Mexican experimental director and cinematographer Rafael Corkidi died yesterday in Veracruz, Mexico at the age of 83. Born in Puebla in 1930, he worked as Director of Photography for Chilean-born director Alejandro Jodorowsky on his first three feature films: Fando and Lis (1968), El Topo (1970), and La montaña sagrada / The Holy Mountain (1973).
Corkidi's film career began as a cinematographer for newsreels. Shortly after he started working with some experimental filmmakers including Juan José Gurrola, Gelsen Gas and Juan López Moctezuma.
In 1972 Corkidi made his directorial debut with Ángeles y querubines / Angels and Cherubs (pictured right), a tragic celestial western that explores a surrealist point of view of the lost paradise by Adam and Eve. The film was followed by Auandar Anapu / The One Who Came from Heaven (1975) Pafnucio Santo (1977) and Deseos (1977).
In the early 80s, he switched film for video becoming a local pioneer artist making numerous experimental works on video including Figuras de la pasión (1984), Las Lupitas (1984), Urbano y Natalia (1994), Rulfo aeternum (1992), Folklor (1991) and Murmullos (1991). He remained active until a few years ago, being his Cantatas para la Independencia and El maestro prodigioso (both from 2010), his last works.
Just few months ago, Corkidi was honored with a Golden Ariel, Mexico's national film prize, for his career as an experimental filmmaker and DP.