Best Chilean Films of 2012

by Jaime Grijalba.

Whenever the time comes to do a list of the best films of the year, I think this is the first time that I’ll attempt to do a separate one for chilean cinema, and this is because this was the first year of a failed experiment of sorts, one that made me watch (or want to watch) every chilean movie that would get released in 2012 and then review them. I didn’t achieve that, I didn’t see every movie and I didn’t review every each one of them, and specially with all the festivals that I attended, it made the whole endeavour a bit impossible. I promess that during 2013 (as this is n0w a stablished thing) I will see all the chilean movies that play in theaters and I shall do different things/reports for festivals, besides the aggregation method that I’ve been using for this blog. I hope you guys enjoy. I’ll divide this feature in 2 top 5 lists, one for the best chilean movies released theatrically in Chile during 2012 and another for the “pure” 2012 chilean films that I’ve seen this year. Enjoy.

Theatrical List

5. El Eco de las Canciones (2010, Antonia Rossi)

“The director and editors manage to give it a semi-coherent unity to the enormous quantity of material to give us not a message but a mental and sensitive experiencel.”

4. No (2012, Pablo Larraín)

“While I think that many choices could’ve been different and that maybe we didn’t have the best governments after a dictatorship, it is still democracy and we get to choose amongst a fixed list the candidates we want…”

3. Verano (2011, José Luis Torres Leiva)

I didn’t have the chance to review this film in my blog because I saw it a bit late down the road in Youtube thanks to the upload of the Rotterdam Film Festival. It’s an impressive piece of characters and relations, specially between couples and friends, relationships that feel real and are greatly enhanced by great performances. Glad that I saw it.

2. Hija (2011, María Paz González)

Another one that I didn’t have the chance to review for this blog, but it’s an amazing documentary with many elements about it, it feels like a fiction, and it even has a dissapointing ending like most fiction movies have! It’s a search about the family and one of the most inventive made in Chile in a while. Great to see with an audience.

1. Mi Último Round (2011, Julio Jorquera Arriagada)

A complete surprise, and another one that I didn’t have the chance to review, as I saw it on TV a bit late on the game, just in the middle of me writing my first feature length script and with a lot of reviews missing from my lineup. So, I just want to say that this is an emotional picture, one that delivers its hits to the gut, a emotional film that I’m glad that found its audience here in Chile.

Pure 2012 List

5. Educación Física (2012, Pablo Cerda)

I saw this on the new site “Cinépata” for online movies from Latin America, and this was a complete surprise, with a good story, and saw at the same time, a bit too late for me to have a chance to review it fully. I hope that Pablo Cerda keeps making movies and if he does so, he can become an important director in a soon future.

4. De jueves a domingo (2012, Dominga Sotomayor)

“The script and story overall is like the perfect experiment and recipe for success and overall assimilation from the audience, because the thing is that most of us can say that they’ve had some sort of family vacation/travel where there’s been some fights and dissapointments, specially when you are a kid…”

3. Las mujeres del pasajero (2012, Patricia Correa, Valentina Mac-Pherson)

“As an anthropological document, it triumphs exceptionally…”

2. Las Cosas Como Son (2012, Fernando Lavanderos)

One of the most impressive and surprising finds that I had this year was watching three truly great chilean films, and above all, this was the most surprising of them all, because it was a fiction, a realm in which us chileans don’t usually are great at. This is a complex and emotionally involving film that feels real and is performed with brilliance. Incredible.

1. Where the Condors Fly (2012, Carlos Klein)

“What elevates this film to something beyond the whole mumbo-jumbo about film, filmmaking, ideas and all that meta stuff, is that the persona of Kossakovsky is one of the most intriguing, interesting and funny in recent years.”

Movies that I missed in their Theatrical Release:

· ¿Alguien ha visto a Lupita? (2012, Gonzalo Justiniano)
· Bahía Azul (2008, Nicolás Acuña)
· Caleuche: El llamado del mar (2012, Jorge Olguín)
· Esqueibor, historia del skate en Chile (2012, Rolo Castro)
· La lección de pintura (2011, Pablo Perelman)
· Mapa Para Conversar (2012, Constanza Fernández)
· Marcelo, La Mafia y La Estafa (2011, Aníbal Herrera, Alejandro Salázar)
· La noche de enfrente (2012, Raúl Ruiz)
· Otra película de amor (2011, Edwin Oyarce)
· Pérez (2012, Álvaro Viguera)
· Paseo de Oficina (2012, Roberto Artiagoitia)
· La Primavera de Chile (2012, Cristian del Campo Cárcamo)

Movies that I didn’t have the chance to Review due to time constraints:

· Bonsái (2011, Cristián Jiménez) 7/10
· El circuito de Román (2011, Sebastián Brahm) 7/10
· Sal (2011, Diego Rougler) 6/10 (also the worst chilean theatrical release I saw all year)


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