Count Us In

(Spain 2015)

After a chance meeting with a former professor, two starving filmmakers (David Pareja and Daniel Pérez Prada) sign on to a mysterious project knowing nothing about it. Imagine their shock and horror when they realize they’re pegged to film an execution for ISIS.

Writer and director Pablo Vara has a wicked, irreverent, witty and actually brave sense of humor that I love. It’s exactly what we need right now.

With: Ignacio Grifol, Juan Aragón

Production: Mavericks Studio

Distribution: Cinequest

17 minutes
Not rated

(AMC River East) B+

Chicago Latin International Film Festival

Gabo: the Creation of Gabriel García Márquez [Gabo, la creación de Gabriel García Márquez]

(USA 2015)

Despite a misleading title that suggests TMZ-like journalism, Gabo is a decent biography of one of the greatest authors from the Twentieth Century—and probably the best-known Latin American writer, ever. Justin Webster does a thoughtful and thorough job covering García Márquez‘s impressive life from his humble beginnings in Colombia to his lean days in college and his careers as journalist and then Nobel Prize winning author. He touches on major works and even gets into García Márquez‘s politics. Comments from celebrities like Bill Clinton are nice, but the best stuff comes from García Márquez‘s siblings, Aída and Jaime, and his friends.

Warning: those expecting an in-depth discussion of García Márquez‘s literary works or his “magical realism” will be sorely disappointed; Gabo is very much a factual account of the man’s life. It’s not a biography that humanizes its subject, nor does it mirror his work.

(Gener Siskel Film Center) C+