The Frida Cinema Blog Post #13

The Irishman: A Modern Scorsese Masterpiece

The Irishman

Martin Scorsese made a name for himself writing and directing realistic dramas like Casino and Goodfellas. At first glance, one might see The Irishman as just another gritty gangster movie, filled with Scorsese signatures such as Catholic imagery, familiar actors, and intense attention to on-camera details. However, Scorsese reaches new heights with this film, examining brotherhood, family, and coming to terms with one’s own mortality. It’s a melodrama beautifully realized by Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, three titans of crime cinema.

De Niro himself described The Irishman as “…a classic story about loyalty, about brotherhood and betrayal. But a betrayal for a reason that people can understand.” Said story is based on the nonfiction book I Heard you Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, a former criminal investigator. It chronicles the life of Frank Sheeran, a union driver turned hitman for the Bufalino crime family who also, supposedly, played a key role in the disappearance of teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa.

The film opens in the 1970s as Sheeran (Robert De Niro) drives his friend Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and their wives to a wedding. The trip is accompanied by narration from Sheeran about his life with the mafia, from his chance meeting with Bufalino in the mid-50s and becoming an alleged established hitman to his complex relationship with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Eventually they make it to the wedding when Hoffa suddenly disappears. When no trace of Hoffa can be found, everyone suspected of being involved with his disappearance either dies or goes to jail for unrelated crimes. After Sheeran is released from jail, he’s left to face the consequences of his actions as well as his own demise.

 

The Irishman

 

In order to capture a vast age range for the film’s main cast, Scorsese and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto used CGI to de-age the actors. At first, many were concerned about how the actors would look, as other attempts at CGI de-aging in other films looked extremely fake. The moment the movies goes back in time however, you can’t help but be surprised at how much the main actors look like they did in iconic, earlier roles of theirs in movies like The Godfather Part III and A Bronx Tale. The CGI is seamless, with it making you forget at times that De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci are all in their mid-to-late 70’s.

Seeing De Niro, Pacino and Pesci act together in a Scorsese film is a joy for many who grew up watching their films. Funnily enough, Pesci hadn’t acted in anything for 10 years when he was asked by De Niro to be in the movie. It’s very fortunate that Pesci agreed to come out of retirement for the film as it wouldn’t have been as impactful without his supporting performance. He solidifies this remarkable acting trinity with his calm yet commanding presence. Also making appearances are an array of famous comedians, including Ray Romano as the teamster attorney Bill Bufalino and cameos by Sebastian Maniscalco as Joseph ‘Crazy Joe’ Gallo and Jim Norton as the legendary comedian Don Rickles.

Thanks to Netflix funding the project and allowing Scorsese the creative freedom to make it the way he imagined, the movie gives viewers both the comfort of a Scorsese film and the experience of seeing a new creative venture. It’s already recognized by the Board of Review as the Best Film of 2019 and listed on AFI’s Motion Pictures of the Year 2019 list. Without a doubt, this movie will be nominated in several Oscar categories and hopefully win a few.

Though the film is almost three-and-a-half hours long, it kept my attention the whole time. I was drawn immediately into the story and floored at how fast it went by, keeping me mesmerized for every minute. Filled with nostalgia, suspense, great music, relatable characters and beautiful imagery, The Irishman is sure to be remembered as one of Scorsese’s best films ever.

 

 

Link: https://thefridacinema.org/the-irishman-a-modern-scorsese-masterpiece/

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #12

Director of the Month: John Waters

John Waters

Celebrate this holiday season with a dash of filth courtesy of John Waters, the Prince of Puke and our Director of the Month!

From a young age Waters was attracted to the strange and macabre. His desire to be in show business started following a guest appearance in the “peanut gallery” on the classic children’s television show Howdy Doody. While most children might become disillusioned when seeing how their favorite television show functions, Waters saw this and wanted it to be his life. At the tender age of ten he put on local puppet shows, enchanting the neighborhood children. Then at sixteen, his grandmother gave him his first camera, starting Waters’ early experimentation as a director.

Despite being kicked out of NYU film school, Waters was not deterred from his passion for film. With the help of a loan from his parents and the participation of his band of misfits, including the shockingly glamorous Divine, Waters created Pink Flamingos, an underground masterpiece described as an “exercise in poor taste”. This unexpected hit catapulted Waters career, establishing him as a godfather of both modern social satire and American indie films.

