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Mexican Challenge (Official, November 2020)

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Mexican Challenge (Official, November 2020)

#1

Post by sol » October 30th, 2020, 2:45 pm

Image

Mexican Challenge

Image
Pictured: 'Time Share' (2018)

Goal
Watch as many movies from Mexico as you can from November 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020.

Eligible Countries

- Mexico

That is all.

Mexico has a very large number of co-productions. I would ask you to think carefully about whether you think that any co-productions really represent Mexican cinema. As a general rule of thumb, anything nominated for a national award (Ariel Award etc) is eligible.

Rules
- Each feature film (over 40 minutes) counts as one entry.
- 60 minutes of short films counts as one entry.
- For television episodes: 120 minutes = 1pt
- Miniseries: 40min+ eps = 1pt; other eps must add up to 60min
- Rewatches are allowed and are good for the soul.
- Please include year of release when listing your viewings.
- Films must be watched on single speed (not sped-up), one at a time (no two screens at once), and in their entirety in order to be included.

I reserve the right to exclude participants who intentionally number their viewings incorrectly. If you play the game, you're expected to play properly.

DEADLINE
Final results will be posted between 2:30pm and 3:00pm GMT on December 2 - at which point it will have been December everywhere in the world for more than a whole day. While you are welcome to post updates beyond this point, any such updates will not be included in the final results. Your choice whether you miss the deadline or not; besides, if it's December on your side of the world, shouldn't you be starting on one of next month's challenges?

Official Lists
- UNESCO - Mexico: 592 to 606
- Ariel Award - Best Mexican Film
- Cinema Tropical - Mexican Titles

Non-Official Lists
- Mexican submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Sector Cine's Best Mexican films of all time
- TSZDT: The Top 25 Mexican Horror Films
- Mexico's Cinema: The Golden Age (1930-1959)
- SOMOS Magazine's 100 Greatest Films of Mexican Cinema

This Challenge has never been held before in an Official capacity as far as I can tell.

This thread will be updated at least once every 48 hours (more often if I am around and feel like it). Please list new films seen in a new post.

@ bbb81

Participants
Rank Participant Count
1 blueboybob 81
2 Traveller 50
3 flavo5000 44
3 jeroeno 44
5 jdidaco 36
6 sol 28
7 zuma 27
8 Mario Gaborović 16
9 max-scl 12
10 peeptoad 11
10 shugs 11
12 Lu-Chin 10
12 St. Gloede 10
14 blocho 8
15 cinephage 7
16 AB537 4
16 maxwelldeux 4
18 Daviddoes 2
18 Melvelet 2
18 weirdboy 2
21 allisoncm 1
21 Coryn 1
21 Onderhond 1
21 ororama 1
Last edited by sol on November 26th, 2020, 11:45 am, edited 22 times in total.
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#2

Post by zuma » October 30th, 2020, 2:53 pm

In for a couple

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#3

Post by blueboybob » October 30th, 2020, 3:08 pm

As like the other country challenges this year, my goal is to watch every official check from Mexico (plus some unofficials my co-workers suggested)

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#4

Post by OldAle1 » October 30th, 2020, 3:50 pm

In. I have a lot lined up, including Mexican noir, Buñuel (seen most of his, but not in 30 years and probably in worse copies at the time) and luchador films. Have a huge number of films on the list so if I'm really pushing it I may manage 75-100, good for an extremely distant second place if I'm very lucky.

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#5

Post by Traveller » October 30th, 2020, 4:14 pm

Focus is on some stuff on the side, but I'll watch a few. Thanks for hosting, sol.
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November Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#6

Post by 72aicm » October 30th, 2020, 4:42 pm

I wish I watched as many movies as I used to because this is a challenge I would have loved to join. But I’ll have to stick to noirs this month. Watched a lot of great Mexican movies last year in my preparation for the World Cup

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#7

Post by zuma » October 30th, 2020, 5:07 pm

I don't usually recommend stuff, but I strongly recommend that people check out Tempestad during this challenge.

https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/tempestad-2016/

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#8

Post by jeroeno » October 30th, 2020, 5:33 pm

I think Sector Cine's Best Mexican films of all time is a list that should and perhaps will be adopted as an official list. I'll try and watch some that I haven't seen from that list in November. :cheers:

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#9

Post by max-scl » October 31st, 2020, 2:10 pm

I'm in for a few.

