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The cinematic 'murals' of Gabriel Figueroa
The cinematic 'murals' of Gabriel Figueroa

Aside from Mayan temples and Emiliano Zapata's mustachioed visage, perhaps nothing is more emblematic of Mexico's mysterious grandeur than the films of Gabriel Figueroa. In a career that consisted of more than 200 movies in multiple genres, made in Mexico and Hollywood with some of the leading directors and actors of his time, Figueroa crafted a lasting national iconography. The cinematographer's monumental shots of burnished landscapes and close-ups of campesinos' weathered, earnest faces are as instantly recognizable to his countrymen as the great murals of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco. Rivera, in fact, referred to Figueroa as...

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