mexican cinema

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It is said that the Princess returned to her father’s kingdom. That she reigned there with justice and a kind heart for many centuries. That she was loved by her people. And that she left behind small traces of her time on Earth, visible only to those who know where to look.

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Mexican film director Emilio Fernández, one of my favorite directors, posed for the Oscar statue …. Things you didn’t know.

The 8-pound, 24-karat gold plated statues that will be handed out Sunday evening at the 84th Annual Academy Awards were modeled after a Mexican man.

You read that right.

The most recognized trophy in the world known simply as “Oscar” is modeled after Mexican filmmaker and actor Emilio Fernandez.

Solvej Schou on the history of how the statue came to be:

Working in Hollywood, Fernandez befriended Mexican actress Dolores del Rio, then wife of studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s art director and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences member Cedric Gibbons. Del Rio introduced Fernandez to Gibbons, who was in charge of supervising the statuette’s design.

Gibbons asked Fernandez to pose in the buff for a sketch to create the basis for the 8.5-pound trophy. Reluctantly, Fernandez did, and the design became the foundation for artist George Stanley’s famous sculpture of the statuette, given out at the very first Academy Awards in L.A. in 1929.

That design remains to this day.

The irony of it all is that only two Mexican actors have ever been nominated for an Oscar. This year’s best actor nominee Demián Bichir is the second Mexican (male) actor to be nominated in the 84-year history of the Oscars.

Across all categories only 11 out of 2,809 Oscar trophies have been awarded to Mexicans— and they’re mostly behind the scene awards.

The number of Mexicans in the Academy that gets to vote for who gets Oscars is also pretty low. Only 2% of Academy voters are Latino. Out of 5,100 Academy voters only about 100 are Latino—-which probably leaves you with a dozen or three Mexicans in the mix.

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Trailer: Cantinflas (Sebastián del Amo, 2014)

¿Qué opinan? Any thoughts?

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“We are used to knowing exactly what’s going on when we are watching something, which is very strange because in life it is precisely the opposite. Most of the time in life we are living through things and don’t know what they mean at the time, except at a very superficial level. It is only later they become important, or take on a particular relevance.”

Carlos Reygadas

[dedicated to: garadinervi]

Post Tenebras Lux [2012 Carlos Reygadas]

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To the lovely themexicansnob, who’s tired of contemporary mexican films being all about narcos, the government and how shitty our country is.

I agree it’s frustrating that these kinds of productions (which a lot of the time aren’t good) are the ones that usually get wide releases in Mexico and get picked up by international distributors, mostly because of the public’s morbid fascination with violence and constructions about the ~exotic and dangerous~ “third world”.

With that in mind, I’ve made a list of a few films I like that may not be exactly heart-warming or uplifting but that reflect the human experience through different narratives and styles, avoiding the extremes of the mexican preciousism movement and the current crudeness in national cinema.

  • La fórmula secreta (1965), Rubén Gámez
  • Poetas campesinos (1980), Nicolás Echevarría
  • El premio (2011), Paula Markovitch
  • La mancha de sangre (1937), Adolfo Best Maugard
  • Nazarín (1958), Luis Buñuel
  • Pedro Páramo (1967), Carlos Velo
  • Mezcal (2006), Ignacio Ortiz
  • Bartolomé de las Casas (1992), Sergio Olhovich
  • Macario (1960), Roberto Gavaldón
  • El lugar sin límites (1978), Arturo Ripstein
  • Danzón (1991), María Novaro
  • En la palma de tu mano (1950), Roberto Gavaldón
  • Dos monjes (1934), Juan Bustillo Oro
  • Stellet licht (2007), Carlos Reygadas
  • Cada loco con su tema (1939), Juan Bustillo Oro
  • Santa Sangre (1989), Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • La mujer de Benjamín (1991), Carlos Carrera
  • Cronos (1993), Guillermo del Toro
  • La perla (1947), Emilio Fernández
  • Cuentos de hadas para dormir cocodrilos (2002), Ignacio Ortiz
  • Fecha de caducidad (2011), Kenya Márquez
  • Cabeza de Vaca (1991), Nicolás Echevarría
  • El hombre sin rostro (1950), Juan Bustillo Oro
  • Canoa (1976), Felipe Cazals
  • Redondo (1986) Raúl Busteros
  • Post Tenebras Lux (2012), Carlos Reygadas
  • Alamar (2009), Pedro González-Rubio
  • El fantasma del convento (1934), Fernando de Fuentes