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The Rivera Murals
The Casa Azul
The Trotsky Museum
Rain on canvas
The Anthropological Museum
Life is a miracle
Turtles Can Fly
Luis Barragans house
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For me, the Mexico City Film Festival begins in London with a telephone press conference for journalists there who have seen a preview of YES. It’s always a strange way to conduct interviews for there is so much information about people’s attitude written in their faces, whatever they appear to say in words, which you miss on the phone (and vise versa of course). I sit pale and disheveled in my workroom, surrounded by heaps of papers and mounds of boxes. I am in the middle of ‘sorting and filing’ which has created temporary havoc. But the conference goes well, the response to the film is very positive and the atmosphere in the room in Mexico seems alive and slightly chaotic, with people arguing animatedly over the translation of my replies.
In the hectic days leading up to my departure, (working on the booklet for the Deutsche Grammophon CD soundtrack, completing work on the trailer, poster and so on) I find myself thinking about some of my associations with Mexico: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera of course; and the poetry of Octavio Paz. Then there is the outsider’s eye on Mexico ; John Huston’s languid, atmospheric ‘Night of the Iguana’; and Eisenstein’s uncompleted project ‘Que Viva Mexico ’.
And then I remember as a child being puzzled by the image of Mexican characters in Westerns (so often ‘bad’) and many years later, observing the disproportionate number of Mexicans I have encountered in the USA working in menial jobs in restaurants.
Film still from Eisenstein’s ‘Que Viva Mexico’
Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated