By Vanessa Erazo | SydneysBuzz September 11, 2013 at 8:30AM
Did you know that Hulu has a Latino channel? Not only is it a place to catch up on your favorite novelas like "La Seleccion", or English-language TV shows like "The Bridge" but it also houses a decent collection of indie Latino films. We combed through the selections and here are LatinoBuzz's top picks of Latino films to watch for free on Hulu.
P.S. There are a ton of movies on there, so look out for more picks in the weeks to come!
Gus Guardado is a high school video production teacher who always dreamed of making a film. He wrote a script, set in his hometown of Concord, California and loosely based on his own life. It took a couple of years to put together enough money to shoot his indie rom-com but he was determined to make it happen. Thanks to Guardado, Love, Concord is the first film ever set in the San Francisco suburb. It's a teenage love story much like the classic eighties movies that John Hughes is famous for. And just like in Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink it's an honest, authentic portrayal of teenagers. In the film, Gerry (Jorge Diaz) is in his Junior year of high school. He's a class clown willing to do anything for a laugh but totally clueless when it comes to the ladies. He plays basketball, old school video games, and asks everyone for advice on how to win over girls. Finally, he decides to just be himself and it works. He charms Melinda (Angelina Leon), a cute nerdy girl who isn't afraid to fire back her own sarcastic remarks when Gerry pokes fun at her. It's a funny, cute, witty teen romance where the characters just happen to be Latino and refreshingly, none of them are gangbangers, drug dealers, or end up pregnant. It might just be the Latino Say Anything.
Infancia clandestina (Clandestine Childhood)
Infancia clandestina (Clandestine Childhood) draws from the director's own life experience in Argentina. Benjamin Avila's story takes place in the late ‘70s when a military junta was in power and carried out a dirty war, targeting leftists. Young Juan and his family have been living in Cuba, in exile, because of his parent's involvement with Montoneros, a group of leftist guerillas. His parents decide to return to Argentina with their other comrades to fight against the dictatorship. They enter the country under assumed identities with fake passports—Juan's new name is Ernesto. His family is always under threat of being found out, they are in a constant state of fear. Then at his new school he meets Maria, develops a crush, and everything changes. The film won ten awards at the Premios Sur, Argentina's equivalent of the Oscars and was their official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
In an effort to create an intimate environment for his, Alamar, Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio wrote, directed, shot, and edited the picture himself. Set in a small house on stilts that sits above the crystal-clear blue waters of the Yucatan Peninsula, it explores the bond between a father and son as they share a fishing trip together. In this documentary, five year-old Natan travels from Italy to spend time with his long-haired father in Mexico who lives along the edge of the coral reefs on Banco Chinchorro. His dad, a Mexi-hippie who fishes by diving into the water with a spear in hand, exposes him to the beauty that sits below the surface of the crisp blue ocean. They spend their days catching fish, gutting them, cooking them, and eating them. They chase birds and try to avoid the alligator that sometimes comes around. They enjoy each other's company in a world that is far removed from everyday conveniences and distractions. It's a quiet and tender film that takes you to a faraway place–time slows down and the days blend into each other. You are transported–gently swaying in a hammock, listening to an old radio and the seagulls flying overhead. It's like a relaxing vacation from the typical super-hero, shoot ‘em up, explosion-filled Hollywood films. Like all vacations, you need to take a deep breath, relax, and force yourself to slow-down–you might resist at first but soon enough you'll enjoy it's calm, tranquil pace.
Abre los ojos (Open Your Eyes)
Even if you've never heard of Abre los Ojos, you've probably seen the mediocre American remake, Vanilla Sky, starring Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, and (the semi-Latina) Cameron Diaz. The Spanish original is so much better. Cesar (Eduardo Noriega), is a rich, handsome playboy (what a stretch!) who romances multiple ladies, including his best friend's girlfriend (Penelope Cruz). His double-crossing ways come back to bite him in the ass, when a jealous, scorned lover takes him for a ride (literally) and purposely crashes her car with both of them in it. The rest of the film is a magical dreamscape of puzzling scenarios. Every other scene you are left wondering what's actually real. Did he survive the crash? Was it a nightmare, a figment of his imagination, or just a tragic accident? Did his night of love with Penelope Cruz actually happen? And why is she always she dressed as a mime? This noir sci-fi thriller will confuse you, take twists and turns, and leave you completely entranced.
Written by Vanessa Erazo. LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on Twitter and Facebook.