San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Moving Pictures

Genre-bending Costa Rican films receive free screenings in San José

The camera pans over gravestones. Ominous statues loom against a moody sky. Flecks of rain spritz past the camera. Such gothic imagery might seem normal in, say, an Irish drama, but “Carmina Fide” is a local film: Costa Rican filmmaker Jonathan Espinoza Mazariegos shot the two-hour documentary over the course of five years, using the Cementerio General in Cartago as his muse. You can catch a screening of “Carmina Fide” on March 11 at the Centro de Cine headquarters in Barrio Amón (Info: Centro de Cine website).

Such an experimental feature is emblematic of Costa Rica’s expanding film scene, and this week is a great time to catch some Tico flicks: Veritas University is screening “Panorama,” a film festival showcasing recent Costa Rican cinema. The best part? The films are free to attend. Here’s this week’s lineup:

“Muñecas Rusas” (“Matryoshka Dolls”)

Filmed in stark black and white on a studio set, “Muñecas Rusas” takes its name from the Russian nesting dolls. Created by Jurgen Ureña, “Muñecas Rusas” uses an intensely original avant-garde style to describe a web of complex relationships. (March 10)

“Rosado Furia”

This disorienting film follows the story of a troubled young Asian woman. Filmed in Singapore and performed in English, Costa Rican director Nicolás Pacheco’s “Rosado” wowed audiences at the Costa Rican International Film Festival, winning this year’s award for Best Film. (March 11)

“Maikol Yordan de Viaje Perdido”

It is generally agreed that “Maikol Yordan” is the most popular local film in Costa Rican history – and it may be the most financially successful Central American film as well. How did the globe-trotting comedy by TV sketch group La Media Docena do so well? By telling the story of a clueless campesino, of course. If you haven’t yet seen “Maikol Yordan,” this may be your last chance to catch it on the big screen. (March 12)

All films will be screened at Veritas University campus, Zapote. 7 p.m. Free. Info: RedCultura.

Contact Robert Isenberg at risenberg@ticotimes.net

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