Salon Mexico: The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema
With stars, directors and films to rival Hollywood, Mexican cinema of the 30s-50s saw a surge in production, from music-infused dramas to romance and thrillers.
“There only exists one Mexico: the one I invented.”
While Hollywood was in its studio-era heyday, south of the border another film industry was enjoying a Golden Age of its own. Mexican cinema dazzled between the 1930s and the 50s, with each new year bringing classic films from directors such as Emilio Fernández, Julio Bracho and Roberto Gavaldón; films that ranged from epic tales of revolution to uniquely Mexican takes on Gothic horror, and from lurid noirs every bit as hardbitten as those made in Hollywood to Mexican cabareteras – a genre that fused music, dance and melodrama to thrilling effect. Lighting up the screen, and captivating audiences across Latin America, were luminous figures such as María Félix, Dolores del Río, Pédro Armendáriz and Ninón Sevilla – stars who were immortalised through the breathtaking cinematography of masters like Gabriel Figueroa.
See the July issue of Sight & Sound for more on this season.
With special thanks to
Cineteca Nacional México
Filmoteca de la UNAM
Embassy of Mexico