Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alberto Fuguet's Musica Campesina: The Best Nashville-Shot Movie You've Never Seen Airs Late Tonight on Cinemax

Posted By on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM

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Musica Campesina is a real find — a wistful, funny and evocative slice of roadside-Americana alienation, as observed by a sharp-eyed visitor: the Chilean novelist critic and filmmaker Alberto Fuguet. What makes it of special interest to Nashvillians is that Fuguet shot it here in 2010 during his author's residency at Vanderbilt. Using a fast-moving skeleton crew of locals under run-and-gun conditions, Fuguet follows a Chilean outsider — played by the director's frequent collaborator Pablo Cerda — on rounds of chance encounters from Charlotte to Murfreesboro Road.

The film made its U.S. premiere at the 2011 Nashville Film Festival and screened here once more as part of Vanderbilt's "International Lens" series. But it's well worth setting the DVR for its airing at 3:30 a.m. tonight on the Cinemax offshoot Moviemax (Ch. 364 on Comcast locally). You'll see great location work ranging from Wendell Smith's restaurant to Melrose Billiards to Printers Alley (some of which you'll see below in the trailer); the city given a fond nightworld glow by DP Ashley Zeiger; and remarkably good supporting turns by Light and Sound Machine programmer James Cathcart, The Belcourt's Elle Long and Cheap Time frontman Jeffrey Novak.

In the meantime, read this 2011 piece Fuguet wrote for the Scene about his experiences making the movie, his complicated relationship to Robert Altman's Nashville, and why he wanted his main character to "film [the city] not as a tourist, but as someone who has a total crush on it." Like the movie, it'll give you a completely different view of your surroundings.

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