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Vancity Theatre | viff.org
A partnership between VIFF Vancity Theatre and the Vancouver Latin-American Film Festival, we are proud to present:
Mexico Noir
Fri Mar 25 - Sun Apr 3, 2016
If you think you know film noir, prepare to be blown away by the existential angst of the Mexican noir that flourished in the 1940s and 50s. This collection of rarely seen but recently rediscovered classics – plus a subversive 70s parody and a brand new Bunuelian crime drama from Arturo Ripstein is guaranteed to rock your world.

"Fatalistic tales of passion, jealousy and betrayal... part film noir, part grand opera... They unfold in either a splendiferously seedy or luxurious black-and-white world. Nearly every protagonist is a haunted neurotic, and all subterfuge leads inexorably to death." —J Hoberman, New York Times

With special thanks to the Filmoteca UNAM (Mexico's National University Film Archives), Cineteca Nacional, José Manuel García,Rafael Aviña, Morelia International Film Festival (FICM), Juan Antonio dela Riva, Chloë Roddick, and Fundación Televisa.

Night is the setting for the thriller, the detective film and the film noir; for the antihero consumed by jealousy, mistrust and uncertainty, wrapped up in his own pride, recklessness and bravado, and held by destiny that is implacable and cruel, racing through a maze of memories where the present tangles up with the past, with nihilism and disillusionment with society.

Mexico Noir, one of the great legacies of the Alemán administration (Miguel Alemán Valdés was president of Mexico from 1946 - 1952), is a metaphor of the times, replete with films that follow the reactions and formulas of the suspense genre and melodrama—an equation of blood, sweat, tears, not to mention adrenaline and sexual fluids—and that crisscross to create crime thrillers, cabaret films, tales of poverty and slums, of intrigues and espionage that end in violence. — Rafael Aviña

The Golden Age of Mexican cinema extended from the mid-1930s to the early 1960s, when Mexican films dominated Latin America and made significant inroads into Spanish-speaking communities throughout North America. At its height, in the decade during and following World War II, Mexican popular filmmaking achieved a level of quality comparable to Hollywood, with a robust star system with such magnetic performers as Dolores del Río, Pedro Armendáriz, María Félix, and Arturo de Córdova; world-class directors like Roberto Gavaldón, Julio Bracho, and Emilio Fernández; cinematographers such as Gabriel Figueroa and Alex Phillips; and the superb technical facilities of the Churubusco Studios.

Vancouver Latin American Film Festivalfilmoteca unam

Ticket Pack Mexico Noir 3-Ticket Pack is available for $30

Night Falls
Roberto Gavaldon, Mexico, 1952, 85 min.
Fri Mar 25 - 8:45PM • Sun Apr 3 - 5:00PM
La noche avanza. This Gavaldón classic suggests that what the boxing world is to the Hollywood film noir, the high-speed game of pelota (jai alai) is to its Mexican cousin. Pedro Armendáriz, Mexico's great romantic lead, plays against type as an arrogant pelotari who seduces and discards women at will, until he becomes the target of a cunning revenge plot. He meets his fate in a final image that is as quintessentially noir as it is inconceivable in a Hollywood film. more

Call Me Mike
Alfredo Gurrola, Mexico, 1979, 105 min.
Fri Mar 25 - 10:30PM • Sun Apr 3 - 3:00PM
After the last notable film noirs of the 1950s and 1960s, there wasn't really another film to embody the same characteristics of the genre, until Call Me Mike in 1979. The main character is Miguelito, a narcotics cop, who is an avid reader of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer novels. As a hapless victim of circumstances in a corrupt agency, he is miraculously saved from the brink of death. During his surgery, Miguelito undergoes a transformation becoming, in his own mind, his idol Mike Hammer. Thinking himself the victim of an international Communist conspiracy, he embarks on a one-man crusade to destroy a gang of drug dealers. more

The Kneeling Goddess
Roberto Gavaldon, Mexico, 1947, 107 min.
Sat Mar 26 - 4:30PM, 6:30PM •
Tue Mar 29 - 6:30PM
The amazing María Félix—imagine the love child of Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner—is the artist model who leads the ever-hapless Arturo de Córdova away from the arms of his innocent, blue-eyed wife and down, down, down into the ecstatic depths of degradation—which include a stop at a memorably seedy Panamanian nightclub. "Impossibly glamorous people behaving disgracefully in ineffably chic interiors... The entire film is an essay in fetishised and narcissistic passion." — David Melville more

The Other One
Roberto Gavaldon, Mexico, 1946, 98 min.
Sat Mar 26 - 6:30PM • Mon Mar 28 - 4:40PM
Gavaldón collaborated with his favourite screenwriter, José Revueltas, to create this distinctly Mexican variant on the time-honoured Evil Twin plot: this time, it's the luminous Dolores del Río, returning to Mexico from her Hollywood period, who plays the central dual role, as a meek, bespectacled manicurist and her mercenary, man-eating sister. But in this case, envy proves to be a greater sin than avarice. "La Otra is a cruel and perfect film... an evil-twin masterpiece." — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice more

The Devil's Money
Alejandro Galindo, Mexico, 1953, 85 min.
Sun Mar 27 - 4:45PM • Wed Mar 30 - 4:20PM
Manuel is a worker in a textile factory. By chance he meets the seductive Estrella, a rumba dancer who offers him a way to make some quick money. He initially refuses, but after the death of his father and the mounting funeral expenses, he returns to her for help. She puts him in contact him with El Gitano, a well-known gangster boss, who offers Manuel a lucrative deal to help him plan a robbery. But money never comes without a price. more

Bleak Street
Arturo Ripstein, Mexico, 2015, 99 min.
Sun Mar 27 - 6:30PM • Thu Mar 31 - 8:30PM
Veteran auteur and master of the Mexican bizarre, Arturo Ripstein (Deep Crimson) – an influence on a generation of his country's directors – plunges into a Mexico City demimonde of crime, prostitution, and luchador wrestling. The film's luscious black-and-white cinematography recounts a true crime story of twin mini-luchadores (who never remove their masks), the mother who adores them, and two prostitutes whose best days are long behind them. Ripstein imbues his Bunuelian tableaux with both empathy and dark humor. more

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