I think the most important part of cinema is what happens in front of the camera; none of the other gadgets count for anything. That’s why I make the films I like, independently of everything else.
Rubén Gámez is one of Mexican cinema’s most controversial directors. In spite of his limited output, his works are paradigms of independent cinema, of the experimental and the non-commercial creative process. His works include the notable short film Los Magueyes [The Magueyes] (1962) and his full-length film Tequila (1992).
In 1964 Gámez filmed the medium-length film La Formula Secreta [The Secret Formula], a unique and eccentric offering that took first prize at the I Experimental Film Competition in 1965. Juan Rulfo participated in the making of The Secret Formula with a homonymous poem; the reading for the screen was conducted by the poet Jaime Sabines.
The aforementioned competition and the now cult film were both key pieces in a heated debate surrounding cinema’s ideology and the conditions of its production at the twilight of Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age.
This book contains photosequences of Gámez’s films, interspersed with current affairs and articles taken from newspapers of the period, as well as pieces by Juan Rulfo, Jorge Ayala Blanco, José de la Colina, Jesse Lerner, Carlos Monsiváis and Alejandro Pelayo Rangel, to name but a few. With this group of images and documents, one can follow the complex and surprising story that describes an exceptional time in Mexican cinematographic culture.
A book by Alias Editorial, co-published by Imcine and the UNAM’S Film Library, with support from Ficunam and the Cineteca Nacional.