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The Social Aspects of Mexico Movies

From 1929, against the backdrop of violence and civil wars, the talking cinema entered the Mexican scene from the north. This is the “Hispanic” cinema of American studios.

Mexicans make several attempts to create a national speaking cinema. A small group of operators and journalists decide to exploit a patent of his direct perspective filed by Mexican engineers, to produce a national work adapted from a novel by Federico Ganboe, already brought to the screen in 1918 by Luis G Peredo. Out in the countryside for the consumption of national products, Antonio Moreno’s Santa (Santa, 1931), mixing melodramatic conventions and romantic music, is a success.

In 1933, Mexican cinema, with twenty-one films, dominated the Spanish-language market. El Compadre Mendoza, by Fernando de Fuentes, is the most important film with its revolutionary theme and personal style. With the help of the State, the cinema is gradually imposing itself on the Latin-American public, especially with Fernando de Fuentes’ Alla en el Rancho Grande (1936), for more information about it watch free movies.

The Great Makers

What lives Mexico! (1931) by Eisenstein, made in Mexico, strongly influenced Mexican filmmakers by its graphic and refined depiction of Indian landscape and beauty, its appreciation of local folklore and its social and political analysis. His influence is clearly found in Hand in Hand (Mano a Mano, 1932), directed by the Russian émigré Arcady Boytler.

Other Views

In a completely different perspective, Hollywood directed for a few years “Hispanic” films, that is to say, shot in Spanish language and intended for export. This Hollywood episode allows the emergence of popular actors, such as Dolores del Rio, Ramon Novarro, Lupe Velez, Rosita Moreno or former matador Gilbert Roland.

  • From 1931 to 1933, the annual Mexican production went from two films to about twenty feature films. The “lupanaresque” melodrama, in which the central character of the prostitute keeps, against all odds, a heart of gold, flourishes with Arcady Boytler’s La femme du port (La Mujer del puerto, 1933) or The blood work ( the Mancha de sangre, 1937) by Adolfo Best Maugard.

After the election of the nationalist Láraro Cárdenas, the Secretariat for Public Education produces a social film, the Alvarado Revolt (Redes, 1934) of Fred Zinnemann – future director of the Train will whistle three times (High Noon, 1952), Hollywood – and Emilio Gómez Muriel, photographed by American social documentarian Paul Strand.

But the great director of this period is Fernando de Fuentes, who gets noticed by lucid films on the Mexican revolution, like El Compadre Mendoza (1933) or Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (1935), and enjoyed immense commercial success throughout Latin America with Allá en el Rancho Grande (1936). This film inaugurates the tradition of the comedy ranchera (peasant), tinged with machismo and family melodrama on the backdrop of idyllic haciendas. The musical version of this genre, based on the canción ranchera (song of cowboys), also has a good day.

Born in the sixties around film clubs and magazines Cine-club and Nuevo Cine, favored by an “experimental” film competition, a spirit of renewal blows on Mexican cinema under the presidency of Luis Echeverría, whose brother, at the head of the National Film Bank eases censorship but strengthens the role of the state.