Date: January 24, 2021
Güeros is a 2014 Mexican film directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios. The film showcases three restless teens searching for folk-rocker Epigmenio Cruz on the streets of Mexico City during the student strikes of 1999.
This program is free and open to the public and begins at 2:00pm on Sunday, January 24, 2021 (virtual)
This video presentation with a film scholar takes place after viewers watch the film on their own during the week prior to scheduled online discussion date above. Supplemental material about the context of each film, along with other interesting information related to each, will be available to attendees. Films are available free to Grand Rapids Public Library cardholders (and many other libraries and universities) via Kanopy or similar databases. Individuals can also find many of the films on commercial streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others.
In lieu of an in-person reception following the event, we're excited to partner with Chartreuse Sisters who have created specialty dessert items reflecting regional cuisine of the film's origin. Desserts created for each film will be delivered the date of the virtual film introduction listed above, so you can enjoy these delicacies while learning more about each film and culture presented.
Desserts are limited so place order right away through this link https://chartreusesisters.square.site/chiaroscuro-collaboration. Complimentary and contactless delivery. Chiaroscuro Sampler Goodie Box is available too!
Video Commentary for Güeros
Film Introduction/Moderator: Ben Friedman
Film Intro / Commentary Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=234564658336555
Video (PFM) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q99A_U4Lrss
Text (Indiewire) - https://www.indiewire.com/2014/04/meet-the-2014-tribeca-filmmakers-38-alonso-ruizpalacios-writes-a-love-letter-to-mexico-city-with-gueros-27721/
NACLA - https://nacla.org/article/unam-stalemate-mexico%27s-student-strike
The Dissolve - https://thedissolve.com/reviews/1600-gueros/
New York Times - https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/20/movies/review-gueros-amid-the-mexican-student-protests-of-1999.html
Salon - https://www.salon.com/2015/05/21/up_all_night_in_mexico_city_gueros_a_gorgeous_ecstatic_slacker_odyssey_is_one_of_the_best_movies_of_the_year/
Related Film Recommendations:
Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, 1950)
This classic from Luis Buñuel is often considered to be the quintessential Mexican film. Its legacy can be found throughout Güeros and there are several nods to it, both explicit and implicit.
Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)
Cuarón's film shares the same space as Güeros in that they are coming of age movies which follow characters on the move. The connections between the two films go deeper when one factors in a 1999 setting.
The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
As the cinema-shattering classic that put the French New Wave on the map, The 400 Blows influenced numerous filmmakers from within that movement and the rest of the world. Ruizpalacios even stole a couple of iconic shots from it.
Give Me Liberty (Kirill Mikhanovsky, 2019)
This crowd pleaser from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival is like an identical twin of Güeros that was separated at birth. These are road movies in which the protagonists never depart from their urban surroundings. Plus, they both draw from real-life acts of civil disobedience.
More about Chiaroscuro's 15th Season
2021 Series Theme: Greatest Hits-A Virtual Voyage through the Past
Due to Covid19, Chiaroscuro is going virtual! We embrace this opportunity to celebrate 15 years of exceptional international cinema and cultural exchange.
We've selected five popular films from our archives, if you didn't see them the first time around, now is your chance. If you did see them, you know how good they and are likely ready to experience them again!
All films are available for viewing online. We look forward to each presenter's video introduction and commentary about the films, made available on the website, and lively online discussion with our engaging patrons every other Sunday via social media. In this unusual time, one thing remains the same for fifteen years straight: the 2021 series presents an award-winning roster of five celebrated films from around the world.
"A film made independently and without interference whose reverence for the past thankfully doesn’t result in too much solemnity or seriousness."-Adam Nayman, A.V. Club
"Alonso Ruizpalacios’s Güeros manages to feel both sweetly nostalgic and exuberantly now."-A.O. Scott, NY Times
"This moody and seductive black-and-white Mexican road movie is a meandering, circling tale that never looks less than gorgeous."-Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian