Based on the success of the 2011 fall series GenMex: Recent Films from Mexico, Anthology Film Archives is partnering once again with Cinema Tropical and the Mexican Cultural Institute to present a series featuring some of the most inventive and cutting-edge filmmakers working in Mexico today.
Over the past decade, an emerging generation of filmmakers in the country has produced an impressive and internationally acclaimed body of work. Some of these filmmakers, such as Matías Meyer, Eugenio Polgovksy, Pedro González-Rubio, and Yulene Olaizola, have been able to create substantial bodies of work in a short time, each of them producing three, four, or, in the case of the exceedingly prolific Nicolás Pereda, seven feature films. Their ranks have been joined by others who have burst onto the scene more recently, with debut features and sophomore productions promising great things – including Kyzza Terrazas, Michel Lipkes, Sebastián Hofmann, Natalia Beristáin, and Michel Franco, among others.
GenMex Part II will showcase some of the most exciting films made in Mexico since the first installment of the series, five of them New York premieres, proving that this new wave of Mexican cinema is anything but a fleeting phenomenon. The program includes the New York premiere of Michel Franco’s Después de Lucía / After Lucía, winner of the top prize at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, the Sundance favorite Halley by Sebastián Hofmann, and a special sneak preview of Natalia Beristain’s No quiero dormir sola / She Doesn’t Want to Sleep Alone, winner of the prize for Best Film at the Morelia Film Festival.
“We’re very excited to be partnering again with Anthology Film Archives and the Mexican Cultural Institute in bringing to New York audiences some of the best Mexican films of the last couple of years”, says Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Director of Cinema Tropical, and programmer of the film series, “these films illustrate the greatness and diversity of Mexican cinema and showcase some of the country’s most promising talents.”
As part of the series, Anthology Film Archives will also be hosting the U.S. theatrical premiere run of Matías Meyer’s minimalist epic The Last Christeros / Los últimos Cristeros, playing August 30 – September 5.
Special thanks to all the filmmakers, and to Jaime Jaimes and Víctor Manuel Juárez (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores), Estrella Araiza (Vendocine); Sandro Fiorin & Alex García (FiGa Films); Sandra Gómez & Jessy Vega (Interior XIII); Shinji Kitagawa (Nara International Film Festival); Aida LiPera & Lita Robinson (Visit Films); David Pike (BrinkVision); Juan Pablo Polo (Axolote Distribución); Franka Schwabe (Bac Films); and Jacqueline Jimenez (Pantelion Films).
For more information, screeners for review, hi-res images, or to schedule an interview with the filmmakers please contact Andrea Betanzos, (212) 254-5474 or email@example.com
GENMEX PART II: RECENT FILMS FROM MEXICO
GREATEST HITS / LOS MEJORES TEMAS
A film by Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada/Netherlands, 2012, 103 min., 35mm.)
“A restless formalist and one of the most inventive practitioners of the hybrid film, the prolific Pereda casts two of his regular collaborators, Gabino Rodríguez and Teresa Sánchez, as son and mother in a domestic drama about a returning prodigal father. But the reality of the film soon starts to slip. An actor is replaced; scenes are repeated with slight variations; worlds collide as actors interact with fictional characters. Both playful and radical, Greatest Hits is one of Pereda’s most emotionally resonant films, and also, as the title suggests, a culminating work.” –First Look, Museum of the Moving Image
Friday, September 6 at 6:45pm; Sunday, September 8 at 9pm; and Monday, September 9 at 8:45.
New York Premiere!
AFTER LUCÍA / DESPUÉS DE LUCÍA
A film by Michel Franco (Mexico, 2012, 102 min., 35mm.)
Winner of the top prize at the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, the sophomore feature film by Franco, “one of the finest and most imaginative young directors on the scene” (Howard Feinstein, Screen Daily), is an intense and shocking exploration of the violent effects of bullying. The film tells the story of Alejandra, who has just moved with her depressed father to Mexico City after her mother has passed away. As she starts classes in a new school, she becomes the target of escalating torment by bullies. Their torments grow in intensity and cruelty, wearing down the weary Alejandra’s resistance.
Friday, September 6 at 9:15pm; and Tuesday, September 10 at 7pm.
New York Premiere!
MITOTE / MEXICAN RITUAL
A film by Eugenio Polgovsky (Mexico, 2012, 53 min., digital video)
A shaman’s mystical invocations, a protest of furious electricians on hunger strike, and a euphoric soccer crowd collide in the Zócalo of Mexico City, the country’s central square and ancient ceremonial heart of the Aztec empire. Mitote (Nahuatl for chaos or celebration) transforms the plaza into a wrestling ring, where national commemorations, postmodern rituals, and the remains of pre-Hispanic culture clash. Polgovsky’s follow up to his acclaimed documentary film The Inheritors is an intricate portrait of the different layers that coexist – sometimes in conflict – in Mexican culture.
New York Premiere!
A film by Yulene Olaizola (Mexico/Canada, 2012, 61 min., digital video. In English)
The deterioration of a small community in Fogo Island, off the coast of Canada, is forcing its inhabitants to leave and resettle. Places once occupied by humans are now becoming part of the tundra landscape. In spite of a condemned future, there are some residents who decide to remain, holding on to their memories and grieving for the past, when life in Fogo was different. Olaizola’s third feature film, a minimalist Mexican-Canadian drama, follows in the footsteps of her previous film Artificial Paradises, pushing the boundaries between fiction and documentary film.