Waters uses film to criticize social norms with tongue-in-cheek humor, whether it’s a cult favorite from his Trash Trilogy or an upbeat musical like Hairspray. He fought film censorship and forced audiences to question their beliefs, stances that took on further significance in light of Waters’ status as a gay man. Using his platform for gay rights and pride, he became an important voice for LGBT cinema and culture in America at a time when being gay was demonized and even criminalized in some jurisdictions.

Today, Waters is a pioneer of cinema along such giants from his generation as Martin Scorsese and George Lucas. All hail the Duke of Dirt for making filth look so fabulous!

 

 

Polyester (1981)

Polyester

Catch a whiff of “Odorama” with Polyester, a comic classic from the Pope of Filth!

Hefty housewife Francine (Divine) and her extremely dysfunctional family, are the black sheep of their middle upper-class Baltimore suburb. With her adult movie theatre owner husband cheating on her, their delinquent teenage children running amok, and her cocaine-sniffing superficial mother constantly berating her weight, Francine turns to alcohol. Suddenly, her life and family begin to turn around as she starts a romance with the dashing Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), but is this new romance really all it’s cracked up to be?

Presented with scratch-n-sniff Odorama cards, Polyester is truly a film experience unlike anything you’ve ever smelled!

Written by Justina Bonilla

 

 

Desperate Living (1980)

Desperate Living poster

Live a little with Desperate Living, the second installment in Waters’ Trash Trilogy!

Wealthy housewife Peggy Gravel and housekeeper Grizelda Brown are on the lam after murdering Peggy’s husband. After the pair are arrested and assaulted by panty-sniffing policeman Turkey Joe, they find themselves in a town called Mortville where they get entangled with the sex-change-seeking wrestler Mole McHenry. All the while, the town’s tyrannical ruler Queen Carlotta continues to terrorize her subjects, with Peggy and Grizelda now in the thick of it.

Widely considered a staple of the queer horror genre, Desperate Living is a hilariously twisted offering from Waters.

Written by Isa Bulnes-Shaw

 

 

Pink Flamingos + Female Trouble Double Feature

Pink Flamingos poster

Wrapping up this month’s holiday filth-tacular is a double feature of Waters’ funniest and filthiest films, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble.

An infamous celluloid counter-culture explosion, Pink Flamingos stars regular John Waters collaborator and legendary drag queen Divine as an exaggerated version of her outrageous self. In this case, she’s a trash-talking hedonist who fancies herself “the filthiest person alive” and lives in a motor home with her mad hippie son Crackers, her “traveling companion” Cotton, and her infantile mother Edie, who spends her days gorging on eggs in a giant crib. When Baltimore locals Connie and Raymond Marble – “two jealous perverts” who sell heroin to schoolchildren and kidnap and impregnate female hitchhikers – decide that they themselves are “the filthiest people alive,” this sets off an epic battle of wills that culminates in a shocking climax and a most infamous final scene.

Divine returns in Female Trouble, her second shamefully side-splitting collaboration with Waters. This rollercoaster adventure follows the life of bad girl teen Dawn Davenport (Divine), who only wants a pair of cha-cha heels for Christmas. When she doesn’t get them, Dawn runs away, gets pregnant, and falls into a life of crime with her high-school pals Chiclette and Concetta. Through a series of comedically deplorable events including an acid attack to the face, Dawn becomes a model for two deranged salon owners, playing into her notion that “crime and beauty are the same.”

Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble are both rated NC-17. No one under 17 will be admitted and viewer discretion is strongly advised.

Written by Justina Bonilla

 

Link: https://thefridacinema.org/director-of-the-month-john-waters/

 

Latin Heat Entertainment #1

 

Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years of Excellence

By Justina Bonilla

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards, The GRAMMY Museum with the Latin Recording Academy debuted the first permanent Latin music gallery of Los Angeles, the Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years of Excellence, on November 18, 2019. To further recognize the importance of this event, L.A. City Council proclaimed November 18th, 2019 “Latin GRAMMY Day”.

As Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy and host of this monumental event announced, “Latin music is a worldwide influence and we are honored to partner with the GRAMMY Museum to showcase the talented musicians, monumental Latin music moments, and significant milestones that have contributed to its popularity…and look to the feature to showcase this beautiful art form”.

Michael Sticka, President of the Grammy Museum also added, “Our expanded partnership with The Latin Recording Academy will significantly increase the GRAMMY Museum’s impact by creating a consistent presence dedicated to celebrating the many genres of Latin music”.

