In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_split_ver3

Split

It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Festivals & Awards Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives
Primary_la_tirisia

Inaugural Roger Ebert Award Presented to “La Tirisia”

And for me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."

This famous passage from Roger Ebert’s “Life Itself” served as our guide on the jury for the New Directors Program of the Chicago International Film Festival. This year, we were honored to present the first annual Roger Ebert Award to one of the films in this selection of first and second-time directors. Which films transported us into someone else’s shoes? Which films served as a portal to a world underrepresented in cinema? Which director most impressively replicated the empathy machine which Ebert so greatly valued? For us, the choice was clear—Jorge Pérez Solano’s “La Tirisia” from Mexico.

The title translates to “Perpetual Sadness,” a state of melancholy or depression that feels unending, especially in a part of the world and state of socio-economic class that makes breaking free of it feel more like an impossibility. Solano’s film charts the emotional journey of two young women: one is a confident, outspoken mother of two with another child on the way; the other is practically a child herself and is about to bring a new one into this world. Both women are pregnant by the same man. Neither woman is married to him. Both are in situations that should be naturally beautiful and life-affirming—bringing new life into this world—but their circumstances make that kind of joy impossible.

Through stunningly surreal cinematography of a landscape made up of mostly dirt and cactuses, Solano proves to have a strong visual language in his second film. Many of the compositions border on painterly, often casting these women against the striking danger of the world around them without the need for dialogue or traditional narrative. It’s remarkably confident in every decision, particularly for the work of a young filmmaker.

How can we imagine life as a young, pregnant, Mexican woman in Oaxaca without a film like “La Tirisia”? Solano takes us on a journey, allowing, as Roger said, more understanding and more identification with people we don’t encounter in our everyday lives.

The New Directors Program jury, which chose the Roger Ebert Award winner, consisted of Brian Tallerico, Anna Croneman, Izza Génini and Wieland Speck. Click here to see the other winners of the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival.


Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Films to Get Us Through The Trump Presidency

Chaz Ebert highlights films with the potential to get us through the confusing political times of the Trump presidenc...

Netflix's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" an Unfunny Parody of Sadness

A review of Netflix's new series, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which premieres January 13.

The Audacious "Something Wild" Comes to Criterion Blu-ray

One of the most audacious American films from the 1960s is now available via the Criterion Collection.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus