London festival celebrates Mexican culture with rare sci-fi films and artistic wrestling
Thursday 26 July 2012
So you're one of thousands who missed out on Olympics tickets, you're anticipating two weeks of traffic congestion and a TV schedule packed full sports you've never even heard of (race walking, anyone?) But don't worry, if you're keen to avoid the Olympics chaos, there are alternatives.
An enterprising festival is giving you the chance to watch some wrestling, without a branding-police officer or Games-maker in sight. You can even attend while scoffing unofficial brand chips and wearing a Puma T-shirt, if you want. Rich Mix, in Hackney, is showcasing highlights of Mexican culture - including Lucha Libre - a form of wrestling that comprises sport with performing art (like Jack Black's character in Nacho Libre, but infinitely more graceful).
The LondonMexfest will also display a photographic exhibition featuring the work of Lourdes Grobet who has captured the weird and wonderful world of Lucha Libre through a series of photographs depicting El Santo's life. El Santo was a real Mexican wrestler who had a career spanning several decades starting in the 1930s. As well as being a wrestler he was an actor and became a figure of justice for the common man.
Watching wrestling is an important part of Mexican culture, according to the Associate Programmer of the Morelia Film Festival, Mara Fortes: "We wanted to highlight the Lucha Libre aspect, as one of the themes at the LondonMexFest and include El Santo. He is like a real-life superhero but also a protagonist in fantasy pop culture not only in films but also in comics."
A selection of rarely-seen Mexican science-fiction films is on the itinerary at the three-day festival, with films from the 50s and 60s, including sci-fi classics such as La momia Azteca contra el robot humano (The Aztec Mummy vs. the Human Robot) and La nave de los monstruos (The Ship of Monsters).
A screening of Santo el enmascarado de plata vs. la invasion de los marcianos (Santo vs. the Martian Invasion) features in the programme, about a masked wrestler attempting to prevent a Martian invasion of Earth. The films have gained a huge fan base over the years and count directors Quentin Tarantino and Guillermo del Toro among their following.
Fortes said: "We wanted to represent different styles of film making. This festival is like a kaleidoscope of Mexican pop culture and Mexican identity. We thought it would be an interesting angle to include science fiction from this era."
*An installation and façade projection created by visual designer Tupac Martir.
*A live concert from Amandititita, the Mexican queen of Anarcumbia, an urban blend of rock, reggae, rap, and traditional Mexican cumbia.
* Actor-turned-director Diego Luna will be the festival as the guest of honour and will discuss his work, in particular his directorial debut Abel. The critically acclaimed film tells the story of a nine-year-old boy who returns from a psychiatric hospital and attempts re-integrate with his family.
*Along with sci-fi films, there are screenings of contemporary films and documentaries, including El lugar más pequeño (The tiniest place) which follows five families attempting to rebuild their lives in the midst of war.
The LondonMexFest is part of the Shoreditch Fringe Festival which is holding cultural events in venues throughout Shoreditch.
The event has been organised by The British Council, The Mexican National Council for Culture and Arts, The Mexican Film Institute, the Morelia International Film Festival, Ambulante and CANANA. LondonMexFest runs from17-19 August at Rich Mix (020 7613 7498), London E1, www.shoreditchfringe.org
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: ITV drama to return in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
How to read Will Self: Unlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain