Although a space is essential, film clubs are communities before places. A neighborhood, a square or a university are just that until a group of people meet in them, with certain regularity, to watch and discuss movies. And although they are not exempt from the uncertainty that we have been experiencing for a couple of years, film clubs continue to be key to the decentralization of cinema in Mexico: forums where the billboard is not forced or impeded by novelties, but tends to generate links and dialogues by discovering or rediscovering diverse films of all times and styles, according to the personality of each community. In order to publicize their activities, our alternative guide for February focuses this time on film clubs.
In its 2020 Yearbook, the IMCINE accounted for 65 film clubs in the country, although the line that separates them from other exhibition spaces is getting thinner and, surely, several will have slipped from the official count. Given the impossibility of covering them all, we offer the invitation to meet six film clubs as a starting point, as well as other projects that, through their screens, can be found in various regions of Mexico.
The conch (Campeche)
The smallest cinema in Mexico has space for eight people and Dolby Atmos sound. It will inaugurate its existence by visiting the Mayan communities of Chiná and San Agustín Ola, in Campeche, to share national films. La Caracola is a new traveling cinema, adapted in a mobile home that has a projector, screen, seats and everything necessary for a function inside. In the first stage of this project (complement of the Vochocinema), will exhibit four titles belonging to the cycle Second Laps, Take 4 (which we have talked about in previous editions), at the rate of a different one per week.
The first movie of the month will be Daisy flower (2016), directorial debut Bruno Santamaria (things we don’t do). In it, the director portrays his friendship with the Margarita of the title, a homeless elderly woman. With an extremely simple camera setting, an intimate documentary is built between the dinners, talks and walks that derive from her meeting, with the camera as just a secondary company. Without setting himself up as a pristine example (there are – and are appreciated – several moments where Bruno allows his own clumsiness to be seen in creating the film), he raises questions about how art can empathically approach telling other people’s stories with such delicacy.
TO Daisy flower will be followed by projections of The mommy, Resurrection Y Warrior for the rest of February. It should be noted that, in addition to showings in Mayan communities, La Caracola offers free home movies in other areas of Campeche. To have a function in your community, and have your own film club with your family and friends, you just have to schedule it through the networks of the conch shell or of Vochocinemaand follow health precaution measures at all times.
FILM CLUB IDA, UAEH (Hidalgo)
The students of the Institute of Arts (IDA) of the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo (UAEH) manage their own film club, an incipient project, born in 2021, in which they propose monthly cycles of films for the university community and the general public. Their billboard includes feature films from all over the world, and they also screen independent shorts made by students of the institute and some special programming from allied projects.
From January 27 to February 24 they will present the cycle “Parallel souls”, the first of this school year, with five films about adverse relationships. Among them, on February 10 we will be able to see the sky over berlin (also known as The wings of desire), directed by Wim Wenders in 1987. Already a classic, the film shows an angel who, seeing Berlin divided by the wall from heaven, falls in love with a human trapeze artist. Wenders’s ambitious film transitions between color and black and white; poetry and narrative; dream and reality to capture the spirit of his times through a being who renounces divinity to seek love. TO the sky over berlin will be accompanied by screenings of wishing to love (February 3rd), in the end we danced (February 17) and carol (February 24th).
The functions are subject to the sanitary conditions of the state, so if they are carried out in person they will be in the open-air forum of the Institute of Arts; instead, they can also be carried out through virtual transmissions, so it is essential to follow the Cineclub IDA – UAEH networks to be aware of the modality. In any scenario, the screenings maintain the titles and are on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m., open to the public and free of charge.
TERRACE TUESDAY CINEMA (Guanajuato)
Managed entirely by students from the León campus of the University of Guanajuato, and located in the well-known Guanajuato Cultural Forum, Tuesday Terrace Cinema It has been one of the favorite spaces for cinephiles in that city for almost ten years. Its name is quite illustrative: an open-air terrace where every Tuesday (sometimes even more days) at 7:30 p.m. there are free screenings of international and Mexican cinema, festival cycles, classics and contemporary films; a bit of everything in an eclectic, diverse proposal that is equally open to the university community and external audiences.
