Tuesday, 9 June 2015

EIFF Preview: Focus on Mexico

    The Edinburgh International Film Festival traditionally has at least one strand of its programme focussed on the output of a specific country. The 69th edition of EIFF starts next week (running between 17 - 28 June) and - as part of the Year of Mexico in the UK - it will take Mexico as its country focus. Encompassing 19 films from different genres and eras, the strand includes short films, new feature films, and a variety of classics.
    I've seen some "contemporary" Mexican films - namely those by Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro González Iñárritu, and a handful of others (usually starring Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, or one or other (or both) of Demian and Bruno Bichir) - but I'd by no means consider myself up-to-date with current trends or familiar with up-and-coming names. So I'm looking forward to the window on Mexico and recent Mexican cinema that EIFF will offer, and also for the chance to see a couple of films from Mexican cinema's 'Golden Age' in the form of María Candelaria (Emilio Fernández, 1944) and Macario (Roberto Gavaldón, 1960) on the big screen.
    The full list of films in the Mexican strand (the links take you to the respective pages on the EIFF website):

Pedro Armendáriz and Dolores del Río in María Candelaria

    I won't manage to see all of them. I'm reviewing Llévate mis amores, Macario, María Candelaria, and Viento aparte (and films from other parts of the programme) for Eye for Film - so I'll link to those reviews on here. But I also hope to catch at least four more (I'm definitely aiming for 600 Millas, El comienzo del tiempo, La danza del hipocampo, and La Tirisia - and I'd also like to see the shorts) and I'll write about those either on here (in one of my periodic broadenings of the blog's remit) or elsewhere. I'm also thinking of writing something about Gabriel Figueroa - he links Macario and María Candelaria (the latter is one of many films he made with Emilio Fernández), but was also DoP for the likes of Luis Buñuel (seven times, by my count), John Huston, and John Ford. He's currently the focus of a retrospective at Film Forum in New York in conjunction with the exhibition 'Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa - Art and Film' at El Museo Del Barrio. I'm not sure what form my piece will take yet, but it will probably be dependent on me managing to see a range of his films (given that he has more than 200 credits to his name, I'll probably stick to a selection of b&w ones). To be continued...