‘You Burn Me’ Acquired by Cinema Guild for North American Release and Matias Pineiro Season (EXCLUSIVE)

Cinema Guild has acquired North American distribution rights for “You Burn Me” (aka “Tú me abrasas”), directed by Argentina’s Matías Piñeiro.

The film had its world premiere at the Berlinale in February in the festival’s Encounters section. It won a special mention from the jury at Paris’s Cinéma du réel in March.

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Cinema Guild will release the film in theaters following its currently unspecified North American festival premiere later this year. The company has also acquired rights to three earlies films by Piñeiro – “The Stolen Man” from 2007; “They All Lie” from 2009; and “Rosalinda” which will be released on home video and digital alongside “You Burn Me.”

An adaptation of “Sea Foam,” a chapter in Cesare Pavese’s Dialogues with Leucò, Piñeiro’s latest is an intimate and expansive meditation on death and desire. It is also a challenging exploration of the possibilities of adapting text to film.

In “Sea Foam,” Pavese stages a fictional dialogue between the ancient Greek poet Sappho and the nymph Britomartis, played in the film by frequent Piñeiro collaborators Gabi Saidón and María Villar. (The film’s cast also includes Ana Cristina Barragan, Maria Ines Goncalves and Augustina Munoz.)

Sappho has thrown herself into the ocean from heartbreak. Britomartis has fallen off a cliff into the water while fleeing a man. Reuniting at the shore, they discuss life, death and the bittersweet nature of desire.
Piñeiro, known for his series of metatextual films dealing with the translation and performance of Shakespeare, is not content to simply restage a dialogue. Instead, he infuses the film with footnotes and lacunae. These include: fragmentary poetry of Sappho, by whom only one complete poem still exists; the circumstances of Pavese’s death, heartbroken in a Turin hotel room; and the science of sea foam with its connections to disease and fertility.

“In this ebb and flow of death and desire, ‘You Burn Me’ introduces a game of translation and memorization, a game intrinsic to the moving image that may just save Sappho, Pavese, Piñeiro and the audience from oblivion,” said Cinema Guild.

“Matías Piñeiro is a true artist, a master of his craft who invents cinematic forms with each new film,” said Cinema Guild president Peter Kelly. “With ‘You Burn Me,’ he’s crafted something so full of life it practically burns through the screen.”

The deal was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with the film’s producers in Argentina and Spain.

Cinema Guild’s other upcoming releases include: Hong Sangsoo’s “In Our Day,” Angela Schanelec’s “Music,” and the 4K restoration of Shinji Somai’s “Moving.”

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