Ilusiones opticas-top

A decade of comedy in Latin American cinema

Wednesdays at 8 PM, from January 23 to February 27, 2013


Free screenings at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

600 River St. Tel: 512-974-3772 [map]

All films are subtitled in English



Full Schedule:

bolivar-soy-yoWednesday, January 23, 8 pm

Bolivar soy yo! / Bolivar is Me!

Colombia, 2002, Dir. Jorge Alí Triana[Read more]





Wednesday, January 30, 8 pm

Buena Vida (Delivery) / Good Life Delivery

Argentina, 2004, Dir. Leonardo Di Cesare [Read more]




temporada-de-patosWednesday, February 6, 8 pm

Temporada de patos / Duck Season

Mexico, 2004, Dir. Fernando Eimbcke [Read more]




o-cheiro-do-raloWednesday, February 13, 8 pm

O Cheiro do Ralo / Drained

Brazil, 2006, Dir. Heitor Dalia [Read more]




25wattsWednesday, February 20, 8 pm

25 Watts

Uruguay, 2001, Dir. Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll [Read more]




Ilusiones_opticasWednesday, February 27, 8 pm

Ilusiones Opticas / Optical Illusions

Chile, 2009, Dir. Cristián Jiménez [Read more]


About the films / Acerca de las películas

Wednesday, January 23, 8 pm

bolivar-soy-yoBolivar soy yo! / Bolivar is Me!
A film by Jorge Alí Triana
2002, Colombia/France, Comedy/Drama/History, 93 min
Starring: Robinson Díaz, Amparo Grisales, Jairo Camargo, Fanny Mikey, Gustavo Angarita, María Eugenia Dávila, Carlos Barbosa, Alejandra Borrero

The case of actor Santiago Miranda (Robinson Díaz), who played the role of Simon Bolivar on a soap opera, and identified with such intensity with El Libertador and his ideals that he refused to follow the script, thus becoming apparently confused between reality and the character’s fantasy, yet certainly emerged illuminated in the face of the political games and media manipulation exercised by his contemporaries in power. BOLIVAR SOY YO! is like a voice from the South American subconscious; a lens through which to imagine how it would be were El Libertador alive today, and reconsider the popular imaginary of history, from the conquest to independence, to present day.

El caso del actor Santiago Miranda (Robinson Díaz) quien interpretara a Simón Bolivar en una telenovela y se identificara con tal intensidad con el Libertador y sus ideales,  que se rehusara a seguir el guión, y  resultara aparentemente confundido entre la realidad y la fantasía de su personaje, mas ciertamente  emergiese también iluminado ante los juegos  políticos y la manipulación de los medios de comunicación que ejercen  sus contemporáneos en el poder. BOLIVAR SOY YO! es como una voz del subconsciente sudamericano, una fuente para imaginar lo que pensaría el Libertador si viviera en nuestros días, y reconsiderar el imaginario popular histórico de la conquista a la independencia, y hasta nuestros días.

[Read more]


Wednesday, January 30, 8 pm


Buena Vida (Delivery) / Good Life Delivery
A film by Leonardo Di Cesare
2004, Argentina/France/Netherlands, Comedy/Drama, 93 min
Starring: Ignacio Toselli, Moro Anghileri, Oscar Núñez, Alicia Palmes, Sofía da Silva

Pato (Moro Anghileri) works at a gas station and accepts a room for rent from Hernán (Ignacio Toselli). Hernán lives alone in the family house since the recent departure of the last members of his family, who emigrated abroad in search of better fortune. Soon, Pato and Hernán settle into an idyllic romance until one good day, Pato’s family appears, camping out in the living room. Her father Venancio (Oscar Nuñez), who is determined to get ahead of the crisis by making churros, along with her mother, and little Lili, Pato’s daughter to Hernán’s greater surprise. The family claims that it will only be for a few days, but soon it becomes evident that the occupation is going to prolong. Old Venancio sets up the bakery right in the living room, and no sooner than it takes for Hernán to lose his job, there is a resident baker and a whole business enterprise running in his house.


