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Pizza, birra, y faso: A very Argentine Film

Title: Pizza, birra, y faso (Pizza, Beer and Smokes)
Released: 1998
Director:: Adrián Caetano and Bruno Stagnaro

Plot Summary

Low-budget Argentine film Pizza, birra, y faso reminded me of Spanish film Tapas, in that it can most be appreciated by those who have spent a significant amount of time in Argentina (or Spain in the case of Tapas) or who are Argentines (or Spaniards) themselves. Even the movie's name pegs it as Argentine, using regional slang birra y faso rather than the more broadly used cerveza and cigarillos.

For those of you who have spent a lot of time in Argentina, you'll appreciate the street scenes, heavy use of local slang, and bringing in elements of everyday routine, like riding buses and taxis in Buenos Aires. The film provides an element of reality and daily life that recent mainstream Argentine films like Nueve Reinas lack.



Title: Camila
Released: 1984
Director: María Luisa Bemberg

Plot Summary

Based on a true story during the Juan Manuel de Rosas dictatorship of Argentina, Camila is a story of scandal, love and politics. The story takes place in 1848, when the young wealthy socialite Camila O'Gorman falls in love with Jesuit priest Father Gutiérrez.

After a secret affair, the couple changes their identities and moves to Corrientes, where they hope to start over and forget about the past. Meanwhile, their story has spread from Santiago to Montevideo and when the couple's true identity is discovered, they are at the mercy of the dictatorship.


Lisandro Aristimuño: Música de la Patagonia para el mundo

escrito por: Eliana Arévalo

Profeta en su tierra

Un refrán muy utilizado en los países de habla hispana reza que nadie es profeta en su tierra. Sin embargo para toda regla hay una excepción y este es el caso de Lisandro Aristimuño, un joven cantante que en los últimos años ha cosechado fama y adeptos en el ambiente musical de la Argentina desde el 2004 cuando grabó su primer CD con su propio sello discográfico, encargándose el mismo de la venta y distribución.


Rudo y Cursi

Title: Rudo y Cursi
Released: 2009

Plot Summary

Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, reunited after Y Tu Mama También, are brothers who live in a rural Mexican town harvesting bananas. Rudo (Luna) spends his free time gambling and losing his wife's blender (licuadora) while Cursi's (Bernal) passion is music, which he sees as his true calling. Both brothers play soccer, and are discovered by an Argentine talent scout named Batuta who take them to DF to try out for division one teams.

Rudo y Cursi is a great story of sibling rivalry, pursuing dreams, and adjusting to success. The acting and storyline are well-done, and is the quality you would expect from a film put together by three greats: Carlos Cuarón (y tu mamá también), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros), and Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth).

Language Learning Notes


Music from Patagonia

While Federico Aubele's music evokes modern life in Buenos Aires, Lisandro Aristimuño's music recall the feeling of his native Patagonia. His music is nostalgic and sweet, his lyrics are often pensive and tranquilo, bringing to mind the extreme countryside, dark colors, and hearty way of life in Argentina's south. From "Tu Nombre y el Mio",

Campo de colores se cubre en tu luz
deja la lluvia caer,
riega los suelos del sur
moja la nueva cosecha que vendrá.

Countryside of colors are covered in your light
Let the rain fall,
water the lands of the south
wet the coming new harvest


Nueve Reinas

Title: Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens)
Released: 2000

Plot Summary

This mainstream Argentine film stars Gastón Pauls and Ricardo Darín who play two con artists trying to heist some rare and valuable stamps. Full of Argentine slang and quirky humor, this film is among my favorites. It provides some interesting plot twists and keeps you guessing who's really getting conned.


Federico Aubele

Although his music in undeniably influenced by his home, Buenos Aires, Federico Aubele describes his own sounds as a hybrid of music throughout the Americas, inspiring the title of his 2007 album Panamericana. His music is nostalgic and tranquilo, often featuring the haunting voice of Natalie Clavier against flamenco guitar, tango bandoneón, and electronic beats. His music offers wide appeal, and if his YouTube comments are any indication, his listeners are not defined by a single language. I truly don't know how you couldn't like his music.


XXY - Argentine Film About Gender in the Modern World

Title: XXY
Released: 2007

Movie and Plot Summary

Being different is rarely easy, especially if you're a 15 year old hermaphrodite. This Argentine film deals with teenage angst and how the decisions we make alter our path.

Fifteen year old Alex faces having to make a decision about her gender when her mother invites a plastic surgeon and his family to stay at their family home by the sea. Alex's father resents the surgeon's presence, and accepts Alex completely as she is. Witnessing the difficulty Alex faces in personal relationships, her father comes to understand the complexity of the situation and society's inability to accept the undefined.

While certainly an interesting film concept, I would recommend XXY to people who like fringe independent movies, not Hollywood moviegoers.

Spanish Language Learning Notes



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