Best Chilean Films of 2013

by Jaime Grijalba.

This is the second time that I do one of these lists on my blog, a list of the best Chilean movies of the year, and as last year I’ll divide them in different groups, as well as this time add some other stuff. Last year I managed to see most of the 2013 theatrical Chilean releases and I wish I saw more of them (I’ll list those I’ve missed) so I could review them all (I couldn’t review all of them either, I’ll list them as well). I’ll add a litle nugget as well as some spoilers. Last year I started writing for, establishing myself as the one in charge of Chilean cinema for the rest of the world, and I wrote this post a few days ago naming 10 important Chilean films of 2013, so you can read that in the meantime while I start mentioning the best films of the year.

I won’t include lengthy capsule reviews, because that’s for my top films of 2013 list, but I’ll provide links to reviews if available or short capsules if needed. The first list is for the 5 best Chilean films released theatrically in Chile in 2013, while the second list is for the 5 best Chilean films released in 2013 in any way, shape or form (festivals or others).

Theatrical List

5. Il futuro (The Future) (2013, Alicia Scherson)

“… his is one of the chilean films to look to when we are watching what we actually do and how we can do it to give a better image of our directors and actors…”

4. Calafate, zoológicos humanos (Calafate, Human Zoos) (2010, Hans Mülchi)

“… Maybe the most impressive and mournful moments is when the film reproduces the chain of emails between the government officials and one of the academics of the university. It hurts. There’s a debt in Chile towards its indigenous tribes, and we ought to make something out of this documentary, might this be a lesson, but also a reminder that there’s a lot more to solve and see here in this Chile of ours. We need justice.”

3. Pena de muerte (Death Penalty) (2012, Tevo Díaz)

“… with a distinct visual style that mixes animation and post-produced filmed footage to retell a modern audience about how power can even buy the killing of ‘lesser’ people in the eyes of those who have the power and the mind to think that way.”

2. Las cosas como son (Things As They Are) (2012, Fernando Lavanderos Montero)

“This is a strong and powerful drama about the power of trust between people, especially when there’s the barrier of language, social status, background and culture. It’s an intersection of three different universes, collapsing and trying to influence one another, like a system that infects one another, each particular element of the system with a particular disease that spreads uniformly to the other elements, and vice versa…”

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.”

Pure 2013 List

5. Crystal Fairy (2013, Sebastián Silva)

“The best of the two films that Silva shown and released this year, the other being the dissapointing yet gorgeous and well performed “Magic Magic” (2013). This one goes on a much simpler route, being more improvised than anything and at the same time it manages so much more because of that. A trandescendent story about addiction and friendships that go south, how to treat and be treated, it’s like a treatise on friendship and civility by showing you all the bad examples, it’s truly one of the strangest films in this year when it comes to Chilean cinema.”

4. Soy mucho mejor que vos (I’m So Much Better Than You) (2013, Che Sandoval)

“Premiered in some festivals this year, including BAFICI and SANFIC, where it received some praise. This is a sequel to the first film of Che Sandoval, where this movie follows another schmuck that recently got into a fight with his son and wife, and goes on a nocturn trip through Santiago, the capital of Chile, just to find sex from anyone, only to find dissapointment and his own coward nature. It’s an experience to see how serious this movie turns when it moves away from its comedic roots.”

3. Ver y escuchar (See and Listen) (2013, José Luis Torres Leiva)

“With gorgeous black and white cinematography and a stupendous direction, this movie works more like an experiment, in which Torres Leiva tries to find beauty in the denial of the senses.”

2. Naomi Campbel (2013, Nicolás Videla, Camila José Donoso)

“This is maybe the most important Chilean film of the year, and while it’s not the best, it’s maybe the one that most clearly shows that the new filmmakers are making more interesting and bold films than the now old new Chilean filmmakers of the new wave.”

1. Il futuro (The Future) (2013, Alicia Scherson)

Yes, the best Chilean film of 2013 that I saw, was the fifth best Chilean film released in theaters in 2013. It wasn’t a truly extraordinary year unlike 2012.

Movies that I missed in their Theatrical release:

· El Derechazo (The Right Strike) (2013, Lalo Prieto, Jalil Riff)
· Dungún, la lengua (Dungún, the Language) (2012, Pamela Pequeño)
· La jubilada (The Retired) (2011, Jairo Boisier)
· Mis peores amigos: Promedio rojo el regreso (My Worst Friends) (2013, Nicolás López)
· Mitómana (Myth Maker) (2009, José Luis Sepúlveda, Carolina Adriazola)
· Morales, El Reformador (Morales, the Reformer) (2012, Víctor Cubillos)
· La mujer de Iván (Iván’s Woman) (2011, Francisca Silva)
· Sentados frente al fuego (Sitting in front of the fire) (2011, Alejandro Fernández Almendras)
· Sonidos de una joya (Sounds of a Jewel) (2012, Bárbara Trejo)
· El Tío (The Uncle) (2013, Mateo Iribarren)
· Tres mujeres lindas (Three Beautiful Women) (2011, Margarita Poseck, Eugenia Poseck)
· Zoológico (Zoo) (2011, Rodrigo Marín)

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

· El Babysitter (The Babysitter) (2013, Gonzalo Badilla, Sebastián Badilla) 3/10

Hope that next year I end up seeing all the Chilean movies released in the year. Here’s to a great year at the movies in Chile!

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