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Calles negras, Las [The black streets]

Date produced: 2018

Filmmaker(s):

Felipe Tirado

Description:

"A successful man living in a great metropolis is increasing awareness of the unjust social reality that lives in the absurdity. This immerses him in a uneasiness that sinks into alcoholism and depression. In his wandering through the streets viewer gets to be the unfortunate suicide of another victim of the meaninglessness of life, which will produce a series of dreamlike hallucinations bordering on the madness. In a stroke of consciousness of his misfortune, he does run aimlessly without course. Devastated, to the dawn, with the light of the dawn he sees to be reborn the hope personified in an innocent girl who stretches the hand donating bread" Internet Archive.


Jícama [Jicama]

Date produced: 1970

Filmmaker(s):

Sergio Díaz Zubieta

O. Santos

Description:

"La película realizaba un montaje lúdico al yuxtaponer los mensajes políticos oficiales escritos en las bardas de la ciudad con imágenes o textos que los ironizaban o alteraban su sentido. El título viene de un juego de palabras con el fraseo de las sílabas "Mé-xi-co" / jí-ca-ma", que solían usarse entonces como porra en los partidos de fútbol de la selección nacional" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012).

"The movie had a playful montage by juxtaposing official political messages written in walls around the city with images or text that ironized them or altered their meaning. The title comes from a word game that played with the phrasing of the syllables "Me-xi-co / ji-ca-ma", a popular chant during the national team soccer games of the time" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012).


Hearts of Age, The

Date produced: 1934

Filmmaker(s):

Orson Welles

William Vance

Description:

"A colonial scene in the U.S. An old lady sits astride a bell while a man in blackface, wig, and livery pulls the bell rope. From an upper door emerges an old man, dressed as a dandy, who tips his hat to the woman as he walks down stairs grinning. Others leave the same door and walk down the same stairs: a shabby man, a cop, and, several times, the same dandy. The man in blackface hangs himself; the dandy continues to smile. A bell tolls, a grave beckons. In the dark, the dandy plays the piano. Is he Death?" IMDb.

Orson Welles' filmmaking debut, which was co-directed by William Vance. An amateur production, Welles later described the film as a parody of surrealist cinema and the films of Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel.


Popurrí de Superochos [Super 8 Potpourri]

Date produced: 1978

Filmmaker(s):

Maris Bustamante

Rubén Valencia

Description:

"Siete cortometrajes de Maris Bustamante y Rubén Valencia, integrantes del No Grupo, que indican el acercamiento de artistas plásticos al formato súper 8. Los trabajos del No-Grupo tendieron a hacer una reflexión a la vez lúdica y crítica sobre la naturaleza del arte" Superocheros.

"Seven short films made by Maris Bustamante and Rubén Valencia, members of the No Group, that indicate the interest of artists in the plastic arts to use the super 8 format. The works of the No Group were usually a playful and critical reflexion on the nature of art" Superocheros.


Arena [Sand]

Date produced: 1986

Filmmaker(s):

Silvia Gruner

Description:

"Arena (Sand, 1986), a soft, grainy projection in which Mexican artist Silvia Gruner, naked, on a beach, climbs a dune, sits, rubs sand and red pigment over her body, and then somersaults all the way down. The video loops, and Gruner repeats her uphill trek again and again. Sisyphean, certainly, and yet her only burden was herself and that looked like freedom" (Brown, 2017)


Eureka

Date produced: 1974

Filmmaker(s):

Nicolás Echevarría

Description:

"Primer súper 8 de Nicolás Echevarría, quien ya había realizado un trabajo experimental en 16 milímetros y veía en los superocheros una suerte de "comunidad de marginados" con la que se sentía a gusto, mostraba sobre el fondo de una pieza de Ravel las poses de un contorsionista que buscaba la autosatisfacción en un decorado que asocia la noción burguesa de confort al erotismo" (Vázquez Mantecón 2012)

"First super 8 film of Nicolás Echevarría, who had already filmed and experimental piece in 16 mm and saw in the supereighters a sort of "outcasts' community" that he identified himself with, it showed with the background of a Ravel musical piece the poses of a male contortionist looking for self-satisfaction in a setting that associates the notion of the bourgeoisie to the comfort of eroticism"


Materia nupcial [Bridal matter]

Date produced: 1974

Filmmaker(s):

Alfredo Robert

Description:

