Miami, You’re so Blessed!

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You may have heard about the latest epic battle for the future of cinema that erupted last month: Cannes Film Festival vs. Netflix. In one corner…the Festival, passionately defending the originist notion that cinema is at its purest in a theatrical setting.  In the other…Netflix, the world’s newest megastudio, with $8 billion to fund the world’s great filmmakers to make their artistic visions, as long as 99.9% of viewers see those films only at home on their computers or TV streaming device.

In Miami, however, we are blessed not to be caught in the middle, at least with the newest and most interesting productions from Spain. In March, we hosted two sold-out screenings of 4-time Goya winner Mateo Gil’s newest comedy, The Laws of Thermodynamics (Las leyes de la termodinámica), on the same day that Variety reported Netflix had bought international VOD rights to the film (it should be on the service in August). And beginning this Friday, Miami will have the opportunity to view another Netflix original production – Manuel Martin Cuenca’s hilarious and provocative, double-Goya-winning The Motive (El autor), in an open-ended commercial run at Tower Theater Miami (the film also will not be on Netflix until much later in the year).

Which means…Miami audiences get the very rare privilege of having the option to see these smart, risky, bold (thank you!) Netflix-funded movies on the big screen in a community theatrical setting! Read more about The Motive, watch the trailer and pick out a showtime HERE (you won’t want to miss Javier Gutierrez’s blazing performance on the scale it deserves).

Another film with a lot of Miami Film Festival history and pedigree (although unrelated to Netflix) is coming to Tower Theater Miami this weekend…Selton Mello’s beautiful, poetic meditation on family and memory, The Movie of My Life, starring Vincent Cassel. Mello, one of Brazil’s biggest stars as an actor, has been quietly building an oeuvre as a director of delicate, soaring dramas such as The Clown (2011) and this new film, distributed in the U.S. by Orion Pictures.

Mello first workshopped a rough cut of the film at Miami Film Festival’s industry works-in-progress program Encuentros in 2016, and returned to the Festival as a member of the Knight Competition Grand Jury in 2017 (with Kyle Patrick Alvarez and Trey Edward Shults). Drenched in nostalgia and hypnotic with gorgeous photography in rural Brazil, The Movie of My Life is a rousing fable for our times. More info HERE

Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.