This month at Intelatin, I was invited to watch Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police by Andy Summers and directed Andrew Grieve, Manos Sucias by Josef Kubota Wladyka and Matria by Fernando Llanos. Music for the podcast is performed by Chancha vía Circuito, The Police, Sting, Frikstailers, Calma Carmona, Cocotaxi, Harry Belafonte, Lenny Kravitz, Murs and Sonia la Unica. Our feature interview for this month is with Josef Kubota.
Let’s begin with Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police by Andy Summers and directed Andrew Grieve.
Rock and roll is supposed to be an exciting place The purpose of a documentary about rock and roll is to bring you either above or under that exciting place. I imagine that as you’re watching, you’re supposed to feel some type of envy for the characters in these positions of privilege. Privilege being defined by ungodly amounts of money and all the comforts that money buys in addition to the volumes of unmitigated adoration.
But what happens when the character in the play about rock and roll is the least important member of a band made of three individuals? What happens when this fortunate musician is really, honestly, dull? What happens when you watch the life story of a man and you come out at the end of it feeling sorry for him.
The film in question is called Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police. It is written and produced by Andy Summers from his autobiography and directed by Andy Grieve. It is a traditional documentary which takes you from Andy’s childhood, through the whirlwind of a musician going from nothing to something over the course of 5 studio albums, a band breakup and a reunion tour. He is joined for the ride by Sting and Stuart Copeland, as well as his wife and children.
In terms of music, it is near impossible for a band to have a hit single on the radio. The Police had more than a dozen. Tracks like “Every Breath You Take,” “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Walking on the Moon,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” “King of Pain,” “Spirits in the Material World” and “So Lonely.”
Joining me on Intelatin is a close homeboy who works as a marketing executive at a Fortune 1000 corporation. Our dialogue has us discussing his top0line opinion about the film as a whole, the phenomenon of music connects so much with such an enormous and global audience, ego, and the extraordinary life of Andy Summers. The film was made with care and the narration (again, taken from the autobiography) was well-written and even poetic at times. I guess you can even say that it was truly an honest portrayal of an ordinary man named Andy. As far as I’m concerned, I like my rock stars to be wilder.
Our second film is Manos Sucias.
I interviewed the director Josef Kubota Wladyka at Intelatin. let’s here what he has to say about his film.
Snapshot: From the port of Buenaventura —the most dangerous city in Colombia— three men embark on a journey over the dark murky waters of the Pacific. A set of mysterious coordinates is their guide, a fishing net is their cover, and a narco-torpedo filled with 100kg of cocaine is their cargo. Following estranged brothers as they they risk everything for a chance a better life, Manos Sucias takes a close look at life at the bottom of the food chain in the international drug trade.
Our third film comes from the slate at the Hola Mexico Film Festival opening in Los Angeles on May 8. The documentary is called Matria by Fernando Llanos.
It is a story about a Mexican family but in its own way, it’s a story about the culture of Mexico. The director decides to research the story of his grandfather Antolín Jiménez. Throughout the course of the film, more and more gets uncovered and the family becomes more and more unhinged at all the skeletons that are coming out of the closet. Underlying it all, is this theory from the director (o sea, the grandson) that his grandfather might have been a success story within his own family but in reality, he was a charlatan, acting out roles that ingratiated himself with important people. Fernando narrates the film with a rare and impressive intelligence. He adds certain elements to the film that, in my opinion, are weak and unnecessary, but they do not detract from the core of the story.
I watched a film last year that was similar called Papirosen by Gastón Solnicki, but since I am not an Argentine and I am a Mexican, I vote for the entertainment of Matria much more so than Papirosen. Mis respetos to Samuel at the HOLA Mexico Film Festival for curating such an impressive roster of films. I went last year and saw Tlatelolco by Carlos Bolado Muñoz and Halley by Sebastián Hofmann. Samuel and his team do a great job to bring tremendous films like this one to all of us in Los Angeles. The festival begins on May 8. Visit holamexicoff.com.
About Intelatin: The radio broadcast for Intelatin was started in 2012 at California State University Long Beach as outreach for their majority Latin@ campus. The broadcast aired on KBeach Global and KKJZ 88.1 FM. It podcasts in 2015 on iTunes and Podbean. The next Filmcraft episode will be released at the end of May. Connect on Twitter: @Intelatin