Luminous Dreams: Gabriel Figueroa Centenary

“Gabriel Figueroa contributed to our Mexican dictionary with his images.” Oscar-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (BAFTA goes to Mexico, 2007)

Gabriel Figueroa (1907 – 1997) achieved international recognition as one of the world’s greatest black & white cinematographers. Not only did he help to re-define his national cinema during its ‘Golden Age’, Figueroa is also credited with creating a lasting moving image of Mexico and her people.

In the UK there has been very little opportunity to experience Figueroa’s haunting images on the big screen. Cornerhouse hopes to repair this significant gap in cinematic knowledge with this season of 17 films, including seven brand new 35mm prints specially made for the centenary by the Filmoteca de la UNAM (Mexican film archive). Many of the films have never been seen before in the UK, whilst others enjoy a rare outing from the vaults for this special season.

You can take a closer look at Figueroa’s imagery in an exhibition of his photographs at the Instituto Cervantes, Manchester. Plus there are a number of events and visits from special guests to illuminate your Figueroa experience, as well as a tour of selected films to the The Barbican Centre, London.

Previously in this season


A swooningly romantic, beautifully shot reworking of The Taming of the Shrew, set during the Mexican Revolution, starring the celestial María Félix.

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Exhibition – Gabriel Figueroa: one Hundred Years

An exhibition of Gabriel Figueroa's gorgeous photograms, specially imported from Mexico. At Instituto Cervantes and in our cinemas foyers

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La Perla

The tale of a of a poor fisherman and his family, based on a story by Steinbeck.

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Distinto Amanecer

A tale of psychological, moral and political intrigue. A union activist pursued by the law takes refuge with an old university friend and her husband.…

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Dias de otoño

Subtle melodrama: a naïve countrygirl finds work in the big city. When her new life brings heartache, she fabricates a better one to prevent gossip.

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A defrocked priest wanders across Mexico in search of Christian values, accompanied by a troupe of misfits. He is surprised to find that the only…

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La Virgen que forjó una patria

Historical epic that tells thestory of how the Virgin of Guadalupe became the rallying symbol foran independent Mexico. An icon of Mexican kitsch symbolism.

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One Hour Intro: Cinematographers’ secrets

An exploration of the importance of the cinematographers' work to the film production process.

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Two Mules for Sister Sara

A fun western starring Clint Eastwood: after rescuing a nun, a drifter tries to resist his attraction for his new travel companion. Only she is…

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Under the Volcano

A day in the life of a disillusioned (and alcoholic) British ex-consul, during the celebration of The Day of the Dead in Mexico. Based on…

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Stunning fantasy fable: on The Day of the Dead, a poor woodcutter gets an invaluable gift from the Grim Reaper after he does him a…

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The Young One

A rarely seen Buñuel film. A jazz musician seeks refuge from a lynch mob on a remote island, where the sole inhabitants are a gamekeeper…

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The Fugitive

A rarely seen film by John Ford. In a land with a virulent anticlerical governement, a priest continues to tend to a small village. But…

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Salón México

Dark melodrama: Mercedes is a hostess at the Salón México in a cabaret and pays for her sister's schooling this way. Her situation gets complicated…

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Los Olvidados

Set in the slums of Mexico City LOS OLVIDADOS chronicles how a young boy becomes involved in the ubiquitous, violent street gangs, falling under the…

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The Night of the Iguana

A John Huston film based on the play by Tennessee Williams. A defrocked priest leads a bus of middle-aged women on a tour of the…

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Saturday Symposium: Luminous Dreams

A day event that provides the opportunity to become more familiar with the work of cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa and learn more about the art of…

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