Birds of Passage (Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, 2018) – Ithaca Fantastik 2018

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Birds of Passage.

In 1970s La Guaira, Colombia, an indigenous Wayuu family gets swept up in the newly-booming marijuana trade and their lives and traditions are forever fractured when greed and passion overtake their tribe’s honor. Based on the true origins of drug trafficking between the United States and Colombia, filmmakers Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego resist the lurid glamour of narco-crime cinema and instead present a film alive with ethnographic authenticity and Shakespearean tragedy. Brilliantly colorful and fiercely prideful, Birds of Passage traces the familiar downfall of a criminal empire in an unfamiliar setting.

Disc Features:

  • 4K digital master, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Tension and Revision, a MUBI interview with directors Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego at Cannes
  • The Word Messengers, new interviews with the cast and crew
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang

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Crisis Jung (Baptiste Gaubert and Jérémie Hoarau, 2018) – Ithaca Fantastik 2018

A MAELSTROM OF METAPHYSICAL MAYHEM AND LIBIDINAL LUNACY

Welcome to a world ravaged by explosions of violence, a wasteland without love. Jung, the broken-hearted hero of legend, embarks on an epic quest to reunite with his lost love Maria who was savagely decapitated by the enormous titan Little Jesus. Along his bloody path, Jung finds allies in a bearded maiden, a massive cannibal, and a mysterious drifter and faces challenges in Little Jesus’ minions, encounters that force Jung to face deep questions that oppose his preconceptions of others and, more importantly, his understanding of himself. Armed with the mastery of “ten big punches” and the transformative power of “VIOLENCE,” can Jung subdue the monstrous virtues of Little Jesus, save his fair Maria, and fulfill his legacy? Find out in ten easy episodes.

Produced by renegade French animation studio Bobbypills, Crisis Jung is a perversely entertaining riff on 1980s children’s adventure-fantasy animation, one that imbues its grandiose conflicts and easy moral lessons with pansexual twists and body horror trauma.

Special Edition Contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • French and English audio tracks
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Complete storyboards
  • Stills gallery
  • Feature trailer
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring production design artwork and new writing by illustrator and programmer Rupert Bottenberg

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IF…. An Ithaca Fantastik Preview

Ithaca Fantastik kicks off tonight! This seventh edition of IF runs for ten days and offers a superb collection of films that it describes as dwelling “in that unsettling terrain between the uncanny and the marvelous” and represents “the most exciting and intriguing, mind-bending, beautiful, and flat-out weird films.” MMC! is pleased to be covering the 2018 Ithaca Fantastik, so let’s take a quick look at some tantalizing trailers!

Opening night kicks off with Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s Birds of Passage (2018). Set in 1970s Columbia and concerning an indigenous family’s role in the booming marijuana trade, this crime drama blends cultural specificity, poetic surrealism, and all-too human greed. Guerra and Gallego’s follow-up to 2015’s spell-binding Embrace of the Serpent looks like a must-see take on the drug trade.

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Trailer Tuesday

The Criterion Collection’s announcements for January 2019 look great, but it’s the contrast between the trailers of two forthcoming films that I find particularly intriguing this month. On the one hand, we have the simple, elegant, unadorned trailer for Abbas Kiarostami’s 24 Frames (2017). Painterly and quietly compositional in its attention, the trailer ably expresses Kiarostami’s focus on “movement, perception, and time.” More non-narrative films go Criterion please!

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