Güeros is a road movie in which the travellers barely manage to leave town. A coming of age comedy which pays homage to the French new wave. Being a somewhat unusual film, Güeros begins with a rather different kind of explosion: a water bomb bursts in a baby stroller. It is thrown by teenager Tomás from a block of flats. Since the lad is clearly too much of a handful for his mother, she packs him off to stay with his big brother who is studying in Mexico City. It’s 1999. Fede, also known to his friends as Sombra, lives with Santos in a concrete pre-fab. They are currently striking against the strike which their fellow-students are organising at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Tomás has brought a cassette along with him; the tape is part of his father’s legacy and contains the music of Epigmenio Cruz. They say his songs moved Bob Dylan to tears, and that he could have saved Mexico’s rock music scene from ruin. When the trio learns that their idol is in hospital fading fast and alone, they set off in their rusty heap of a car to pay their last respects to this one-time rock star. What they thought would be a simple trip to find their childhood idol, soon becomes a voyage of self-discovery across Mexico City’s invisible frontiers.
Best First Feature, Berlin International Film Festival 2014
Winner Best Cinematography Tribeca Film Festival 2014
Alonso Ruizpalacios is a Mexican film and stage director, and a writer. He was born in Mexico City in 1978. He trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London. Previously, he studied directing in Mexico City with the renowned Polish director Ludwik Margules.
For TV he has directed several fiction and non-fiction shows, including Ideas Planet for Discovery Channel, Expedition 1808 for National Geographic Channel and the award-winning drama series XY for Channel 11 Mexico. He has directed many stage plays in some of Mexico’s most prestigious theatre venues, including Chekhov’s The Kiss, Rock n Roll by Tom Stoppard, The Kitchen by Arnold Wesker and Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Alonso also works as a screenwriter for several TV fiction series.
In 2008 he wrote and directed Café Paraíso, which earned him the Mexican Film Academy’s Ariel for Best Short, as well as awards at the international film festivals of Huesca (Spain), Guadalajara, Short Shorts (Mexico), Sapporo (Japan), and was official selection at Tribeca (NYC), Clermont Ferrand (France) and 15 other international festivals. His third short film The Cu Bird’s Last Song also won the Ariel for Best Short in 2011, as well as awards at the festivals of Monterrey and Fastnet (Ireland).
His first feature Güeros, won the Development Grant from Fundación Carolina and Casa de América (Spain), as well as the National Fund for Film Production (FOPROCINE), with which the project was green-lit by the National Film Institute of Mexico (IMCINE). Güeros won Best First Feature at Berlin Film Festival and had its UK Premiere at the London Film Festival.
2008 Café Paraíso
2010 The Cú Bird’s Last Song
Sombra Tenoch Huerta
Tomás Sebastián Aguirre
Ana Ilse Salas
Santos Leonardo Ortizgris
Epigmenio Alfonso Charpener
Isabel Laura Almela
Furia Raúl Briones Carmona
Pichón Yojarth Okamota Brambila
Aurora Camila Lora Ruiz
Aurora’s Mom Carmen Ramos
Jesús Alfonso Bravo
Moco Adrián Ladrón
El Oso Himself
Esperanza Alicia Laguna
Woman in Despair Sophie Alexander-Katz
Dr. Ibarra Alonso Ruiz Palacios
Weeping Woman Rosa María de la Fuente
Directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios
Written by Alonso Ruizpalacios and Gibrán Portela
Produced by Ramiro Ruiz
Associate Producer Gael García Bernal
Cinematography Damián García
Film Editing Yibrán Asuad and Ana García
Sound Pedro ‘Zulu’ González, Isabel Muñoz, Kyoshi Osawa, Gabriel Reyna
Music by Tomás Barreiro
Production Designer Sandra Cabriada
Costume Designer Ingrid Sac
A Production of Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía (IMCINE) & Postal Producciones
Mexico | 107 minutes | 2014 | 4:3 | In Spanish with English Subtitles
"This moody and seductive black-and-white road movie from Mexico has won a string of festival awards. It’s a meandering, self-circling tale that never looks anything less than gorgeous...But what flair, what humour, what eccentric dash – with a bit of Spike Lee and a bit more of Jim Jarmusch."
Trevor Johnston, Time Out
A stunner from debut boy Alonso Ruizpalacios...Plot-wise, this might almost read like a Mexican riff on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but the reality couldn’t be further from this. This is more in the spirit of Godard’s Bande à Part, or Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. And not just in its scintillating exploration of stunted youth and meta slackerdom, but the way it consciously contextualises the actions and emotions as stirringly cinematic, scattering moments of blissful poetry along the winding road.
David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Witty and enchantingly romantic, Güeros is guaranteed to make even cynical hearts lurch with happiness. What a find."
Charlotte O'Sullivan, The Evening Standard
‘Beautifully done, with a light touch, winning central performances and an entirely seductive sense of place. If you liked Linklater’s Slacker...’
Kevin Maher, The Times
"Woozy and urgent in the same moment, Güeros isn't shy in its devotion to the French New Wave, but its style has substance."
Danny Leigh, The Financial Times
'More than perhaps any other country, Mexico has lobbed some real cinematic intelligence onto the world stage in recent years. "Güeros" continues that salutary tradition.'
Godfroy Cheshire, Rogerebert.com
'The story pops and swerves; the images are by turns comical, banal and ravishing; and the result is a briskly shaken cocktail made of equal parts provocation and comfort. You come away with a buzz that is invigorating and pleasantly familiar... “Güeros” is like a flip-book history lesson, one that evokes the pain and comedy — the pop, the politics, the tedium and the momentousness — of a particular moment in the endless, cyclical chronicles of youth and disillusionment.'
A.O. Scott, The New York Times
'What makes Güeros fascinating, besides the joyous invention of Ruizpalacios's craft, is how the director emphasizes rather than hides his own authorial engagement.'
Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
'Güeros is surprisingly beautiful, inventive and convincing.'
Nick James, Sight & Sound