The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 10-16

06/10/2015 5:00 AM |
Roberto Cañedo in Emilio Fernández’ PUEBLERINA (1948). Courtesy Film Forum via Photofest. Playing June 10.

Pueblerina (1948)
Directed by Emilio Fernández
Gabriel Figueroa was born in 1907 in Mexico. During his life the cinematographer shot more than 200 films there, including many of the studio-funded masterworks made during the decades-long period known as the “Golden Age of Mexican Cinema.” He collaborated with Fernández, its most prominent auteur, on over 20 films ranging from period epics to quiet studies of contemporary small-town life. Figueroa brought a talent for gracefully rendering landscapes and human forms traversed by slants of light to his great Fernández pairings that included María Candelaria, The Pearl, and Pueblerina, the last of which was made on reduced means following an industry-wide economic dip. In the film, a wrongly imprisoned man (played by Roberto Cañedo) leaves jail after several years and returns to his hometown in search of the woman (Columba Domínguez) that he has long loved. He soon discovers that she has been raped by a local land baron, leading her both to sire a son and to be rendered a social outcast, and resolves to protect her from further harm. As the two people give care to fields and to each other, Figueroa’s attentions gently bring out all of their despairs and their hopes. Aaron Cutler (June 10, 2:40pm, 7pm at Film Forum’s Figueroa retrospective)