Pato (Moro Anghileri) es empleada en una gasolinera y acepta rentar una habitación en la casa de Hernán (Ignacio Toselli). Hernán vive solo en la vieja casa familiar después de la partida de sus últimos familiares en busca de mejores oportunidades en el extranjero. Pronto, Pato y Hernán se instalan en su romántico idilio hasta que un buen día, la familia de Pato aparece de acampada en la sala de la casa. Su padre Venancio (Oscar Nuñez), empeñado en salir de la crisis con un negocio de churros, acompañado por su madre y la pequeña Lili, hija de Pato para mayor sorpresa de Hernán. La familia pretende que sólo serán unos días, pero pronto se hace evidente que la ocupación será prolongada. El viejo Venancio instala la fábrica de churros en plena sala, y en menos de lo que Hernán pierde el trabajo ya hay un panadero residente y toda un quilombo en casa.

[Read more]


Wednesday, February 6, 8 pm
temporada-de-patosTemporada de patos / Duck Season
A film by Fernando Eimbcke
2004, Mexico, Comedy, 90 min.
Starring: Daniel Miranda, Diego Cataño, Danny Perea, Enrique Arreola

14 year olds Flama (Daniel Miranda) and Moko (Diego Castaño) are ready to spend the perfect Sunday afternoon, left alone at Flama’s apartment with a supply of soda, video games, and money for  pizza money. But their teenage bliss is interrupted by unexpected events, then crashed by their neighbor Rita (Danny Perea) who needs to bake a cake, and Ulises (Enrique Arreola), the pizza deliveryman who refuses to leave unpaid after being 11 seconds late on his delivery. As the afternoon goes by and the kids are unable to kill time in the usual way, they inevitably walk the tightrope of adolescent existence.


Flama (Daniel Miranda) y Moko (Diego Castaño) están listos para pasar una perfecta tarde de domingo. Solos en el apartamento de Flama, con un suplemento de refresco, videojuegos, y dinero para pizza. Pero su éxtasis adolescente se ve interrumpido por eventos inesperados, e invadido por Rita (Danny Perea), la vecina que necesita hornear un pastel, y Ulises (Enrique Arreola), el repartidor de pizza que no se quiere ir antes de que le paguen, después de llegar once segundos tarde a su entrega. Al pasar la tarde, los chicos son incapaces de matar el tiempo de la usual manera, e inevitablemente caminan por la cuerda floja de la existencia adolescente.

[Read more]


Wednesday, February 13, 8 pm
o-cheiro-do-raloO Cheiro do Ralo / Drained
A film by Heitor Dhalia
Based on the novel by Lourenço Mutarelli
2006, Brazil, Comedy, 112 min.
Starring: Selton Mello, Paula Braun

Lourenço (Selton Mello) is a pawnshop owner who enjoys playing power games with his clients, always in control of the situation when people come to surrender their possessions. To him, the world does not seem to be  much more than a collection of objects that can be bought for a little money. When he meets the new beautiful waitress (Paula Braun) at the diner where he frequently eats, Lourenço becomes obsessed with her well-shaped buttocks. Then a terrible smell begins emanating from the drain in his office. The progressively bad stench and Lourenço’s inability to express his feelings to the waitress slowly spin his life out of control.


Lourenço (Selton Mello) es el dueño de una casa de empeños quien disfruta de los juegos de poder que ejecuta con sus clientes, siempre en control de la situación cuando la gente viene a rendir sus posesiones. Para él, el mundo no parece ser  más que una colección de objetos que se pueden comprar por un poco de dinero. Cuando conoce a la nueva mesera (Paula Braun) en el café que frecuenta para comer, Lourenço se obsesiona con su bien formado trasero. Pero un terrible olor comienza a emanar del drenaje de su oficina. El olor empeora con los días, y la  inhabilidad de Lourenço para expresar su sentimientos por la mesera, poco a poco arrojan su vida fuera de control.

