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The Life Pursuit: Julián Hernández’s “Raging Sun, Raging Sky”

The Life Pursuit: Julián Hernández's "Raging Sun, Raging Sky"

In an already marginalized cinema, Julián Hernández continues to forge an outsider’s path. To most audiences who don’t live within its borders, cinema in Mexico has in the past decade or so boiled down to the output of the self-named “Three Amigos”: Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro González Iñárittu. To more rigorous, festival-following cinephiles, the trio’s accessible, palatable films—united in slickness of craft and ability to maneuver between Latin and North American idioms, often shot in the U.S. and featuring Hollywood actors—are the middlebrow, and artistically no match for the daring of “up-and-coming” auteurs such as Fernando Eimbcke, Pedro Gonazález-Rubio, and Carlos Reygadas. Yet commonly left off of even these admiring lists is Hernández’s name, even though he has proven now, with three features and various shorts, to have one of the most consistent, revelatory cinematic visions anywhere in the world today. Could it be that Hernández isn’t spoken in the same breath as (the far milder) Eimbcke or (the more artistically specious) Reygadas because of the heaps of explicit gay sexual content that not only grace his films but also form their aesthetic backbone? One needn’t answer. Read the rest of Michael Koresky’s entry in Reverse Shot’s American All-Stars symposium.

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