Raya Martin & Mark Peranson – La última película (2013)


In this documentary within a narrative-and vice versa-a grandiose filmmaker (Alex Ross Perry) arrives in the Yucatán to scout locations for his new movie, a production that will involve exposing the last extant celluloid film stock on the eve of the Mayan Apocalypse. Instead, he finds himself waylaid by the formal schizophrenia of the film in which he himself is a character. Simultaneously a tribute to and a critique of The Last Movie (Dennis Hopper’s seminal obliteration of the boundary separating life and cinema), La última película engages with the impending death of celluloid through a veritable cyclone of film and video formats, genres, modes, and methods. Martin and Peranson have created an unclassifiable work that mirrors the contortions and leaps of the medium’s history and present. An Art of the Real 2014 selection. A M’Aidez Films release (C) Lincoln Center Continue reading

René Cardona Jr. – Cyclone (1978)


What starts out as a beautiful peaceful afternoon in the Caribbean quickly turns ugly when a Cyclone takes down a Jet plane killing most of its passengers. Out at sea about the same time is a group of tourists on a boat who are now lost at sea due to the storm knocking out all their navigation devices. The group of tourist’s on the boat come across the survivors of the jet plane as they drift aimlessly out at sea. Tensions start to build between the survivors of the Cyclone as the supplies dwindle and the days go by with no hope of rescue in site. Will they be rescued before they turn on each other? Continue reading

Servando González – El escapulario AKA The Scapular (1968)


Synopsis: A woman who is about to die calls the town’s priest and hands him a scapulary, saying that she knows of its great powers. Anybody who does not believe in them will end up dead.

In the times of Mexican Revolution, a dying woman sends for the young priest of the village, she confesses to him that she has a miraculous scapular which has the power to protect the life of the owner; before she dies, she tells the skeptical priest how the scapular saved the life of her four children, thus reviving four incredible crossed stories.

The movie gives the date: November 7, 1910, a mere two weeks before the Mexican Revolution. Yet, in the flashbacks, seven years earlier, we can see a full fledged organized insurgency. Continue reading

Alfonso Cuarón – Cuarteto para el fin del tiempo AKA Quartet for the End of Time (1983)


A man sits alone in his apartment. Why does he watch as his goldfish washes down the drain? Why does he blow up balloons then release them out the window for no one to see? And for whom does he take out his clarinet to play ‘Quartet for the End of Time’?.

Shot in 16mm, while Alfonso Cuarón was a film student, Cuarteto Para El Fin Del Tiempo is a meditation on isolation and a young man’s withdrawal from the outside world. Using very few words, Cuarón relies on the power of the image to narrate the film, for which there was no written script:

‘It was an emotion rather than an idea that drove the process, it was about improvising and trying different things every day, trying to blend the character and the location with this emotion.’ Continue reading

Nicolás Pereda – Los ausentes (2014)


A poor man in his mid seventies lives alone in a house near the beach in the south of Mexico. He doesn’t have the and deed and a foreign man claims the property is his. The man attends a hearing to solve the conflict, but nothing gets resolved. During this time he starts losing his mind. Memories of the past start hunting his daily life. He ends up losing his property and his house gets demolished. He embarks on a journey to the mountains in search for people he knew in the past. A memory of his younger self hunts him throughout the trip. He ends up finding some people he knew, but no one he can stay with, so he continues wandering through the forest and into his memories. He meets his younger self, but doesn’t recognize him. They get drunk together, sing songs of the past and nearly pass out after a long night of drinking. Continue reading

Alfonso Cuarón – Y tu mamá también AKA And Your Mother Too [+Extras] (2001)


Abandoned by their girlfriends for the summer, teenagers Tenoch and Julio meet the older Luisa at a wedding. Trying to be impressive, the friends tell Luisa they are headed on a road trip to a beautiful, secret beach called Boca del Cielo. Intrigued with their story and desperate to escape, Luisa asks if she can join them on their trip. Soon the three are headed out of Mexico City, making their way toward the fictional destination. Along the way, seduction, argument and the contrast of the trio against the harsh realities of the surrounding poverty ensue. Continue reading