Death is profoundly connected to the identity of Mexico and it is this special relationship that Dance of the Dead invites us to discover...
In 1998, René Castillo and Antonio Urrutia's film Sin sostén was part of the official selection at Cannes. A few weeks later, while Castillo was holidaying in France, he discovered the Annecy Festival. In June 2001, his next film, Down to the Bone, was awarded at Annecy before going on to win at both Ottawa and Zagreb.
Since then, Mexican animation has been providing festivals all over the world with a quantity of puppet films, suggesting that a real "national school" is forming, characterised by films that focus on death and cultivate a spirit that is close to Surrealism. Rita Basulto, Sofia Carrillo, Luis Felipe Hernández Alanis and Karla Castañeda have all directed dark stories, emphasised with a touch of fantasy and generally inspired by Catholic baroque iconography that also regularly feature ghastly looking children, marginals and eccentrics.
The programme we have concocted here presents a selection of the best stop-motion films to come out of Mexico over the past 15 years. Even though Lourdes Villagómez's Síndrome de línea blanca stands out from the rest for its radiant photography and use of pixilation, the main topic of these films is still pretty dark.