WEDNESDAY MARCH 22, 6:30PM, Tucson Museum of Art Lobby
ARTIST/FILMMAKER TALK: MARÍA JOSÉ CUEVAS “HEROINES OF SIN AND PLEASURE”
Co-presented by Tucson Cine Mexico and the Tucson Museum of Art
The showgirls – the Bellas de Noche – of Mexico City in the 1970s and 80s were political and cultural icons. Mexico City-based director, writer, and cinematographer María José Cuevas spent ten years examining the rich photographic archive of these showgirls, five of whom are the subject of Tucson Cine Mexico's Opening Night Film. In this talk, featuring sensational magazine spreads and film excerpts from the archive, Cuevas will discuss the powerful emergence of the showgirls in an era of economic crisis and the growing wave of women’s liberation, the history of this erotic art form, and what has become of it today. In conversation with Laura Gutiérrez, Associate Professor, Latin American Performance Studies, University of Texas at Austin.
FRIDAY MARCH 24, 6:30PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
ARIZONA PREMIERE: BELLAS DE NOCHE / BEAUTIES OF THE NIGHT (Opening Night Film, with director in person)
María José Cuevas’ engrossing debut documentary feature offers a moving portrait of five of Mexico’s most popular showgirls of the late 1970s and 80s, almost forty years after they ruled Mexico’s entertainment world. With a keen eye and devoid of any sensationalism, Cuevas enters the fascinating world of these women who have struggled to reinvent themselves after the decline of the burlesque heyday era in Mexico. “A beautifully crafted exploration of ageism with a powerful vision, and an empowering take on what it means to grow old in a culture obsessed with youth and beauty.” (Palm Springs Film Festival)
FRIDAY MARCH 24, 9:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
ARIZONA PREMIERE: UN MONSTRUO DE MIL CABEZAS / A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS
When Sonia (Jana Raluy) receives the news that her husband’s cancer has progressed to a terminal stage, she races to secure the insurance company approval for the care that can help him. Met with indifference and negligence at every turn, Sonia’s desperation triggers a primal survival instinct as a series of increasingly violent confrontations unfolds. A sharp, urgent tale of a distraught woman intent on protecting her family at all costs, director Rodrigo Plá’s latest film is an engrossing combination of thriller, drama and timely socio-political commentary.
SATURDAY MARCH 25, 7:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
ARIZONA PREMIERE: CARMÍN TROPICAL
Set on the coast of Oaxaca, Carmín Tropical tells the story of Mabel (José Pescina), a muxe (Mexico’s third gender) who returns to her hometown to find the murderer of her friend Daniela. She finds herself on a journey that takes her through nostalgia, love, and betrayal in a town where transvestism takes on an unusual dimension. Rigoberto Perezcano’s second feature film has a “killer ending in store that’s a real nail-biter” (The Hollywood Reporter).
SATURDAY MARCH 25, 9:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
ARIZONA PREMIERE: LA CALLE DE LA AMARGURA / BLEAK STREET
Based on a true—yet bizarre—crime story, the latest film by veteran auteur Arturo Ripstein is a black-and-white lusciously shot noir melodrama that tells the story of two prostitutes (Patricia Reyes Spíndola and Nora Velásquez) who mistakenly kill two twin mini-luchadores in downtown Mexico City in a robbery attempt to make ends meet. “Ripstein plunges into a Mexico City demimonde of crime, prostitution, and wrestling… (and) imbues his Buñuelian tableaux with both empathy and dark humor” (Film Form).
SUNDAY MARCH 26, 2:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
ARIZONA PREMIERE: EL CHARRO DE TOLUQUILLA
The documentary profiles Jaime García—a mariachi singer and braggart who lives his life like a chauvinistic vintage Mexican movie character, but with one difference: he is HIV-positive. José Villalobos’ remarkable debut film offers a playful and incisive look at masculinity through the Mexican popular figure of the charro cantor (singing cowboy), as Jaime chooses between maintaining his reckless lifestyle or becoming a family man.