Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Go See: MoMA's "Mexico at Midnight"

Still from "La diosa arrodillada" (1947)
Last week, New York's Museum of Modern Art announced "Mexico at Midnight: Film Noir from Mexican Cinema's Golden Age". The series starts this Thursday and runs through July 29.

Mexican cinema's Golden Age has the pretty much the same timeline as Hollywood's, stretching from the mid-1930s to the early 1960s. It even had a studio system similar, and Mexican stars like Dolores del Rio and Lupe Velez found fame on both sides of the border. But of course, these films aren't just copies or translations of American films. MoMA says, "Even seasoned noir fans will be startled and thrilled by these selections, which treat sexual passion and murderous jealousy with a vigor unimaginable in contemporary Hollywood productions." This is pretty timely next to the Investigating Film Noir online class that TCM has launched in June.


I can't wait to get to the theater. I'm especially excited to see the La Doña Maria Felix in "La dios arrodillada" (The Kneeling Goddess).


Was ever a woman so tailor-made to break hearts and command attention? She served as muse to Diego Rivera and half a dozen other artists. Fun fact: she turned down the lead in "The Barefoot Contessa". No wonder MoMA described her as the lovechild of Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth. I'm excited to see her legendary smoulder on a big screen playing the ultimate abusadora who destroys lives with her undeniable sex appeal.

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