A year of planning and months of construction for this two-million-dollar project has created a breathtaking exhibit on the third floor of the first Grammy Museum, established in 2008.  The exhibit displays an array of memorabilia highlighting two decades of the Latin GRAMMY show and its most iconic performances and special moments. This exhibit also features the cultural and social impact of this music nationally and internationally.

On hand for the unveiling were (Pictured in the featured photo), Gabriel Abaroa Jr., The Latin Recording Academy® President/CEO; Christian NodalÁngela AguilarGiselle FernándezMichael Sticka, President of the GRAMMY Museum®; supervisor Hilda Solis, and Albert Lord (Los Angeles City Council)

Highlighted memorabilia of the exhibit include:

Juan Gabriel’s outfit from his show-stopping 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards performance.

Ricky Martin’s shirt from his musically innovative performance with the Blue Man Group, at the Latin GRAMMY Awards:

And the first professional drum set of Mana’s drummer Alex Gonzales. Plus, many other featured iconic artists, such as Gloria and Emilio Estefan Jr.ShakiraJulio IglesiasThaliaLos Tigres del Norte, and Sheila E.

The Latin Recording Academy (previously known as the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) was founded in 1997, by the Recording Academy (previously known as the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) responsible for the GRAMMY awards. It was created as a response to properly cover the vast and growing diversity of Latin music genres.

The first Latin GRAMMY Awards were held on September 13, 2000, with 39 categories. Today, it’s grown to an astounding 50 categories!

Having this exhibit in Los Angeles is monumental, due to this city being both “The entertainment capital of the world”, and the American city with the largest Hispanic/Latino population of 4.9 million (Pew, 2018).  A further donation by the Latin Academy, over half a million dollars, will be used over a three-year period to further extend this exhibit and other “Latin-inspired exhibits”. Further emphasizing the cultural and social influence Latinos and Latin music has had on the city and the music industry.

This historical exhibit is now open to the public as of November 20th, 2019 to Spring 2020. A must-see for anyone who’s passionate about music, L.A. culture, history, and/or the Latino experience.

For further information: https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/latin-grammy-20-years-of-excellence

 

LINK: https://www.latinheat.com/events/latin-grammy-20-years-of-excellence/

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #32

Polyester

Polyester poster

Adding a whiff of “Odorama” to Frida After Dark is Polyester, a comic classic from Director of the Month John Waters.

Hefty housewife Francine (Divine) and her extremely dysfunctional family, are the black sheep of their middle upper-class Baltimore suburb. With her adult movie theatre owner husband cheating on her, their delinquent teenage children running amok, and her cocaine-sniffing superficial mother constantly berating her weight, Francine turns to alcohol. Suddenly, her life and family begin to turn around as she starts a romance with the dashing Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), but is this new romance really all it’s cracked up to be?

Presented with scratch-n-sniff Odorama cards, Polyester is truly a film experience unlike anything you’ve ever smelled.


“Only John Waters would think of marrying Douglas Sirk melodrama to William Castle showmanship.” – Matt Brunson, Film Frensy

“Polyester is definitely one of Water’s best films, and I highly recommend attending an ‘Odorama’ screening for a unique night at the movies.” – Mark Stafford, Electric Sheep

Polyester

 

 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/event/polyester/

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #31

Pink Flamingos + Female Trouble Double Feature

Pink Flamingos poster

Wrapping up Director of the Month John Water’s holiday filth-tacular is a double feature of his funniest and filthiest films, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble.

 

Pink Flamingos

An infamous celluloid counter-culture explosion, Pink Flamingos stars regular John Waters collaborator and legendary drag queen Divine as an exaggerated version of her outrageous self. In this case, she’s a trash-talking hedonist who fancies herself “the filthiest person alive” and lives in a motor home with her mad hippie son Crackers, her “traveling companion” Cotton, and her infantile mother Edie, who spends her days gorging on eggs in a giant crib. When Baltimore locals Connie and Raymond Marble – “two jealous perverts” who sell heroin to schoolchildren and kidnap and impregnate female hitchhikers – decide that they themselves are “the filthiest people alive,” this sets off an epic battle of wills that culminates in a shocking climax and a most infamous final scene.

 

Female Trouble

Divine returns in Female Trouble, her second shamefully side-splitting collaboration with Waters. This rollercoaster adventure follows the life of bad girl teen Dawn Davenport (Divine), who only wants a pair of cha-cha heels for Christmas. When she doesn’t get them, Dawn runs away, gets pregnant, and falls into a life of crime with her high-school pals Chiclette and Concetta. Through a series of comedically deplorable events including an acid attack to the face, Dawn becomes a model for two deranged salon owners, playing into her notion that “crime and beauty are the same.”

Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble are both rated NC-17.

No one under 17 will be admitted and viewer discretion is strongly advised.

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #30

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas poster

Frida After Dark is making Christmastime with Henry Selick’s macabre holiday tale The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, grows tired of the holiday and wishes to try something new. When he accidentally comes across Christmas Town, he is inspired by what he sees and decides to put his own twist on the wintertime celebration. With the help of his friends, they make Christmas their own, but with decidedly disastrous results.

Filled with breathtaking stop-motion imagery, The Nightmare Before Christmas is an unconventional take on the holiday season as well as one of producer Tim Burton’s most beloved films.


“Part Avant-garde art film, part amusing but morbid fairy tale, it is a delightfully ghoulish holiday musical that displays more inventiveness in its brief 75 minutes than some studios can manage in an entire year” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Burton and his collaborators present a movie musical that’s unlike nothing you’ve sever seen.” – Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

“Visually a macabre knockout, this 75-minute fantasy boasts some of the wittiest, most vigorous stop-motion animation effects in the history if the process.” – John Hartl, Seattle Times

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #29

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Celebrate this holiday season with an out of this world presentation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring our very own resident shadow-cast K.A.O.S.!

Director Jim (Don’t squeeze the…) Sharman’s cult classic stars Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon as Brad and Janet, two virginal small-town lovers whose car breaks down in the shadows of a creepy old castle, where they encounter an odd collective of “unconventional conventionalists” gathered to witness transvestite scientist’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s latest creation – a muscular man named Rocky.  As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including tap-dancing Columbia, rocking biker Eddie, and of course, the castle’s “Sweet Transvestite” himself, Frank-N-Furter!

Adapted from the 1973 stage musical by Richard O’Brien, this glam cult classic is a cinematic experience unlike any other. Sing-along (and shout-along!) to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a classic that still packs houses almost 50 years since its release!

 

 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/event/the-rocky-horror-picture-show/

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #11

Hola Mexico Film Festival

 

Hola Mexico Film Festival

 

The Frida Cinema is proud to be the Orange County host for this year’s Hola Mexico Film Festival, running November 15 through 21! A festival dedicated to showcasing up-and-coming Mexican filmmakers of all genres, it will also serve as a celebration of Mexican experience and culture. Fans of Spanish-language films and foreign cinema in general are invited to witness the new wave of Mexican movies at this unique week-long event!


The Good Girls poster

The Good Girls (2019)

Directed by Alejandra Marquez Abella

November 15

Surrounded by extravagant luxury, Sofía de Garay (Ilse Salas) lives in a dreamlike cloud of opulence in 1980s Mexico City. Her days are filled with lavish soirees, designer dresses, country-club tennis matches, and all the pleasures reserved for the upper crust. In this world, appearances are everything and friendships are only as strong as your financial status.

However, when Mexico’s 1982 economic crisis hits her husband’s business hard, the elegant lifestyle Sofia is accustomed to falls to pieces right before her eyes. Soon, her arrogance turns into desperation, as she is forced to confront her new reality. It’s only in her infatuation with Spanish singer Julio Iglesias that Sofia finds solace from the unbearable turmoil.

Alejandra Márquez Abella’s second feature film is a sumptuous examination of the privileged few trapped in their artificial microcosm of hypocrisy, superficiality, and immense loneliness.

 

 


Mirreyes vs Godinez

Mirreyes vs. Godinez (2019)

Directed by Chava Cartas

November 16

Genaro Rodríguez (Daniel Tovar), a young “godín” (a colloquial term that refers to low-level office workers), is a loyal employee of Kuri & Sons. His boss, Don Francisco Kuri, sees him like a son and trusts him completely with the business. However, circumstances change when Don Francisco dies and his real son, Santiago (Pablo Lyle), a spoiled “mirrey” (a term that refers to a young person from a wealthy family), decides to take over the company even if he has no skills to so.

Afraid that Santiago and his fellow “mirreyes” will bankrupt the company he’s worked so hard to build, Genaro bands with the company’s other “godínez” to fight to keep their jobs. While being so intensely focused in their dispute, both groups lose sight of their real enemy: someone who is planning to destroy the company from within.

