From June 5 -18, Film Forum—in association with Fundación Televisa, El Museo del Barrio, Cinema Tropical, and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York—will present a two-week retrospective paying tribute to the great Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907-1997), featuring 19 of the most representative feature films in which he collaborated with acclaimed Mexican directors Emilio Fernández, Luis Buñuel, Roberto Gavaldón, Julio Bracho, Carlos Velo, and his collaboration with Hollywood directors Don Siegel, John Ford, and John Huston.
Other national cinemas like Italy and Japan had a Big Three, but they were always directors. Mexico alone had a Big Four: stars Pedro Armendáriz and Dolores del Río, director Emilio Fernández, and Director of Photography Figueroa. Influenced by Eisenstein’s ¡Que Viva México!, and taught by Citizen Kane’s Gregg Toland, Figueroa worked with every luminary at home — including directors Fernández, Roberto Gavaldón, and Luis Buñuel— and internationally with John Huston, John Ford, Don Siegel, and Clint Eastwood.
Often counted as Mexico’s fourth great muralist along with Rivera, Siqueiros, and Orozco, Figueroa was nominated for the Ariel Award (Mexico’s Oscars) for Best Cinematography every year from 1946 to 1954, 11 nominations overall, winning seven times (once against himself). No cameraman has ever dominated a national cinema as he did or created so majestic and instantly recognizable an image of it.
The film series "Gabriel Figueroa" is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film” currently on view at El Museo del Barrio through June 27, 2015. The retrospective will feature some cherished screen classics including María Candelaria (1943), Los Olvidados (1950), Macario (1959), Victims of Sin / Víctimas del pecado (1951), Salón México (1949), and The Night of Iguana (1964), which earned Figueroa an Oscar nomination for his stunning black and white photography.
The retrospective will also feature some rarely screened film such as Hidden River / Río escondido (1947, pictured above), Pueblerina (1948), and Autumn Days / Días de otoño (1962).
“Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film” was organized by Televisa Foundation. In New York City, the exhibition is co-presented by El Museo del Barrio and is generously supported by Televisa Foundation, and Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta). Generous funding has been provided by Corporate and Exhibition Benefactors, MetLife Foundation and Tony Bechara. Additional support has been provided by Mexico Tourism Board, The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Mex-Am Cultural Foundation Inc. and the Círculo de Coleccionistas at El Museo del Barrio. With Public Support from Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council.
The “Gabriel Figueroa” film series is presented by Film Forum in association with Fundación Televisa, El Museo del Barrio, Cinema Tropical, and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. Additional support provided by Filmoteca de la UNAM, the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, and the Consulate General of Mexico in New York.