[Read more]


Wednesday, February 20, 8 pm
25watts25 Watts
A film by Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll
2001, Uruguay, Comedy/Drama, 92 min.
Starring: Daniel Hendler, Jorge Temponi, Alfonso Tort

Three slackers in suburban Montevideo go about the weekend doing almost nothing. Leche (Daniel Hendler) should be studying for his Italian language exam, but is more concerned with hitting on  his teacher; Javi (Jorge Temponi) can’t wait to get rid of his job announcing sales for the local convenience store from a car with a loudspeaker strapped to the roof; and Seba (Alfonso Tort) is mostly worried about which porn film he should rent from the local video store. No one has anything important to do, other than to survive the weekend.


Tres jóvenes del Montevideo suburbano pasan el fin de semana haciendo casi nada. Leche (Daniel Hendler) debe estudiar para su clase  de italiano, pero está más ocupado en enamorar a  la maestra; Javi (Jorge Temponi) no puede esperar a largarse de su trabajo anunciando ofertas por un altavoz desde el auto; y Seba (Alfonso Tort) está más preocupado acerca de cuál película porno conseguirá en la renta de video del barrio. Nadie tiene nada importante que hacer, además de sobrevivir el fin de semana.

[Read more]


Wednesday, February 27, 8 pm
Ilusiones_opticasIlusiones ópticas / Optical Illusions
A film by Cristián Jiménez
2009, Chile, Comedy/Drama, 105 min.
Starring: Iván Álvarez de Araya, Gregory Cohen, Eduardo Paxeco, Paola Lattus, Álvaro Rudolphy, Valentina Vargas

Juan (Iván Álvarez de Araya) is a blind man who has recently recovered his eyesight through surgery, but he may prefer to continue being blind. Manuela (Paola Lattus) is a young woman disappointed with her body and her lack of luck with men, and wonders if cosmetic surgery would change her situation. Rafa (Eduardo Paxeco) just landed a job as a security guard at a shopping mall, but he feels overqualified for the job. David (Gregory Cohen) is a methodical man, an atheist in spite of his Jewish heritage, who is unable to accept his destiny. Rita (Valentina Vargas) is a classist and kleptomaniac who lives separated from her husband and likes to dominate everyone around her. Gonzalo (Álvaro Rudolphy) is an executive who is a fervent believer that an ad campaign will change the destiny of the corporation he works at. The lives of these characters is permeated by the corporate culture of VidaSur, a company born after the privatization of the state health system, and they will intertwine in a world where nothing is what it seems.


Juan (Iván Álvarez de Araya) es un hombre ciego que ha recuperado la vista gracias a una operación, pero tal vez prefiera seguir siendo ciego. Manuela (Paola Lattus) es una joven mujer decepcionada de su cuerpo y de su falta de suerte con los hombres, y se pregunta si una cirugía estética mejorará su situación. Rafa (Eduardo Paxeco) acaba de conseguir un empleo como guardia en un centro comercial pero se siente sobrecapacitado para el trabajo. David (Gregory Cohen) es un hombre metódico, ateo a pesar de su ascendencia judía, y que no consigue aceptar su destino. Rita (Valentina Vargas) es una mujer clasista y cleptómana que se ha separado de su marido y que gusta de dominar a los demás. Gonzalo (Álvaro Rudolphy) es un ejecutivo que cree fervientemente que una campaña publicitaria cambiará el destino de la compañía para la que trabaja. El mundo de estos personajes está permeado por la cultura corporativa de VidaSur, la empresa que nació tras la privatización del sistema de salud estatal, y sus vidas se entrelazarán en un mundo en el que nada es lo que parece.

[Read more]




About the series “A decade of comedy in Latin American cinema”


The films included in this series are, first of all, lots of fun. As a body of work, they belong to the first decade of the 21st century, and range from break-through independent works to those emerging from the shadow of what was left of an industry. These films are also some of the finest comedies to emerge in Latin America in recent years, and each one of them defines a special moment in the cinema of their country. Dark humor and irony abound, with a  sharp edge for social, political and cultural commentary.

This series is presented by Cine Las Americas and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, with the commitment of bringing quality and diversity in cinema programming to the community.  For more information on these programs visit

The series is also possible thanks to generous support from LatinWorks, Univision, ¡Ahora Sí!, Ondamax, Cinemateca, and the Freestyle Language Center.

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.  Visit Austin at


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