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#10

Post by max-scl » October 31st, 2020, 4:31 pm


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#11

Post by maxwelldeux » October 31st, 2020, 4:45 pm

max-scl wrote:
October 31st, 2020, 4:31 pm
Made this list:

Mexican films in Cinema Tropical lists
Thank you! That'll save me a ton of work. :cheers:

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#12

Post by jeroeno » October 31st, 2020, 4:49 pm

max-scl wrote:
October 31st, 2020, 4:31 pm
Made this list:

Mexican films in Cinema Tropical lists
Exactly what I needed. Thanks a bunch :cheers:

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#13

Post by zuma » October 31st, 2020, 4:55 pm

max-scl wrote:
October 31st, 2020, 4:31 pm
Made this list:

Mexican films in Cinema Tropical lists
Ugh I just finished going though that list looking for films from Mexico. If only I had waited an hour.

Thanks for putting them all in a handy list.

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#14

Post by sol » October 31st, 2020, 5:36 pm

max-scl wrote:
October 31st, 2020, 4:31 pm
Made this list:

Mexican films in Cinema Tropical lists
Will add to the OP during my first update - probably some time tomorrow. :cheers:
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#15

Post by sol » October 31st, 2020, 5:40 pm

It starts! First in. :D

Yeah, it's November over here. Thank you to maxwell for encouraging me to stay up past midnight watching a horror film that could count for this Challenge as well. At least I know who to blame if I feel exhausted tomorrow. :unsure:

1. The Book of Stone (1969)

Image

Convinced that a stone statue is alive and her only friend, a young girl gets up to mischief that she blames on the statue in this Mexican horror film. Lucy Buj is great as the girl and the film gets some decent suspense and thrills out of her doing odd things like suddenly appearing on a dangerous ledge and pouring salt into pentagrams. The majority of the film, however, is spent on other characters discussing her weird mischief. Chilling ending though.
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#16

Post by sol » November 1st, 2020, 10:57 am

Once Upon a Time in MexicoShow
1. The Book of Stone (1969)

2. Chosen Survivors (1974)

Image

This begins on a deliciously WTF note with "chosen survivors" of a nuclear blast drugged and forcibly taken underground, and the bunker itself is a magnificent feat of art direction. Some killer bats that emerge are also quite freaky with several well done attacks. Meshing the post-apocalyptic stuff and the bat horror together is a weak point of the film, but there is some amusing irony in the shelter being so intricate and yet still vulnerable.
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#17

Post by Melvelet » November 1st, 2020, 11:59 am

Another list for the OP:
Sector Cine's Best Mexican films of all time
In 2020 and inspired by Somos' original Top 100 Mexican movies list from 1994, digital magazine Sector Cine asked 35 experts to submit their ranked lists of 25 best Mexican films. 27 of them responded to the request, which resulted in this list.
Current recommendation: Batch '81 (1982)


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#18

Post by sol » November 1st, 2020, 12:01 pm

Melvelet wrote:
November 1st, 2020, 11:59 am
Another list for the OP:
Sector Cine's Best Mexican films of all time
In 2020 and inspired by Somos' original Top 100 Mexican movies list from 1994, digital magazine Sector Cine asked 35 experts to submit their ranked lists of 25 best Mexican films. 27 of them responded to the request, which resulted in this list.
Sorry, I'm confused -- how is this list different to one that I have linked in the OP?
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#19

Post by shugs » November 1st, 2020, 12:02 pm

1. La 4ª Compañía [The 4th Company] (Mitzi Vanessa Arreola, Amir Galván Cervera, 2016) - 4/10
Image

Winner of the Ariel Best Picture award, the movie follows Zambrano, a young man that joins his prison's football team, that also serves as an organized crime outlet. Inspired by actual events, the movie tries to do too many things at once and fails. It's part prison drama, part a crime thriller, part a sports movie and in the end a somewhat confusing mess.
Last edited by shugs on November 1st, 2020, 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#20

Post by max-scl » November 1st, 2020, 1:55 pm

shugs wrote:
November 1st, 2020, 12:02 pm
1. La 4ª Compañía [The 4th Company] (Mitzi Vanessa Arreola, Amir Galván Cervera, 2016) - 4/10
Image

Winner of the Ariel Best Picture award, the movie follows Zambrano, a young man that joins his prison's football team, that also serves as an organized crime outlet. Inspired by actual events, the movie tries to do too many things at once and fails. It's part prison drama, part a crime thriller, part a sports movie and in the end a somewhat confusing mess,
Yeah this was very dissapointing considering it won the Ariel over the highly acclaimed Tempestad by Tatiana Huezo (Who got the best director Ariel).

