Jaime Humberto Hermosillo

Active - 1965 - 2010  |   Born - Jan 1, 1942   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Jaime Humberto Hermosillo has been hailed as a less frenetic, Mexican version of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and has become one of modern Mexican cinema's most off-beat filmmakers, gaining considerable acclaim, popularity and notoriety for making films about traditionally taboo subjects ranging from blatantly gay-themed films to experimental explorations of a family's bathroom habits. In the U.S., his best known film remains Dona Herlinda and Her Son, considered to be the first film in Latin America to present homosexuality in a positive light. Raised in Guadalajara, the artistic center of Mexico, Hermosillo received his education from the University of Mexico Film School and began making films in the late 1970s. Most of his twenty-odd films were made by independent companies. As an openly gay person, something somewhat unusual in conservative Mexico, many of his films deal outwardly or subtly with homosexual issues. Still, audiences accept him because the quality of his films, that range from drama to comedy, is so consistently high. Bringing to his stories a rare wit and sophisticated complexity, many of Hermosillo's works contain universal themes that deal with tribulations of the middle class, fears, loneliness and of course, sexuality. He first gained notice in Mexico for his fourth film Passion According to Berenice (1977). His 1978 film Deceitful Appearances, which he made using non-union cast and crew was banned in Mexico until 1982 not only for the labor disputes involved, but also for its subject matter of a greedy couple's attempt to exploit a dying, very wealthy man. Hailed as a gender comedy, many of the scenes strained the acceptable boundaries of gender bending to the limit, and like many of Hermosillo films, features a genuinely surprising twist at the end. From the late '70s through the late '80s, Hermosillo has occasionally collaborated with noted author Gabriel Garcia Marquez on screenplays for films such as Mary My Dearest (1979) and The Summer of Miss Forbes (1988). When not making films, Hermosillo teaches filmmaking at the University of Guadalajara and since the late '80s has occasionally made films in conjunction with his students. One of those films, the character exploration Bathroom Intimacies, a cinema verite look into the crisis suffered by a troubled family as seen through a bathroom mirror, evoked critical comparisons to an Andy Warhol film. Another experimental film, Homework was a minimally-edited erotic film shot in real time over a four-day period to chronicle a female film student's latest production -- a record of her having a sexual encounter with her former husband. Following the success of Homework, he created the similarly themed, but longer Forbidden Homework (1992) which centered on a handsome young filmmaker's seduction of a much older actress whom he had loved for years.

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