Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|La Mujer del Puerto|
Actors: Estela Inda, Andrea Palma, Domingo Soler, Joaquin Busquets
Directors: Raphael J. Sevilla, Arcady Boytler
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Rosario (Palma) becomes a prostitute after losing her father and discovering her boyfriend had a liaison with another woman. In Veracruz, Rosario lives above a sordid cabaret "selling her love to the men coming from the se... more »
An Interesting Watch for Fans of Mexican Cinema
Curtis Allan | Seattle, WA | 06/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I saw La Mujer del Puerto on the rental shelf and thought I'd give it a look. Directed by a Russian immigrant Arcady Boytler (1890-1965), it has much the dark look and racy feel of Pabst's 1928 silent classic Pandora's Box. It seems to be a bit of a landmark of sorts for Mexican cinema, starting the careers of at least a few early Mexican screen artists (the Mexican Magazine SOMOS listed this as #8(!) on its list of "Las 100 mejores pel?culas del cine mexicano" in 1994). Released in 1934, it still has the rough transitional construction of early talkie cinema. The opening scene is virtually voiceless and the players still show all the mannerisms of silent acting. The storyline and script are simple. There are some interestingly shaped screen cuts (the earliest film in which I can remember seeing any type of these), as well as some refreshing (if shaky) cinematography of ships along the Veracruz coast. Estela Inda (Captain from Castille, Los Olvidados) is credited on the box, although she was not listed in the original film credits and I didn't even manage to notice who she was in the film (IMDB lists her as "woman at the cabaret"). Domingo Soler was an actor of some repute in early Mexican cinema, as was apparently the lead actress Andrea Palma, who gives a worthy performance here.The DVD image is poor, but interestingly it is not poor in such a way as to detract from a proper enjoyment of the film. The images are focused and sharp, there are no lines, and the brightness is correct. It just suffers a bit from what you might call the "high school projector effect", or little flickering spots. But again this doesn't really detract from the viewing at all; on the contrary, you can almost hear the projector clicking along and see the beam of light striking particles in the air thru a dark room; strangely but surely adding to the film's ambiance. There are neither extras nor subtitles, so this is for Spanglophiles only. Nothing to change the world, but you could do a lot worse. Easily worth the asking price if you can understand Spanish and have an interest in the history of Mexican or Latin American cinema."
Sad But Compelling Story....
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 05/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to 'La Mujer del Puerto" - DVD (Clasicas de Excalibur Media)
A fine piece of filmmaking from 1930s Mexican Cinema, "La Mujer del Puerto" is one woman's story that is so tragic you may need a dose of Hamlet after the view just for some comic relief. However, it is done in such a way that you can not help getting deeply involved with Rosario portrayed wonderfully by Andrea Palma.
'Pobra' Rosario...At first we see a woman in love, romping in the fields with her lover, seemingly without a care in the world. Then like she was struck by some curse, her world begins falling apart. Her beloved father falls ill and then dies at the hands of her novio, who she has also discovered with another woman. She turns to prostitution to keep herself from going hungry and works the port in Vera Cruz where she encounters some pretty filthy and drunken sailors. Just when it looks like there is a ray of happiness about to fall into her life, after being rescued and loved by Alberto(Domingo Soler), life throws her another cruel trick...Alberto is her brother!...OH Brother!
Directed by Arcady Boytler/Raphael J Sevilla, it is a film so tragic that in less skilled hands may have gone completely over the top and not have created the compassion and empathy the audience feels for Rosario. Filmed in a way that may have even inspired Peckinpah, the story interweaves Rosario's sad story with a street carnival that was going on at the same time. The contrasting cuts of Rosario's life sinking to the depths of despair, against the backdrop of the party atmosphere are done remarkably well. Intriguing supporting characters(there is a trio of old women gossips who may bring Shakespeare's three witches to mind), a few great musical numbers, and the Vera Cruz coastline all add greatly to telling the story.
This is a film that really deserves some technical attention. Although the black and white images were sharp, and the sound was decent, the film really looks it's age. Dirt and scratches throughout the film and occasional jumping,does effect the viewing pleasure to some extent. The film is in Spanish, with no subtitles, but because of the great performances and facial expressions, if you have just a little Spanish, you should have no trouble following the story.
Five stars for the film, but only three for the Excalibur DV
Cody K. | Jamokidence, Rhode Island, USA | 03/20/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is indeed an excellent, early Mexican melodrama, as ixta coyotl has pointed out very well. I won't add to that review here -- instead I just want to point out that there's another edition of this film on DVD, released by Kino under its English title, 'Woman of the Port'. While it costs more, the Kino release is restored, if not to perfection, to a condition that makes the film much more enjoyable. A good deal of damage to the original print is still evident, but the blacks, whites and gradients are consistently better throughout, and, compared with the Excalibur release, the transfer is better in every way, including sound (though that's far from perfect on either edition.) The Kino release includes optional English subtitles; the Excalibur has none.
The Excalibur DVD is watchable, but only with some difficulty due to the extreme degradation of the film print. Those who are strongly interested in this film are advised to check out the Kino version.
Incidentally, both versions end rather abruptly (though probably no more than two or three seconds are lost); the Kino without an end title of any kind, and the Excalibur with a rudimentary 'fin' title card."
Andrea Palma shines
J. M. Vargas | LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA | 03/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In glorious black & white, this classic movie shows what the golden Mexican cinema was all about. Andrea Palma is superb and this may be her best performance ever."