Matilde Landeta: Pioneer of Mexican Cinema and Women Filmmakers

Today the Google doodle pays tribute to Matilde Landeta and we will not miss the opportunity for you to learn about the life and work of this pioneer of Mexican cinema .

Matilde Landeta

Photo: Matilde Landeta

LatinAmerican Post

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Leer en español: Matilde Landaeta: Pionera del cine mexicano y de las mujeres cineastas

If you have done any search on Google today, you will have already wanted to know who Matilde Landeta is. Well, she is a Mexican film director, a pioneer in the seventh art during her Golden Age in the Central American country.

We will tell you what her legacy was and where you can see her films.

Who is Matilde Landeta?

Matilde Landeta was born on a day like today but in 1913 in Mexico City. His career in cinema began by working as a film continuity artist. This job is about supervising and auditing the continuity of a film project. For some researchers, Landeta was the first woman in Mexico to practice this profession.

Later, in 1945, at the age of 32, Landeta worked as an assistant director. Sister of the actor Eduardo Landaeta, Matilde had access to the world of cinema from a very young age.

Like all women of her time (and even this one), Matilde Landeta had to fight against inequality between the sexes in her industry. She soon wanted to be a film director, but it was not easy to be taken seriously, so her films did not receive financing or sponsors.

Landeta, then, set up her own production company, which she called TACMA, after mortgaging his house to be able to do so.

The work of Matilde Landeta

The work of our today honored director began closely related to literature. Her first two films were adaptations of novels by author Francisco Rojas González: Lola Casanova (1948) and La negra Angustias (1949). These two, along with her third film Trotacalles (1951), were a commercial failure. It would take Matilde Landeta 40 years to shoot a film again.

This does not mean that for 40 years her influence on Mexican cinema had been suspended. Although she wanted to direct her film Juvenile Court herself, she was convinced to sell the script to another director. It was Alfonso Corona Blake, who changed the title to El camino de la vida and whose film brought him awards and prestige.

Landeta, as expected, was almost excluded from the credits of this, one of the most important works of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. However, the filmmaker sued the production company and fought to see her name in the credits. Thus, Matilde Landeta is one of the pioneers of Mexican cinema and one of the first women to go through several professions around cinema.

Read also: "Bogotá Story": Latin American Representation at the Venice Film Festival

Now, there is the Matilde Landeta Award in her name, which is awarded to the best script written by women in Mexico.

Where to see her movies?

Matilde Landeta's filmography as a director is perhaps short: in addition to her first three feature films, she directed her last film, Nocturno a Rosario (1991) when she was 78 years old. However, her filmography as a screenwriter, scorer, editor and assistant director is quite broad and relevant.

Several of her films, like many others from the so-called Golden Age of Mexican cinema, can be found on YouTube. Trotacalles, hier third feature film is available on MUBI platform.

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