Over the course of his last four films, Argentine writer-director Matías Piñeiro has developed a unique approach to bringing Shakespeare’s comedies into the contemporary world, using these classic tales as vehicles for exploring the complex interpersonal dilemmas of his predominantly female protagonists. Hermia & Helena, which opens in Manhattan this weekend at the Metrograph and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, takes its inspiration from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, centering on the friendships and romantic adventures of a young theater director from Buenos Aires, who is working on a new translation of the play while attending an artist residency in New York. Last fall, just before the film’s premiere at the New York Film Festival, Piñeiro stopped by our office for an interview and a trip inside our closet. Take a look at the array of Criterion editions he snatched up during his visit, which range from Jean Renoir’s Technicolor spectacular French Cancan to Roberto Rossellini’s devastating Journey to Italy.
Italian director Alice Rohrwacher (“The Wonders”) has started principal photography on “Lazzaro Felice,” about a man living on the margins of society who travels through time. The film’s European A-list ensemble cast comprises Sergi Lopez (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) of Spain and Alba Rohrwacher (the director’s sister) and Nicoletta Braschi (“Life Is Beautiful”) of Italy.
Rohrwacher is collaborating with her regular director of photography, Helene Louvart, who is also known for work with auteurs such as Wim Wenders, Agnes Varda and Claire Denis.
The director wrote the screenplay last year while she was the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s filmmaker in residence. Details of the story are being kept under wraps beyond the fact that it’s about the present from the point of view of a man who travels through time for about 50 years, but it’s not science fiction. It also takes place in summer and winter within both the countryside and a city.