September 8 - 11, 2011
The last 10 years have seen an explosive growth in Mexican cinema, as filmmakers including Alfonso Cuaron (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (AMORES PERROS) and Guillermo del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH) - as well as such stars as Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna - have risen to international prominence. Informed by the indie ethos that took hold of the filmmaking world in the 1990s, the best contemporary Mexican movies display craftsmanship, structural complexity and provocative themes strong enough to carry them far beyond their borders. While the tide may wax and wane with the vagaries of global finance and government support, the deep pool of talent – and the hunger of local audiences for homegrown films of substance – ensures that waves of outstanding Mexican motion pictures will continue to reach our shores.
For more than a quarter of a century, the annual Guadalajara International Film Festival has served as a bellwether for the movie industry south of the border. Its reputation as a showcase for Central and South American cinema, and as a launching pad for careers, remains strong, as the lineup of this year’s festival confirms. In September, the American Cinematheque is proud to present 2011 Guadalajara highlights including drama (THE PRIZE and JEAN GENTIL), comedy (BETWEEN US), coming-of-age (THE CINEMA HOLD-UP) and short films. Along with prominent recent features like TEQUILA: A HISTORY OF PASSION, the mockumentary NACO ES CHIDO (with director Sergio Arau in person), a career salute to actress Diana Bracho (with a screening of CASTLE OF PURITY) and a program highlighting Mexico’s best recent short subject films, it’s a weeklong taste of Mexican movies that’s no less than ¡magnífico!
The Mexican Cinema Series will also co-present the next Good Food Festival Film Series event at the Aero Theatre on September 14th, which includes a screening of the documentary film THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA with a panel discussion about how current labor issues affect our food system.
Series compiled by Gwen Deglise. Shorts program compiled by Andrew P. Crane. Program notes by John Hagelston.