London: The Argentine Film Festival 2014

Weary of the same old multiplex blockbusters? Stuck for weekend ideas yet cannot quite face the tumultuous task of Christmas shopping? London residents take note – the Argentine Film Festival is back for its third outing from 27th to 30th November. Both sides of the river will be represented, with both the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton and the Hackney Picturehouse showcasing the best contemporary filmmaking of Argentina. These two locations, already known for their pied cinematic offerings in stylishly offbeat surroundings are playing host to a jam-packed schedule over four short days. To help you decide how to manage your precious time, here is a brief run-down of some highlights.

Scene from Metegol

Scene from Metegol. Source:

Relatos Salvajes (‘Wild Tales’) is one of the highest grossing films in its native Argentina of recent years. The blackest of black comedies, this film reflects the darkness of co-producer Pedro Almodóvar’s Spanish triumphs. Wild Tales is composed of six shorts that explore people’s drastic responses to dramatic circumstances. Expect a great degree of spontaneity and a healthy dose of violence. Metegol (billed in English as ‘The Unbeatables’ or ‘Underdogs’) represents director Juan J. Campanella’s first foray into animated film after celebrating Oscar-winning success with El Secreto de sus Ojos in 2009. This is a comic tale centred on Argentina’s foremost religion – football. Inspired by the designs of table football, the animated characters are comically distinctive, whilst remaining exceptionally detailed and visually stunning.

The festival also honours the documentary genre, exploring current issues within Argentine society. The observational Años de Calle follows four homeless children over a period of twelve years. This is a humbling and poignant portrait of individuals for whom the typical challenges of growing up in modern-day Argentina are hugely intensified, given their precarious circumstances. A more light-hearted yet equally revealing study of Argentine society is found in Living Stars, with a selection of residents of Buenos Aires filmed for the duration of one music track dancing themselves silly in and around their own homes. This hilarious and heart-warming project bears something of a resemblance to the Where the Hell is Matt? Youtube phenomenon, in which the protagonist is filmed exhibiting awkward dance moves across some of the world’s most iconic places.

Brixton's Ritzy Cinema

Brixton’s Ritzy Cinema. Source: Malc McDonald at

Friendly Spanish students remember – there are still places available to join us this Thursday 24th on the festival’s opening night for Relatos Salvajes – an opportunity not to miss! See the website and/or check your email inbox for details. Meanwhile over in Hackney, the event is sponsored by Bodega Argento’s wines, so arrive for your film in good time to enjoy a feisty Malbec from the renowned Mendoza region, with a backdrop of tango dance demonstrations, naturally!

Ritzy is conveniently located in central Brixton a few steps away from the tube station. Hackney Picturehouse can be found at 270 Mare Street, just 5 minutes walk from Hackney Central Overground. For more information on the festival, visit:

Your Friendly Spanish team

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