Palermo Hollywood

Director: Eduardo Pinto
Screenwriters: Federico Finkielstain, Brian Maya

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


Mario and Pablo, the petty thieves of Palermo Hollywood—Eduardo Pinto's fatalistic, high-speed urban tragedy—are unlikely best friends. In the aftermath of Argentina's financial collapse, they stay afloat by dealing dope and running small-time jobs in the seedy, but trendy, Old Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Pablo steals to support his girlfriend, Jimena, and their young child; Mario's life of crime is more an act of rebellion against his middle-class family and politician father. Meanwhile, in addition to their money problems, Pablo struggles with his commitment to Jimena, and Mario starts up an affair with Pablo's strictly off-limits younger sister. Naturally, when the kidnap-ransom job the boys pull for a local gangster goes south, their friendship follows suit.

Though Pinto has fashioned a genre film from familiar elements (young hoods in over their heads), his appetite is clearly for the meat of the relationship between his two main characters—the fascinating nuances of their friendship: the insecurity, underlying friction, and class division. Brian Maya and Federico Finkielstain's smart, unaffected writing yields fully dimensional, fully flawed characters.

A longtime music video director, Pinto infuses his first feature with visually charged, high-contrast photography, an energetic modern tango score, and a surprisingly sensual aesthetic. Palermo Hollywood is full of vitality and, despite its overtones of Shakespearean tragedy, never feels weighed down by design.

— John Nein

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]