May 19, 2000
Presented in conjunction with Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Twentieth-Century Mexican Art: The Jac-ques and Natasha Gelman Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, presents Mexican Cinema: The Gelman, the late Mexican film producer, and his wife Natasha.
The first two films focus on the lives of two legendary Mexican women, the artist Frida Kahlo and the film actress and Gelman muse Miroslava. The third film features "Cantinflas," the Mexican comic and Jacques Gelman collaborator. All screenings take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego's Sherwood Auditorium (700 Prospect St, La Jolla). Admission: $5 MCA members, students, seniors, military; $7 general admission. For more information, call (858) 454-3541.
Saturday, May 27, 7:30 p.m. Director - Paul Leduc; 1984, Mexico, 108min, 35 mm, Spanish w/English subtitles
In Frida, director Paul Leduc uses an approach emphasizing image over dialogue, and each scene is lovingly portrayed much like one of Frida's paintings. The film gives impressionistic images of important events in Frida's life - her accident, her discovery of painting, her politics, and her relationship with fellow painter Diego Rivera. The camera moves constantly, making the viewer feel like an unnoticed spectator in the characters' most intimate moments, and actress Ofelia Medina's uncanny physical and emotional resemblance to Frida Kahlo contributes to her stellar performance. The accomplished filmmaking of Frida pays loving tribute to Latin America's greatest woman artist who created some two hundred extraordinary paintings, including many haunting self-portraits.
Saturday, June 10, 7:30p.m.
Director - Alejandro Pelayo
1993, Mexico, 90 min, 35mm, Spanish w/English subtitles
One of the most glamorous movie stars in the history of Mexican film, Miroslava was a tragic figure whose sad personal life was plagued by strong feelings of abandonment and a monumental need for affection. In other words, she was the perfect movie star. Miroslava is little remembered today, But Alejandro Pelayo's film pays a sweet, complicated, sometimes surreal homage to a legendary woman of Mexican film. Arielle Dombastle, who plays the title role, is a stunning beauty whose performance earned her a best actress Ariel (México's Oscar).
Around the World in 80 Days
Saturday, July 15, 7:30p.m.
Director - Michael Anderson, 1956, USA, 175 min, 35 mm, English
"Cantinflas" (Mario More-no) became internationally renowned after his turn as Passepartout in this epic comedy produced by self-made tycoon and legendary carnival barker Michael Todd. Around the World in 80 Days was conceived as a showcase for a prestigious list of major film stars, but for Mario Moreno it was a chance to move beyond his stereotype buffoon Mexican "everyboy" character to become a Hollywood star. Mor-eno did not become a star in the U.S. although the film remains infamous for its connection to Michael Todd, killed in a crash in 1957 aboard The Lucky Liz, a plane named after his wife Elizabeth Taylor. This film was a surprise Best Picture win at the 1957 Academy Awards, and remains legendary for its unlikely pairing of two great actors from very different worlds, David Niven and Cantinflas.
Also in conjunction with the exhibition, KPBS Television (channel 15/cable 11) is airing a series of programs related to twentieth-century Mexican art. Films in the series include Frida: Portrait of a Woman, Diego Rivera: I Paint What I See, and Rufino Tamayo.