Monday, May 30, 2011

Cineclub El Pochote

One of the places that I didn't get to visit last year and planned to check out this summer was the Cineclub El Pochote, one of the projects supported by the artist Francisco Toledo. (Toledo is also responsible for CaSa and the Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca, among others.) The Cineclub had an eclectic program of film, concentrating on children's movies and classics of Mexican cinema, but also independents and the offbeat. Last summer I remember they were showing a series with titles like Frankenstein meets the Vampire Zombie or something like that. The theater was architecturally interesting, built into an 18th Century aqueduct that brought water from San Felipe del Agua, and supposedly had a nice sculpture garden and pond out back. It looked like a lot of fun and was close to where I'll be staying this summer.

So I've been searching the 'net looking for the most recent schedule or the blog that they used to keep and couldn't find any information. Sadly, I just came across this notice: "Anuncia Francisco Toledo cierre de cineclub “El Pochote” tras 17 años." This feels like a big loss for Oaxaca. Although the notice states that there are plans to relocate the cineclub, I can't find any evidence that has happened as of now. I'll be curious to find out what the space is being used for and hope I'll be pleasantly surprised in July to discover that the cinema has been reopened somewhere in the city.

As May draws to a close, I'm still working my way through the readings for the NEH institute this summer. I don't plan to blog about what I've gleaned from the articles and will save all my scathingly brilliant insights for my colleagues in Oaxaca. Let's just say that my longstanding embrace of a purely Marxist analysis of material culture is going through a long overdue sea change, and my somewhat smug belief that I've been on the side of the angels is taking a bit of a beating. ;-)

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