Entertainment

These Latino-Directed Movies Prove That Latinos Have Some Of The Most Imaginative Minds

Let me clarify: this list will make you laugh, cry and half of it will make you scream en horror latino. Put on your sweatpants, grab the popcorn and your boo, because we threw in some rom-coms as well. And not just for straight people.

Here goes your weekend:

1. “Mosquita Y Mari” (2012)

CREDIT: Wolfe Video / YouTube

This is a must-see: Two “young Chicanas [who] contemplate life when they stir unexpected desires in each other.” Aurora Guerrero, the writer and director, crafted something truly incredible and special, touching on what it’s like to be a queer woman of color.

2. “Confissões de Adolescente” (2014)

CREDIT: Trailers nosferahcorp / YouTube

If you’ve never had a sister (ME), get your fill of the alternate reality with this movie. This 2014 film is based off the diaries of Maria Mariana, who also stars in the film!

3. “Wild Tales” (Relatos Salvajes) (2014)

CREDIT: TrailerHD / YouTube

This incredible film is actually a collection of six short films connected by themes of violence and revenge. Oh and it’s beautifully shot in Argentina.

4. “The Witch’s Mirror” (El espejo de la bruja) (1962)

CREDIT: Todo El Terror Del Mundo
/ YouTube

Pro tip: Never murder your wife in front of a witch’s mirror. Pro trip, part II: Stay away from witch’s mirrors altogether. Because then your dead wife might come back, and she’s going to be pretty pissed. Exciting, witchy story aside, this black and white film features some pretty gorgeous use of lighting and cinematography, as well as one of the most iconic uses of bandages ever.

5. Sin Nombre (2009)

CREDIT: SinNombreMovie / YouTube

“Sin Nombre” is a 2009 Mexican thriller produced by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna that tells us a story of immigration that will rock your soul. It follows Sayra, a Honduran teenager migrating to the U.S. with her father and uncle, as well as Casper, a Mexican gang member.

6. Real Women Have Curves (2002)

CREDIT: Silvia Garrido Gallego / YouTube

In 2002, this was a pioneering movie for us Latinas who don’t fit the stereotypes that Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Lopez helped pave for us. Not that I would ever talk smack about them, but thank you, America Ferrera, for this gift for the rest of us.

7. The Book of Stone (El libro de piedra) (1969)

CREDIT: SAGAPODCAST / YouTube

The Book of Stone tells the story we all feel as kids: adults don’t understand us or listen to us. Oh except, the ending will leave you delightfully creeped out.

8. “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001)

CREDIT: PurpleGardenWalls / YouTube

After 12-year-old Carlos arrives at a boys’ orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover. Talk about a creep fest.

9. “Desierto” (2015)

CREDIT: MovieclipsTrailer / YouTube

“Desierto,” starring Gael García Bernal, is a 2015 film that is essentially a political horror. While a group of immigrants journey through the desert in an attempt to make it to the U.S., a gun-toting man driving his truck along the border, is about to hunt them.

10. “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)

CREDIT: Movieclips / YouTube

Vampires, as it turns out, can take on all sorts of day jobs, like dancing at the infamous “Titty Twister” strip club. Robert Rodriguez’s pulpy take on vampires takes place in a small town in Mexico and includes plenty of bikers, truck drivers, fugitives, and the site of an ancient Aztec temple. Also, obviously and famously, Salma Hayek dancing with a snake.

11. “The Perez Family” (1995)

CREDIT: Movieclips Trailer Vault / YouTube

This is an oldie but a goodie, following two Cubans who meet in Miami and discover they have the same last name and pretend to be married to make their entrance easier.

P.S. this is a comedy turned romantic.

12. “Esteros (2016)

CREDIT: Movieclips Film Festivals Indie Films / YouTube

Here’s another recent LGBT classic brought to us by Argentinian Director Papu Curotto. This follows the story about two teenage boys who grew up together, and discover their attraction to each other. But not without facing homophobia from Matías’ family.

