Preview: ¡Mira Mexico! - Contemporary Mexican Cinema

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 99 months ago
Preview: ¡Mira Mexico! - Contemporary Mexican Cinema

The leading lights of what critics lazily dubbed the Mexican 'Buena Onda', or New Wave — names like Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel), Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men), and Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy) — have migrated to the brighter lights of Hollywood filmmaking, leaving a vacuum in their homeland into which a bustling group of pretenders have marched.

¡Mira Mexico! at the Barbican showcases some of the new talent emerging from the country, and the depth and range of styles and subjects proves that those earlier talents weren't a short-lived phenomenon. Mexico's unique geographical, cultural, and economic position — as former president Porfirio Diaz put it, "so far from God and so close to the United States" — has provided impetus for one of the most dynamic national cinemas on the planet, capable of producing diverse and challenging films that are popular both nationally and overseas; something the British industry continues to struggle with.

Some highlights from the season:

I'm Going To Explode — probably the most obvious film to hang the term 'New Wave' on, this story of adolescent anomie and the lot of bored middle class kids in Mexico City has been likened to early Godard. 25th January, 8.30pm.

Those Who Remain — documentary looking at the untold story behind the tens of thousands of Mexicans who attempt to cross into the USA each year: the family members and friends left behind, reliant on the money sent back but consumed by fears that their loved ones may never return. 27th January, 6.30.

Meet The Head of Juan Pérez - magicians, beheadings, the circus, and a cursed guillotine. Do you need any more reason to go and see this award-winning black comedy?

Rudo y Cursi — reuniting Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, who starred in one of the New Wave's key films Y Tu Mama Tambien, and directed by Carlos (brother of Alfonso) Cuarón, this is a film about two brothers trying to escape their small-town upbringing for success on the football field.

¡Mira Mexico!, at the Baribcan, from January 21st - 27th. Tickets £7.50 / £6.50 concessions, buy tickets for any two films for £12.

Last Updated 14 January 2010