The digital restoration of “Santo Contra Cerebro del Mal” (Santo vs. the Evil Brain) will screen on March 22 at the Fox. It is the first lucha libre film starring Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta.
Tucson Cine Mexico celebrates its 15th year next week with a wealth of exceptional films, including Mexico’s official entry to the Oscars.
The longest-running festival of contemporary Mexican film in the United States, Cine Mexico is co-presented by the University of Arizona’s Hanson Film Institute and Cinema Tropical, a nonprofit dedicated to the distribution of Latin American cinema in the United States.
“Mexican cinema is currently going through a second golden era,” said Carlos Gutiérrez, the festival’s co-director.
“The country broke all-time production records with 175 films made last year, and it’s not only a matter of quantity, but also about quality,” he said in a prepared release.
“Mexican cinema has reached a peak of maturity and artistry, represented by a diversity of voices.”
Some 20,000 people have attended screenings since Cine Mexico’s inception.
“We do get a lot of devoted audience members,” said Kerryn Negus, The Hanson Film Institute’s assistant director. “It’s a lovely community.”
The films are introduced in Spanish and English, and are subtitled.
“It’s a very inclusive festival,” she said.
Wednesday, March 21, 6:15 p.m., Center for Creative Photography, 1030 N Olive Road.
Presented with support from the UA Institute for LGBT Studies.
Director Cristina Herrera Bórquez will attend the premiere of her documentary, “No Dress Code Required,” which follows an unassuming same-sex couple as they fight for the right to marry in their hometown of Mexicali, Baja California.
Thursday, March 22, 6:30 p.m., Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W Congress St.
“Santo Contra Cerebro del Mal”/ “Santo vs. the Evil Brain.”
In person: filmmaker/archivist Viviana Garcia Besné; 5:30 p.m. preshow with DJ Dirtyverbs and Adam Cooper-Terán of Verbobala.
Filmed in Cuba in 1961, this is the first lucha libre film starring El Santo (Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta), an iconic Mexican luchadores. In it, the silver-masked hero foils the plot of a mad scientist to create a zombie army by zapping his innocent victims with electric shocks. “Cerebro del Mal” sparked a long series of films – 52 in all – in which El Santo fights supernatural creatures, evil scientists, various criminals and secret agents. Archivist and filmmaker (and the producer’s granddaughter) Garcia Besné spearheaded a digital restoration of the cult favorite.
Friday, March 23, 6:30 p.m., Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18, 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz.
The Arizona premiere of “Los Adioses”/ “The Eternal Feminine.”
In person: director Natalia Beristáin.
Karina Gidi and Daniel Giménez Cacho star in this, Beristáin’s second feature film. The biopic is about the late Rosario Castellanos, one of Mexico’s top literary voices of the 20th century. The film picks up her life in the 1950s when, as an introverted university student in Mexico City, she fights to have her voice heard in a society run by men. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2017 Morelia International Film Festival.
Friday, March 23, 9 p.m., Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
Arizona premiere of of “El Vigilante” / “The Nightguard.”
In person: director Diego Ros.
A night-shift security guard tries to leave the construction site he’s protecting to attend an event, but a series of improbable situations turns the night into a bizarre evening. The Hollywood Reporter praised the film as “a wonderfully atmospheric, slightly off-kilter piece through which evil gently and troublingly pulsates.”
Saturday, March 24, 4 p.m., Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
The U.S. premiere of “Me Gusta Pero Me Asusta”/ “I Like It, But It Scares Me.”
Hipster culture meets narco aesthetics in this family-friendly comedy about the heir to a fortune who heads to Mexico City to join the family business. There he meets the spoiled Claudia, whose father is pressuring her to get a job. Minnie West and Alejandro Speitzer star, and Beto Gómez (“Saving Private Perez”) directs.
Saturday, March 24 7 p.m., Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
The Arizona premiere of “Todo lo Demás”/ “Everything Else.”
Post-screening discussion with Ana Martínez, Ph.D., independent scholar and scenographer.
The 63-year-old Doña Flor, who has toiled away as a government bureaucrat for 35 years, loses the only living creature she cares for. It sends her into a crisis. This contemplation on solitude is the first fiction film from documentarian Natalia Almada.
Sunday, March 25, 11:30 a.m. Tucson Museum of Art — Lobby, 140 N. Main Ave.
Talk: “The Silent Giant — Latin America, a Modern-Day Epicenter of Film.”
Carlos Gutierrez, co-founding director of Cinema Tropical, discusses contemporary Latin American cinema .
Sunday, March 25, 2 p.m., Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
Arizona Premiere of “Tempestad” Mexico’s entry to the Oscars.
Post-screening discussion with Ana Cornide, assistant professor, UA department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Tatiana Huezo’s documentary recounts the story of two women: Miriam, who was wrongly accused of human trafficking and imprisoned in a jail controlled by a drug cartel, and Adela, a circus performer who has been looking for her kidnapped daughter for over a decade.