Screening: Saturday, February 23, 8 p.m., Rich Theatre
This Saturday, we’re lucky enough to kick off our series of extraordinary Mexican films with Un retrato de Deigo (A Portrait of Diego: The Revolutionary Gaze) (2007), followed by discussion with filmmaker Gabriel Figueroa Flores and screenwriter Margarita Mansilla.
In the late 1940s, Mexican Golden Age cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa began a film with two renowned artists, painter Diego Rivera and photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. They shot several reels of Rivera, robust as ever, standing tall and eyes wide, sketching the sun-soaked marketplaces that surrounded him. He’s at once a kind of gallant performance piece and an immersed student of the world, humbled by every face and flower and contemplating every shape and shade of the bustling scene. It all has a depth of color that weakens the knees, as if–with this rare footage–we are at last able to fall right into one of Rivera’s paintings only to find the curves even more seductive, the pallet somehow richer, and the calla lilies sweeter than we could have imagined.
But the film was never finished. Far from it, in fact, until Figueroa’s son, Gabriel Figueroa Flores, and Diego Rivera’s grandson, Diego López Rivera, decided to finish the film their own way. Un retrato de Diego delves into the work of Rivera, Figueroa, and Álvarez Bravo to explore the vision of each artist and create a remarkable portrait of the moment in Mexican history that inspired all of them. An informative documentary equally accessible and revelatory to both experts and novices of Mexican art history, the film also frequently takes a leap toward the poetic to bring us face to face with the transformative magic of each artist’s gaze.
Reorienting us to Diego Rivera’s paintings and introducing us to the dazzling aesthetics of Gabriel Figueroa, Un retrato de Diego is not to be missed as we kick of Extraordinary Cinematic Visions and delve deeper into the Frida & Diego exhibition.
For tickets to the Saturday, February 23rd screening of Un retrato de Diego, click HERE.