Perpetual Motion: The Films of Nicolás Pereda


“A distinctive voice from fertile Mexican soil.”

“Exhilarating ... Unseeable outside film festivals, including Cannes and Venice, Pereda’s fast-amassing oeuvre gets the retrospective treatment.”

Pacific Cinémathèque is pleased to present a retrospective of the films of Nicolás Pereda, a young, emerging Mexican director with a fast-accumulating body of work, a growing international reputation — and a major Canadian connection. Born in Mexico City in 1982, Pereda holds dual Mexican and Canadian citizenship and is a resident of Toronto, where he studied filmmaking at York University. His meticulous, minimalist, deadpan films, shot in Mexico and resolutely Mexican in their intimate attention to class, culture, social structure, and family relations in Mexican society, have been financed with both Mexican and Canadian money. They also showcase the director’s extraordinary collaboration with actors Teresa Sánchez and Gabino Rodríguez, who, in each of the director’s four dramatic features to date, have played versions of a mother and son struggling with the kitchen-sink realities of working-class life in contemporary Mexico.

“One of the rising stars of contemporary Mexican cinema, Nicolás Pereda, at the tender age of 29, has quickly amassed a body of work comprising five extraordinary feature-length films and one short. Widely screened — and acclaimed — on the film festival circuit, they have enjoyed little exposure in North America until now. Very much of his moment, Pereda combines aspects of some of the most notable trends in contemporary world cinema, including elements of deadpan minimalism, slacker cinema, the documentary/fiction hybrid, and long-take formalism. And like Tsai Ming-Liang, Pedro Costa, and Jia Zhang-ke, his work has focused on a handful of actors who reappear from film to film, playing fascinating variations on their previous roles. Drawing a great deal of their power from these actors’ remarkable presence, and from his own evocative sense of place, Pereda’s films are among the chief testaments to the incredible vitality and creativity of Mexican cinema today.”   ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES, NEW YORK

“More than most young directors — and even young auteurs — Nicolás Pereda’s films lend themselves to being viewed together ... The overwhelming effect is of experiencing one grand, unfolding cinema exploration, revealed in succinct sections all under 90 minutes ... While each film emphatically stands on its own, each with its own thrusts, quirks, obsessions, and concerns, they flow together and interconnect, forming by the end of viewing a kind of gestalt which is rare for a director born as recently as 1982.”   ROBERT KOEHLER, CINEMA SCOPE

Acknowledgements: Pacific Cinémathèque is grateful to Sandro Fiorin, Alex Garcia, and Cristina Garza of FiGa Films (Los Angeles) for organizing this retrospective and making its Vancouver presentation possible.


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Recent Showings

"A bold, confident, and formally radical first feature that confirms Mexico’s position as a home to a major wave of talented young filmmakers."
An intimate and offbeat portrait of a young man in search of his lost dog and the cause of the widening rift with his moody girlfriend.
This wry, minimalist mix of slacker film and family melodrama was named Best Mexican Feature at the Guadalajara Film Festival in 2010.
Pereda’s latest award-winning feature, lauded as a "wholly original work," and a much-praised short.
A contemplative film-about-a-film, observing a production crew setting up and filming celebrated Mexican actress-director Jesusa Rodríguez.