By John Anderson
By Nick Schager
By Anna Dimond
By Chris Klimek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Ciara LaVelle
By Scott Foundas
Ibero-American Cinema Competition -- Perhaps the most daring feature of the MIFF, with a chance to discover and baker's dozen of first and second features by directors from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Live-in Maid, with Jorge Gaggero at the helm, brings together Norma Aleandro and Norma Argentina in a heartfelt tale of nostalgia, class confusion, and love in a brutally changing Buenos Aires climate. There are two saucy fantasies from Spain, Alicia's Names (February 7, 10, and 11 at the Regal South Beach), about an even more peculiar live-in maid, this one in a Spanish coastal town; and Body Confusion, a post-Almodóvar bit of madness that pays tribute to Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo while taking apart the pretensions of films and filmmakers. From Helena Solberg, who gave us the impossibly adorable Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business, comes the new Diary of a Provincial Girl, her adaptation of a Brazilian classic novel.
Five Easy Pieces (February 10 at the Regal South Beach) may well be the big surprise among the festival's Classic Films Series, which also includes the cinemascope über-Western Bad Day at Black Rock by John Sturges (February 12 at Cosford) and Anthony Mann's Man of the West (February 13 at Cosford), both in Cinemascope. Can it really be 35 years since the world first saw a hot Jack Nicholson and a mad Karen Black in Bob Rafelson's unlikely American masterpiece?
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