Mexico

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 »

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 »

Sergei M. Eisenstein – La Destrucción de Oaxaca (1931)

Description: Footage of the aftermath of the January 14 1931 Earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico. Read More »

Rolando Klein – Chac: Dios de la lluvia aka Chac the Rain God (1975)

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A very unique and incredible film, Rolando Klein made it in 1974 after spending two years living among the Tzeltal Indians of Chiapas, collecting stories, events, and anecdotes from their culture. A graduate of UCLA film school and of Chilean birth, Klein “returned to his Hispanic roots” at the urging of director and mentor Jules Dassin in 1972. A village is experiencing a drought detrimental to their crops and, resultantly, their survival. After only failure comes from consultation with their usual shaman, they attempt to gain aid from a mysterious diviner living in the mountains, who is said to practice the ancient ways forgotten by all else in the village. After securing his help, the diviner leads twelve tribesmen on a long journey as part of the rain-bringing ceremony. Eventually they return to the village to enact the ceremony proper, and incredible events ensue. In the meantime, there is always skepticism of the diviner’s abilities; indeed, he might be merely bewitching the village for his own purposes. Or is he…? Read More »

Ruben Gutierrez – Pierdete Entre los Muertos AKA Drown Among the Dead (2018)

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Quote:
An elderly comedian is buried up to his neck in the Mexican desert. A bitter young woman threatens to pulp his head with a nail bat; the only thing that can stall her are his stories of a mythical threshold behind which lies the absolute truth. Is she in his dream or he in hers? Or were they once the Bonnie-and-Clyde-like couple we keep seeing, exacting their revenge on the world? In this dystopian frame story, nothing is what it seems. “Some stories have no clear beginning or end,” says the old man and his tales of love, fear of death and love’s vulnerability intertwine. Nihilistic, yet wonderfully shot, this narrative offers no solution, but does provide escape routes for a doomed world. Director Gutiérrez calls this, his debut film, his opera prima.

“This bizarre situation detonates a monologue about solitude, emptiness, love, absurdity, fear of death, and the fragility of human passions.”

— FilmAffinity Read More »

Nicolás Pereda – Minotauro (2015)

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Nicolás Pereda / Mexico-Canada, 2015 / New York, Toronto / 53′

Two young men and a young women occupy a flat in Mexico City. They spend their days reading alone, reading aloud, and sleeping. From time to time, a maid arrives to tidy their quarters. Time and even space cease to exist; there is only the present somnambulant moment, drifting between sleep and wakefulness.

A wraithlike fantasy capturing the languorous texture of privilege, Minotaur studies both the nearly-obsolete ritual of cloistering oneself from the world to read, and the social status that would make such an activity possible. Nicolás Pereda’s seventh film premiered at both the New York Film Festival and Toronto. Read More »