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Roberto Gavaldón's Mortal Visions

Macario. Courtesy Filmoteca de la UNAMThe celebrated Mexican filmmaker Roberto Gavaldón was born in Juárez and worked as a film extra in California before returning to his native country, where he worked for ten years as assistant director, perfecting the technical aspects of his trade. He then launched his career and during the next four decades made over fifty features, a number of which are celebrated as Mexico’s finest. Gavaldón’s time in America makes some of these films—particularly the noirs—resonate deeply with the darkness and the cynicism that pervade American crime noirs of the 1940s and 50s. The current retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art sheds light not only on Galvadón’s supreme craft and visceral storytelling but also his profoundly pessimistic vision. Gavaldón’s early sentimental melodramas—such as his renowned debut feature, La barraca (1945), and also one of his later great epics, Macario

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