Weatherford is next Visiting Scholar on April 14-15
Douglas Weatherford, an associate professor in Spanish and Portuguese at Brigham Young University, will introduce on the film "La Escondida" and also will lecture on the Mexico's independence on April 14-15 on the Lewis-Clark State College campus as part of the Rosehill Estate Visiting Scholar series.
Weatherford's visit will recognize the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence at the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution.
The 1956 film "La Escondida" will be shown at 7 p.m. in room 100 of Meriwether-Lewis Hall on April 14. Weatherford will then lecture on "Remembering the Revolution: The Mid-century Encounter of Gabriel Figueroa and Juan Rulfo and Mexico's Search for National Identity" at 7 p.m. on April 15, also in MLH room 100. Both events are free and open to the public.
The film, directed by Robert Gavaldon, is in Spanish with English subtitles. It features two icons of Mexico's actors in Maria Felix and Pedro Armendariz. "La Escondida" takes place at the start of the 1910 Mexican Revolution and is about one woman's ambitions, one man's idealism, and the love that both unites and separates them during the period that would change Mexico's political, social and artistic future. The film is often described as one of the final ones made during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, covering 1936-1956.
Weatherford's lecture on April 15 will discuss the film "La Escondida" as well as dive into the meeting of two of Mexico's most important 20th century artists during the making of the film. Gabriel Figueroa, who is considered one of Mexico's most renowned Director of Photography, was in charge of capturing the film's mythic and stylized interpretation of Mexico's revolutionary past. Also present on set was Juan Rulfo, whose published novel, "Pedro Páramo" (1955), would soon cement the young author's reputation as one of Mexico's and Latin America's most significant writers of fiction.
Although Rulfo had been hired as a historical consultant, he arrived in Tlaxcala with his personal camera in tow. The images that he took suggest an attempt to discover the real Mexico and serve to undermine the idealizing intent of Gavaldon and Figueroa's film.
Weatherford's presentation will begin with the unique encounter between Rulfo and Figueroa and will explore the conflicting artistic visions of both individuals. It will then provide a broad overview of the struggle of Mid-century Mexican visual artists (especially filmmakers, muralists, and photographers) to contextualize the Mexican Revolution (1910-1917).
Weatherford was born in Salt Lake City, but grew up in Statesboro, Ga., where his father taught German at Georgia Southern University. Weatherford eventually served a Mormon mission in northern Mexico and then graduated from BYU in 1988. He was working on his Master's degree in Spanish until 1990 when he was activated and sent to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War.
After returning to the U.S., he finished his Master's and received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 1997 and has served for the past six years as the Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Weatherford has edited two volumes of critical essays and has published numerous articles on Latin American literature and film. Currently, he is finishing a book-length study - tentatively titled "Juan Rulfo's Journey through Film and Photography" - that examines the interest of one of Mexico's most important writers of fiction for the visual image.