A new comedy from Chava Cartas, this film explores class and power dynamics in Mexican society from a humorous and light-hearted point of view.

 

 


Guie'dani's Navel poster

Guie’dani’s Navel (2018)

Directed by Xavi Sala

November 16

Featuring a star-making performance by lead actress Sótera Cruz, this unique coming-of-age narrative explores the racism encountered by indigenous people in Mexico. Guie’dani (Cruz) is a Zapotec teenager who moves to Mexico City with her mother to work as a housekeeper for an upper-middle-class family. There, their language is mocked and psychological subjugation is inflicted. Yet through it all, Guie’dani rejects the life of servitude and seeks her own identity through a friendship with another rebellious teen.

 

 


108 Costuras poster

108 Stitches (2018)

Directed by Fernando Kalife

November 17

Since they were young, Mauricio and Reynaldo dreamed of becoming professional baseball players. Together, they spent their days playing and imagining themselves in the Major Leagues until they managed to be admitted into Mexico’s most prestigious academy.

Years later, thanks to their talent and determination, the friends become an indestructible duo. At the height of his career, the great friendship between these two dreamers is soon threatened by the pressures of fame, success, and million-dollar contracts.

 

 


Como Si Fuera poster

Como Si Fuera La Primera Vez (2019)

Directed by Mauricio Valle

November 17

Diego (Vadhir Derbez) is a marine biologist committed to his work until his career takes him to the Dominican Republic, where he meets Luci (Ximena Romo). Despite the clear attraction between them from the beginning, the next day Luci does not remember him because, due to injuries sustained in a car accident years ago, her memory is erased every night.

Convinced that she is the woman of his dreams, Diego is willing to do anything to win Luci’s heart, even if that means having to find a new way to conquer her and her overprotective family every day.

 

 


Dulce Familia poster

Dulce Familia (2019)

Directed by Nicholas Lopez

November 18

A bittersweet comedy with a message of body positivity and acceptance, Dulce Familia follows five women from different generations, all of whom have struggled with dieting, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and an insatiable sweet tooth.

Talented baker Tami (a transformed Fernanda Castillo) is in a wonderful relationship with her loving fiancé (played by Vadhir Derbez), but others don’t think that’s enough. Ignoring her happiness, Tami’s family is adamant for her to lose weight before getting married.

Feeling insecure and aching to please them, Tami submits herself to torturous regimens in order to fit in her mother’s wedding dress. Renowned actress Florinda Mesa (known for playing La Chilindrina and Doña Florinda) is Tami’s judgmental mother for whom superficial beauty carries more weight than personality. Regina Blandón and Paz Bascuñán appear as her equally critical sisters.

 

 


Si Yo Fuera Tu poster

If I Were You (2019)

Directed by Alejandro Lubezki

November 19

A new take on the body swap sub-genre, this hilarious comedy tells the story of Claudia (Sophie Alexander) and Antonio (Juan Manuel Bernal), a couple which has been married for 15 years. With time their relationship has turned lackluster and meaningful communication is nonexistent.

One night following a heated argument, the rare planetary alignment of Venus, Earth, and Mars causes a shocking transformation. Antonio’s consciousness is now in Claudia’s body and vice versa, which will give them an opportunity to empathize with the other person’s daily life and reconnect with each other.

 

 


My Best Friend's Wedding poster

My Best Friend’s Wedding (2019)

Directed by Ceslo Garcia

November 20

This reimagining of the classic 90s romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz follows the same formula but with a Mexican twist.

Actress Ana Serradilla plays Julia, a renowned food critic afraid of settling down. Despite her aversion to commitment, Julia and her best friend Manuel (Carlos Ferro) had promised to marry each other if they were both single by age 35. To her surprise, the time has come and Manuel is marrying another woman. With only four days before the ceremony and certain that she is the only woman for him, Julia plans to stop the wedding at any cost.

 

 


Eight Out of Ten poster

Eight Out of Ten (2019)

Directed by Sergio Umansky Brener

November 21

Sergio Umansky’s fierce and psychologically complex drama explores the aftermath of a tragedy that evidences the rampant impunity and insecurity problem across Mexico.

Chameleonic actor Noé Hernández shines as Aurelio, a man whose son was violently murdered in broad daylight. Searching for whoever was responsible, Aurelio meets Citlali (Daniela Schmidt) in a Mexico City hotel. She has also been unjustly separated from her child and wants to fight back. This shared struggle for justice forges a dangerous alliance between them as their desire for answers transforms into thirst for revenge.

