If you’ve been paying attention to international cinema at all over the last decade or so, the name Pablo Larrain should make you perk up immediately. Just this year, Larrain put out The Club, an unsettling, caustic reflection of the Catholic Church’s patently horrendous handling of priests who are proven pedophiles, molesters, and crooks. If you haven’t seen it, seek it out, as it’s easily one of the best films to see release this year, and it’s only the latest in a line of masterworks from Larrain, including Tony Manero, Post-Mortem, and No. Each one a personal, insightful take on the age of Pinochet in Chile, where the execution of journalists and other critics of the tyrannical leader incited a national horror and a society plagued by repression and fear.
He’s moved on from Pinochet, to a degree, but his interests remain focused on the personal perversities and power hunger that drive governmental and militaristic repression. This is certainly true of Neruda, the director’s upcoming take on the witch hunt for the titular poet in his home country of Chile when he joined the Communist Party in the 1940s. The poet will be played by Luis Gnecco, a brilliant Chilean performer, but the big name of the film is Gael Garcia Bernal, who plays the conflicted inspector sent to hunt down Neruda and who was the lead actor in Larrain’s exquisite No. The film is also top-lined by Larrain axiom Alfredo Castro, a celebrated theater actor in his home country.
You can check out the trailer for Neruda right below, and keep it in your thoughts, as its currently looking for stateside distribution while at Cannes; sources say that its close to finishing up a deal as of today, but these reports are questionable at best. If not, we’ll be seeing him very soon anyhow, with the planned 2017 release of Jackie, his exploration of Jackie Onassis in the days following President Kennedy’s assassination, with Natalie Portman in the titular role. Start watching his films now, before he becomes as big of a deal stateside as he is overseas.
Here’s the first trailer for Neruda: