The LBFI congratulates PABLO FERRO on receiving the GABRIEL FIGUEROA AWARD from LALIFF last night. A true Bunuelian moment!!!!
In 1938, André Breton, one of the founders of Surrealism, declared Mexico “the most surrealist country in the world.” Nearly 10 years later, the Spanish director and fellow group member Luis Buñuel reluctantly moved there.
This was in 1946, and Buñuel's famous and incendiary avant-garde films Un Chien Andalou(codirected with Salvador Dalí), L’Age d’or, and Land without Bread were far behind him. Exiled from Europe due to the Spanish Civil War and World War II, he found himself shuttling between New York and Hollywood with little to show for his troubles. But it was in Mexico where he not only resumed his filmmaking career, but cemented his place as one of cinema’s greatest auteurs.
Of the 20 films Buñuel shot in Mexico between 1946 and 1965, seven feature Gabriel Figueroa's cinematography. It is no coincidence that many of these are considered not just Buñuel’s best films from this period, but from his entire filmography. The director who was to create such stylishly mordant 1960s and 1970s art-house staples asBelle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie forged his trademark style—an effortless blend of dreams, fantasies, obsessions, and outlandish behavior crisply rendered with impeccable realism and dashes of anticlerical vitriol—in such mordant, sumptuous gems as Éland The Exterminating Angel. Buñuel also looked at the desperate poverty and appalling conditions of Mexico’s poor in two classics—Los Olvidados and Nazarín.
We are proud to be screening these films, in addition to two oddities in the Buñuel/Figueroa canon—the improbable Southern gothic La Joven and cult favorite Simon of the Desert—as part of the museum’s ongoing film series devoted to the work of Gabriel Figueroa
This series is curated by Bernardo Rondeau, assistant curator of film programs.
This series is copresented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Image: Still from Simon of the Desert, © Janus Films
From the early 1930s through the early 1980s, the Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907–1997) helped forge an evocative and enduring image of Mexico, its history, its landscape and its people. Among the most important cinematographers of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Figueroa worked with leading directors from Mexico, the United States and Europe—traversing a wide range of genres while maintaining his distinctive and vivid visual style. In the 1930s, Figueroa joined a vibrant context of photographers, filmmakers, painters, printmakers and muralists—including Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, Edward Weston and Manuel Alvarez Bravo—who sought to convey the symbolic significance of the country’s transformation after the scarring battles of the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s. Later, he adapted his approach to the very different sensibilities of directors Luis Buñuel and John Huston, among others. Figueroa spoke of creating una imágen méxicana. His films are an essential part of the network of appropriations, exchanges and reinterpretations that formed Mexican visual identity and visual culture in the mid-twentieth century and beyond.
The exhibition features film clips, paintings, photographs, posters and documents many of which are drawn from Figueroa's archive and the Televisa Foundation collections. In addition, the exhibition will include works by contemporary artists and filmmakers that draw from the vast inventory of distinctly Mexican imagery associated with Figueroa’s cinematography.
See this exhibition for free: become a member.
Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film was organized by the Televisa Foundation.
In Los Angeles, the exhibition is co-presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is generously supported by the Televisa Foundation, the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta), and the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA).
Come join us at UCLA on Feb 14 @ UCLA for a rar presentation featuring the Photos Archives of Luis Buñuel.
The presentation will be followed by and Q &A session. For more info please email us @ email@example.com