Interview with María Félix

This interview between María Félix and Iván Trujillo has been made available by the Filmoteca at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México [National Autonomous University of Mexico] (UNAM). It is possible to download it or stream it from the site for free. Carried out in 1992 as part of a celebration of her life on screen and off at the UNAM, Trujillo asks a range of questions related to her life’s work, her relationship with fellow cast and crew, her approach to film projects; and reflections on some of the paintings that also form part of the celebration.

The interview is in two parts. In the first Félix is seated in an opulent throne-like seat.

Félix smokes as she speaks

For the second part, Félix speaks from a comfortable upholstered seat.

The mise-en-scène is the only indicator that there has been a break in the interview. The camera moves between two shots of Félix and the interviewer, and close shots of Félix’s face and hands.

Through references to the space and the placement of art, it is clear that this is Félix’s own home. There is a presentation of wealth in the furnishings, her clothing and accessories, and she repeatedly describes herself as a collector of art and objects.

For the most part Trujillo asks Félix questions about her working relationships with several well-known names and she mostly avoids saying very much about individuals or, at least, much that is revelatory. She is more forthcoming in her attitude to particular films. For example, she has high praise for Luis Buñuel with whom she made one film, Los ambiciosos/Fever Mounts at El Pao/La fièvre monte à El Pao (1959). She describes Buñuel as a great friend and an intelligent man, who is an actor’s director, whilst in no uncertain terms she declares that the film is bad.

Félix’s supreme confidence is evident in this interview. She repeatedly talks about her disciplined approach to her career, the diligence with which she learnt her craft, and the control she has had over her career. At a running time of 43.32 it is a brief insight into Félix’s star persona twenty years after she made her last film.

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