 

 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/hola-mexico-film-festival/?fbclid=IwAR2bigO3oOOJioiqnpcx_4XXnlbtINKi3NjxEaeNj0n7eM0fq6628QPxfg8

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #10

The Films of Martin Scorsese

 

Martin Scorsese

 

With the limited theatrical release of the highly-anticipated new Netflix film The Irishman coming up, we proudly pay homage to one of the most accomplished directors in all of cinematic history, Martin Scorsese.

As a child, Scorsese suffered from debilitating asthma, with the only activity accessible to him being watching movies at the local movie theatre. In that darkened theatre, the four-year-old Scorsese became mesmerized by the images, sounds, and words emanating from the giant silver screen. This became his “unintentional film school”, feeding his desire to learn everything about movies.

Scorsese owes his raw yet sophisticated film style to a multitude of film and personal influences, among them the Golden Age of Hollywood, French New Wave, his Italian heritage, Catholicism, and close attention to detail. He creates flawed but relatable characters trying to survive in a world that can be as loving as it is cruel. A typical Scorsese film is an homage to classic film but featuring twists like realistic stories and experimental techniques.

As such, it’s an honor and privilege to screen not only The Irishman but four other cinematic masterpieces from Scorsese as part of our month-long celebration of his work

 

 

The Irishman (2019)

November 27-30 & December 2-5

The Irishman

The wait is finally over for Scorsese’s long-awaited gangster epic, The Irishman!

This biographical crime thriller follows Frank Sheeran as he recalls his past years working for the Bufalino crime family. Now older, the WWII veteran once again reflects on his biggest hits and considers his involvement with one of the country’s most enduring mysteries, the disappearance of his good friend Jimmy Hoffa in 1975.

Garnering all kinds of awards hype and starring Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel, The Irishman finds America’s greatest living filmmaker once again working at the top of his game!

Written by Trevor Dillon.

 

 

Raging Bull (1980)

November 4-5 & 9-10

Raging Bull

Brace yourself for Raging Bull, a hard-hitting biopic about champion boxer Jake LaMotta.

Before his brief reign in the 1940s boxing world, LaMotta had two lessons he learned early in life: to steal and to fight. Channeling this tough upbringing into the ring, LaMotta directs his deep-seated anxieties and emotional fears into a visceral aggression towards his opponents. His violence and rage lead him to the top as a prizefighter but that same temper ultimately destroys his life outside the ring.

Starring Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, and Joe Pesci, Raging Bull is an unflinching depiction of LaMotta’s rise and fall.

Written by Adrienne Reese.

 

 

Taxi Driver (1976)

November 11-12 & 16-17

Taxi Driver

Catch the next cab to Taxi Driver, Scorsese’s exploration of alienation and toxic masculinity.

Based on a screenplay by Paul Schrader (Raging Bull), the movie follows Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a Vietnam veteran and loner who takes an overnight cab driving job to deal with his insomnia. Over a short period of time he comes in contact with a local politician running for office, a beautiful woman working for his campaign, and a young girl who is forced into prostitution. These interactions and Travis’ growing paranoia build toward a startling conclusion of urban violence.

Featuring a sonorous score by Bernard Hermann and strong supporting performances by Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, and Albert Brooks, Taxi Driver remains a classic of contemporary cinema with themes that remain urgently relevant.

Written by Sean Woodard.

 

 

The King of Comedy (1982)

November 18-19 & 20

The King of Comedy poster

Robert De Niro gives a humorously surprising turn in The King of Comedy, the original cringe comedy!

Rupert Pupkin (De Niro) dreams of being a stand-up comedian and thinks his big break has come at last when he meets with the famous talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). When numerous attempts to get on Langford’s show fail however, Rupert becomes increasingly desperate and resorts to extreme tactics to get the validation he thinks he deserves.

Bolstered by a talented supporting cast, De Niro creates an unnerving portrait of the effects of loneliness on a deranged mind.

Written by Sammy Trujillo.

 

 

Goodfellas (1990)

November 25-26 & 28-29

Goodfellas

Grab some wise guys and catch Goodfellas, playing in celebration of the film’s 29th anniversary!

