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Indoor Film Series at NOMA Spotlights Mexican Master

By Stephen Babcock | NOLA Defender

This article originally appeared here

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and the New Orleans Film Society are once again teaming up to show movies among the rarefied art in City Park. For the hotter, soggier summer months, the latest cinematic series will move into the museum’s marbled halls, and focus on the work of a famed Mexican cinematographer.

The film series, which will screen on three upcoming Friday nights at 7 p.m. in NOMA’s Stern Auditorium, focuses on the work of influential Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. Often referred to as the Fourth Muralist in Mexico, the late Figueroa’s work is instantly recognized in Mexico for its sweeping, dramatic style that became a touchstone of the country’s national identity. With the country in the midst of rebuilding its culture and sense of pride following the Mexican Revolution, Figueroa said he was focused on the search for “una imágen méxicana.” He also worked in Hollywood, extending his influence north of the border.

In programming the Murals on Screen film series, NOMA and NOFS focused on Figueroa’s work with director Emilio Fernandez. The duo were “responsible for the creation of a visual language and national identity in post-revolutionary Mexico,” according to information provided by the organizations.

The series is designed to coincide with NOMA’s current exhibits, Rising Up: Hale Woodruff's Murals from Talladega College, and Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898. Both focus on large scale works.

Here’s the schedule for the film series:

July 25 Multiple Perspectives (The Crazy MACHINE)
A 2012 documentary showcasing Figueroa’s work, and commentary from respected cinematographers.

August 8 María Candelaria (Xochimilco)
Gabriel Figueroa and Emilio Fernandez’ award-winning 1943 film, which stands as “one of the most beloved films in all of Mexican film history.”

August 22 La Perla (The Pearl)
Fernandez and Figueroa teamed up again for a 1947 film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novella that weaves a fishing village drama around a scorpion sting, a loan shark and an unexpected find. Steinbeck co-wrote the screenplay.

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