The 2016 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival

The 11th Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival runs on two screens in MovieTowne Port of Spain, one in Tobago and at the University of the West Indies and COSTATT campuses.

Film writer, BC Pires, will be picking a Film of the Day every day. Pires sat on the first TT Film Fest Jury and wrote the Judge’s Report and has been the Youth Jury’s mentor since its inception in 2014. A different film will be picked every day, and other worthwhile films mentioned. Because of the limitations of programming schedules, the film of the day may not necessarily be the “best” one. Films with an * have been or will be daily picks.

The 2016 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival runs from 20-27th September. You can view the full festival calendar here

BC Pires has been writing about film from an informed lay perspective since March 1988. He served on the first Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival jury in 2009 and wrote the Jury’s Report.

And Today’s Film Pick is….

A Monster with a Thousand Heads

A Monster with a Thousand Heads (Rodrigo Pia/ 2015/ Mexico/ Crime-Drama-Psychological Thriller/ 74 mins/ Spanish with English subtitles/ Rated 18+) 9pm Screen 7, MovieTowne, Port of Spain Q+A BEST FILM OF THE DAY; screens again 8.30pm 27 September Screen 2, MT POS.

Probably the best film in the festival, and certainly the best one available for preview/review, A Monster with a Thousand Heads is as good as cinema gets, anywhere: that it comes from Mexico, birthplace of arguably the world’s leading director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, is no surprise: if anyone in the New World is beating the Cubans in film today, it’s the Mexicans; and what a cut-arse this movie represents for the rest of the contenders. At 74 minutes, it’s only as long as it has to be and leaves the viewer wishing for more of Monster’s multiple strengths: it is wonderfully shot – there is nothing new under the cinematic sun but some of the long shots look rather like new uses – with the visual storytelling exceptionally good. Tension, e.g., is created in a moving car by handheld profile shots from the backseat of, first, the passenger, and then the driver, in the front seats; and a lot of plot development happens through the eye first. The film is so very strong as film that it is a surprise to find out the screenplay was based on a novel – even if it was one written by Laura Santullo, the real life wife of the director, who also wrote the screenplays for his three other feature films. If you find yourself thinking, in the first few minutes, that it’s moving a tad slowly, just wait. A remarkable film that doesn’t even need its social conscience to justify it, this is entertainment that makes you think, worry and change your mind; in other words, this is Art. Praise God that you got the chance to see it, if you like, but you must praise the director in the Q+A following the screening.

Also consider: *The Cutlass Q+A, 5pm UWI; Miles Ahead, 8.30pm MT POS Screen 2;*Before the Rooster Crows, 8.15pm MovieTowne, Tobago.

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