Based on the unbelievable true story of the rise and fall of Henry Hill, the film documents the notorious mobster’s life from childhood onward. Despite being half-Irish, Henry ingratiates himself to the local Italian mafia and rises through its ranks. After leading the largest cash robbery on American soil, he becomes reckless and his friends turn against him. With both the FBI and his fellow mobsters after him, the question facing Henry is should he snitch or face the business end of the barrel?

Listed by the American Film Institute as #2 on its Top 10 Gangster FilmsGoodfellas is a sharp crime drama with snappy dialogue and memorable performances.

Written by Justina Bonilla.

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #9

10 Mexican Horror Films Every Horror Fan Should See

 

A brand-new, 4k restoration of Alejandro Jodorowsky’sSanta Sangrestarts Friday, November 29th at The Frida Cinema.

Mexican horror is one of the most unique and distinctive voices in international horror cinema. Initially inspired by early American horror and German Expressionist films, Mexican horror filmmakers combined these foreign influences with their Catholic traditions and indigenous folklore, resulting in a veritable treasure trove of gothic and fantasy stories.

Alejandro Jodorowsky's Santa Sangre (1989)
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre (1989)

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

Tigers Are Not Afraid

This international cross-over film from Issa Lopez has a fantasy feel yet brutal visuals, revealing that it is children who pay the highest price in the Latin American drug wars. Its success has both revitalized interest in Mexican horror as well as further established women as directors.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyoE0mSJXO8&t=59s

 

 

Cronos (1993)

Cronos poster

Long before he became an Oscar-winning director, Guillermo Del Toro made his debut with Cronos, establishing himself as a horror writer and filmmaker. Reinventing the traditional vampire tale, Cronos examines the undying love and bond between a grandfather and granddaughter in spite of the horrors of vampire life.

 

Poison for Fairies (1993)

Poison for Fairies poster

The last film directed by Carlos Enrique Taboada, an influential director, writer, and cult-figure in Mexican horror films.  Though initially resembling a lighthearted made-for-television movie about the friendship between two little girls, it quickly turns into a dark thriller of witchcraft and terror.

 

 

 

Alucarda, Daughter of Darkness (1997)

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The most controversial film from influential director Juan Lopez Moctezuma, Alucarda, Daughter of Darkness caused quite a stir upon its release due to its explicit scenes of murder, sex, and demonic possession within the walls of a convent.  Because of the controversy, Alucarda is often compared to Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971).

 

 

 

The Mansion of Madness (1973)

The Mansion of Madness poster

After working as a producer for avant-garde director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Fando and Lis and El Topo, Moctezuma made his film directorial debut with The Manson of Madness.  He intertwined his love of classic horror with influences from Jodorowsky’s take-no-prisoners style, creating a surrealist nightmare of mental patients running the asylum.

 

The Curse of the Crying Woman (1963)

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Directed and produced by Golden Age of Mexican cinema veterans Rafael Baledon and Abel Salazar, The Curse of the Crying Woman brings the traditional folk tale of Llorona back from the dead. Considered by film historians to be a classic of Mexican horror, the movie combines folk traditions with stylized black and white terror.

 

Santo vs. The Vampire Women (1962)

Santo poster

With the massive popularity of wrestling in Mexico, many wrestlers transitioned into movies and television, with the most notable being the iconic El Santo. He starred in over 50 films that pit him against a variety of foes, including gangsters, demons, martians, and most notably vampires in Alfonso Corona Blake’s Santo vs. the Vampire Women.

 

 

 

The Witch’s Mirror (1962)

The Witch's Mirror poster

An eccentric talent, Chano Urueta combined multiple horror subgenres and experimental special effects to create art-house chiller The Witch’s Mirror. Paying visual homage to the cinematic styles of Eyes Without A Face and Frankenstein, the movie also draws considerable influence from RKO producer Val Lewton’s signature style of horror.

 

 

Macario (1960)

Macario poster

Though considered a fantasy film, Roberto Galvadon’s Macario has a definite horror feel with its story of making a deal with and then cheating death. Visually stunning, this movie has the honor of being Mexico’s first nominee for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.

 

El Vampiro (1957)

The Vampire poster

Inspired by the success of the Universal Monster films, Abel Salazar collaborated with Fernando Mendez to set the traditional Dracula story in Mexico with The Vampire. The success of this surprise horror masterpiece started a vampire craze in Mexican monster cinema. It also revived cinematic depictions of Dracula one year before Hammer Studios released their first vampire film, Horror of Dracula (1958).

 

 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/10-mexican-horror-films-every-horror-fan-should-see