Emiliano Rocha Minter – Tenemos la carne AKA We Are the Flesh (2016)

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In what seems to be a post-apocalyptic world, a grubby middle-aged man goes about the business of survival in a derelict building. His solitary, wordless existence changes with the arrival of two ragged, starving young people. The older man, Christic, diabolical and off his head, feeds them eggs along with subversive thoughts, which recognize no conventional moral boundaries, until the boy – reluctantly – and the girl – readily – let go of all inhibitions and interdictions to descend into a lawless, frantic, primal state of blood and lust… Continue reading

Mitl Valdez – Los confines (1987)

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Mitl Valdez’s film Los confines (1987) is an adaptation of several works of fiction by the Mexican author Juan Rulfo. The director chose to adapt two short stories (“Talpa” and “¡Diles que no me maten!”) and an episode from the author’s first novel, Pedro Páramo. Valdez’s intent was to “capturar el sentido” of the Jaliscan author or, in other words, to remain faithful to certain elements of his writing while adjusting them to the filmic medium. Continue reading

Gust Van den Berghe – Lucifer (2014)

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On his downfall from Heaven to Hell, Lucifer passes through the earthly paradise, a village in Mexico, where elderly Lupita and her granddaughter Maria live. Lupita’s brother Emanuel pretends he’s paralyzed so he can drink and gamble while the two women tend to the sheep. Lucifer senses an opportunity and plays the miraculous healer. He forces Emanuel to walk again, seduces Maria and makes Lupita doubt about her faith. He didn’t bring bad luck, he only illuminated the line between good and evil, where it didn’t exist before. Continue reading

Luis Buñuel – Nazarín AKA Nazarin (1959)

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Quote:
Acclaimed director Luis Buñuel displays several of his trademark interests in this drama about a priest who leaves his order. The director´s disdain for organized religion and the establishment, as well as his tendency to shock through visual imagery, are both apparent. Nazarin (Francisco Rabal) is the priest who leaves his order and decides to go on a pilgrimage. As he goes along subsisting on alms, he shelters a prostitute wanted by the police for murder. He is released from suspicion and she eventually catches up with him when she escapes imprisonment. Another woman joins the duo and soon the ex-priest is learning more about the human heart and suffering than when he wore robes. As for the shocking scenes, suffice to say the ravages of a plague are also shown. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi Continue reading

Luis Buñuel – Simón del desierto AKA Simon of the Desert [+Extra] (1965)

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Quote:
Simon of the Desert is Luis Buñuel’s wicked and wild take on the life of devoted ascetic Saint Simeon Stylites, who waited atop a pillar surrounded by a barren landscape for six years, six months, and six days, in order to prove his devotion to God. Yet the devil, in the figure of the beautiful Silvia Pinal, huddles below, trying to tempt him down. A skeptic’s vision of human conviction, Buñuel’s short and sweet satire is one of the master filmmaker’s most renowned works of surrealism. Continue reading

Fernando de Fuentes – Vámonos con Pancho Villa! AKA Let’s Go With Pancho Villa [+extra] (1936)

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Synopsis:
Six hearty fellows in the tiny hamlet of San Pablo decide to join the revolutionary army of Pancho Villa. The Federales have already put a price on the head of young Miguel Ángel del Toro (Ramón Vallarino), and the others rush to join up under the unofficial leadership of Don Tiburcio Maya (Antonio R. Frausto), a farmer who leaves behind a wife and two small children. They boast that they are known as ‘The Lions’ when they meet Francisco ‘Pancho’ Villa (Domingo Soler); he makes them lieutenants and encourages them to live up to their claim. The six fight fiercely, lead assaults and pull off major coups like riding right up to an enemy machine gun and dragging it off with a lasso. This crazy do-or-die spirit results in a slow attrition of their numbers. The surviving three are promoted to Major but Don Tiburcio begins to feel that they’ve contributed enough to the slaughter, even if the devil-may-care jokester Melitón Botello (Manuel Tamés) feels compelled to tampt fate through stupid tests of manhood. The Revolution uses up good men, with little reward but empty glory.
— Glenn Erickson. Continue reading