As part of a tidy up of my desktop of the numerous folders that I gathered related to a project on curation and tastemaking in Mexico, I found a number of images that I had compiled in 2010 when carrying out early research. This is a mini-archive that creates digital material traces of the work I needed to do before I got the physical copies of the monthly programme produced by the Cineteca when visiting the archives there. This gives some inkling of my process and what I found virtually.
It is also traces of how the event was framed online that is now lost. The background image gives some context to the programme of films around the theme of Independence and Revolution. Figures from Mexican Independence are foregrounded in the imagery visible in this screenshot with the official logo of the commemoration also evident. The thumbnail on the bottom left hand is a copy of the cover of the programme. The film cycle [ciclo de cine] Dos siglos de libertad vistos por el cine [Two Centuries of Freedom as Seen on Screen] was a carefully curated selection of films of the Revolution and Independence from Mexico and elsewhere. I discuss these choices in my forthcoming monograph. Predictably, films from Mexico were largely canonical whilst those from elsewhere were an unexpected mix thematically and temporally. The programme is a fascinating way into understanding Mexican film studies, the canon, arthouse tastes, and I argue that institutions and those working for them are tastemakers.
Here are two examples of the unexpected global arthouse films.
My focus is on the Mexican films, but the global arthouse films create unexpected meanings and the film cycle is a wide-ranging commentary on independence and revolution.