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Santa / La mujer del puerto
Downtown Independent
Los Angeles, CA
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Santa / La mujer del puerto
Santa  (Mexico, 1932)

Considered Mexicos first national production in the sound film era, Santa was based on the eponymous Mexican novel by Federico Gamboa, which is as much a modernist portrait of Mexico City as it is of the fate of its heroine.  Santa, a beautiful country girl, is seduced and abandoned by an Army officer.  She goes to the city, where she becomes a well-known courtesan of the wealthy, then the kept woman of a famous bullfighter, before descending into poverty.  As in the novel, Santa is seen as a victim of social forces beyond her control.  Lupita Tovar plays the role as an innocent who, despite her cynicism, keeps her faith in the church; she is a victim of the decadence of urban Mexican society around her.  Despite the huge success of the film, Antonio Moreno was not able to parlay the film into a directorial career, unlike his male star, Carlos Orellana.Jan-Christopher Horak

35mm, b/w, 81 min. Director: Antonio Moreno. Cast: Lupita Tovar, Carlos Orellana, Juan José Martínez Casado, Donald Reed.

La mujer del puerto  (The Woman of the Port)  (Mexico, 1934)

 A stylized melodrama, The Woman of the Port mixes overwrought emotions with highly-stylized Expressionist images, recalling Weimar cinema and Soviet-style montage.  The film is divided into two parts: the first half tells the story of Rosario and her boyfriend, who turns out to be a cad; he accidentally kills her father, leaving Rosario without any means of support.  The second half finds Rosario working the port of Veracruz as a prostitute, where
she picks up a sailor and beds him, only to realize the next morning that he is her long-lost brother.  High-key, expressionist lighting, expertly crafted by Alex Phillips, informs almost every scene, as does Boytlers montage, which orchestrates a symphony of looks, wordlessly expressing fear and desire or creating a surrealistic spectacle, as in the Veracruz Mardi Gras scenes that are intercut with Don Antonios funeral.  An amazing tale of social ostracism and taboo violation.Jan-Christopher Horak

 35mm, b/w, 76 min.  Director: Arcady Boytler, Raphael J. Sevilla.  Cast: Andrea Palma, Domingo Soler, Joaquín Busquets.

Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles, 1930-1960 screens Sept. 23 - Dec. 10 at the Downtown Independent and UCLAs Billy Wilder Theater.  Enjoy access to all films in this series with a pass!

This retrospective is presented by UCLA Film & Television Archive, as part of the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.  Major support for this program is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

Online admission:  $10
Box office admission:
General:  $9
Seniors:  $8
UCLA Alumni Association Members:  $8
Non-UCLA students:  $8
UCLA students:  Free.  UCLA students should claim the ticket at the box office on the day of the screening at least 15 minutes before show time.  If a UCLA student arrives closer to show time, they may be asked to wait in a rush line for any unsold seats.


Downtown Independent (View)
251 South Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
United States



On BPT Since: Mar 31, 2009
Downtown Independent

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