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The MoMA in New York will present the film series “Buñuel in Mexico”, in collaboration with the FICM

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, in collaboration with the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) and with the invaluable support of the Cineteca Nacional and Filmoteca UNAM, will present the film series “Buñuel in Mexico” from the 1st to the 20th of February. The film series is dedicated to the Mexican phase of the Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel.

The series consists of 20 from the 21 films that Buñuel did in Mexico, whose 35mm prints are guarded by both the Cineteca Nacional and Filmoteca UNAM. Only 1956 Cela s'appelle l'aurore (This is called Dawn) will not be available.

Viridiana (1961, dir. Luis Buñuel)
Viridiana (1961, dir. Luis Buñuel)

Born in 1900 in Calanda, Spain, Luis Buñuel worked as a director in several countries, including Spain, France and Mexico. According to the statement issued by MoMA, it was in Mexico that Buñuel became a filmmaker, mastering the technical side of the medium and learning to negotiate the conflicting demands of a popular medium.

Buñuel’s time making films in Mexico, from Gran Casino (1947) through Simon of the Desert (1965), coincided with Mexican cinema’s most prosperous and prestigious period, the epoca de oro. Buñuel found himself working alongside such accomplished filmmakers as Roberto Gavaldón, Julio Bracho, and Emilio “El Indio” Fernández.

While Buñuel was able to introduce some films—such as Los Olvidados (1950) and The Exterminating Angel (1962)—to the international festival circuit, the greater part of his production was made for local audiences and created in popular genres, such as the ranchero musical, the folk comedy, the domestic melodrama, and even a marginal horror movie. Furthermore, Pedro Armendáriz, Fernando Soler, Rosario Granados, Katy Jurado, Rosita Quintana, Lilia Prado, and many others are among the personalities who worked with him.

The series consists of the following films:

  • Gran Casino (1947)
  • El gran calavera (The Great Madcap) (1949)
  • Los olvidados (The Forgotten) (1950)
  • La hija del engaño (The Daughter of Deceit) (1951)
  • Susana (1951)
  • Subida al cielo (Ascent to Heaven, aka Mexican Bus Ride) (1952)
  • Una mujer sin amor (A Woman Without Love) (1952)
  • Él (This Strange Passion) (1953)
  • El bruto (The Brute) (1953)
  • Abismos de pasión (Wuthering Heights) (1954)
  • La ilusión viaja en tranvía (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) (1954)
  • Robinson Crusoe (1954)
  • Ensayo de un crimen (Rehearsal for a Crime, aka The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz) (1955)
  • La muerte en este jardín (Death in the Garden) (1956)
  • Nazarín (1959)
  • La joven (The Young One) (1960)
  • Los ambiciosos (Fever Mounts at El Pao, aka Republic of Sin) (1960)
  • Viridiana (1961)
  • El ángel exterminador (The Exterminating Angel) (1962)
  • El río y la muerte (The River and Death) (1965)
  • Simón del desierto (Simon of the Desert) (1965) + El perro andaluz (The Andalusian Dog) (1929)

Since 2015, the FICM has collaborated with the MoMA in the realization of different film series: “Mexico at Midnight: Film Noir from Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age”, in 2015; “Julio Bracho and the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema”, in 2017; “El Indio: The Films of Emilio Fernández”, in 2018, and “Roberto Gavaldón: Night Falls in Mexico”, in 2019. The four film series were produced  with the invaluable support of the Cineteca Nacional, the Filmoteca UNAM and Fundación Televisa.