"Quizá para dejar claro que abordaba el tema desde un punto de vista artístico, la película comienza con imágenes de erotismo en las artes plásticas (Picasso y Fiona Alexander, principalmente) para relatar la historia de un hombre (Salvador Garcini) que se acerca sensualmente a su amada (Tina Romero) y descubre que tiene una vagina dentada, cosa que lo desorienta y conflictúa. Es curioso que a diferencia del poema de Neruda en el que se había inspirado, la película no mostraba el ejercicio de una sexualidad plena y consumada, sino precisamente de los miedos a ella.
El joven vaga atormentado por las calles de la ciudad. Acude con una especie de gurú (Juan José Gurrola), que interpreta música neuroatonal en un teclado eléctrico, mientras resuena el poema de Neruda. A partir de esto el joven recupera sus fuerzas y recibe una suerte de inciación sexual con una mujer de vestido blanco en la pirámide de Cuicuilco para finalmente volver, todo complejo superado, a la mujer del principio" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012)

"Maybe to make it clear that the topic was addressed from an artistic perspective, the film begins with erotic images from plastic arts (mainly Picasso and Fiona Alexander) to tell the story of a man (Salvador Garcini) that approaches sensually his loved one (Tina Romero) and discovers that she has a Vagina Dentata, which disorients and conflicts him. It is curious that unlike the Neruda poem it is inspired by, the film doesn't show a free and consummated sexuality, but the fears associated with it.
The tormented man wanders the streets of the city. He goes to a sort of spiritual guru (Juan José Gurrola), that interprets neuro-atonal music in an electric keyboard, while Neruda's poem sounds in the background. From this point the young man regains his strength and receives a sort of sexual initiation with a woman dressed in white in the pyramid of Cuicuilco to finally come back, all complexes aside, to the woman of the beginning" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012)


Domingo 7 [Sunday 7]

Date produced: 1971

Filmmaker(s):

Sergio García Michel

David Celestinos

Alfredo Gurrola

Description:

"Esta cinta se basaba en una idea de David Celestinos de enviar a diversos equipos de filmación a desarrollar historias sobre lo que ocurre un domingo en la Ciudad de México de manera simultánea. El resultado fue interesante, en la medida en la que muestra la cotidianidad dominguera de diversos personajes que provienen de distintas clases sociales: un borracho llega con su compadre a la casa de la vecindad y es recibido de mala manera por la mujer, un grupo de juniors pasa el día en Cuernavaca, un hombre solitario recorre las calles y parques del centro de la Ciudad de México, un velador se aburre en el edificio que custodia, dos sirvientas pasan el día en Chapultepec, una familia clasemediera que va a misa y a pasar un día de campo... La cinta sigue el planteamiento hecho por el neorrealismo italiano de no convocar actores profesionales para presentar historias sencillas, ligeramente dramatizadas" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012.

"This film was based in an idea by David Celestinos of sending diverse filming crews to develop stories about what happens simultaneously on a Sunday in Mexico City. The result was interesting since it showed the Sunday everydayness of diverse characters from different social classes: a drunk man arrives at his friend's house in a poor neighborhood and is received in a bad way by a woman, a group of juniors that spend their day in Cuernavaca, a lonely man that goes through the streets and parks of Mexico City, a night watchman that is bored in the building he is in charge of, two maids that spend the day in Chapultepec, a middle class family that goes to mass and to have a picnic... The film follows the idea posed by Italian Neorealism of not using professional actors to present simple stories, slightly staged" (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012).


Segunda Primera Matriz, La [The Second First Womb]

Date produced: 1972

Filmmaker(s):

Alfredo Gurrola

Description:

" La segunda primera matriz narraba visual y poéticamente una historia de la humanidad, desde el origen hasta la carrera espacial, como una nueva frontera. En una primera sección, entre tomas de nubes, remolinos y oscuridad, hacía referencia al origen de la vida. (...) Después del lanzamiento del cohete y de las imágenes sobre la exploración del espacio, se ve a una mujer desnuda en el campo. La cámara hace un lento tilt down recorriendo su cuerpo. Al pasar por el pubis sigue a una gota de sangre que comienza a deslizarse por la pierna. Cuando llega al suelo aparece un desfile de tanques de guerra en miniatura, rojos, como los que se habían mostrado anteriormente en la película. La película termina con un cartel que dice 'Pero también se puede parir la nada' " (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012).

La segunda primera matriz [The second first womb] told visually and poetically a story about humanity, from its origin to the Space Race, as a new frontier. In a first section, amongst shots of clouds, swirls and darkness, it referred to the origin of life. (...) After the launch of a rocket and images about exploring space, the film shows a woman naked in the country. The camera makes a slow tilt down of her body. When passing by the pubis, the camera follows a drop of blood that slides by the leg. When it reaches the floor, a parade of miniature war tanks appear, red, like the ones previously shown. The film ends with a sign that says 'But you can also give birth to nothing' " (Vázquez Mantecón, 2012).


Amateur Film Club Visits Dachau, 1942

Date produced: 1942

Description:

"Title onscreen indicates that the footage shows an outing of the Munich amateur film club to Dachau, 1942. . . . They arrive at the station and begin filming in the residential/commercial areas of the town (NOT the camp)." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


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