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#21

Post by St. Gloede » November 1st, 2020, 2:02 pm

I think I'll join in for a small set of 10 films again. Had originally intended to skip Mexico, but Two Monks looks great, and I'm sure I can grab a few pearls here (including some top discoveries from the other participants).

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#22

Post by St. Gloede » November 1st, 2020, 2:19 pm

Also have Rafael Corkidi's Desires, made the same year he did Pafnucio Santo (1977) which was one of my top DtC discoveries last year. Got high hopes for this one.

It is also about time I watched Godfather Mendoza (1934), Shark Hunters (1963) and Ripstein's Time to Die (1966). Going over what I already have I have a pretty sweet mini-lineup, including other Ripsteins. Should be fun.

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#23

Post by Traveller » November 1st, 2020, 4:44 pm

01. Dos monjes (1934) - 7/10
02. The Passion of Berenice (1976) - 7/10
ICM
November Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#24

Post by St. Gloede » November 1st, 2020, 10:00 pm

1. Dos Monjes / Two Monks (1934, Juan Bustillo Oro)

Image

Not just visually evocative; visually daring. Faces and shapes are just not where they usually are. Sometimes it fails, and the screen feels a little crammed, othertimes it may feel a little obvious and excessive - such as an entire scene tilted to the side - but in most cases it is pure visual magic. It is almost like watching A Dança dos Paroxismos, but with sound. Two Monks is genuinely a film from the era of talkies, shot as if it was a silent. The lighting is often from below, and creates a haunting and daunting atmosphere and memory and guilt blends into a deliriously striking narrative - even utilising the --- "different point of view" narrative technique 16 years before Rashomon --- as the films trivia section tells us - and while memory, lies and exaggeration does not play into it - this is quite right.

While it is easy to see why the World Cinema Project selected it for restoration, and I agree: it should truly be held up and rediscovered as the marvel it is - I cannot quite call it a great film. The acting is not just wooden - which could have suited the style - but severely mixed. Movements in themselves are frequently "off" - perfectly suited by moments of melodramatic or overtly thin plot elements and dialogue. It is salvaged time and time again by mood, atmosphere and visual prowess, consistently overshadowing every awkward or slightly silly/thin moment. The soundscape is also not quite where it should be, but it was still the early days of sound - especially outside of Hollywood, France, etc. so this part is understandable. All-in-all a thoroughly delightful experience, I will not forget anytime soon. 7-7.5/10.

Some more visuals:

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#25

Post by jeroeno » November 2nd, 2020, 7:09 am

1. Pueblerina (Emilio Fernández, 1949) ***1/2
2. El camino de la vida (Alfonso Corona Blake, 1956) ****
3. Ya no estoy aqui (Fernando Frias, 2019) ***1/2

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#26

Post by cinephage » November 2nd, 2020, 10:41 am

01. El Infierno, by Luis Estrada (2010) 8/10

A very dark thriller, and a grim portrayal of today's Mexico. Still, it's a great film that works quite well...

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#27

Post by shugs » November 2nd, 2020, 10:59 am

2. Vuelven [Tigers Are Not Afraid] (Issa López, 2017) - 7/10
Image
The kids carry this movie, I just wanted to grab them out of the movie and give them a hug. However, the whole experience needed a little bit more meat on its bones to be truly great.

3. La región salvaje [The Untamed] (Amat Escalante, 2016) - 6/10
Image
Your typical arthouse fare. Lots of nudity, slow scenes and unexplained weirdness. Has a good atmosphere, but there just isn't enough here.

4. El infierno (Luis Estrada, 2010) - 6/10
Image
Starts out fun enough but gets increasingly darker. Which is not a bad thing, but the tonal shift feels a bit jarring and I don't the think the actors had the chops for the dramatic side of the movie.

5. La jaula de oro [The Golden Dream] (Diego Quemada-Díez, 2013) - 10/10
Image
Absolutely superb. Follows four teenagers as they try to get from Guatemala into the US, via illegal means. It's heartbreaking without being sentimental and gorgeous to look at without being showy. I highly recommend it.
SpoilerShow
1. La 4ª Compañía [The 4th Company] (Mitzi Vanessa Arreola, Amir Galván Cervera, 2016) - 4/10

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#28

Post by Traveller » November 2nd, 2020, 12:02 pm

03. The Shark Hunters (1963) - 7/10
04. The Night Watchman (2011) - 4/10
ICM
November Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#29

Post by sol » November 2nd, 2020, 1:09 pm

Once Upon a Time in MexicoShow
1. The Book of Stone (1969)
2. Chosen Survivors (1974)

