Summer of Goliath
(Verano de Goliat)
Mexico/Canada/Netherlands 2010. Director: Nicolás Pereda
Cast: Teresa Sánchez, Gabino Rodríguez, Juana Rodríguez
An award winner at Venice, Nicolás Pereda’s latest, an evocative, atmospheric portrait of life and simmering strife in a small, sweltering Mexican community, is an unusual fusion of fictional passages, documentary-style devices, and dramatic re-creations. Pereda regulars Teresa Sánchez and Gabino Rodríguez team up in another variation on the mother-and-son roles they’ve played in three previous Pereda films. Here, Teresa is a distraught woman convinced her cheating husband has abandoned her for good, while Gabino is an aimless soldier with nothing much to do but harass the townsfolk. Meanwhile, a local teen nicknamed Goliath is suspected of murder. “A wholly original work ... Pereda enlivens the story with sudden scenes of comedy in which characters confront various absurdities. At times, the performers are subjects in a documentary; at others, they are characters in fiction. [An] inspired blurring of real and imaginary ... producing a truly visceral experience” (Diana Sanchez, Toronto I.F.F.). “Combines rigour and voluptuousness ... Some viewers will be reminded of better-known directors like Jia Zhang-ke and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, [but] Pereda sets himself apart” (Mike Hale, New York Times). Colour, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles. 76 mins.
Interview with the Earth
(Entrevista con la tierra)
Mexico 2009. Director: Nicolás Pereda
Cast: Amalio Miranda, Nico Miranda, Eufracia Miranda
Pereda’s much-praised short offers a poignant, poetic blurring of fiction and documentary as it relates the tale of two young brothers reacting to the accidental death of a friend. The two boys — and one entire scene — reappear in Pereda’s later feature Summer of Goliath. “One of Pereda’s finest accomplishments ... A mesmerizing study of grief ... Pereda’s fascinating short expands the ambiguity between fiction and non-fiction explored in his features, with its non-professional cast lending the film a deep authenticity and power which is paradoxically strengthened by the film’s open acknowledgements of its own deliberate artifice” (Harvard Film Archive). Colour, Digibeta video, in Spanish with English subtitles. 18 mins.
"Combined with straightforward narrative segments filmed in the quotidian, slow-moving international-art-house mode, they contribute to an atmosphere that combines rigor and voluptuousness."New York Times | full review
"Pereda could very easily be in league with those cinematic titans he reveres, but more importantly, highlights the personal choices and singular ideas that might eventually separate him from them."Slant | full review