July 26, 2008

Plaza Festival Gets Classic Mexican Film

By Doug Pullen, El Paso Times, Texas

Jul. 26--EL PASO -- A new print of a Mexican classic, a couple of open houses and a few Plaza Theatre memories have been added to next month's "The Movies Return" festival at the historic Downtown movie palace-turned-performing arts center.

"Enamorada (A Woman in Love)," a 1946 romantic drama set during the Mexican Revolution, has been added at 7 p.m. Aug. 19.

Admission is $6, and advance tickets are available at the box office and Ticketmaster, ticketmaster.com.

The festival, Aug. 14-24, will bring movies back to the theater after a more than 30-year absence.

The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.

It stars legendary Mexican movie stars Maria Felix and Pedro Armendariz, and is from the "golden age" of Mexican cinema, according to Charles Horak, the festival's artistic director. He secured a new 35mm print after a lot of time and trouble.

"We've been working on this final title for the festival for many months," he said in a recent announcement. "It's taken the combined cooperation of several film archives, Filmoteca in Mexico City and special assistance from the Mexican Consulate in El Paso to make this program a reality."

It's one of the final pieces in the puzzle that is taking shape with the approach of the 10-day, 64-film festival. The event will showcase classics "Casablanca,""The Wizard of Oz,""Singin' in the Rain,""Rear Window" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" in the 2,100-seat theater, as well as others, including the notorious El Paso-made "Manos: The Hands

of Fate," in the 150-seat Philanthropy Theatre.

A concert of movie music, with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, will be Aug. 21.

Special guests have yet to be announced, but organizers have added two open houses from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 14-15. They'll feature sneak previews, short films and music played on the theater organ.

Also, organizers hope to gather personal memories of the theater's movie days with a guestbook on its Web site, http://plaza-movies.com.

In other news --Horak, host of KTEP's "On Film" program, also runs the Film Salon at Trinity-First United Methodist Church, which concludes its summer classics program with a free 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 showing of "The Thief of Baghdad."

The 1940 classic blazed trails with its use of multiple directors, special effects and Technicolor film technology. It was also was inspiration for Disney's "Aladdin."

Horak said the fall version of the classic film series will begin in September and be devoted to four of legendary director John Ford's "under-seen" films: "The Prisoner of Shark Island,""Young Mr. Lincoln,""They Were Expendable" and "The Fugitive."

The film series is the first Saturday of each month at the church, 801 N. Mesa. Information: filmsalon.org.

Doug Pullen may be reached at [email protected]; 546-6397.


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