limbo Fest Second Edition
FeatBA Launches
Adelantados: Primal Scream Journei
The (BA) Expat Hustle 2.0
Down by Hipodromo: Illustrating Queer Structures & Actors in Buenos Aires
Tranqui Yanqui Keeps it Rockin
Villa Diamante releases "Empacho Digital"
La Internacional Argentina
Graffitimundo Opens in Buenos Aires
Behind the books: Eloisa Cartonera interview
Casa L'Inc
Zizek Club Hits North America Again
Get Out! With WUBA & The Herald
Mamushka Dogs - Indie en la City
Style Me Buenos Aires - My First BAF
Whats Up Santiago
Riding as a Collective
History and the Universe
Festival Buen Dia WUBA & ZZK Style
Twitter With Us
Chillaxeando w/ Animal Collective
Tremor Drops ZZK Mixtape Vol. 5 & Plays Zizek Club Tonight!
Argentine Urban Art @ You - Part 2
Lola Arias & Ulises Conti: Straight to the heart.
Tranqui Yanqui
Argentine Urban Art @ You
King Kerpel
Get Up on Argentina´s Illustrators, Street Artists & Graphic Designers
Zizek North American Summer Tour
Buck Hunter and the Pig City Porkrollers
Desde Buenos Aires Argentinaaaaaaaaaaaa...El Hijo de la Cumbiaaaaaaa
Gulliver: an artist at the door.
Street Food Buenos Aires - Whats Up?
Barrio Chino - A Weekend of Flavors & Images
Lines, Points, Music, Videos!
Nuevo World Order
Da Rin & Estol @ Benzacar
Zizek on Tour - Starts Today!
The Art of Todd Shalom
Sucio - Tropicore Mix
WUBA Turns 3!
New Rave Made in Argentina
Pop-Art in the Pink House
Puta in loveyou* (clothes, not sex)
Shakespeare was Argentine
Living with a Porteño Roomate - Part 2
Advanced Mixology 101
Fran Di Gianni Mix: Yo Soy Así
No al Cierre de Ciudad Abierta
BASE-V @ Hollywood in Cambodia
Disco Shawn´s Argentine Sabbatical
Refusenik Mix: Kold Krussian
Daleduro is Taking Over
Diplo @ Zizek This Wednesday!
Festival Season a Comin
BsAs by Moise Torne
Zizek Blows Out 1 Year Candle
Chau Old Site!
Living with a Porteño Roomate
Mercado del Progreso