Saturday, September 7 at 4:45pm; and Wednesday, September 11 at 9pm.
A film by Pedro González-Rubio (Japan, 2012, 72 min., digital video. In Japanese with English subtitles)
“Epic. […] González-Rubio’s long, contemplative takes feel like an osmotic experience.” –G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
Winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, the third feature film by acclaimed director González-Rubio (Alamar) is a stunning and poetic documentary shot in a tiny mountain community in Japan, made at the invitation of Japanese director Naomi Kawase and the Nara Film Festival. Blending documentary and narrative, Inori (Japanese for ‘prayer’) depicts the lives of the aging population of the isolated village. As the younger generations have left to look for work elsewhere, the remaining elderly inhabitants perform their everyday routine with stoicism and dignity.
Saturday, September 7 at 7:15pm; and Thursday, September 12 at 9pm.
A film by Michel Lipkes (Mexico, 2011, 67 min., 35mm.)
“Beautiful. […] Lipkes proves in this opera prima that he is a talent to watch.” –Howard Feinstein, Screen Daily
Lipkes’s slow-burning film follows a nameless elderly man (played by non-actor Issac López) on his last day of life in the seedy streets of downtown Mexico City. Beset by memories, he roams through his past while everyday life slips by him. “Rendered with intensity and rigor” (Robert Koehler, Variety), Malaventura marks the auspicious and dignified filmmaking debut of film critic and programmer Lipkes.
Saturday, September 7 at 9pm; and Monday, September 9 at 7pm.
MACHETE LANGUAGE / EL LENGUAJE DE LOS MACHETES
A film by Kyzza Terrazas (Mexico, 2011, 84 min., digital video)
Ray (Andrés Almeida), a revolutionary activist, and Ramona (real-life singer Jessy Bulbo), a rebellious punk rock girl, are a young couple who hate inequality and social injustice in their country, and together try to advocate for a better world. Pushed over the edge by the violent repression in Salvador Atenco, they feel increasingly drawn to commit a terrorist act in the name of their political beliefs and their love. Terrazas’s poignant directorial debut is a frenetic love story in a self-destructive political activist context, set to the rhythm of punk rock.
Sunday, September 8 at 5pm; and Thursday, September 12 at 7pm.
New York Premiere!
A film by Sebastián Hofmann (Mexico, 2012, 84 min., digital video)
“Beto, a security guard in a Mexico City gym, quietly observes the healthy bodies of the muscle-bound patrons, which contrast sharply with his own physical deterioration. Afflicted with a strange illness, Beto surrenders to his condition and holes up in his apartment, injecting himself with embalming fluid to stem his increasing decay. Beto’s melancholy grows as he realizes – in the words of an affable morgue attendant – that ‘the diseased become the disease.’ Through the friendly advances of the gym’s female owner, Beto dances with the illusory promise of feeling alive again. Hofmann’s increasingly surrealistic feature debut subverts genre conventions and audience expectations, treating its living-dead protagonist with sensitivity and compassion.” –Sundance Film Festival
Sunday, September 8 at 7pm; and Tuesday, September 10 at 9:15pm.
Special Sneak-Preview Screening!
SHE DOESN’T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE / NO QUIERO DORMIR SOLA
A film by Natalia Beristain (Mexico, 2012, 82 min., digital video)
Amanda is 33 years old and suffers from a condition: she cannot sleep alone. Her dull life is suddenly altered when she is forced to take care of her old alcoholic grandmother, Dolores (played by veteran actress Adriana Roel), a retired actress who lives on her past glories. Largely based on the filmmaker’s relationship to her grandmother, Beristáin’s promising feature film, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, was the winner of the prize for Best Film at the 2012 Morelia Film Festival.
Wednesday, September 11 at 7pm.
New York Theatrical Premiere Run!
THE LAST CHRISTEROS / LOS ÚLTIMOS CRISTEROS
A film by Matías Meyer (Mexico/Netherlands, 2011, 90 min., 35mm.)
Matías Meyer’s The Last Christeros is a highly unusual historical film that takes a meditative, nearly non-narrative approach to portraying the experiences of those who continued to resist the Mexican government’s anti-Christian (especially anti-Roman Catholic) persecution, even following the official end of the Cristero War in 1929. Devoted to the cause, despite their increasing desperation and fatigue, and their yearning to rejoin their families, this band of rebels – whose genuine religious faith and spiritual innocence is apparent despite their paradoxical embrace of armed struggle – trudges exhaustedly through the hills and mountains of rural Mexico, experiencing moments of grace and beauty amid the violence and suffering. This third feature by Meyer (following Wadley and The Cramp) decisively establishes him as one of the most gifted of young Mexican filmmakers, and represents a striking combination of minimalist cinema and historical depiction. Eschewing a narrative chronicle of the War’s events, Meyer instead puts us in his weary fighters’ shoes, and emphasizes the quiet, strangely tranquil moments between battles.
Friday, August 30 through Thursday, September 5, nightly at 7pm and 9pm, additional screenings on 8/31 and 9/1 at 5pm.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are in Spanish with English subtitles.
All films at:
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue at 2nd Street, New York City
(212) 505-5181 / www.anthologyfilmarchives.org
Subway: F to Second Avenue; 6 to Bleecker.
Tickets: $10 general; $8 for students, seniors, & children (12 & under); $6 AFA members.