An Introduction to Mexican Cinema
Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)

Spawning world-renowned directors like Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy), and with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful currently nominated for two Academy Awards, Mexico’s film industry has established a name of its own. But few people know the history of Mexican cinema, or have access to some of its early films. During this series of talks, we will provide a brief introduction to this history, show a few clips, and present screenings of films from a pivotal moment in the development of Mexican cinema: the times of decadence around the decade of 1970.

During the 1930’s and 1940’s the industry reached a peak. This period is still remembered as the Epoca de Oro (Golden Era) of Mexican cinema; it generated several super productions, saw the rise of films of great quality, and was extended well into the 1950’s and 60’s by the work of great directors such as surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel –who was born in Spain but acquired Mexican citizenship. By the second half of the decade of 1960 things started to decline, and the quality of films weakened. However, some interesting things happened precisely during that era of decadence. Surrealism was mixed with lucha libre, rock and roll with science fiction, and Mexico’s own cultural and artistic heritage was put together with experimental filming techniques. The result of this melting pot stretches from genius to plain weird.

Each night we will present a special (surprise) screening. Join us for three nights of lust, wrestlers fighting evil brains, a pre-Hayek Frida Kahlo and other delicacies in these screenings of obscure, rarely seen films of Mexican cinema’s times of decadence.