Sept. 6-9, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

Contemporary Mexican Films/Jornadas De Cine Mexicano

Presented in association with the General Consulate of Mexico in Los Angeles

For information in Spanish or to see photos from the films click here.

Series Compiled by Gwen Deglise. Shorts program compiled by Andrew P. Crane. Additional program notes by Chris D.

Special Thanks: Alejandro Pelayo Rangel / Consulate General of Mexico; Xavier Sibaja, Gil Botello, Juan Rodriguez Flores / Inner Circle Producer.

The film OTILIA RAUDA will not be shown as was previously announced. In its place, EL SEGUNDO AIRE will be screened.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.



SCHEDULE (by series)

SCHEDULE (by date)







This four-day event includes seven features and nine shorts. Most will films will be presented in-person by the filmmaker. This presentation of some of Mexico’s best new films is scheduled to coincide with Mexican Independence Day.

From comedies to road movies, to bittersweet love stories and gritty urban dramas, each film explores the new modern Mexico and its roots. The success of such new Mexican films as AMORES PERROS, and the recent surge in film production after years in the doldrums, promises a new golden age of Mexican filmmaking.

Three generations of Mexican filmmakers will be appear in person: Gerardo Tort (DE LA CALLE), Salvador Aguirre (DE IDA Y VUELTA) and Armando Casas (UN MUNDO RARO), and appearing with their latest films are Fernando Sariñana (El SEGUNDO AIRE) with TODO EL PODER and one of the most successful Mexican directors of the last 20 years, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, who will appear with his acclaimed DONA HERLINDA Y SU HIJO (1984), plus his latest film, ESCRITO EN EL CUERPO DE LA NOCHE (WRITTEN IN THE BODY OF THE NIGHT).

There will also be an eclectic program of short films; a photographic exhibition in the lobby of the theatre as well as dance, music and food in the courtyard during the film series. In addition, a panel discussion on Mexican Cinema will take place on Friday September 7th at UCLA -- for more information call 213-351-6824.

All prints are in Spanish with English subtitles. All guests are subject to their availability.


Thursday September 6, 2001 - 8:00 PM

DE LA CALLE (STREETERS), Dir. Gerardo Tort, 2001, Tiempo & Tono, 90 min. LOS OLVIDADOS meets AMORES PERROS in this kinetic portrait of the dark life of children who have nothing, Mexico City's street kids. 15-year-old Rufino (Luis Fernando Peña), survives on odd jobs in the slums, embarks on a brutal odyssey as he's chased by a corrupt policeman, makes plans to run off with girlfriend Maya Zapata and searches for his never before seen father. Gerardo Tort's directorial debut employed real street children who bring a gritty authenticity to Jesús Gonzáles Dávila's theatre play. Winner of 2001 Mayahuel, Guadalajara International Film Festival, for Best Picture and Best Actor for Luis Fernando Peña. "I wanted to awaken from that abandoned child that, in essence, we all are" -- Gerardo Tort. Discussion following with director Gerardo Tort.

Friday September 7, 2001 - 7:00 PM

DE IDA Y VUELTA (BACK AND FORTH), Dir. Salvador Aguirre, 2000, IMCINE, 92 min. Salvador Aguirre has a track record as assistant to such directors as Ridley Scott and Paul Leduc and it shows in his assured directorial debut, the saga of Filiberto's (Gerardo Taracena) return home after 3 years in the U.S., looking for a new start only to find his mother dead, his fiancé married and a deadly war over water with outlaw landowners. A powerful road movie on the Mexican campesinos' identity and the effect of immigration. Winner of Fipreci (Federation International of movie press) Best Latin American Feature and various international prizes. Discussion following with director Salvador Aguirre.


Friday September 7, 2001 - 9:30 PM

UN MUNDO RARO (A STRANGE WORLD), Dir. Armando Casas, 2001, IMCINE, 95 min. Emilio (Emilio Guerrero), a criminal (and aspiring stand-up comic), sees his dream coming true when his gang assaults famous TV host Salvador (Victor Hugo Arana). Using blackmail and harassment, Emilio finally gets his break in television. Armando Casas' brilliant debut feature charts with ironic humor the Mexican media's influence on its audience. Although one might take it for a Latin KING OF COMEDY, this amusing urban fable is based on a real-life assault experienced by the co-writer Rafael Tonatiuh. Discussion following with director Armando Casas.


