Join us for a reception to honor the 2016 recipient of the Roberto Guerra Documentary Award, Jerónimo Rodríguez. The annual prize is given to a documentary filmmaker from Latin America or US-Latino based in New York to honor Roberto Guerra’s life and legacy in the field of Documentary.
This evening we will toast to Jerónimo Rodríguez, and screen one of his celebrated films, The Monument Hunter.
“Jerónimo Rodríguez’s debut feature The Monument Hunter explores intimacies of another kind altogether. Through subtle oscillations between Brooklyn and Santiago, the film’s narrator and first-person camera elegantly unravel the personal and the political, memory and history: of Chilean soccer, of the Unidad Popular, of the many near anonymous statues and memorials that populate urban landscapes. Along the way, observational images of contemporary landscapes— inscribed with the past yet constantly changing, gentrifying, or being erased—merge with borrowed ones from films by Joaquim Jordà, Hong Sangsoo, Raúl Ruiz, and Harry Smith, and a few internet videos. This experience of searching (in both physical and virtual spaces) gives the film an air of laconic mystery, evincing a certain cool melancholy for the smoothing out of geography, temporality, and experience.” —Leo Goldsmith, CINEMA SCOPE MAGAZINE
“A dizzying exploration of the relationship between history and memory, Jerónimo Rodríguez’s The Monument Hunter unfolds like a contemporary Chilean twist on the films of Chris Marker. Its subject is an unseen man named Jorge, a Santiago-born filmmaker who has since relocated to a studio apartment in Greenpoint. One afternoon, sleepless and desperate to decompress from his latest project, Jorge sees a documentary that revives a forgotten childhood memory of a statue his late father once showed him. Dislocated from his past and desperate to reconnect with the spirit of his old man, Jorge embarks on a quest to find a monument that may no longer exist (if it ever existed in the first place). Riding a constant drone of droll narration, Rodríguez’s temporally untethered cine-essay chronicles Jorge’s journey from Brooklyn to Chile; from clarity to the most cobwebbed corners of his mind (where memories of famous soccer matches compete for attention with the films of Raul Ruiz and Hong Sang-soo). We have no way of knowing if Jorge is real, or if he’s a tool that Rodríguez invented to leverage his way into the space between fact and fiction, but The Monument Hunter milks that ambiguity to illustrate how images and memories aren’t in competition with each other. On the contrary, Jorge’s story shows how images create memories, and Rodríguez’s film shows how memories create images.” — David Ehrlick, INDIEWIRE