The year 1965 was key to Mexican national cinema: it saw the First Experimental Film Competition, which was to restructure and regenerate outdated national production. The competition uncovered the filmmaker Rubén Gámez, who won the prize for La fórmula secreta [The secret formula] and was to play an important role in the experimental film of the decade, contributing to the much needed renovation of the country’s cinema, but also of the image of the Mexican nation, replacing the stereotypical peasant in a sombrero that had characterized it for so long. Originally, the film was to be called Coca-Cola en la sangre [Coca-cola in the blood], as the metaphor for a dying man who is injected intravenously with Coca-Cola to bring him back to life. Instead of reanimating him, it unleashes a frenetic torrent of images that insistently and angrily evoke the ancestral, colonial, Hispanic and modern myths that alienated Mexican individuality of the time, and, to some extent, still do today. This session, presented by the programmer Angélica Cuevas, is preceded by a short film by Gámez, Magueyes.
Magueyes, 1962, 9 min; La fórmula secreta, 1965, 45 min, original version with English subtitles. [35 mm screening.]