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Mexican Film Festival 2007

When 19 January 2007 (Friday) - 24 January 2007 (Wednesday)
Where Golden Village VivoCity
1 Harbourfront Walk VivoCity, Levels 2 & 3, Singapore 098585 Tel: 6311 9162
Admission

Tickets at S$5 per session available from 11 January at the GV VivoCity box-office, on-line at www.gv.com.sg, and at AXS stations islandwide.

SFS members are entitled to discounted tickets at S$3 per session on production of a valid SFS membership card in person at the GV VivoCity box-office (limited to one discounted ticket per member per session).

 

The emergence of a new generation of Mexican film directors from the 90s is an event that even sophisticated film viewers may not have had the opportunity to appreciate, with the exception of Alfonso Arau, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu. Emblematic of these achievements are the six Mexican films to be presented in the Mexican Film Festival jointly organized by the Embassy of Mexico in Singapore and the Singapore Film Society, at the new Golden Village flagship VivoCity multiplex at HarbourFront.

 

Screening Schedule

Fri 19/1          7.00pm           THE PASSION OF MARIA ELENA (PG)
                     9.30pm          VERA (R21)

Sat 20/1         7.00pm          UNDER A SPELL (M18)
                     9.30pm          BEDTIME FAIRY TALES FOR CROCODILES (M18)

Sun 21/1         7.00pm          DARK CITIES (M18)
                     9.30pm          THE PASSION OF MARIA ELENA (PG)

Mon 22/1        7.00pm           DUCK SEASON (NC-16)
                     9.30pm          UNDER A SPELL (M18)

Tue 23/1         7.00pm          VERA (R21)
                     9.30pm          DARK CITIES (M18)

Wed 24/1       7.00pm           BEDTIME FAIRY TALES FOR CROCODILES (M18)
                     9.30pm          DUCK SEASON (NC-16)

All films are subject to approval and classification by the Media Development Authority, Singapore.

Age limits apply for films rated R21, M18 and NC-16. Proof of age is required at the point of purchase and at the point of admission. The organizers reserve the right to refuse admission if proof of age cannot be produced.

Films in SFS festivals are generally uncut 35mm prints in original dialogue with English subtitles. Circumstances beyond the organizers’ control may occasionally necessitate deviations from these standards.

Food and drink cannot be brought into the cinema unless purchased from the GV candy bar.

Sessions start punctually at the stated times.


SYNOPSES


CIUDADES OSCURAS
(Dark Cities)

Production year: 2002
Country: Mexico
Director: Fernando Sariñana
Running time: 113 minutes
Rating: M18
Consumer advice: Some sexual content and coarse language
Producer: Fernando Sariñana, Erika Zapata
Executive Producer: Emilia Arau
Screenplay: Fernando Sariñana, Enrique Rentería
Photography: Salvador Cartas
Sound: Miguel Sandoval
Production Company: Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía, Fondo para la Producción Cinematográfica de Calidad, Veneno Producciones
Cast: Jesús Ochoa, Bruno Bichir, Alonso Echánove, Sherlyn, Diego Luna 

This movie introduces, through several stories, characters that appear and come together amid the streets of Mexico City’s Historical Downtown. Faces that cross the city, its famous Chinese cafes, the drugstores, the motels, the bars, the streets, the plazas, the housing developments; places where all you have to do is go in and look around to be faced with the reality we live in and sometimes ignore, spaces that make a movie like this come to life.

Twelve vignettes set in the underbelly of Mexico City: two hookers longing for a better life elsewhere; their drug-addicted children; two bullying, corrupt cops and one honest one; a loner who dreams of hitting the lottery; troubled teens who explore love despite the violence; a drugstore owner with busy hands; a photographer who comes home; a sympathetic, good-listening bartender. The star-studded cast includes Diego Luna [Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN] and Demian Bichir [AVE MARIA, RECIPES TO STAY TOGETHER]. From the director of TODO EL PODER; six nominations, Ariel Awards.

 

CUENTO DE HADAS PARA DORMIR ALOS COCODRILOS
(Bedtime Fairy Tales For Crocodiles)

Production year: 2002
Country: Mexico
Director: Ignacio Ortiz, Ignacio Ortiz Cruz
Running time: 100 minutes
Rating: M18
Consumer advice: Sexual scene
Producer: Juan Carlos Prieto
Executive Producer: Carlos Carrera, Javier Patrón
Screenplay: Ignacio Ortiz Cruz
Photography: Patrick Murguía
Sound: Antonio Diego
Production Company: Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía, Fondo para la Producción Cinematográfica de Calidad, Malayerba Producciones
Cast: Arturo Ríos, Ana Gram., Luisa Huertas, Mayra Sérbulo, Leticia Gutiérrez, Dagoberto Gama

This film tells the story of a man’s journey toward his roots, seeking his own salvation and that of Reformation, the Mexican Revolution, emigration to the United States and present day Mexico, which change the destinies of a man and his descendants.

A man who travels back to the house of his father, grandfather, and backwards. He is in search for his salvation and his son’s salvation from a family curse. The movie intermingles the personal life of the ancestors of this man as well as historical moments for México such as The Reform War, the Mexican Revolution, and so forth.

The story starts with the separation of Arcangel Juarez because he can't sleep, and his wife decides to abandon him with his little son. He receives a call from his brother telling him that his father is very sick, asking if he can go to see him. Arcangel takes his little son and goes to his old house, remembering when his father dismissed him from the house throwing rocks. When he arrives at his old house in a small town in Oaxaca, he finds that his father died 15 years ago. As the old neighbour, Isabel, explains, his brother also died some years ago, in the US.

In telling the family story, Isabel says that he is identical to his great-grandfather, and that he receives damnation for all his descendants. When a French soldier passes though the town, it appears that the history of the family will continue full circle. It is up to Arcangel to take action to help his family by putting and end to this damnation once and for all.

 

Un Embrujo
(Under A Spell)

Production year: 1998
Country: Mexico
Director: Carlos Carrera
Running Time: 130 minutes
Rating: M18
Consumer advice: Sexual scenes
Producer: Bertha Navarro, Guillermo del Toro, Salamandra Producciones, Tabasco Films, Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografia, Pueblo Viejo Producciones, Fonde de Fomento a la calidad Cinematrografica
Screenplay: Martin Salinas, Carlos Carrera
Protography: Rodrigo Prieto
Sound: David Baksht, Andres Franco
Editor: Sigfrido Barjau, Meter Devaney
Cast: Blanca Guerra, Daniel Acuña, Guillermo Gil, Vanesa Bauche, Elpidia Carrillo.

UNDER A SPELL is a beautifully accomplished work that combines the magic of cinematic style with superb performances in a period piece full of sexuality, class struggle, and mystery. On one level a not-so-simple coming-of-age story, UNDER A SPELL focuses on the thirteen-year-old Eliseo, son of a longshoreman/union organizer, whose dreams of a world away from the docks lead him to a series of liaisons, beginning with his sexy teacher, Felipa (Blanca Guerra), a woman whose intense desires and worldliness end with her ostracism and banishment. Director Carlos Carrera interweaves elements of politics, superstition and mysticism, melodrama, and realism in fashioning a thoroughly enrapturing, quasi-supernatural tale. The lush settings and intense, almost physical force of the film's visuals create a truly transforming experience. Indeed the magic of the film's colour, music, and denouement grants us access to a complicated culture that combines history and imagination. Carrera has demonstrated the abilities that mark the development of a remarkable cineaste.

 

VERA

Production year: 2002
Country: Mexico-Germany-United States
Director: Francisco Athié
Running Time: 85 minutes
Rating: R21
Consumer advice: Nudity and some graphic content
Producer: Rafael Cuervo
Screenplay: Ignacio Ortiz Cruz
Photography: Francisco Athié
Editing: Samuel Larson
Sound: Antonio Diego, Samuel Larson
Music: Samuel Larson, Shyamal Maitra
Production Design: Theresa Wachter
Special Effects Supervisor: John Chadwick
Production Companies: Arroba Films, IMCINE-FOPROCINE, Chadwick Films, BB&R Producciones
Cast: Urara Kusanagi, Marco Antonio Arzate

An experimental science fiction/fantasy tale revisiting the Mexican theme of death. After the walls have collapsed, an old man is trapped in the deepest caves of the Mayan zone. What follows could be a dream, a shaman’s vision, or a death trip…climaxing in an encounter with the eerie android Vera (Urara Kusanagi, a Butoh dancer). Spiritual ties are established between them that help that old Mayan free his soul. In searching for their origins, in the allegorical exploration of the spirit world, Vera and the old man enter the realm of dream atmospheres, which are unreal, created from the mixture of live images and digital manipulations of textures and colours. Vera is, in that sense, the exploration of the frontier at which we touch our ancestral mythical past and the technologies that permeate the development of moving images. Let your imagination take you where it will…

 

LA PASION DE MARIA ELENA
(The Passion Of Maria Elena)

Production year: 2003
Country: Mexico
Director: Mercedes Moncada
Running Time: 76 minutes
Rating: PG
Consumer advice: Nil
Producer: Mercedes Moncada, Javier Moron Tejero
Cinematography: Javier Moron Tejero
Editing: Viviana Garcia-Besne, Mercedes Moncada
Sound: Samuel Larson
Production Companies: Chango Films, CONACULTA, IMCINE, University of Guadalajara
Screenplay: Mercedes Moncada
Music: Café Tacuba, Martín Chávez, Samuel Larson

The eldest son of Maria Elena, a Raramuri woman from the Tarahumara mountains, is killed when he is run over by a white woman who is declared not responsible for the accident. Maria Elena does not conform to the conventions applied to Raramuri women by the community, and her son’s death is the catalyst for her leaving her community and moving to the city of Chihuahua. Despite her obvious disadvantage, Maria Elena has her own way of ordering the world so as to get on with her life.

THE PASSION OF MARIA ELENA is Meredes Moncada’s opera prima. It has won the following awards: Mayahuel de Oro, Best Film; XVIII Muestra de Cine Mexicano en Guadalajara, México, 2003. / Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, USA, 2003.

 

TEMPORADA DE PATOS
(Duck Season)

Production year: 2004
Country: Mexico
Director: Fernando Eimbcke
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: NC16
Consumer advice: Some drug references
Producer: Christian Valdelievre, Jaime Ramos
Screenplay: Fernando Eimbcke, Paula Markovitch
Cinematography: Alexis Zabé
Editing: Mariana Rodríguez
Sound: Antonio Diego, Lena Esquenazi
Music: Alejandro Rosso
Art Direccion: Diana Quiroz
Production Companies: IMCINE-FIDECINE, Cinepantera, Lulú Producciones
Cast: Enrique Arreola, Diego Cataño, Daniel Miranda, Danny Perea

It’s a Sunday afternoon, Flama’s mother is eating out, and Flama and Moko spend the afternoon together with videogames, Cokes, and delivered pizzas. Things start to get complicated with the appearance of Rita, a neighbour who asks to borrow the oven to make a cake; then the pizza arrives several seconds late and, to top it all off, there is a power outage… With no electricity and no intention of doing so, the characters find a way to get to know one another and also, to became friends and grow up.