La fórmula secreta

The Secret Formula
Rubén Gámez
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La fórmula secreta

An essay film makes up of images alluding to the construction of a Mexican identity built from its contradictions, symbols, and complicated relationship with its neighboring country. A string of sausages runs across the screen, a Mexican cowboy chases a bureaucrat, a body gets a transfusion of Coca-Cola. These are some of the sequences, along with a poem by Juan Rulfo, that come together to make a unique and irreverent language that is, within its own surrealist logic, closer to reality than the one promoted by the Golden Cinema of the time. Its metaphorical discourse puts it in confrontation with capitalism, cultural homogenization and their social consequences. Gámez's work steered Mexican cinema into a new direction, a legacy which remains relevant today.

Elena Fortes 
Producer and film programmer


- First Experimental Film Competition, Mexico - Best Film (1965)
- First Experimental Film Competition, Mexico - Best Director (1965)
- First Experimental Film Competition, Mexico - Best Editing (1965)
- First Experimental Film Competition, Mexico - Best Musical Adaptation (1965)
- Oberhausen Film Festival - Special Award (1968)

Biography of the director

Rubén Gámez
Rubén Gámez

He studied photography at the Trade Technical College in Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. He returned to Mexico, where he began his professional career. In 1957, he was invited to film a documentary about the Great Wall of China. The documentary was never produced. In 1962, he filmed Magueyes, a series of photographs accompanying the ninth symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich. Magueyes is regarded for its personal, experimental, dramatic style and pacifist moral. The nine-minute film was released in Europe as a preamble to Luis Buñuel's Viridiana, including a screening at the Cannes Film Festival, the Sestri Levante Festival and the Mannheim Film Week. In 1965, he won the first experimental film competition in Mexico with La fórmula secreta, the aim of which was to find and promote new talent and open up opportunities for entering the Mexican film industry, which was quite complicated. La fórmula secreta, allowed Gámez to win his first award. His innovative and experimental tone juxtaposes images of identity-loss in Mexico with its arid and desert lands. In the 1970s, Gámez shot several short documentaries. He had to wait until 1992 to make Tequila. Then in 2000 came Apuntes, a video tribute to the composer Silvestre Revueltas. Rubén Gámez died leaving his fiction project Mesoamérica unfinished. In 2001, Rubén Gámez was awarded the CMA Ariel de Oro Special Award for lifetime achievement, "for the enrichment of Mexican culture."




Saturday 18
19:30 h
Casa de América (Cine Iberia)


Spanish - Subtitles in spanish and english
Rubén Gámez
Rubén Gámez
Rubén Gámez
Salvador López
Armando López
Coscomate, 24
Toriello Guerra. Tlalpan

+52 4 431 365 274 - ?