‘Neruda’ screening will include Chilean wine-themed fundraiser | ParkRecord.com

‘Neruda’ screening will include Chilean wine-themed fundraiser

Matias Garces will host tasting

The Park City Film Series will highlight an art-house film weekend with Latin-storytelling and a special wine tasting fundraiser when it screens Pablo Larrain's "Neruda."

Screenings will run from Friday through Sunday at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium. Friday and Saturday screenings will start at 8 p.m. Sunday's screeing will start at 6 p.m. A pre-screening wine-tasting and fundraiser for the Park City Film Series will be on Saturday at 6:30 p.m..

Park City Film Series Executive Director Katharine Wang discovered "Neruda" during the Telluride Film Festival last year.

"It was the last of 30-plus films I saw, and it was my most favorite film," Wang told The Park Record. "I love foreign films. I love Pablo Neruda as a poet and this film has that Latin storytelling style of filmmaker Pablo Larrain that includes mysticism and magic, which has always captivated me."

"Neruda" is based on a true story about Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who is played by Luis Gnecco.

"Neruda was a communist and was exiled from the Chilean senate, but he loved his lifestyle and didn't want to leave Chile and the life he had with all of his artists friends," Wang said. "So, he led a chase around the country, eluding a inspector, who is played by Gael Garcia Bernal in the film."

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Throughout the case, the inspector seemed to arrive at the scene just moments after Neruda has fled, and Neruda, in turn, teases the inspector by leaving writings in his wake.

"These writings are the makings of a pulp-fiction detective novel that teases the inspector," Wang said.

This is where the twist comes in.

"The audience is not quite sure if Neruda is writing the story as it happens or if the story is happening before he writes it down," Wang said.

In addition to the smart script, the film is visually stunning.

"Pablo Larrain is a fantastic director and the cinematography is so beautiful because the film was shot all over Chile," Wang said. "On top of the scenes, you hear Neruda's poetry infused throughout the film."

To highlight the viewing experience, Park City resident Matias Garces, of Garces Silva Family Vineyards, will host a wine tasting prior to the screening at 6:30 p.m.

Garces heard about the film and reached out to Wang and talked about the different connections.

"Matias' vineyard is a Chilean vineyard and it actually overlooks one of Neruda's homes," Wang said. "He suggested doing a wine tasting with wines from Chile to accompany the film and celebrate Chilean culture."

Garces is looking forward to the tasting.

"This is a way for me to give some part of my country to a place I live," said Garces, who has called Park City home for the past three years. "I can show the wines and explain more about Chile."

The winemaker will showcase some of his award-winning wines.

"We have two pinot noirs and two sauvignon blancs from our two different brands," Garces said. "One is my old brand when I started my winery. I started it with a friend of mine from Switzerland."

The other is a boya, which Garces introduced five years ago.

"Boya is a wine that is easy to drink," he said. "It's a very fruity table wine."

Garces, whose family has a three-generation background in agriculture, started producing wine in 2002, and was a pioneer in producing wine grapes in Leyda, located in Chile's San Antonio Valley.

"This region of Chile has become the main region to produce pinot noir and sauvignon blanc wines," Garces said. "You can compare the region to California's Sonoma coast. We're very close to the Pacific Ocean, only six miles, and the cool breeze from the ocean is very good to produce the grapes."

Coincidentally, Garces' vineyard is located close to one of Neruda's homes in Isla Negra.

"Isla Negra is such a beautiful place where many artists of Chile live," Garces said. "Pablo Neruda's home where he had his studio and the view of the ocean inspired many of his poems."

The home is now a writer's home museum, managed by the Pablo Neruda Foundation.

"A fun thing is that Pablo Neruda used to be a big wine drinker," Garces said. "He traveled around Europe and loved wine. Unfortunately, our wines are younger than he was and we began producing after he passed away."

The Park City Film Series will screen Pablo Larrain's "Neruda," rated R, through Sunday, March 5, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. Saturday's screenings will start at 8 p.m. Sunday's screening will start at 6 p.m. A special wine tasting reception and fundraiser for Park City Film Series, featuring Chilean wines, will be held for ages 21 and older on Saturday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m. Special tickets for Saturday's tasting and film are $35. Tickets to the regular screenings, including Saturday without the reception, are $8 for general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. For information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.