Special Screenings

A scene from Leonard Kastle's The Honeymoon Killers.
Special Screenings

By Gregg Barrios

Nuevo cine mexicano

Salon México
Dir. Emilio Fernández; writ. Fernández, Mauricio Magdaleno; feat. Marga López, Miguel Inclán, Roberto Cañedo, Rudolfo Acosta, Fanny Schiller. (NR)

One might think this Mexican classic with El Indio Fernández at its helm would be a great film. Unfortunately, it isn't. All the actors had better parts in other films, and this wasn't one of Fernández' best.

Still, the film broke new ground and its influence is still felt. American composer Aaron Copland spent time in the original Mexico City cabaret and it informs his ballet score, El Salon México. More recently, Baz Luhrmann concocted an updated cabaret and recast it as Moulin Rouge.

The film's other pluses include the magnificent black-and-white cinematography of master Gabriel Figueroa, who imbues the chiaroscuro street scenes with the gaudy allure of la capital at night.

Salon México

Sunday, April 18
$2 suggested donation
Instituto de México
600 HemisFair Park
Its story is out of an American noir film with Marga López as a dime-a-dance cabaret girl (read: hooker) supporting her younger sister's education in a private school. When she wins a danzón contest, Acosta, her greedy manager (read: pimp), doesn't give her a cut. When the fireworks begin, López - more adept at telenovela emoting - lets out all the stops.

Aficionados of Mexico's golden era of filmmaking might do worse, but consider that two years later Fernández remade the same story in Víctimas del pecado (Victims of Sin), with Acosta again as the pachuco pimp in a zoot suit and the Cuban fireball Ninón Sevilla in the part of the scorned rumbera dancer. Salon was also remade in Mexico a decade ago, but somehow the color and the once-taboo subject of prostitutes and pimps are no match for the forbidden thrill of the original.

By Gregg Barrios

Onscreen at Artpace

ArtPace presents The Honeymoon Killers as part of "Deuces Wild," a three-part series organized by San Antonio-based artist David Jurist. The series focuses on couples and how architectural structures can shape the dynamics of their relationships.

The Honeymoon Killers

Thursday, April 15
445 N. Main
The Honeymoon Killers is based on a bizarre but true tale, and picks up when Ray (a smooth-talking gigolo) meets Martha (a dowdy nurse living with her mother) through a Lonely Hearts ad. The two fall in love, and Martha soon gets involved in Ray's murderous scheme. As the film unfolds, the two leave the city for the suburbs, where their relationship continues both with each other and their innocent prey. Directed by Leonard Kastle.

Call for entries

The San Antonio Underground Film Festival is currently accepting short and feature films of all genres for its upcoming 10th annual event. The festival is scheduled for June 25 through 27 at Sunset Station. Submission deadline is April 23; the entry fee is $25. Deadline for late entries is April 30; the entry fee is $35. Previews must be formatted on DVD or NTSC-VHS; foreign language films must be subtitled.

Anyone who enters will receive a festival T-shirt. The grand prize winner will receive a lowrider bicycle or $200 cash. Entry forms can be downloaded from the festival's website: www.safilm.com. Completed applications can be sent to San Antonio Underground Film Festival, 8065 Callaghan #611 PMB, San Antonio, Texas 78230. •