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Mexican movie news

June 28, 2012

Polemic US director criticizes Mexican president over drug war

Controversial U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone condemned President Felipe Calderon while presenting his new movie about the Mexican drug war in Los Angeles last Friday.

“Calderon is a disaster. He was equivalent to George Bush. It’s a shame because he brought what George Bush brought to this country, he brought a nightmare to Mexico by declaring war on these guys. Four cartels became seven cartels and there is more violence. It’s like a civil war,” said the outspoken director.

“If I upset him I’m glad, because the guy’s a thief,” Stone added the following day. “It was a stolen election and it still bothers me to this day,” he said, in reference to the allegations of voting fraud that surrounded Calderon’s razor-thin victory over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the 2006 presidential election.

The director of “JFK,” “Platoon” and “Wall Street,” Stone is famed for his leftist and often polemical views.

His new movie “Savages,” is based on Don Winslow’s 2010 novel of the same name. It tells the story of two Californian pot growers who must confront a Mexican drug cartel in order to rescue their abducted friend.

The film stars John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro as well as Mexico’s Salma Hayek and Demian Bichir, who receieved a Best Actor nomination in this year’s Academy Awards for his role in “A Better Life.”

Hayek, who plays a fearsome drug lord named Elena, insisted this week that the United States must take responsibility “because it is the consumer” of drugs trafficked through Mexico, and the supplier of most of the arms used in the conflict.

“This is not just one country’s problem. That’s been made perfectly clear,” Hayek said. “We share a border and each side must take responsibility.”

“Savages” premieres in the United States on July 6 but does not hit cinemas in Mexico until October 19.

Feature film of Colosio assassination hits screens

A new film chronicling the 1994 assassination of an Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) presidential candidate hit 450 cinemas across Mexico last week.

“Colosio: El Asasinato” is based on the true story of Luis Donaldo Colosio, who had been handpicked by then President Carlos Salinas de Gortari as his successor shortly before he was shot dead at a campaign rally in Tijuana in March 1994.

A shooter, Mario Aburto Martinez, was arrested at the site and has always insisted he acted alone, but that was not enough to prevent hundreds of conspiracy theories from circulating. The movie reflects the doubts surrounding the episode, such as the subsequent murder of 16 people apparently linked to the case.

“I am a Mexican who cares about his country and I think I have a historical and social responsibility. We must recount our history,” said director Carlos Bolado, who has also made a film about the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre which is scheduled for release later in 2012.

Mexican director wins at Cannes

Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas was named best director at last month’s Cannes Film Festival for his personal, surrealist movie, “Post Tenebras Lux.”

The unconventional motion picture was met with boos at its screening, but Reygadas said “it flatters me that a good portion of the press don’t like it. It’s not my aim to to please the greatest number of people possible.”

Born in Mexico City in 1971, Reygadas was previously honored at the prestigious French festival in 2007, when he was awarded the Panel of Judges’ Prize for “Luz silenciosa.”

“The film really sprang from my subconscious,” Reygadas said of his latest effort, which centers on an attractive young couple with two kids (his real-life children) living in a charming house in the woods (his childhood home) who are plagued by violent events.

The violence is a reflection of what is happening in Mexico today, with a man pulling his own head off in one of the film’s most shocking scenes. Reygadas said he chose the image “because the country is suffering and it is a powerful image of suffering.”

Another Mexican director, Michel Franco, won the top prize in the Cannes Film Festival’s sidebar competition, Un Certain Regard, which focuses on up-and-coming filmmakers. Franco’s movie “After Lucia,” was named the best of 20 films by a jury headed by British actor Tim Roth.

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