FilmClub will be screening Chilean director, Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria, at the Tatham Art Gallery in Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg at 7 pm on Tuesday, July 12.
‘Dramatically different’ hardly cuts it when one compares this week’s screening to Mambety’s Hyenas. If the African film is most definitely an example of the “art cinema” that challenges viewers in ways they are unlikely to experience in mainstream theatres, Gloria is a film that could well have found its way onto the Cinema Nouveau circuit.
It is the third film in FilmClub’s special focus on Latin American cinema and is set in contemporary Santiago, the capital of Chile.
Screened to considerable acclaim at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, Gloria is a striking, at times comic, but ultimately gloriously celebratory account of life after 50.
The film tells the story of the eponymous lead, a long-time Santiago divorcee with a decent job who would just like something extra in her life. Her grown-up children are not inattentive, but they have their own lives to live. So she opts for Rodolfo, who is more recently divorced and who is also getting used to a “new” body, thanks to gastric-bypass surgery.
From the initial meeting at a nightclub frequented by paunchy, greying men and carefully made-up women to an outing to the fun-park that Rodolfo has run since his retirement from the military, the film charts the course of their relationship.
The film is anchored by a pitch-perfect performance from Paulina Garcia who, peering out from her overlarge glasses, gives Gloria a drive and vitality that keeps viewers wondering what will happen next, despite the ordinariness of her everyday life.
Without ever becoming doctrinaire, Gloria is wonderful testimony to the view that there is indeed life after 50 and well beyond!
Entry is R35 per person and the Tatham Coffee shop will be offering a soup and bread supper from 6pm onwards (at a very reasonable R40 per person). Safe parking is available in the government parking lot next to the gallery.