“Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.”
― Ingmar Bergman
As I have mentioned in previous editorials, before arriving in this magical country my experience with Latin culture had been incredibly limited. My first ‘aha’ moment about Mexico was on a winter evening in 1993 when my friend Anita dragged me to the Loews movie theater in Montreal to see a film I had never heard of. The downtown streets were filled with a foot of snow and car horns created a cacophony of sounds as a cold wind bit through our down jackets. I could not wait for the heated movie theater and some warm buttery popcorn. Once we were settled in our seats, jackets off, scarves unraveled, hats off, mittens off, toes slowly coming back to life in the slushiness of wet boots and humid socks, once the lights dimmed and the screen lit up……I was gone. I was in revolutionary Central Mexico, my feet were dry, the air was a warm breeze and I could almost taste the quail in rose petals. Of course the film was ‘Like Water for Chocolate’, a title I didn’t even understand and actually thought must have been the result of a poor translation. I was moved….tremendously moved. I wanted to eat everything on the screen. To this day when I eat Chiles en Nogada my mind flashes to the scene of Tita gently sprinkling pomegranate seeds over the poblano chili with walnut sauce. Eating Chiles en Nogada feels romantic, that each bite should be savored like a kiss, such is the way that film inserts itself into our memory.
This issue our writers look at the history of film in Mexico. As I devoured their articles my interest was peaked- I wanted to see every movie mentioned! Do not miss Julie Etra’s piece on Cantinflas to learn about one of Mexico’s most beloved icons. Deborah Van Hoewyk gives a comprehensive look at the history of Mexican cinema and if you are an awards show buff do not miss Jan Chaiken’s piece on the Ariels- Mexico’s version of the Oscars (they will air May 27th, 2014). Marcia Chaiken’s article gives a glimpse of the way that Mexican films may have been snubbed at the Oscar’s and I am looking forward to this year’s show to see if her predictions will pan out.
The Eye had the honor to support the Jose Vasconcelos library’s annual piñata making workshop. As always, the kids smiles and creativity was a great reminder about what really matters. The library is an important space for many kids living in La Crucecita and they are always looking for Spanish book donations and art supplies. Stop in and talk to the librarian Cristina for more information on what you can do to help. We will be holding a painting day for the kids in January- please email The Eye if you are interested in getting involved.
Also coming up this month is the Race for the Red fundraiser rally that raises money for Huatulco’s local Red Cross. To get more information see page 6.
See you next month,