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The Desert Bride - Film Review (Cine Latino Film Festival 2017)

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by Jonathon Tonkin (subscribe)
I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
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Films with all the spice from South America
Palace Nova Cinemas is not slowing down in its quest to forever expose Adelaide to the wonders and delights of foreign cinema. Hot off the heels of Cunard British Film Festival which finishes on the 15th of November, Palace Nova Cinemas doesn't pause for breath and moves on to its next cultural exhibition with the Cine Latino Film Festival.

The Cine Latino Film Festival officially starts on the 16th of November with an Opening Night Screening of You're Killing Me Susana. This includes a 6:15pm reception with the screening itself at 7:00pm. However, that is only one of large and expansive selection of films. The festival goes until the 29th of November and in that time will be showing 26 different films from Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. The films range from classy comedies to tense thrillers and heartfelt dramas. A collection of well-crafted stories that capture and epitomise South America and their culture and prestige. There is sure to be something to satisfy your palette for the sight and sounds of the Latino lands.
Cine Latino Film Festival, Film, Latino, Palace Nova Cinema, Film Festival
The Cine Latino Film Festival starts in Adelaide on the 16th and in Sydney on the 14th.

To give you just a taste of what the Cine Latino Film Festival has to offer I have reviewed the Argentinian drama, The Desert Bride.

The Desert Bride is the directorial debut of Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato, who come together to showcase the serene and tender beauty of Argentina and its people. The Desert Bride is a simple story. Teresa, a 54 year old live in maid, is comfortable with her life and place in the world. Things begin to go downhill when the family she works for sells their house. While travelling through Argentina to the new residence, Teresa loses her bag with all her possessions which starts her on a long and arduous journey where she'll meet a series of quaint and quirky characters who help her out the shell she's so accustomed too. As part of her search, she comes across Gringo, a simple travelling salesman, selling clothes and accessories from his motorhome. After Teresa accidentally leaves her bag in his vehicle, he decides to help her by taking her to all the places he picks up his merchandise, thinking he may have left it there.
Cine Latino Film Festival, Film, Latino, Palace Nova Cinema, Film Festival
Paulina Garcia as Teresa.

The story is gentle and slow paced to allow you to take in the beauty of the Argentinian countryside and all the wondrous sights and peculiar people. The environments which are presented in The Desert Bride are a central focus within the film. As Teresa journey's from place to place, you are exposed to landscapes comprised of expansive, desolate deserts. However, Atan and Pivato's choice of shots and locations in this space bring a beauty and calming peacefulness to what is otherwise a harsh wasteland. The sites Teresa visits in the search of her lost bag have tremendous character and personality and paint a picture of Argentina as a place of quaint hidden curiosities.

The Desert Bride is a film which is held up by the strength of its acting and cinematography. The story is designed to be soft and lilting to allow the actors to really bring their strengths to the forefront. The lead role of Teresa is played by Paulina Garcia who is also known as the Great Lady of Chilean theatre and cinema. With 32 onscreen credits to her name, including an ongoing role in the popular show, Narcos, Garcia displays her screen experience and calibre to a precision. Her mannerisms, tone and body language builds Teresa up as a shy, introverted person who is slowly coerced from her comfort zone by her experienced and her persistent guide. Garcia is partnered with Argentinian film veteran, Claudio Rissi, who plays Gringo. Rissi and Garcia show a good amount of chemistry as their characters bounce off of each other as Gringo's good heart tries to get Teresa to expose more of her own.
Cine Latino Film Festival, Film, Latino, Palace Nova Cinema, Film Festival
The Desert Bride is one of many outstanding films at this years festival.

Atan and Pivato's artistry with the camera is really highlighted in this film. Focus and continuity is a big part of how they produce a story. A keen eye will pick up that Teresa almost always remains in focus regards of what is happening in the shot or who is talking. This helps the viewer maintain their attention on Teresa's words, her composure, and face and body language and allows the character to build and gain relevance without excessive dialogue. The directors' framing and use of space is also prevalent in The Desert Bride. Shots will use a wide space to encompass a great emptiness in the mood of the scene or feelings of the characters. Sometimes the frame will be split perfectly down the middle to either complement the focus on each side or draw your attention to one side of the screen. The story presented in The Desert Bride is mostly told in its cinematography. Viewers must really pay attention to absorb all the details that go in each shot to build characters and relationships.

The Desert Bride is only one of many films being presented at the Cine Latino Film Festival. For those who want a strong and meaningful drama, this is absolutely one you want to see. Otherwise, there is so much on offer at this year's festivals I guarantee you'll find something you will enjoy.

For more information on the Cine Latino Film Festival please visit cinelatinofilmfestival.com.au. Tickets are available from Palace Nova Cinema online and in store.
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Why? For great Latino Cinema
When: 16th to the 29th of November
Phone: (08) 8125 9312
Cost: Varies
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