As its title playfully acknowledges, the latest film by Nicolás Pereda (b. 1982) is a compilation, a selective and retrospectively oriented assembly of thematic and stylistic elements that recur most significantly in the eight films that, in a mere five years, have propelled his meteoric rise as an internationally celebrated and precociously young auteur. Reuniting the four actors with whom Pereda has forged a particularly fruitful collaborative relationship, Greatest Hits openly declares the culmination and end of the cycle described by their films' variations on the theme of family as a kind of paradoxical structure, a mobile of ever-shifting yet fundamentally unchanging relationships. Moreover, Greatest Hits crystallizes and takes to another level Pereda's simultaneously laid-back and rigorous interrogation of narrative and performance, poignantly capturing domestic time's uniquely slow unwinding and using this expanded yet intimate stage to explore the performative dimensions underlying family and cinematic roles alike. At one level the story of the disequilibrium caused by a long absent father's surprise return home, Greatest Hits is more than simply the last variation on a theme ultimately uniting all of Pereda's narrative films and most forcibly expressed in Summer of Goliath. For the bold, almost Buñuelian, diptych-mirror at the center of Greatest Hits also dynamically emblematizes the subtle theatricality which gives Pereda's cinema its at times almost uncanny ability to give equal presence to performer as the scripted roles they both confirm and transform. — Haden Guest
The Harvard Film Archive proudly welcomes Nicolás Pereda back to the HFA. A Radcliffe-Harvard Film Study Center Fellow, Pereda will also be presenting a talk Repetition, Variation and Other Cinematic Games at the Sheerr Room of Fay House, Radcliffe College on Wednesday April 3 at 4pm.
Directed by Nicolás Pereda. With Teresa Sanchez, Gabino Rodriguez, Luisa Pardo
Mexico 2012, 35mm, color, 103 min
After making several films with the same actors playing similar roles I decided to make a film about the process of representation. I took many ideas and all the actors, characters and most of the crew of my previous films in order to reflect on the being on the screen. I created several formal games that opened a world of new possibilities including rehearsals, repetitions and interactions between fictional characters and the actors playing those characters. I continued my search by replacing one of the actors with my uncle halfway into the shooting. My uncle enters the film as a documentary subject who has to relate to fictional characters that act as if he was one of them. – Nicolás Pereda