Arriba! It's the Mexican Film Festival!

Posted by mjs76 at Feb 07, 2011 03:20 PM |
Come along to weekly free screenings of Mexican movies throughout February and March 2011 as the University of Leicester presents the first Mexican Film Festival. Nachos and tequila not supplied.

A collaboration between the Students’ Union’s Latin American Society and the Spanish section of our School of Modern Languages, the festival will screen eight classics of Mexican cinema in chronological order. Some you may have heard of, some might be completely new. There’s romance, drama, comedy, social comment and even horror* - fans of Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro shouldn’t miss this chance to see his debut feature, the rarely screened Cronos.

Mexican cinema was born in 1898 when a local exhibitor filmed a version of Don Juan and there was already a booming domestic film industry by the time the talkies arrived in 1931. The ‘golden age’ of Mexican film is generally considered to run from the mid-1930s to the late 1950s when Latin American music and fashion were very much in vogue North of the border. Debonair senors like Ramón Novarro and smouldering senoritas like Dolores del Río were big Hollywood stars while also wowing audiences up and down Latin America in Spanish language pictures.

Sadly there is a large gap in Mexican film history caused by a fire at the national film archive in 1982 which destroyed preserved prints of more than 3,000 domestically produced movies, along with irreplaceable written material. Nevertheless in recent years, the booming popularity of global cinema combined with increased international access to DVDs has boosted interest in, and availability of, Mexican films of all sorts.

All the Mexican Film Festival screenings are free and open to the public, starting at 5.30pm every Wednesday in the Attenborough Film Theatre. Films will be screened in Spanish with English subtitles.

9 February 2011

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Out on the Big Ranch aka Allá en el Rancho Grande (Fernando de Fuentes, 1936)

Comedy/drama portraying the coutryside of Mexico and its gorgeous landscapes. Tells the story of two Mexican ‘charros’ seeking the love of the same woman.

16 February 2011

We, the Poor aka Nosotros los Pobres (Ismael Rodríguez, 1949)

Popular drama starring one of the most famous faces in Mexican Cinema, Pedro Infante. This classic will take you to the memorable Golden Cinema Era in Mexico.

23 February 2011

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Los Olvidados aka The Forgotten Ones (Luis Buñuel, 1950)

A surreal portrait of a kids ‘gang’ living in an outsider poor area in Mexico. Criticised at first for its cruel reality yet considered later a masterpiece of the Spanish filmmaker.

2 March 2011

Like Water for Chocolate aka Como Agua para Chocolate (Alfonso Arau, 1992)

Love story mixed with the magical flavours of Mexican cuisine. Tita is forced to take care of her
widowed mother while having to give up the love
of her life.

9 March 2011

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Cronos aka Chronos (Guillermo del Toro, 1993)

Horror movie about the discovery of an artefact developed by an alchemist in 1593 that could give eternal life. If you enjoyed Pan’s Labyrinth you better not miss this one.

16 March 2011

Amores Perros aka Dogs Love (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2000)

An anthological neo-noir film about three different stories which are connected by a car accident in Mexico City.

23 March 2011

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Y tu Mamá También aka And your Mother Too (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)

A coming-of-age film about two teenage boys taking a road trip with a Spanish woman. Starring actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal.

30 March 2011

Arráncame la Vida aka Tear this Heart Out (Roberto Sneider, 2008)

‘You can never govern the heart’. A young idealist woman in the early 20th Century will have to fight for love while dealing with her tormented and dangerous marriage.

*But sadly there’s no 'lucha' wrestling, so anyone wanting to see such populist classics as Alfonso Corona Blake’s Santo in the Wax Museum or Rene Cardona’s Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy will have to hope they turn up next year.