Mexico

Rafael Portillo – La isla de los dinosaurios aka The Island of the Dinosaurs (1967)

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A group of scientists in search of lost Atlantis are plane wrecked on an uncharted island full of stock footage monsters fresh from One Million BC. Occasionally we get an original papier mache monster peaking out from behind an alcove, but for the most part this is typical Mexican filmmaking for the period. With Armond Silvestre and Alma Delia Fuentes. Read More »

Adolfo Best-Maugard – La mancha de sangre (1937)

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This stunning film is one of a few films made by Adolfo Best Maugard (“Fito Best”), the great Mexican painter.  Initially banned under the administration of Lázaro Cárdenas, it was released in a badly censored form for a short run under his successor’s administration but was critically panned and disappeared for the next half century. Read More »

Roberto Gavaldón – En la palma de tu mano AKA In the Palm of Your Hand (1951)

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Here’s a gem of mexican film making and a must for any real film noir fans.
En la Palma de tu Mano (In the Palm of your Hand) is Roberto Gavaldón’s(Macario1960) masterpiece and one of the best mexican movies ever made.

The movie centers around the Characther of Jaime Karin (Arturo de Córdova from Buñuel’s El) an astrologer and scam artist who gets involved in a game bigger than him. Read More »

Luis Buñuel – El Angel Exterminador aka The Exterminating Angel [+Extras] (1962)

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Plot Outline :

A group of people in formal dress arrives at an elegantly appointed home for a dinner party. However, once dinner is over and the guests retire to the drawing room, they discover that the servants have gone away, and for some reason they cannot leave. There is no explanation why — there are no locked doors or barred windows preventing them from going home – but the guests are convinced that they’re stranded. Left to their own devices, they slowly but gradually degenerate into genteel savagery. Read More »

Carlos Reygadas – Batalla en el cielo aka Battle in Heaven (2005)

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Batalla en el Cielo, Carlos Reygadas

The sequel to Japón is a big-city story of demise in mega-city Mexico about a fat driver, the beautiful daughter of his boss and the surprising confession of an unforgivable crime. Upsetting and exciting existential drama by one of the world’s greatest film talents.
Immediately following its première in Cannes, the alarming and exciting Battle in Heaven split the film world into friend and foe. Many pages have been dedicated to the social, moral, existential and cinematographic aspects of Carlos Reygadas’ second film. He tells the story of a simple, big-city crime that – accidentally yet predictably – becomes an unforgivable one: Marcos and his wife kidnap a baby – and the baby then dies. Reygadas is not interested in the hows and whys of this act, for which neither church nor state can offer a truly redeeming punishment. What is important is the way that Marcos, a simple driver working for a rich general, reacts to the tragic outcome of his action. Seeking redemption, Marcos confesses the crime to Ana, the beautiful young daughter of his boss and a prostitute in an upmarket brothel. One crime leads to another, and Marcos’ path leads him on a pilgrimage to the Basilica Guadalupe. Starting and ending with both class-conscious and controversial scenes of fellatio, Battle in Heaven is an uninhibited, ambitious must-see film with its rather mysterious title, its grand camera movements (works of art in themselves, shot by Diego Vignatti), references to Rossellini, Tarkovski and Buñuel, and its meticulously-composed mise-en-scène and impressive soundtrack. [from IFFR catalogue] Read More »

Carlos Reygadas – Stellet Licht aka Silent Light (2007)

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The Carlos Reygadas guide to cinema:

The film is everything: “I’m not pursuing ‘a career’, or trying to make a point like Godard, who had these ideas of cinema and wanted to prove them through his films. His films are just essays trying to prove a preconceived theory, and that’s why I don’t like them very much. I feel films have to be pure – projections of vision and feelings, rather than make references to things outside of them. For me, they have to be spheres: self-containing.”

Make cinema for adults: “I’ve never understood all those children’s films about animals that talk and little animated spoons. When they ask me what I think of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, I always say, ‘I don’t understand them, they’re for children.’ And when I was a child, I didn’t understand films for adults and now I don’t understand films for children. I don’t understand why so many people understand films for children.” … Read More »

Michael Rowe – Año bisiesto aka Leap Year (2010)

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Winner of the prestigious Camera D’Or prize for Best First Feature at the 2010 Cannes Film
Festival, and one of the most controversial films of the year, LEAP YEAR (Año Bisiesto),
from Mexico, is the outstanding debut feature film of Australian director Michael Rowe, a
character study on loneliness, featuring an extraordinary leading performance by Mónica Del
Carmen (Babel), supported by Gustavo Sánchez Parra (Amores Perros, Man on Fire). Read More »