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Alfonso Arau

Alfonso Arau is a Mexican director of such films as Zapata: The Dream of a Hero, Like Water for Chocolate (Mexico, 1992) and A Walk in the Clouds, which starred Keanu Reeves and Anthony Quinn.

He is also an actor. Among others, he had the antagonic role of El Guapo in ¡Three Amigos! (USA, 1986), a comedy with Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Chevy Chase.

In 1973 he acted and directed Calzónzin Inspector, a movie based on a Mexican comic called Los Supermachos, of great Mexican cartoonist Rius, although Rius disapproved the movie. The movie is about two indigenous Mexicans who are confused for government inspectors from the capital by the corrupt mayor of a small town, and is an humorous political critique, aimed squarely at then ruling party PRI and its caciques, in a time when freedom of speech in regard to political matters was highly restricted. There are at least two versions of the movie, the shorter one having some scenes deleted, the most notable one shows the killing of a renegade farmer by a policeman shooting at his back.

A notable movie was El rincón de las vírgenes (Mexico, 1972), The Virgins' Corner where he plays the helper to a fake mystical doctor travelling town to town, remembering their travels when a group of women intend to propose the doctor for sainthood. The movie is set in the 1920's in rural Mexico.

In December 2004 the Santa Fe Film Festival bestowed its Luminaria Award for lifetime achievement in cinema to Alfonso Arau as a cornerstone to its five-day festival. Jon Bowman, executive director of the Santa Fe Film Festival said, "Arau is truly a renaissance artist, with a deep and innate understanding of all phases of the cinematic medium."

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Alfonso Arau Facts

BirthdayJanuary 11, 1932 (91)
BirthplaceMexico City, Mexico

Selected Filmography

The Fling in Lenzuolo
A Walk in the Clouds
Picking Up The Pieces
Like Water For Chocolate
A Painted House
Zapata: Amor en Rebeldia
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