When the Las Artes de Mexico Film Series kicks off this Thursday, Feb. 28, five critically-acclaimed examples of Mexican film will be shown at the Bill Cosford Cinema. The film series will include two short films and three feature-length films, featuring renowned actors and legendary directors from yesterday and today.
Each of these films earned widespread critical acclaim and success at a number of award ceremonies from around the world, including the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival.
The series is sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute and is being held in conjunction with the Lowe Art Museum’s exhibition of Mexican art, Las Artes de Mexico, which will remain on display at the museum until April 5.
Organizers believe that the connection to the exhibition at the Lowe Museum, as well as the content of the films themselves, can provide insight into Mexico that transcends the canvas and the screen.
“The Cosford frequently screens individual Mexican films,” said Christina Lane, an associate professor of motion pictures at the School of Communication. “But when we present a spring-long series, especially in connection to a related campus event, we create a greater space to probe deeper concerns and questions of art and politics.”
The prospect of a series of important Mexican films has spread some intrigue around campus.
“I’m a big fan of Mexican cinema, especially guys like Guillermo del Toro,” sophomore Andy Rovira said. “I definitely would be interested in watching.”
Student opinions such as Rovira’s certainly satisfy Lane.
“We have seen a great rise in interest from UM students and local patrons recently when it comes to films from Latin America and Mexico,” Lane said. “My hunch is that this series will do quite well.”
The opening day festivities will begin on Feb. 28, at 1 p.m. with a showing of the 1996 short film, De Tripas, Corazon, featuring Gael Garcia Bernal in his first starring role. The film chronicles a milk boy, played by Bernal, and his quest to lose his sexual innocence. De Tripas, Corazon, received acclaim in Mexico and abroad and garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Film.
De Tripas, Corazon will be followed by a presentation of Los Olvidados, a 1950 feature film by master director Luis Buñuel. Combining elements of neorealism and surrealism, Los Olvidados is a harrowing drama that exposes the naked misery of the slums of Mexico City. Los Olvidados was named the second best Mexican film by Somos magazine in their 1994 list of the 100 greatest films in the history of Mexican cinema, and earned Buñuel the Best Director award at the 1951 Cannes Film Festival.
The film series continues on March 22 at 5 p.m. with another double feature. First is Centinelas Del Silencio, a breathtaking aerial tour of several ancient Mesoamerican sites narrated by Orson Welles (in the English version) and Ricardo Montalban (in the Spanish version). The second film of the day is Cronos, Academy Award-nominated director Guillermo del Toro’s first feature film.
The series comes to an end on March 29 at 5 p.m. with the screening of Macario, a 1960 rags-to-riches classic starring Ignacio Lopez Tarso.
IF YOU GO
Who: The School of Communication and the Bill Cosford Cinema, in conjunction with the Lowe Art Museum
What: Las Artes de Mexico Film Series
When: Saturday, Feb. 28 at 1:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 29 at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Bill Cosford Cinema
Cost: Free for UM students, $6 for UM faculty and employees, $8 for the general public