3. The Devil's Rain (1975)

Image

Devil worship meets the classic western in this odd film about a group of Satanists using a small desert town to do their evil bidding. The exact ins and outs of the plot are often confusing, but the gooey special effects are excellent too, with some freaky body melts in which the victims' skin bubbles as it drops to the ground. Hollowed-out eyes throughout also make for nifty imagery, though the special effects involved there are less impressive (as above).
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#30

Post by St. Gloede » November 2nd, 2020, 1:13 pm

shugs wrote:
November 2nd, 2020, 10:59 am
2. Vuelven [Tigers Are Not Afraid] (Issa López, 2017) - 7/10
Image
The kids carry this movie, I just wanted to grab them out of the movie and give them a hug. However, the whole experience needed a little bit more meat on its bones to be truly great.

3. La región salvaje [The Untamed] (Amat Escalante, 2016) - 6/10
Image
Your typical arthouse fare. Lots of nudity, slow scenes and unexplained weirdness. Has a good atmosphere, but there just isn't enough here.

4. El infierno (Luis Estrada, 2010) - 6/10
Image
Starts out fun enough but gets increasingly darker. Which is not a bad thing, but the tonal shift feels a bit jarring and I don't the think the actors had the chops for the dramatic side of the movie.

5. La jaula de oro [The Golden Dream] (Diego Quemada-Díez, 2013) - 10/10
Image
Absolutely superb. Follows four teenagers as they try to get from Guatemala into the US, via illegal means. It's heartbreaking without being sentimental and gorgeous to look at without being showy. I highly recommend it.
SpoilerShow
1. La 4ª Compañía [The 4th Company] (Mitzi Vanessa Arreola, Amir Galván Cervera, 2016) - 4/10
Nice mini-write-ups, Shugs - and now I'm extra excited to see The Golden Dream.

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#31

Post by mjf314 » November 2nd, 2020, 1:42 pm

jeroeno wrote:
October 30th, 2020, 5:33 pm
I think Sector Cine's Best Mexican films of all time is a list that should and perhaps will be adopted as an official list. I'll try and watch some that I haven't seen from that list in November. :cheers:
It will be adopted (but I can't make any guarantees about when it'll be adopted).

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#32

Post by filmbantha » November 2nd, 2020, 2:07 pm

St. Gloede wrote:
November 2nd, 2020, 1:13 pm
shugs wrote:
November 2nd, 2020, 10:59 am
5. La jaula de oro [The Golden Dream] (Diego Quemada-Díez, 2013) - 10/10
Image
Absolutely superb. Follows four teenagers as they try to get from Guatemala into the US, via illegal means. It's heartbreaking without being sentimental and gorgeous to look at without being showy. I highly recommend it.
Nice mini-write-ups, Shugs - and now I'm extra excited to see The Golden Dream.
It's great to see some more appreciation for The Golden Dream and I would like to second shugs recommendation. I absolutely love this film and was saddened to see it drop out of the 500^400 list this year, I think it ended up as number 501! Hopefully with some more support it will be back in next year 🙏.

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#33

Post by Melvelet » November 2nd, 2020, 2:38 pm

sol wrote:
November 1st, 2020, 12:01 pm
Melvelet wrote:
November 1st, 2020, 11:59 am
Another list for the OP:
Sector Cine's Best Mexican films of all time
In 2020 and inspired by Somos' original Top 100 Mexican movies list from 1994, digital magazine Sector Cine asked 35 experts to submit their ranked lists of 25 best Mexican films. 27 of them responded to the request, which resulted in this list.
Sorry, I'm confused -- how is this list different to one that I have linked in the OP?
Ooops :sweat:
Current recommendation: Batch '81 (1982)


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#34

Post by sol » November 2nd, 2020, 3:04 pm

Once Upon a Time in MexicoShow
1. The Book of Stone (1969)
2. Chosen Survivors (1974)
3. The Devil's Rain (1975)

4. Darker Than Night (1975)

Image

The opening credits (full of sudden cuts and lots of bright red) are unnerving here, but the overall tale is too slow burn to have such an effect. It is around halfway in before anything especially horrific occurs with the majority of the film spent on the women discussing their new abode and how creepy they find the servant and cat. Once the film warms up, there are a couple of good deaths and mansion interiors but the story still feels lacking.
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#35

Post by St. Gloede » November 2nd, 2020, 3:28 pm

SpoilerShow
1. Dos Monjes / Two Monks (1934, Juan Bustillo Oro)
2. El compadre Mendoza / Godfather Mendoza(1934, Juan Bustillo Oro, Fernando de Fuentes)

Image

The very same year Oro directed the visually entrancing but flawed Two Monks, he made the Godfather Mendoza - one of the great classics of Mexican cinema. This set of double features were literally his talkie-debut, and here the sound is no issue whatsoever, and the production values are still great. I have to admit he was riding a wave of goodwill from my experience with Two Monks, and I could still see how he at places was visually inventive and clever - but this truly is a straight, large budget film: and it is absolutely fantastic.