Saturday September 8, 2001 - 5:00 PM

MEXICAN SHORT FILMS: Rene Castillo’s "Hasta Los Huesos" (Down to the Bone, 11 min.) This Cannes selection is an inventive animated look at death through the unique prism of a Mexican eye. Oliver Castro’s "Azar" (Chance, 5 min.) Finely shot meditation on what can happen when anything can. Tony Wakefield’s "Malos Habitos" (Bad Habits,10 min.) Pablo & Julia break sacred vows that will change their world forever. Carlos Cuaron’s "Me La Debes" (You Owe Me One, 12 min.) A look behind the façade of a proper family. Think of a Mexican AMERICAN BEAUTY! Juan Jose Medina & Rita Basulto’s "El Octavio Dia" (The Eight Day, 15 min.) Come take a journey into an incredible animated world in this fantasy/horror film. Carlos Salces "Las Olas Del Tiempo" (The Waves of Time, 9 min.) Beautiful short centering on a little girl’s attempt to outwit fate. Guillermo Arriaga’s "Rogelio" (5 min.) A unique look at the dead who don’t wish to remain so! Jose Luis Aguilar’s "El Valor De La Amistad" (The Valor of Friendship, 5 min.) Trouble erupts when two friends share the same prize-winning lottery ticket. Jaime Ruiz Ibanez’s "Los Maravillosos Olores De La Vida" (The Wonderful Scent of Life, 25 min.) A powerful film about a corrupt narcotics agent who is addicted to death and his attempt to outwit his fate. Stunning! Discussion following with director Carlos Salces.

Saturday September 8, 2001 - 8:00 PM


El SEGUNDO AIRE (THE SECOND WIND), 2001, Alta Vista, 90 min. A contemporary urban comedy by successful producer/director Fernando Sariñana (TODO EL PODER) explores a couple’s mid-life crisis. When Julia (Lisa Owen) a college teacher falls for one of her idealistic students, her husband Moises (Jesus Ochoa) awakens from his workaholic situation and wonders what became of their idealistic youth. With an audience of 2 million, EL SEGUNDO AIRE is the Mexican summer box office hit. A modern, funny and sexy comedy! Discussion following with director Fernando Sariñana. *Please note that this film replaces OTILIA RAUDA which will not be screened.

DEMASIADO AMOR (TOO MUCH LOVE), dir. Ernesto Rimoch, 2001, Artifice Productions, 100 min. Beatriz (Karina Gidi – winner, Best Actress at 2001 Guadalajara International Festival) stays in Mexico to financially help sister Laura buy their dream house in Spain. Ernesto Rimoch's second feature is a light hearted romantic comedy chronicling the new life of two very different siblings, homebody Laura settling in Spain and free spirit Beatriz flying from one love affair to the next. Discussion following with director Ernesto Rimoch.


Sunday September 9, 2001 - 6:00 PM

Jaime Humberto Hermosillo Tribute

Often compared to Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo is, along with Arturo Ripstein and Felipe Cazals, one of the most successful Mexican directors of the last twenty years. Born in Aguascalientes, a small town in central Mexico, in 1942, Hermosillo was educated at the University of Mexico Film School and began making films in the late 1970’s. The only openly gay Mexican director, Hermosillo found great success with DONA HERLINDA Y SU HIJO. Hermosillo worked with Gabriel Garcia Marquez on the screenplays of MARIA DE MI CORAZON and EL VERANO DE LA SENORA FORBES. His films have dissected the hypocrisy of the Mexican middle class, as well as pushed the envelope in Mexican cinema, from traditionally taboo subjects to experimental explorations of a family's bathroom habits.

Jaime Humberto Hermosillo Double-Feature

DONA HERLINDA Y SU HIJO (DONA HERLINDA AND HER SON), 1984, Clasa Films Mundiales, 91 min. Hermosillo's acclaimed comedy about the mother of a gay doctor who manipulates her son, his male lover and his fiancée to fulfill her desire of becoming a grandmother. A fresh look at Mexican society and the Mexican Mother archetype.

ESCRITO EN EL CUERPO DE LA NOCHE (WRITTEN IN THE BODY OF THE NIGHT), 2000, IMCINE, 128 min. Hermosillo's nostalgic melodrama explores the memories of young filmmaker Nicolas Arguelia on his opening night at the Cineteca. The appearance in his life of the beautiful teenage Isabelle awakens his sexuality and his vocation to become a filmmaker. Based on Emilo Carballido's novel and short story, ESCRITO EN EL CUERPO is Hermosillo’s homage to his love for movies. Discussion between films with director Jaime Humberto Hermosillo.