Arriving on Blu-Ray and DVD on 13th February, provocative and gruesome horror We Are the Flesh is the latest movie from director Emiliano Rocha Minter. Engulfing viewers in a nightmarish and surreal world, whereby two siblings find themselves manipulated by a terrifying stranger, it’s controversial Mexican cinema in every sense of the word.
It also follows a proud tradition of rich, boundary-pushing cinema to have emerged from the country. To honour the film’s release, here are some of Mexico’s finest.
Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Few images are seared onto viewers’ minds as vividly as the eyeball being sliced in Luis Bunuel’s groundbreaking surrealist classic (in reality it was a cow’s eye, not a human’s). But in truth the Spanish filmmaker’s trendsetting collaboration with Salvador Dali is filled to the brim with all other manner of striking imagery that left a lasting
The Exterminating Angel
The Criterion Collection 459
1962 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 93 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date December 6, 2016 / 39.95
Starring Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Augusto Benedicio, José Baviera, Antonio Bravo, Claudio Brook, Rosa Elena Durgel, Lucy Gallardo, Tito Junco .
Cinematography Gabriel Figueroa
Film Editor Carlos Savage
Original Music Raúl Lavista
Based on a story by Luis Alcoriza, Luis Buñuel
Produced by Gustavo Alatriste
Written and Directed by Luis Buñuel
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
That intransigent rebel imp Luis Buñuel never mellowed — after ten or so
Written by Julio Alejandro and Luis Buñuel
Directed by Luis Buñuel
The Cannes Film Festival has long been a venue to court controversy, and filmmaker Luis Buñuel was likewise one who consistently reveled in the divisive. At the 1961 festival, Buñuel brought his latest release, Viridiana, and the results were spectacular, and spectacularly contentious. The film, which shared Palme d’Or honors with Henri Colpi’s The Long Absence, was subsequently met with charges of blasphemy from the Vatican’s newspaper, and it was promptly banned in Buñuel ‘s native Spain.
The Spanish reaction was particularly critical. Viridiana’s production in Buñuel’s place of birth was already a hot topic. Having left for America and Mexico in 1939, Spain’s surrealist native son was back home, the adamantly leftist filmmaker now working amidst Francisco Franco’s fascist dictatorship. What’s the worst that could happen?
Viridiana is what happened,
courtesy of hilobrow.com
10. Andrei Rublev (1966)
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
A brutally expansive biopic about the Russian iconographer divided into nine chapters. Andrei Rublev (Anatoly Solonitsyn) is portrayed not as a silent monk, but a motivated artist working against social ruin,
Luis Bunuel, known as the father of surrealist cinema, lived in the simple, gated house over the last 30 years of his life after settling in Mexico as an exile from post-civil war Spain. For a man who assaulted moviegoers with such shots as an ant-infested hand, an eyeball sliced open with a straight razor, and elegant diners sitting on toilets, Bunuel enjoyed a surprisingly genteel life here.
Now, the Spanish government, which bought the house from Bunuel's family, has opened it to a public long fascinated with his work. The plan is to turn the building into a meeting place for Spanish and Mexican moviemakers, with workshops and occasional exhibits staged to celebrate Spanish-language cinema.
Director: Luis Buñuel
Writer: Buñuel; Buñuel and Luis Alejandro
Cinematographer: Gabriel Figueroa
Starring: Sylvia Pinal, Enrique Rambal; Pinal, Claudio Brook.
Studio/Run Time: The Criterion Collection, 93 mins., 45 mins.
Decades before Lost or even The Twilight Zone, director Luis Buñuel was creating hallucinatory experiences out of mundane reality, deranging the commonplace to sly, subversive effect. The peripatetic Spaniard invented surrealist cinema with his friend Salvador Dali in 1929, claiming a place in art history via the eyeball-slicing scandal of Un Chien Andalou. But the filmmaker drifted after that, failing to gain a foothold in either New York or Hollywood before finally establishing a middle-aged career shooting often melodramatic—and overlooked—commercial fare in Mexico.
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