Skin, eyes, knees, horses, hair, sun, earth. Old song of Mexican hero, Valentin, sung by blind Jose Santollo Nadiso en Santa Cruz de la Soledad. —IMDb
Bruce Baillie (born in 1931, Aberdeen, South Dakota) is an American experimental filmmaker and founding member of Canyon Cinema in San Francisco. His film Castro Street (1966) was selected in 1992 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. —Wikipedia
It's hard not to gasp at Baillie's sensual use of light and color, all the more evident due to his employment of a telephoto lens that offers an extremely narrow focal plane. At once tactile and ephemeral, the film's radiant yet abstract beauty is derived from anything and everything available in the most humblest of settings. And the sound-design, featuring a popular Mexican 'corrido', is no less remarkable in its texture. A masterpiece.
Images of children playing, tarot cards being read, the terrain of a mexican village as a blind man serenades us with the title song. Quite arresting.
This year the Ann Arbor Film Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary, both by taking stock of its distinguished history and looking ahead.