Guest post by Chucho E. Quintero, director of Velociraptor.
Velociraptor won the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 17th Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in May 2015. It also received a Special Jury Mention for Best International Feature at the 7th Libercine Film Festival in Buenos Aires in September.
Quintero studied with Ignacio Ortiz, Paula Markovitch, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, and Jorge Ayala Blanco, and attended Centro de Diseño, Cine y Televisión for a year and a half .
So, Rick asked me to write down a list of LGBT films that I liked but, as awful as I’ve always been at following instructions, I decided to turn it into a list of films that have been influential for my work instead. This is not a list of my favorite films, but a list of movies and filmmakers that I look up to, in no particular order.
Nights and weekends (Swanberg, 2008), Dance Party USA (Katz, 2006) and Humpday (Shelton, 2009)
For me, mumblecore didn’t follow any rules or expectations, and it brought back intimacy and levity to lo-fi filmmaking. It had a short lifespan but it left a deep impression in me.
Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith, 1997)
I like to think about Alex and Diego from Velociraptor as my own take on the bi-curious relationship between Ben Affleck and Jason Lee in this movie: my personal Holden and Banky versus the Apocalypse.
Weekend (Andrew Haigh, 2011)
I usually think about most gay films as being hyperactive, colorful movies. Haigh’s film made me discover a new pace, a new take on the same old hookup tale, not focusing on the party but in what happens afterwards. Plus, it’s probably the greatest use of DSLR cameras I’ve ever seen.
Gasolina (2008), Hasta el sol tiene manchas (2012) and Te Prometo Anarquía (2015)
Julio Hernández Cordón is without a doubt the greatest Mexican-Guatemalan-American filmmaker working today. I haven’t seen Te Prometo Anarquía (yet) but I included it because I was lucky enough to work on that movie (as a script supervisor) and it was the greatest film school I could ask for.
25 Watts (Rebella y Stoll, 2001), Whisky (Rebella y Stoll, 2004) and Hiroshima (Stoll, 2009)
Speaking of pace and rhythm, discovering Uruguayan filmmakers Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll’s take on the slacker genre made me realize the kind of stories I wanted to tell right before I started making my own movies.
Los Paranoicos (2008) and La Araña Vampiro (2012)
Gabriel Medina’s lonely characters fighting against themselves (with big doses of Argentinean humor) are a big part of what I aspire to achieve one of these days.
The Kings of Summer (Vogt-Roberts, 2013), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Chbosky, 2012) and The Spectacular Now (Ponsoldt, 2013)
I usually group these together as the representatives of this new wave of auteur teen movies, which still have horny teenagers, unsupervised partying and underage sex but seen through a different lens, equal parts John Hughes and indie American tradition. The fact that I watched them several times before shooting my latest feature is also a plus.
Duck Season (Eimbcke, 2004), The Amazing Catfish (Sainte-Luce, 2013), Güeros (Ruizpalacios, 2014), Familia Tortuga (Ímaz, 2006) and Raging sun, raging sky (Hernández, 2009)
I could write a list just with all the Mexican films that foreign audiences are missing and which are miles away from the usual reference of the Three Amigos — who BTW do not represent the state of Mexican filmmaking today. Instead, these films are the first I think about when looking back at the last 20 years of my country’s cinema.
Mystery Train (1989), Ghost Dog (1999) and Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
I’ve always been amazed by how different 80s Jarmusch feels compared to 90s Jarmusch and the new millennium Jarmusch. I remember I became a fan after realizing every contemporary filmmaker I love can be traced back to his influence in one way or another. Everything comes from him, and that’s fascinating.
The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985)
That new wave of auteur teen movies I was talking about? There’s nothing really new about it actually. I love teen characters because there’s no other age as explosive, confusing and exciting as that one, and Hughes was the one who understood it best.
Chucho E. Quintero, Mexico City, December 2015