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Hermia & Helena 2017
Description: Camila, a young Argentine theater director, travels from Buenos Aires to Fresh York to attend an artistic residency to develop a Spanish translation of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Upon her arrival, she starts to obtain a series of mysterious postcards which set her down a winding path through her past and towards her future.
Released: 03 Aug 2017 Director: Matías Piñeiro Writers: Matías Piñeiro Actors: Agustina Muñoz, María Villar, Mati Diop, Keith Poulson Genres: Comedy, Drama
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Hermia & Helena Reviews:

I just saw this movie last night. At first I was going to praise the director for his ambitious decision to cast androids in each single role, but then I came to and realized that I had just watched the flattest, most emotionally antiseptic, charisma-free inconsequentiality ever committed to screen. The dialog is bare and boring, delivered in a near monotone by a cast that is interchangeable by method of their characters' equal absence of personality. When the "story" took a several turns for the potentially dramatic, I felt like I was watching The Asperger's Users Presents. This movie makes the most muted mumblecore flick feel like Who's Scared Of Virgina Wolf.See!!! Folks waiting to receive buzzed into walk up apartments! See!!! The protagonist banally flit between neutered boyfriends! See!!! Someone pay for Spanish lessons in cash! As someone who is tired of bloated, Hollywood action sequels and intelligence insulting comedies, I do my greatest to help indie and foreign film. I play a wide tons of movie categories and styles from the past to the present, including tiny budgeted pictures that detail realistic or understated performances, but come on! The acting and the dialog weren't "realistic" "subtle" or "understated" they were just terrible for the reasons stated in the first paragraph. I fail to understand why some of these poorer "alternative" movies are getting a pass by critics and some audience members. Perhaps by acknowledging that there are some true duds in the subset, they might be admitting to the cold fact that the much of contemporary cinema maybe on the decline.Just because you have a small budget, doesn't mean you have to create a small film.BTW, I posted this review in the comments section of another on-line publications and it got deleted. So, you can be censored for not agreeing with the critic? What is the mission of the comment section then? I'm just trying to create sure folks don't waste their money.


Dedicated to Ozu star Setsuko Hara, Argentine director Matias Piñeiro's Hermia and Helena follows his three previous films, "Viola," "The Princess of France", and "Rosalinda," with a work depicting characters loosely based on female heroines in William Shakespeare's comedies. Shot in Buenos Aires and partly in Fresh York, the movie centers on Camila (Agustina Muñoz, "The Princess of France"), a Buenos Aires theater director, who has been invited to Fresh York to translate Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" into Spanish and then go back to Argentina to rehearse. According to Piñeiro, "It is a movie about coming and going, about changing states, changing languages and sounds." Inspired by his own experience in Fresh York where he came on a fellowship in the arts, Piñeiro shifts the focus from a high energy fast-talking beginning in Buenos Aires to a more laid back thoughtful mood in Fresh York. Camilla is in Fresh York to replace Carmen (Maria Villar, "The Princess of France"), a mate from Buenos Aires, in the institute as well as in her rental apartment. Like the two young girls in Shakespeare's play, Camila and her mate share relationships in a sequence of vignettes that take zone over the course of a year. Divided into chapters bearing the names of the characters featured in the episode such as "Carmen & Camila," "Camila & Danièle," "Gregg & Camila," and so on, the movie is enhanced by a spirited piano score.Piñeiro manages to hold things light and the sequences have a playful feeling in keeping with the spirit of the Shakespeare play. Camilla starts where Carmen left off, picking up on her relationship with hipster Yank Lukas (Keith Poulson, "Little Sister") and local filmmaker Gregg (Dustin Guy Defa) who shows one of his short movies made from footage of a 1940's black and white movie with a voice-over based on Du Maurier's Rebecca. There is an enigmatic relationship with Daniele (Mati Diop, "Fort Buchanan"), other member of the institute, who has been traveling in the mid-west and who sends Camila post-cards from the towns she visits that Camila hangs on a map on her wall. Flashbacks to Buenos Aires also contain Carmen's boyfriend Leo (Julian Larquier Tellarini, "Terror 5").The movie is about movement, from one zone to other and from one relationship to other but the characters and their relationships remain undeveloped. Piñeiro jumps from sequence to sequence without staying long enough for us to receive to know them as human beings. Though the episodes are labeled "one month earlier," "three months earlier," and so forth, the flashbacks are confusing as to time and zone and are hard to follow. If we are left uninvolved in Camila's different attempts at private connection up to this point, we are definitely engaged in her find for a deeper experience that leads to a reunion with Horace (Dan Sallitt, "Honeymoon"), the estranged American father whom she had never met.Though Hermia's father Egeus in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a demanding parent who insists that she marry Demetrius and forego marrying her love for Lysander, Horace is not Hermia's authoritarian father but the reverse. In a visit to his home in upstate Fresh York, the two exchange a series of intimate questions, testing a minigame of you ask, I tell, then vice versa. The conversation maintains a tone of civility and we receive a more rounded picture of Camila but the movie drifts slowly but noticeably into melancholy.Piñeiro has told about Hermia and Helena that, "Many plot elements remain somewhat hidden. Instead, you focus on the atmosphere that springs from the characters' encounters with every other." While the atmosphere is everytime show for us to focus on, the "somewhat hidden" elements of the plot border on obscurity and ultimately detract from our ability to understand the characters. According to the director, "Not everything is connected to everything." This was also real in my experience.


Cities, centuries, cultures, crushes and characters from Shakespeare intertwine in a storyline inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream. Camila is an art exchange student drifting between Buenos Aires and Fresh York. The various worlds and folks that she encounters reveal unexpected aspects of herself.Shakespeare's enjoy is quite complex as it is. Interpreting the enjoy into Spanish, vaulting across hemispheres and learning an array of fresh and multifaceted characters, left my head spinning. Another than the brain freeze that ensued after trying to place all these elements together, the movie is a dreamy, cerebral delight. I could have read or seen Shakespeare's enjoy again before attempting this film. Seen at the 2016 Toronto International Movie Festival.



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