Cinematic OGs: After the Earthquake + Pretty Vacant

Step into the realm of independent film pioneers with the inaugural screening of “Cinematic OGs,” a series that pays homage to the trailblazing spirit of filmmakers who have fearlessly pushed boundaries and redefined storytelling. Join us for an evening celebrating two groundbreaking works by Nina Serrano & Lourdes Portillo, and Jim Mendiola. Jim Mendiola’s “Pretty Vacant” offers a raw and introspective journey into Chicano culture, while Nina Serrano and Lourdes Portillo’s “After the Earthquake” delivers a poignant exploration of resilience and hope amidst chaos. These filmmakers, revered as OGs (Original Gangsters) of the independent film scene, have left an indelible mark on cinema with their daring narratives and innovative approaches, provoking essential dialogues about identity and society. Come through to celebrate their enduring legacy.

Presented by Mission Love and RoxCine, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Co-presented by Cine+Mas San Francisco Latino Film Festival and Galeria de la Raza. Curated by Vero Majano and Sergio de la Mora. Special thanks to BAMPFA.

A film by Lourdes Portillo & Nina Serrano
After the Earthquake/Después del Terremoto(1979)

Irene, a young Nicaraguan immigrant, faces challenges when she moves to the United States and she has to re-evaluate her relationships with her boyfriend and family.

Filmmakers Lourdes Portillo and Nina Serrano provide a glimpse into the complex everyday experience of an immigrant in the United States: a young woman balances her new life in San Francisco with the arrival of her fiance, who was imprisoned and tortured for his political activism in their home country. This visually rich Black & White short illuminates the multi-generational Latino community of San Francisco in the 1970’s, contrasting cultural identities among different members of this community, and highlighting the trauma that often accompanies refugees resettling in a new land. 24 min. In English & Spanish w/ subtitles.

A film by Jim Mendiola
Pretty Vacant (1996)

A story about a young Chicana in San Antonio, Texas, struggling to publish a punk-rock magazine, whose father takes her to visit his native Mexico, as it were, against her will.

“The movie’s all told in voice-over–it’s cheaper that way”. The last words in this energetic, low-budget, 33-minute film by Jim Mendiola, spoken by its narrator, Molly (Mariana Vasquez)–a 21-year-old Chicana who drums for an all-girl punk band and is working on the fifth issue of her zine, this one in Super-8–are a pretty fair description of what Mendiola is up to, technically speaking. Culturally this black-and-white effort is even more interesting, especially as it describes what alienates Molly from her more traditional, Mexican-oriented dad (David Mercado Gonzales). — Jonathan Rosembaum. 33 min. In English.

1h 30m
First Showing
April 13, 2024
  • Assisted Listening