International Competition – Cutting Edge

La fiera y la fiesta

Holy Beasts

Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas

Dominican Republic, Argentinia, Mexico 2019. 90 Min.
color. DCP. Sp/E/F/e

The work of the Dominican-Mexican directing duo Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas has developed in a rather unpredictable way: from the fleeting, highly neorealistic poetry of Cochochi (2007) and Jean Gentil (2010) to the stylised and labyrinthine delirium of their current masterpiece, La fiera y la fiesta. One would hardly suspect that this film, too, has a non-fictional foundation: the protagonist, a filmmaker, around whose imagery and thoughts everything revolves. Jean-Louis Jorge was a relative of Guzmán; many of his companions make an appearance in the film, and we also get to see many extracts from his works, above all La serpiente de la luna de los piratas (1973) and Mélodrame (1976). Geraldine Chaplin plays another filmmaker, who has to do her friend a favour: to direct a production based on Jorge’s last book – and soon one disaster follows the other… La fiera y la fiesta is an extraordinary feat: on the one hand, we can let ourselves get carried along as we enjoy its camp cinematic intoxication – on the other hand, if we read it accordingly, the film works perfectly as a film-historical essay, in which we learn a lot about an obscure auteur. This is not like something you’ve ever seen before! (om)


DirectorLaura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas
ScreenplayLaura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas
CinematographyIsrael Cárdenas
EditingAndrea Kleinman, Israel Cárdenas, Pablo Chea
MusicLeandro de Loredo
WithGeraldine Chaplin, Udo Kier, Luis Ospina, Jaime Piña
ProducersRafael Elías Muños, Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas