G-23 Public Health Building, 130 De Soto St, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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327 Cuadernos (Spanish with English subtitles), the latest work by Argentine film essayist Andrés Di Tella, is a uniquely poignant and insightful portrait of his country’s most celebrated novelist, Ricardo Piglia. Eschewing any kind of traditional interview, Di Tella invented a more intimate means of engaging his close friend’s life and voice by encouraging Piglia to look back, for the first time, over the three-hundred-and-twenty-seven volume diary he has dutifully recorded since the age of sixteen. A kind of “diary of a diary,” as Di Tella provocatively calls his project, 327 Cuadernos follows Piglia’s return to his first act as a writer, revisiting cherished memories and tracing the strange distance between the self he recalls and the one he does not recognize. 327 Cuadernos is a rich extension of Di Tella’s previous film essays, deepening his long interest in the often uncanny intermingling of individual and collective memory underlying personal and official history. Piglia’s sudden diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, midway through the filming, gives a sudden and sad urgency to 327 Cuadernos as the film itself becomes an unexpectedly important chapter in Piglia’s life and an inspiration for a new, heroic and possibly final diary project.
Andrés Di Tella is a filmmaker based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has directed eleven feature-length films: Montoneros, una historia (1995), Macedonio Fernández (1995), Prohibido (1997), La televisión y yo (2002), Fotografías (2007), El país del Diablo (2008) Hachazos (2011), ¡Volveremos a las montañas! (2012), Máquina de sueños (2013), El ojo en el cielo (2013) and 327 Cuadernos (2015). His work spans video art, installations and performance pieces, as well as TV documentaries. He has written a non-fiction book, Hachazos (Caja Negra, Buenos Aires, 2011) and many essays and book chapters. Retrospectives of his work have been held at the Centro Cultural Rojas of the University of Buenos Aires (2007); Filmoteca de Catalunya of Barcelona (2008); Filmoteca Española of Madrid (2009); Festival de Lima (2009); Cines del Sur, Granada (2011); Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo (2011); E Tudo Verdade at Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia (2012); Festival dei Popoli, Florence (2012), Universidad Católica, Santiago de Chile (2013), Tabakalera Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, San Sebastián (2015), Filmoteca de Galicia, A Coruña (2015), Casa de América, Madrid (2016). Cine Documental en América Latina (Cátedra, Madrid 2003), a reference book edited by Paulo Antonio Paranaguá, devotes a chapter to his work, placing him among the most significant filmmakers in the history of documentary in Latin America. Two further books have been published on his films, Andrés Di Tella: cine documental y archivo personal, edited by Paul Firbas and Pedro Meira Monteiro (Siglo XXI, Buenos Aires, 2006) and Inventario de regresos: el cine documental de Andrés Di Tella, edited by Casimiro Torreiro (Cines del Sur, Granada, 2011). El documental y yo: il cinema di Andrés Di Tella, an extended essay and dossier by Daniele Dottorini, was published as a catalogue for the Festival dei Popoli (Florenece, 2012). He has been a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Premio Konex (Argentina) and has sat on panels for the Rockefeller Foundation (USA), Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes (Chile), Premio Nacional del Ministerio de Cultura (Colombia), Instituto de Cine Uruguayo, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales (Argentina) and several film festival juries. He is also a film teacher and curator. He was the founder of the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI), considered by many the principal film event in Latin America, which he directed in its first editions (1999 and 2000). From 2002 to 2011, he was the Artistic Director of the Princeton Documentary Festival, at Princeton University, where he has also been a visiting professor. He currently teaches film at the art department of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.