13. “The Mansion of Madness” (Dr. Tarr’s Torture Dungeon) (1973)

CREDIT: mike alter / YouTube

This film, also by Juan López Moctezuma, is a personal favorite of mine. As in, I own it on DVD and watch it over and over. Very loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether,” the story shows what happens when lunatics take over the asylum. It also happens to be a GORGEOUS movie, with every shot, costume, look and line carefully staged for maximum impact and weirdness. Take the scene, for instance, where two characters are walking down a long path as some of the asylum’s inhabitants playfully, and somewhat unnervingly, weave in and out of shot. You can take a look at it, and enjoy an in-depth synopsis, at Cinema de Merde.

14. “The Curse of the Crying Woman” (La maldición de la llorona) (1961)

CREDIT: lolwut / YouTube

We’re all familiar with the legend of La Llorona, right? It’s a classic horror story, replete with loss, gut-churning guilt, and the need for sweet, sweet vengeance. It’s a wonder there haven’t been more (and, you know, better) movies based on the mother of all ghosts. This film, for instance, isn’t so much about La Llorona herself (although her scenes are truly, gorgeously frightening), but about a family grappling with witchcraft and curses. Relatable!

15. “Santa Sangre” (1989)

CREDIT: Joel Barish / YouTube

No one does avant-garde psychedelic weirdness like Jodorowsky. Santa Sangre is no exception, following the story of Fenix, a former circus performer, and his relationship to his parents, particularly to the mother who keeps a literal and figurative hold on him through much of his development. Roger Ebert praised Jodorowsky for expanding the horror genre by reminding viewers that “true psychic horror is possible on the screen–horror, poetry, surrealism, psychological pain and wicked humor, all at once.”

16. “Under the Same Moon” (2007)

CREDIT: FoxSearchlight / YouTube

We grew up crying to this. Released in 2007, “Under The Same Moon (Bajo La Misma Luna)” stars Mexican actors Kate del Castillo and Eugenio Derbez. It follows a mother in the U.S. whose young son lives in Mexico with his grandmother and the journey the young boy has to endure to make it from Mexico across the border to be reunited with his mother.

17. “Martin” (1978)

CREDIT: Ancient Horrorfilms / YouTube

Director George Romero is known for his zombie movies, but introduces a strange one for the vampire genre. This would be the last time you see him drink blood without a syringe. Lots of syringes.

18. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)

CREDIT: Brandon Tobatto / YouTube

That’s more like it! This is Director Romero’s zombie movie that changes everything. This is how we know that zombies aren’t just corpses controlled by spells, but are real undead people that walk jerkishly and slowly to you.

19. “We Are What We Are” (Somos lo que hay) (2010)

CREDIT: Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica / YouTube

The family that eats together, stays together, for better or for worse. In this film, which was remade for U.S. audiences in 2013, follows a family struggling with maintaining an ancient, bloody ritual and the impact it has both on their bodies and souls. You’ll never look at family dinners the same way again.

20. “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” (À meia-noite levarei sua alma) (1964)

CREDIT: Cinema Coffin JoeZé do Caixão / YouTube

Meet Coffin Joe (Zé do Caixão). Joe is the definition of girl-crazy. More like an utterly depraved maniac set on settling down with whichever girl survives his mass murders.

21. “Alucarda” (1978)

CREDIT: Cultura Minerva / YouTube

Being a teen girl is hard enough, never mind being an orphan in a Catholic convent. Add demonic possession into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster / a truly fantastic horror movie with stunning visuals (just take a look at the nuns’ super stylized and highly evocative habits and robes, for instance). The film’s emphasis on a close emotional and physical relationship between two young girls has drawn comparisons to the classic vampire tale, Carmilla, made all the more apparent when you notice that “Alucarda” is simply “Dracula” with the letters rearranged. SpoooOoOooky!

22. “Cronos” (1993)

CREDIT: discover7films / YouTube

Here’s our other del Toro entry: Cronos! Because who doesn’t love a good, inventive twist on a vampire story that also serves as a metaphor for society’s obsession with youth and virility? Cronos beat out Crimson Peak because, while the latter is truly a beautiful, visually stunning work, Cronos‘ story of love, loss and sacrifice simply holds up better throughout the film.

23. “Entre nos” (2009)

CREDIT: entrenosfilm / YouTube

True story alert! This is about a woman, longing to be reunited with her husband, by making the trek from Colombia to Queens with her two children in tow. Spoiler alert: the guy abandons the family with absolutely nothing. Spoiler (2) alert: this film will make you think twice about denying refugees safety.

