Program in Comparative Literature

Screening of the Film "Piñero" and Q&A with Director León Ichaso

Wed, April 20, 2011 • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM • Blanton Auditorium, Edgar A. Smith Building, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin

Wed, April 20, 2011 | Blanton Auditorium, Edgar A. Smith Building, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin

5:30 AM - 7:30 AM

Born in Cuba in 1948 into a family of well known artists and writers, León Ichaso is one of the most successful Latino film directors working today.  He is best known for the visual and sonic energy and lyricism of his own special brand of urban or "barrio" realism.  He co-directed his first feature El Súper (1979) with Orlando Jiménez Leal, worked with Rubén Blades in the latter's first big movie role in Crossover Dreams (1985), and directed Wesley Snipes in Sugar Hill (1994).  In 1995, Ichaso used filming done on locales in Santo Domingo and undercover in Havana to make Azúcar amarga (Bitter Sugar), a film about the travails of Cuba's "special period" in the 1990s.  In 2006, Ichaso directed Mark Anthony and Jennifer López in El Cantante, a bio-pic about the charismatic Puerto Rican salsa singer Héctor Lavoe. He has directed many TV-movies and series episodes for Showtime, A&E, Fox, and other networks.

His highly acclaimed biographical feature Piñero (2001) tells the life of the polemical Puerto Rican/New York "Loisaida" (Lower East Side) poet Miguel Piñero, co-founder with Miguel Algarín of the Nuyorican Poets Café and author of the poetry collection "La Bogeda  Sold Dreams" and the play "Short Eyes," winner of the Obie and New York Critics Circle awards.

Professor Jason Borge of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese will lead the Q&A. This screening and León Ichaso's visit are done in conjunction with the April 22 "Poéticas para el siglo XXI: AM-E-RICANS" poetry event at BEN Hall 2.104 featuring performances by Puerto Rican/Nuyorican poets Mara Pastor, Urayoán Noel and Willie Perdomo from 2:00 to 5:00 PM.

Sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Center for Mexican American Studies, the Program in Comparative Literature and the Blanton Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival.

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