This February, Cine Martes kicks off with screenings, and as the first title of the semester they will feature The Painter and the Thief, by Benjamin Ree. This 2020 documentary follows a Czech painter who, during her trial for the theft of two of her paintings, strikes up an unlikely friendship with the thief. When he agrees to model for her to paint a portrait of her, they begin to learn about each other’s pasts. Although the story is full of twists (at times almost like a thrillerin a non-linear structure), it is this relationship that opens several reflections on the limits and possibilities of art, forgiveness and, above all, friendship.
After this documentary, the billboard of the Cine Martes de Terraza will bring this month Your name engraved herein (February 8th), marriage story (February 15) and melancholia (February 22); As always, access is free. Query their networks for more details on the semi-annual billboard, and don’t forget to bundle up!
UABC CINECLUB (Baja California)
Like Cine Martes de Terraza, the Cineclub of the Autonomous University of Baja California is free and open to the general public. Located inside the Faculty of Arts, the UABC Cineclub celebrates ten years of functions this 2022, and they will celebrate it by extending some special projections in the House of Arts and Crafts “La Joyita”, also located in Mexicali.
Its programming emphasizes Mexican and Latin American cinema, and this month’s screenings prove it: at La Joyita there will be a program with UABC Audiovisual Media student short films on February 12, as well as the recent a police movie (dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios), on February 19. In its usual movie theater inside the University, the Cineclub kicks off on February 8 and 10 with the screening of eight out of ten (dir. Sergio Umansky) and with the motitos (by Inés María Barrionuevo and Gabriela Vidal) on February 15.
the motitos is a coming of age Argentine (based on The motorcycle boys, a novel by Gabriela Vidal herself) that follows the romance of Juli and Lauti, two teenagers who live in a Cordovan neighborhood where the police harass young people who use motorcycles, like Lauti. While they try to continue their day to day studying, smoking or preparing Juli’s XV party, the couple looks for the means to interrupt their pregnancy without their families finding out. The directors empathize with their characters through a warm and attentive photography, which empathizes with the restlessness they experience. Showing simple moments (dances, kisses, motorcycle rides), they capture an honest and universal portrait of youth, while the conjunctures of the country peek through the environment.
The film will also be shown at La Joyita on February 26. In both spaces, the performances are free and start at 7:00 p.m. Follow the networks of the UABC Cineclub for more details.
If you are not in Mexicali but want to see the motitos, CEDECINE it is organizing an exhibition circuit in various film clubs and theaters throughout the Republic; in their networks you can check information about screenings near you.
THE CINEMA CLUB
Finally, it is worth mentioning a film club accessible not only from the entire country, but from any corner of the world with WiFi. Le Cinema Club is an online project with more than five years of existence, born thanks to collaborations between exhibitors from France and the United States, which each week offers a different, carefully selected film free of charge.
In this case, the dialogue does not take place between the attendees (at least, not in the first instance), but each film is accompanied by a critical text, an interview or a presentation by the corresponding filmmaker. Unfortunately, both the accompanying text and the weekly movie (or its subtitles, depending on the original language) are only available in English, but it’s still a great opportunity to discover world gems and learn a little about this art.
As a button, this week they have the short film The road to Magnasanti (2017), directed by John Wilson (creator of the series how to from HBO). It is a documentary full of black humor in which the director takes a perfect game from the video game Sim City as a pretext to describe how the urban development of his city, New York, is headed for an uninhabitable dystopia. Wilson films with a non-professional camera (a cell phone) police abuses, gentrification and absurd events in his neighborhood to criticize with satirical creativity the concept of progress in the American dream. It is shown until February 3, but remember that every Friday you will find a different film on the site.
The entry Desbordes: These are the film clubs you should visit in February was first published in Cine PREMIERE.