See two movies on Tejano music and culture by El Cerrito’s own Les Blank, Maureen Gosling, Harrod Blank, and Chris Strachwitz!
Les Blank are Maureen Gosling are the filmmakers responsible for movies like “Burden of Dreams,” “Always for Pleasure,” and “A Poem Is a Naked Person.” Harrod Blank is Les’s son and head of Les Blank Films. Chris Strachwitz is the founder of Arhoolie Records, the owner of Down Home Music, and co-producer of some of Blank’s films. Their offices are only a few blocks from the Cerrito Theater.
Together they produced and directed “Chulas Fronteras” and “Del Mero Corazón,” a zesty introduction to the music and culture of the Texas-Mexican border. From joyous, lively dance tunes to soulful, political work songs, musica Norteña fuses traditional Mexican harmonies with central European dancehall rhythms, and a little something extra. Newly restored in 4k, “Chulas Fronteras” (Beautiful Borders) and “Del Mero Corazón” (Straight from the Heart) celebrate the famed Mexican-American musicians of the borderlands, the migrant farming communities from which they come, the strong family bonds of Tejanos, and the social protest ethos inscribed in their music. Blank & Strachwitz’s films brim with tender affection for their subjects, the vitality of their marvelous music, and the generosity of spirit they show in the face of hardship. The movies feature Flaco Jiménez, Lydia Mendoza, Los Alegres de Terán, and more!
After the movies there will be a Q & A session with Maureen Gosling, Harrod Blank, and Chris Strachwitz, as well as live music by special guests Dueto Arte.
“Chulas Fronteras” and “Del Mero Corazón” will play only once at the Cerrito, on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m. Please note the special date—this will NOT be on the usual second Thursday of the month. Moviegoers are strongly advised to buy advance tickets at the box office or online, as the feature may sell out. All seats are $9.50. Arriving early is a good idea, in order to choose your seat and also order delicious food and wine or beer.
So many choices at Scene! There are flatbread pizzas, a charcuterie and cheese sampler, baked sandwiches, “bites,” salads, desserts, and much more. You can enjoy them there, or have them brought to your seat while you watch the movie. Check it out! Scene opens daily at 4 p.m.
The next classic movie, “Snoopy Come Home,” will be shown three times and will be treated as special events, without the usual classic movie pricing. The Friends of the Cerrito Theater will host the October 3 screening of that movie. From that point on, the Cerrito Classics series will resume its usual schedule of the second Thursday of each month, and the usual pricing of $9.50.
The full schedule is:
- “Snoopy, Come Home”, Sunday, September 29 at 12 p.m., Thursday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, October 5 at 12 p.m.
- “Poltergeist,” Thursday, October 10 at 7 p.m.
- “Back to the Future,” Thursday, November 14 at 7 p.m.
- “Gremlins,” Thursday, December 12 at 7 p.m.
- “Rear Window,” Thursday, January 9 at 7 p.m.