The Classical Mexican Cinema


For about 20 years (mid-1930s-late 1950s) the Mexican film industry became the Hollywood of Latin America, and leader of Spanish language cinema. This period, characterized by both Hollywood-formula pictures and lesser known rebellious films that rejected the studio model and themes, became known as the ‘Golden Age’ of Mexican film.

Setting the stage for his fourth book, “The Classical Mexican Cinema: The Poetics of the Exceptional Golden Age Films,” author Charles Ramírez Berg examines a handful of films that featured a unique voice and style, telling Mexican stories for Mexican audiences.The 50 films profiled in Ramírez Berg’s book have won awards in festivals around the world.

The book also contains portraits of seven directors, three screenwriters, two influential artists and one female editor, with over 250 stills, and 30 illustrations from major Mexican artists. In many ways, this collection of Mexican cinematic history is part of a bigger mission to rightfully acknowledge a film legacy that has been historically overshadowed by its international counterparts.

A special screening of classical Mexican motion picture “Enamorada” is scheduled for October 1 at 7 p.m. in the Belo Center for New Media auditorium. The film will be hosted by Ramírez Berg and Director of Media Studies Tom Schatz, with a Q&A session to follow the screening. Directed by Emilio Fernández, “Enamorada,” is about a revolutionary general who falls in love with a fiery and independent woman.

About the Author

Charles Ramírez Berg is a Media Studies Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and one of the founding members of the Austin Film Society. He is the author of three previous books including “Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance,” “Cine Mexicano: Posters from the Golden Age, 1936-1956,” and “Cinema of Solitude: A Critical Study of Mexican Film, 1967-1983.”