Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween films at the Autry Sunday

The Autry National Center presents a haunting double feature on Halloween Day featuring two films from Mexican cinema. Cronos kicks off the Crossing Borders Film Series which examines artistic connections between the United States and Mexico. Drawing on the talents of actors, producers, and directors working in the industry, the series will explore how different aspects of film production—directing, writing, cinematography, production, and distribution/financing, as well as film genres—serve as an intersection and conduit between countries and cultures. Guest speakers are Colin Gunckel, Assistant Professor of American Culture and Screen Arts & Culture, University of Michigan, and A. P. Gonzalez, Professor of Film Production, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Cronos is the debut film writer and director Guillermo del Toro. A low-key, superbly acted horror movie, Cronos’s imagery of the vampire as parasite was at once a smart revision of the genre and a veiled allegory about Mexico and the United States. Winner of the critics’ prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Cronos put del Toro on the world cinema and American-independent map. Del Toro earned a place as one of Time magazine’s 50 Young Leaders for the New Millennium. Cronos heightened his prominence as a rising star in Mexican film.

Drácula is a special find for film buffs. In the early days of sound films, it was common for Hollywood studios to produce Spanish-language versions of their films using the same sets and costumes. While many of these versions no longer exist, the Spanish-language version of Drácula is an exception.

Cronos (1993)
“Crossing Borders” Film Series
Sunday, October 31, 1:00 p.m.
Wells Fargo Theater / Free with museum admission
Fleeing the Inquisition, an alchemist arrives in Mexico in 1536 bearing the chronos device--an ornate clockwork instrument that can prolong life but at the same time instills an unquenchable thirst for human blood. Following his death 400 years later, the device and its instruction manual become separated, one falling into the hands of an antiquities dealer, the other in the possession of a dying industralist. The former is saved from a hellish fate by his brave little granddaughter.

Drácula (1931)
Sunday, October 31, 3:00 p.m.
Wells Fargo Theater / Free with museum admission
At midnight on Walpurgis Night, an English clerk, Renfield, arrives at Count Dracula's castle in the Carpathian Mountains. After signing papers to take over a ruined abbey near London, Dracula drives Renfield mad and commands obedience. (Black and White, 104 minutes, Spanish with English subtitles).

About the Autry National Center
The Autry National Center, formed in 2003 by the merger of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage with the Southwest Museum of the American Indian and the Women of the West Museum, is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry’s collection of over 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts, which includes the collection of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, is one of the largest and most significant in the United States. The Autry Institute includes two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K–12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine critical issues of society, offering insights into solutions and the contemporary human condition through the Western historical experience.

Weekday hours of operation for the Autry National Center’s museum at its Griffith Park location are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Autry Store’s weekday hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Golden Spur Cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours for the museum and the Autry Store are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum, the Autry Store, and the cafe are closed on Mondays. The libraries are open to researchers by appointment.

Museum admission is $9 for adults, $5 for students and seniors 60+, $3 for children 3–12, and free for Autry members, veterans, and children 2 and under. Admission is free on the second Tuesday of every month.

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