24. “The Way He Looks” (2014)

CREDIT: Films Boutique / YouTube

You guys need to watch this. This is about a blind teenager from São Paulo who breaks out from his overbearing mother bind as he studies abroad. And then, he begins to develop feelings for Gabriel.

A Fan Asked Eva Mendes Why She Hasn’t Acted In Years And She Says It’s Because She Isn’t Settling For Any Role

Entertainment

A Fan Asked Eva Mendes Why She Hasn’t Acted In Years And She Says It’s Because She Isn’t Settling For Any Role

evamendes / Instagram

This year’s Golden Globes awards were a complete letdown for a variety of reasons. Aside from the typical #SoWhite nonsense and long speeches, people were astonished at the lack of Latinas on the red carpet. We counted four: Jennifer Lopez, Ana de Armas, Sofia Vergara, and Salma Hayek. Depressing right? We know there are more Latinas in Hollywood, but where are they? At least one of the most recognized Latina actresses is explaining why she hasn’t acted in years. 

A fan recently asked Eva Mendes on Instagram when she’ll be in a new movie. Mendes responded by saying she won’t settle for any project partly because of her daughters. 

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

On Jan. 7, Mendes responded to a fan on Instagram when she asked her,  “When the fans going to see u in some new movies?” Mendes told her kindly that she isn’t offered roles that are good enough for her. 

“Hi! When there’s something worthwhile to be a part of,” she wrote on Instagram. “As a mother now, there are many roles I won’t do. There are many subject matters that I don’t want to be involved with, so it limits my choices, and I’m fine with that. I have to set an example for my girls now. But no worry, I got some side hustles. Ha! Thanks for asking. All the best for 2020.”

Mendes’s most recent role was the 2014 film Lost River directed and written by her baby daddy, Ryan Gosling. Things certainly changed for Mendes when she met Gosling in 2011.

The two first met while filming the 2012 movie, “The Place Beyond the Pines.” There was no denying the chemistry between the two in “The Place Beyond the Pines.” It was an extraordinary film about a Luke (Gosling) who doubles as a bank robber and motorcyclist. He meets Romina (Mendes), the two fall in love, and have a baby. Domestic life isn’t for Luke, and he cannot escape his crime-ridden life. We won’t give any spoilers, but it truly felt like we were witnessing a real-life love story.

Mendes is now the mother of two girls and has gone on to launch her fashion collection with New York & Company and has been busy with that for several years now.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

While Mendes continues to lead a pretty private life with Gosling and her daughters, her fashion collection has been successful. She has also said that her partner has been very encouraging and proud of her work as a designer. 

“Ryan is incredibly supportive, and he’s always in awe,” Mendes told People magazine last year. “He makes me realize that [making the collection] is actually a lot of work. I have so much fun doing it that I don’t really realize.”

She also added that her in-laws and her family are extremely helpful to her as she develops each collection. 

“Ryan’s mom, Ryan’s sister, my mom, my sisters, my grandma are all my fashion guinea pigs,” Mendes told the magazine. “Nobody is going to be more honest than family, and our family is very honest. It’s something I really appreciate because when designing something, you need real feedback.”

Yet, still, with her success as a fashion designer, we cannot help miss Mendes as an actor. Remember her in “Training Day”?

Her role as Sara opposite Denzel Washington was so intense and incredibly raw. We can see why she would hesitate to be in certain kinds of characters, especially if the part calls for nudity or vulgar language. The role of Sara is also one that we have seen often, which is the stereotypical Latina as a single mother, living in the projects. That has been played out. That movie, however, was how we first learned of Mendes. 

She stretched her comedy chops in “The Other Guys” in 2010 alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. 

That movie was hilarious, and she was amusing as the wife of Will Ferrell. Then again, that role was of a sexy (but smart) Latina who could whip of a home-cooked meal and be stunning all at the same time. Mendes can play the ultimate woman because she is a lot of ways. However, we understand she wants to break away from that notion that all Latinas are curvy, sexy, and feisty. 

Her Instagram is always active, so it makes us feel like Mendes hasn’t gone anywhere.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

But we still miss you on the big screen, Eva. Come back!!

