The latest, greatest Austin Film Society Essential Cinema Series will be “3 Mexicanas in Hollywood,” celebrating the legacies of renowned actresses Dolores del Río, Lupe Vélez, & Katy Jurado. Having grown up on the Texas/Mexico border in Brownsville, the impact of actresses like these is something I saw all the time. It’s great that Austin film fans will get a chance to witness some of these memorable women. From Belinda Acosta’s preview piece in the new Austin Chronicle:
Class, race, and gender matters permeate the narratives of several of the six films in the series, but it’s the actresses who command the attention. Often pigeonholed to types – Vélez as the “Mexican spitfire,” del Río as the dignified “good woman,” and Jurado as the sexually charged “hot Latina” – the three always brought just enough variation and nuance to make audiences question their assumptions. After all these years, del Río, Vélez, and Jurado still delight.
The series begins January 8, with Edwin Carewe’s Evangeline (starring del Rio) and concludes on February 12, with Fred Zinneman’s classic Western High Noon (starring Jurado). The films will screen every Tuesday at the Alamo Ritz. Another interesting aspect of this upcoming series, is the partnership with Harlingen-based Agrasanchez Film Archives (who we worked with for a similar series during SXSW 2005). Also in the Austin Chronicle, Kimberley Jones profiles the Archives, which were founded by Rogelio Agrasánchez Sr.:
Curatorial work is now carried on by his son, Rogelio Agrasánchez Jr., who tends to a collection of films (numbering 750) and poster art that spans 60 years of Mexican cinema. Agrasánchez Jr. also authors studies on el cine Mexicano, including one co-written with University of Texas professor Charles Ramírez Berg titled, natch, Cine Mexicano: Posters From the Golden Age 1936-1956. Film art, including posters, stills, and lobby cards, as well as Agrasánchez Jr.’s books, can be purchased from his website at www.mexfilmarchive.com.