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Arturo Ripstein a Legendary Mexican Director in Karlovy Vary

"la virgen de la lujuria"

“I’m interested in the dark sides of the human psyche,” says director ARTURO RIPSTEIN, whose work will be the subject of a retrospective at the 43rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The son of a successful Mexican producer, Arturo Ripstein (born Dec. 13, 1943, in Mexico City) grew up among the cables and floodlights of film sets and was sure about what he wanted to do from his childhood. His teacher and mentor was Luis Buñuel, whom he assisted in the filming of El angel exterminador (1962) and with whom he maintained contact after his return to Europe and until his death in 1983. Since his debut with the film Tiempo de morir (1966), Arturo Ripstein has made scores of films in Mexico, France and Spain. In spite of the fact that many of these films have received awards in Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian and elsewhere, the name of Arturo Ripstein is better known among film professionals than by the general public, and expositions of his work can be counted on two hands.

His melodramatic stories from the world of the socially déclassé, with its characters often scarred either physically or psychologically, can often seem morbid and drastic. Nonetheless they are largely distinguished by the beauty of their visual rendering which borders on the aestheticisation of those dark sides of the psyche that stimulate Arturo Ripstein. All of his films – which his life-long partner Paz Alicia Garciadiego has collaborated on as a screenwriter for many years – give a prominent role to sex in many likenesses as both a source and manifestation of human loneliness. The films of Arturo Ripstein, which will be presented in Karlovy Vary in the attendance of the director and his partner, are telling predications of the Mexican filmmaker’s view of the world as a grotesque theatre – a fact attested to by another quote: “I like to show what’s under the surface of morality, the eerie and the contemptible – I’m optimistic enough that I can expose it without going crazy.”

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