READ: Here Are 9 Latinos Who Have Become Triple Threats In The Entertainment Industry

Italian Mayors Are Showing J.Lo A Lot Of Love After She Mentioned Wanting To Move To The Country

Entertainment

Italian Mayors Are Showing J.Lo A Lot Of Love After She Mentioned Wanting To Move To The Country

jlo / Instagram

Jennifer Lopez has checked off more than all the bucket list life experiences “Jenny from the Block” could have even imagined, but there’s still one more she yearns for: to live abroad in a small town in Italy or in Bali and enjoy the simple things in life. The 50-year-old singer, actress, producer, and businesswoman has graced the cover of Vanity Fair alongside an in-depth interview that affirms the importance of Latinas gaining power in the U.S. and a long-held desire to leave it all behind for a “more simple and organic” life. In the wake of J.Lo’s recent Academy snub for her role in “Hustlers,” she confirms that she is very intentional about why she’s only hired female directors for all her productions to date. “It’s about breaking the mold of what people are used to,” she told Vanity Fair’s Britt Hennemuth.

It’s clear that J.Lo is committed to breaking the glass ceiling for Latinas and all women alike here in the United States, but that hasn’t stopped mayors across the Italian countryside from wooing Jenny from the Block to move to their idyllic town.

Lopez revealed that all she wants to do is “ride a bike, and buy bread, and put it in my basket, and then go home and put jelly on it.”

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

For Lopez, that kind of life may only be possible somewhere very far on the other side of the world, more removed from her celebrity. “I would love to live somewhere other than the United States, in a small town in Italy, or on the other side of the world, in Bali. Find another life where it’s a little bit more simple and organic and where I get to ride a bike, and buy bread, and put it in my basket, and then go home and put jelly on it, and just eat and paint, or sit in a rocking chair where there was a beautiful view of an olive tree or an oak tree and I could just smell. I have fantasies like that,” Lopez told the magazine.

“If you ever do move overseas don’t forget to take Arod with you,” one Twitter user implored of J.Lo. While it doesn’t seem like Americans are taking her fantasy too seriously, the rest of the world certainly is. 

Several mayors around Italy have publicly reached out to the Puerto Rican Renaissance Woman.

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

The mayor of San Quirico d’Orcia, a town in the Tuscan countryside, announced, “We are the Italy that Jennifer Lopez is looking for. We are a small but beautiful town surrounded by endless olive groves and a landscape recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage area.” Mayor Bartoli didn’t forget to mention that “we have great bakeries that produce wonderful bread.”

Cagliari’s mayor, Paolo Truzzu, tossed his beloved town into the running as well. “Dear Jennifer, come and live with us in Cagliari” to enjoy “good things to eat, a slow rhythm of life, contact with nature and a lovely climate,” he said. The residents of some of these towns have reached out to Lopez to second their mayor’s invitation. “Hey @JLo! Did you receive the invitation from Cagliari’s mayor Paolo Truzzu to come to live here? He’s available to host you. Let us know!” one Cagliari resident tweeted at J.Lo. JLo, come to live in Italy there are many beautiful villages!! come on the Amalfi Coast or in Cilento,  I recommend also San Valentino Torio the land of lovers, 20 min from  Pompei,” another Italian Twitter user informed the superstar. 

Lopez also emphasized the importance of hiring female directors.

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

Vanity Fair aptly acknowledged that Lopez had mostly been directed by men, but that she has an exclusively female line-up of directors for her future projects under her own production. “It’s about breaking the mold of what people are used to,” Lopez added, saying, “There are so many great female directors; why aren’t we using them more? It’s hard to break patterns, even in yourself, so we have to make a conscious effort to change the paradigm.” The 2020 Oscars snubbed all women when they only nominated male directors during a time when there are more female directors than ever before. 

“It’s also a great time for Latina women to take the stage at the biggest all-American event,” Lopez said of her upcoming Superbowl Halftime show with Shakira, emphasizing its importance “with everything that’s going on in the country right now.” Lopez added, “I’m super-happy to represent my community, to represent women, and to represent everybody, you know? “

READ: Defamation Of Character Is One Reason The Inspiration Of ‘Hustlers’ Is Suing J.Lo’s Production Company