Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that offers a brief history of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.
When you think about the “Golden Age” of cinema, what fills your head? Is it images of studio-system stars like Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart? Do you think of titanic classics like The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, and Citizen Kane?
Hollywood’s reach is such that it is often the default. But the truth is other national cinemas had their own golden ages. And while their impact on the international cultural consciousness may have been “lesser” their output is no less deserving of our eyes, attention, and watchlist queues.
The Golden Age of Mexican cinema took place between 1935 and 1969. It refers to a period during which the Mexican film industry reached unprecedented levels of production, quality, and box office success. Beginning symbolically with Fernando de Fuentes‘ Let’s Go With Pancho Villa, the success of the Mexican movie-making industry is inextricably linked with World War II’s effect on it. While other countries turned their resources — filmmakers included — towards the war effort, Mexico seized the opportunity to develop its own unique cinematic voice.
And yet, bonafide masterpieces lie 1943’s María Candelaria and 1947’s The Pearl remain unknown to the average film buff. But as the following video essay astutely notes, it’s always a good day when watching movies is the least, and the best, thing we can do to broaden our cinematic horizons.
Watch “The Mexican Golden Age of Cinema – A Brief History”:
Who made this?
This video essay on the Golden Age of Mexican cinema is by the Texas-based Emilio Vazquez Reyes, who describes their YouTube channel as a creative outlet to express their love of cinema. You can subscribe to their YouTube account here. And you can follow them on Letterboxd here.
More videos like this
- Here’s another sample of Emilio Vazquez Reyes’ work on why Abbas Kiarostami‘s Taste of Cherry emblematizes minimalist cinema.
- And here’s their video on why Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi is a masterclass in low-budget filmmaking.
- While we’re on the subject of Mexico’s cinematic history, here’s a video essay from Little White Lies on “Nuevo Cine Mexicano” (New Mexican Cinema), a national renaissance of Mexican film that began in the 1990s after decades of obscurity.
- Finally, here’s a video essay by Troy Bordun on the films of Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, whose work includes 2002’s Japón and 2005’s Battle in Heaven.
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