Mexico

Emilio Fernández – Flor silvestre AKA Wild Flower (1943)

Hal Erickson@allmovie.com:
Completed before his immensely successful Maria Candelaria, Emilio Fernandez’ Flor Sylvestre was released second in the US-and not until two years after its initial Mexican release. Also known as Wildflower, the film features Fernandez himself as a character named Rogellio Torres. The lion’s share of the footage, however, is devoted to the romance between Esperanza (Dolores Del Rio), granddaughter of a common laborer, and Jose Luis Castro (Pedro Armendariz), the firebrand son of a landowner. Joining a revolutionary movements, Castro is disowned by his father, but Esperanza remains loyally by his side. Later on, Castro’s father is killed by outlaws; in seeking vengeance, he sacrifices his own life, while Esperanza carries on his revolutionary work with their young son in tow. Read More »

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Santa sangre [+Commentary] (1989)

Quote:
Does the prolonged gestation period account for the bulging-valise feel of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s seething, gore-drenched carnivale? Not really — all of his pictures seem deliberately shaped to let the fantasies spill over once poured in, and this lushly scabrous murkfest, made after nearly a decade of inactivity, is true to the molten-lava of Jodorowsky’s imagination. As in his ’70s freakouts, the movie follows the trajectory of the subconscious, namely Fenix’s (as in “rising from the ashes,” and played at different ages by the filmmaker’s sons, Axel and Adan), first spotted perched nekkid atop a tree in the asylum. Cue flashback, and the parade of candy-colored melodrama surging out of the “Circo del Gringo,” traumas piling up on little Fenix’s innocence via his bloated, randy cowboy dad (Guy Stockwell) and his fervid-eyed mom (Blanca Guerra), who, when not dangling from a trapeze by her hair, presides over an order of fanatics worshipping an armless martyr. Read More »

Emilio Fernández – Río Escondido AKA Hidden River (1948)

allmovie.com review
Filmed in 1947, Emilio Fernandez’ Hidden River (originally Rio Escondido) was distributed in the U.S. three years later. The matchless Maria Felix stars as Rosaura, an idealistic Mexican schoolteacher who does her best to educate the illiterate Indians in her native land. Rosaura is opposed by several authority figures who have no intention of losing their hold over the Indians, but she finds support in the form of a kindly priest. Director Fernandez’ understanding of and sensitivity towards Mexico’s teeming millions of unfortunates enables Hidden River to rise above its occasional cliches and unsubtleties. The cinematography is by Gabriel Figueroa, who like Emilio Fernandez and Maria Felix is a legendary figure in the Mexican cinema. Read More »

Alejandro Jodorowsky – El Topo [+Extras] (1970)

Synopsis
This violent and allegorical Mexican western attracted a cult following in its day. It is the story of El Topo, a gunslinger who sets out for revenge against the outlaws who slew his wife. He ends up getting his revenge and saving the life of a woman who is being terrorized by bandits. She leads El Topo (which means “the Mole” in English) on a search for the region’s top four gunfighters. But before they set off, Topo leaves his young son in a monastery. Read More »

Arturo Ripstein – Tiempo de morir (1966)

After serving 18 years for killing a man in a duel,a former gunman returns to his hometown determined to live a normal life, but the sons of the man he killed are bent on revenge.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes penned Arturo Ripstein’s 1966 debut. Read More »

Alonso Ruizpalacios – Museo (2018)

Synopsis:
Juan and Benjamín, who are well into their thirties, do not seem to be prompt to finish their university degree in veterinary. As if that was not enough, they are not so keen to fly the nest any time soon either. Thirsty of some long and much sought-after renown, one ill fated Christmas Eve they decide to loot the iconic National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico. Read More »

Benito Alazraki – Curse of the Doll people (1961)

Over the years Mexico has gained itself quite a reputation as one of the countries with the strongest traditions in cinematic horror with films like Brainiac (El Baron Del Terror) and Curse of the Doll People proving exactly why. This particular film from the early 60’s is an effective tale of a voodoo curse bringing terror to those who are afflicted by it. It is the usual horror formula of ancient mystical traditions pitted against the modern word of cold hard facts and rational science where there is no room for myth or superstition. Read More »