For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

Ranking Jorge Fons

by T. J. Mesen
Despite the recognition he has received in Mexico I always wondered why Jorge Fons never got wider international acclaim. Historical, controversial, emotional, yet strictly formalist. I believe his films have something which I feel is extremely rare for successful or critically acclaimed films in Mexico; they are ambitious, daring and most importantly produced independently. Thus his output was certainly limited by what he considered governments that repressed art, throughout most of the 70s and the 80s, and even if all his films are not yet listed on mubi (and I have not watched most of his shorts or documentaries), his oeuvre is indeed… Read more

Despite the recognition he has received in Mexico I always wondered why Jorge Fons never got wider international acclaim. Historical, controversial, emotional, yet strictly formalist. I believe his films have something which I feel is extremely rare for successful or critically acclaimed films in Mexico; they are ambitious, daring and most importantly produced independently. Thus his output was certainly limited by what he considered governments that repressed art, throughout most of the 70s and the 80s, and even if all his films are not yet listed on mubi (and I have not watched most of his shorts or documentaries), his oeuvre is indeed (most unfortunately) small considering the time he has been active.

That being said, Jorge Fons’ films fascinate me. His grasp of dramatic storytelling is undeniable, his manipulation of image (a use of formalist techniques for very realist situations), his depiction of Mexican society and culture at so many levels granting equal importance to the lives of working class citizens and government officials. Fons achieves a perfect blend of allowing the viewer to see the whole picture but from the subjective point of view of an external observer. He depicts events both of massive significance and everyday irrelevance with the same attention to detail and emotion. He never falls into the (in my opinion) incorrectly glorified magical realism of Latin-American art; he is as conscious of the power of the medium as he is of the importance of showing these stories in the real context in which they take place.

1. Rojo amanecer (1989)
2. El atentado (2010)
3. Los albañiles (1976)
4. Fe, esperanza y caridad (segment Caridad) (1974)
5. El callejón de los milagros (1995)
6. Cinco mil dólares de recompenza (1972)
7. Los cachorros (1971)

Read less