Nicolás Pereda – El palacio (2013)

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Pereda’s films pass through a transitional period; Los mejores temas was probably a conscious farewell to a filmic representation system while Matar extraños turned out to be an enigmatic first test; El palacio is a new attempt at renovation, an experiment. These last two films show a novel element —the shifting of the family and domestic spheres to a public and political space. Whereas Matar extraños used revolution as its focal concept, in this enigmatic film the microphysics of power is the permeating idea.
The opening wide shot is brilliant; the 17 women who appear in this film are washing their teeth at the same time. Among this group there are little girls, young and old women, and they are not at a bathroom but at a patio filled with large sinks. Their activity unites them, though their experiences and, eventually, their functions differ. Where are they? For several minutes the only thing we will see are the diverse cleaning-related actions performed by these women. Everything happens in an old house, without any indication of its location. Abstraction and routine. Pereda is capable of filming someone hanging clothes to dry or making a bed as if those were aesthetic events.
A donkey wonders around and imposes a comical tone for a moment; but a donkey is an animal used for servitude. And the title of the film mentions a palace.
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Luis Buñuel – Los Olvidados AKA The Young and the Damned [+Extras] (1950)

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Quote:
Luis Bunuel classic from 1950. It is a tale of savage acts committed by impoverished youths in Mexico City. It is a film that has been kept fresh by its spirit and its style. Far from being puppets in a sermon on poverty, the characters are vivid creatures whose fierce desires are the focus of Bunuel’s attention.
In his unique storytelling, he not only finds forceful images in the dramas reality, but adds a masterful dream sequence.
Genius. Continue reading

Arturo Ripstein – Virgin of Lust aka Virgen de la Lujuria (2002)

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Review
Highly stylized
Noted Mexican filmmaker Arturo Ripstein (Deep Crimson) presents a highly stylized, almost stagebound, erotic melodrama about life in the 1940s in Mexico (filmed in the lush style of 1940s melodramas). It’s based on the story by Max Aub and penned by Alicia Paz Garciadiego. The narrative is in the form of a repetitious parable that is overlong, hitting many dull spots and at times insufferable to watch. It stays on message to show a series of themes (colonialism, class warfare, racial and idealogical divisions and revolutionary fervor in both Franco’s Spain and Mexico) based on real historical events and combines it with the fictional story of the willing enslavement to the upper-class of the peasant Indian Mexican named Nacho (Luis Felipe Tovar).
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Leobardo López Aretche – El Grito (1968)

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Banned until very recently, Arteche’s clandestine documentary chronicles a group of students’ movements in Mexico in 1968.

On July 22, 1968, two rival groups of male adolescent students fought each other in the Ciudadela neighbourhood of Mexico City; the next day the city government responded by sending policemen to stop the accompanying vandalism and to arrest the perpetrators. These riot police (granaderos) attacked the students so ferociously that protests were lodged. No one could have foreseen that both of these testosterone-driven events were the opening scene of the drama of the 1968 University-State conflict which climaxed in the Tlatelolco massacre.
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Juan López Moctezuma – The Mansion of Madness [Extras] (1973)

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A mysterious man is sent deep into the forest to investigate the bizarre behavior of the notorious Dr. Tarr. What he stumbles upon is the doctor’s torture dungeon, a hellish asylum completely cut off from civilization and presided over by the ultimate madman. Innocent people have been savagely chained, tortured and stuck in glass cages, then forced to take part in gruesome games of ritual slaughter. Continue reading

Amat Escalante – Heli (2013)

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From IMDb

Love story between a young girl and a police man, both of them had connections with drugs but in opposite ways. This will create a conflict that love will try to overcome.

Heli (Armando Espitia), the protagonist of Amat Escalante’s 2013 Palme d’Or nominee of the same name, is a young Mexican who lives with his father, his son, his young wife (Linda Gonzalez) and 12-year-old sister, Estella (Andrea Vergara). He’s prone to bad luck, keen on his naps and, when a census taker comes to the house, hesitates about how many people live there with him. However, when 17-year-old army cadet Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacios) falls in love with Estella and makes plans for the two of them to run away together, Heli’s cataclysmic knee-jerk reaction will plunge the family into pitiless and brutal violence. Continue reading

Zacarías Gómez Urquiza – Kid Tabaco (1955)

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Synopsis: A young worker eager to earn money as a boxer enters and grows into star ring. His idol is Kid Snuff boxing, he does not know, but I admire both reaching imitate everything. Be conquered by a cabaret singer, former lover Kid, breaking up with his girlfriend with whom he is truly in love. There comes a point in their fight with Kid for the championship of Mexico, but to discover the relationships with singer, repents and returns with his girlfriend. Decides to leave the ring, whatever the outcome of the fight. Win Kid Snuff and the other is on the floor. When the doctor acknowledges, is that has died from the blows.
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