The core here is our thoroughly sleazy lead, who plays both sides of the Mexican revolution, including selling guns and supporting each side. This is cleverly staged with a lot of clear visual jokes: including the consistent change of which political leader is framed in clear view depending on the visitor. Alfredo del Diestro is excellent in the role of Rosalío Mendoza - a man who seemingly thinks he is invisible and can get anything he wants.

What is more impressive is that this character portrait is not set against the backdrop of constant battles, but in fairly quiet surroundings at his ranch. There is violence and brutal murders, but the majority of the film is our lead drinking, playing table games and conversing with both sides - especially General Felipe Nieto - of the revolutionaries - who ends up becoming a close friend and godfather to his child. Oro plays with the movement of time and the way the friendship develops incredibly well - throws in clean conflicting love interests - but all subdued in respect and courtesy.

This is a tightly written film, where you never quite know what will happen - and honestly, it surprised me. The ending itself is spectacular, and the emotions run increasingly high. Unfortunately, most of Oro's filmography is not available, but with these two films he has certainly cemented himself in my mind as an incredibly important voice in Mexican cinema. 9/10.

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#36

Post by max-scl » November 2nd, 2020, 4:06 pm

It's interesting that you give this film to Bustillo Oro instead of De Fuentes, since it's generally considered part of the Revolution Trilogy by De Fuentes along with Prisionero 13 and Vámonos con Pancho Villa, any reason for that?
Thanks for the review.

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#37

Post by max-scl » November 2nd, 2020, 4:17 pm

1. El Alien y yo (2016) 4/10

A simple small movie about a punk band and the relations between its members, especially the keyboard player, who has Down Syndrome. Only recomended for Cinema Tropical completists, there nothing much in here.

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#38

Post by St. Gloede » November 2nd, 2020, 5:17 pm

max-scl wrote:
November 2nd, 2020, 4:06 pm
It's interesting that you give this film to Bustillo Oro instead of De Fuentes, since it's generally considered part of the Revolution Trilogy by De Fuentes along with Prisionero 13 and Vámonos con Pancho Villa, any reason for that?
Thanks for the review.
I think I wrote De Fuentes out of my review as I have not particularly impressed by his other films, especially Prisionero 13 (though that was in part a sound issue). I could not find the craft and energy here in the two other films in the trilogy or Doña Bárbara, so I think I (perhaps unfairly) credited the strengths to Oro and the weaknesses to De Fuentes ( :whistling: ). There are obviously plenty of similarities still though, it is clearly a De Fuentes film as well - but it did not inspire me to seek out more of his films - Oro is the one I'm excited for. Let's she is that excitement gets crushed later. (The change may also in part be that Oro was behind the story and wrote the script with De Fuentes - he was not involved in the other two).

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max-scl
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#39

Post by max-scl » November 2nd, 2020, 6:57 pm

Thanks, that makes sense.

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#40

Post by jdidaco » November 3rd, 2020, 3:31 am

Thank you for hosting, sol!

Amongst this first batch a small to tribute to the recently departed Paul Leduc, one of Latin America's greatest; for those interested here's a little overview of his output at Cinema Tropical - https://www.cinematropical.com/cinema-t ... dies-at-78

(Screenshots from '¡Tintorera!' & '¿Cómo ves?'),

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1. Que Dios me perdone (May God Forgive Me, Tito Davison, 1948) 8/10
2. La noche avanza (Night Falls, Roberto Gavaldón, 1952) 8/10
3. La isla de los hombres solos (Island of Lost Souls, René Cardona, 1974) 7/10
4. ¡Tintorera! (Tintorera: Killer Shark, René Cardona Jr., 1977) 6/10
5. ¿Cómo ves? (What Do You Think?, Paul Leduc, 1986) 8.5/10
6. Dollar Mambo (Paul Leduc, 1993) 8/10
7. Verano de Goliat (Summer of Goliath, Nicolás Pereda, 2010) 8/10
8. Minotauro (Minotaur, Nicolás Pereda, 2015) 7/10

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