‘Stead of treated, the kids were getting tricked on Day 3 of the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival. Certainly the SFFF’s most celebrated film was Issa López’s festival darling Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017). MMC! has discussed López’s film on more than one of occasion, and so we’ll take its greatness as read and briefly discuss Jérémy Comte’s Fauve (2018), a Canadian short that feels tailor-made to open for Tigers. A Special Jury Prize-winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Fauve concerns a pair of boys exploring a surface mine who “sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.” The short brings to mind Gus Van Sant’s Gerry (2002) and a very specific John Mulaney joke about an impression he had as a child, but these glib comparisons belie the truly heartbreaking nature of Comte’s film. Fans of Tigers would be well served to seek out Fauve.
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Tigers Are Not Afraid.
Issa López’s festival-favourite is a darkly magical tale set in the real world tragedy of Mexico’s violent drug war, where thousands of murdered and missing people result in countless orphaned children forced onto the streets to fend for themselves. When her mother disappears, a young girl named Estrella uses one of three wishes granted to her to ask for her mother back and finds herself haunted by a vengeful ghost. Estrella takes up with a quartet of street kids led by Shine but the boys have their own problems, pursued by a vicious gang intent on reclaiming a lost iPhone. Blending artfully immediate handheld cinematography and convincing fantastical digital effects, López creates a realist fairy tale that stands as a prescient statement on Mexico’s deadly drug cartels and a hauntingly magical fairy tale.
- 2K digital transfer, approved by director Issa López, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New interview with López, acting coach Fátima Toledo, and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro
- Tan Callando, López’s 1994 student film made at Mexico’s National University, with introduction by the director
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by novelist Stephen King
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Highway Patrolman.
Against his father’s wishes, Pedro – a naïve kid from Mexico City – joins the Highway Patrol. His simple desire to do good rapidly comes into conflict with the reality of police work in a lonely rural environment populated by poor farmers, rich drug dealers, and beautiful women. British director Alex Cox takes his anti-authoritarian politics to Mexico and creates a series of long-take master shots that explore the futility of imposing good on others and rejects cinema’s glamorized views of law enforcement. Marking Cox’s full removal from the Hollywood filmmaking machine, Highway Patrolman is a mature, observational reflection on societal corruption and personal accountability in the heat and dust northern Mexico.
- High definition digital transfer with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New introduction by director Alex Cox
- Audio commentary with Cox and writer-producer Lorenzo O’Brien
- Patrulleros & Patrulleras, a collection of interviews by Cox of cast and crew
- From Edge City of Mapini, a monologue by Cox on the connections between his first film Edge City and Highway Patrolman
- Edge City, Cox’s UCLA thesis film
- New interview with Miguel Sandoval on the film’s casting and on working with Alex Cox
- PLUS: A new essay by critic F. X. Feeney
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Macario.
Adapted by Emilio Carballido and filmmaker Roberto Gavaldón from legendary author B. Traven’s novella The Third Guest, itself inspired by a tale of the Brothers Grimm, comes this masterpiece of fantastic cinema. A poor woodcutter and family man, Macario (Ignacio López Tarso), is obsessed with ending his hunger and hides in the woods to enjoy one filling meal, only to meet a series of mystical visitors and befriend Death himself (Enrique Lucero). Macario is bestowed a water with the power to surmount death and sets out to improve the lives of his family, only to become the object of scrutiny for the local Catholic authorities. A late classic of the Golden Age of Mexican film and a major touchstone for magical realism in Latin American cinema, Macario achieved international acclaim and was the first Mexican feature film nominated for the Academy Award.
- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- New interview with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro
- B. Traven: A Mystery Solved, Will Wyatt’s 65-minute, 1978 made-for-television documentary
- The Enigmatic Story of B. Traven, an hour-long, 2012 documentary by Xavier Villetard for French television
- Theatrical trailer
- Plus: B. Traven’s source novella The Third Guest and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Glenn Erickson Continue reading
Move over Bonnie and Clyde. Hold on Mickey and Mallory. Cult filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia brings an even wilder vision of outlaw love in his 1997 Tex-Mex tribute to sex and violence, Perdita Durango. Tough-as-nails Perdita (Rosie Pérez) falls for Romeo (Javier Bardem), a bank-robbing, corpse-stealing, coke-snorting sorcerer and Tihuana Brass enthusiast. Together, the pair kidnap a couple of American teens and drag them into a plan to smuggle a truckload of fetuses to a Las Vegas pharmaceutical company for a Mexican crime boss. Along the way, they are pursued by an unlucky DEA agent (James Gandolfini), a betrayed accomplice (Santiago Segura) and fated tragedy. Boasting supporting performances by filmmaker Alex Cox and musician Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Álex de la Iglesia’s English language début, seen here in its complete form for the first time, is an unrecognized classic of the new brutality cinema of the 1990s.
The previously unreleased and complete 126-minute version of Perdita Durango, approved by Álex de la Iglesia
- Introduction by filmmaker and actor Alex Cox
- Making of featurette with interviews of cast and crew
- Perdita in Flux: UK writer Brad Stevens on the making of Perdita Durango, casting and filmmaking changes, and the various versions of the film released globally
- Interview with the source novel’s author and screenplay writer, Barry Gifford
- Theatrical teaser, trailer and TV spot
- 60-page booklet reproducing the film’s press book and an interview with Álex de la Iglesia
“Trust in Science” Edition – Package includes:
- Perdita Durango on Blu-ray or Standard DVD with reversible sleeve art by Mondo artist Phantom City Creative
- High quality 720p HD Digital Download of the film
- The 25-track Original Motion Picture Soundtrack including 10 original tracks composed by Simon Boswell in 320kpbs MP3 Audio
- de la Iglesia autographed 27″ x 40″ theatrical poster
- Barry Gifford’s novel 59° and Raining: The Story of Perdita Durango
- Limited Edition Happy Pet Dog Food flying disc