With just $7,000, filmmaker Robert Rodríguez shot the 1992 indie classic film “El Mariachi,” which launched his career and set him on a trailblazing path.
With films such as “Sin City” and the “Spy Kids” series, Rodríguez has helped boost the visibility of diverse characters on the big screen and opened the doors for Latinos in television with his channel “El Rey.”
The Austin Film Society on Dec. 2 will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of “El Mariachi” with a rare marathon screening of what’s called the full Mexico trilogy — “El Mariachi,” “Desperado” and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.” A Q&A with Rodríguez will follow the final film. The evening at the AFS Cinema will be capped with a special after party featuring a live performance by Rodríguez and his band, Chingón.
Rodríguez has lots to celebrate. The AFS advisory board member also wrapped up the filming of his reality show “Rebel Without a Crew.” The show challenges five emerging filmmakers to shoot a movie with the same money and time constraints that Rodríguez had 25 years ago with “El Mariachi.”
Tickets for the entire event cost $75 and $65 for Austin Film Society members. Individual movie or party tickets are also available at austinfilm.org. Catch “El Mariachi” at 2 p.m.; “Desperado” at 4:15 p.m. and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” at 6:30 p.m. After party begins at 8 p.m.
Rising Austin-based artist Lesly Reynaga gained recognition in the Live Music Capital of the World as a featured soloist of the University of Texas Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlán. Her skills were also showcased in the 2012 ZACH Theatre/Teatro Vivo musical “Mariachi Girl.” Now, Reynaga’s bilingual pop-rock grooves represent a new phase of her musical career.
The singer-songwriter on Nov. 2 debuted her five-song EP “Fool’s Paradise,” with a Day of the Dead album release party at 11 p.m at Barracuda (611 E. Seventh St.). The EP, which is available on Spotify, includes original songs as well as a cover of “Spanish Words” by Austin musician Charlie Sexton.
“Everyone goes through different stages in life that make you question your choices, and “Fool’s Paradise” is my take on facing such a challenge through my own individual experience,” Reynaga said. “I hope that my songs are able to convey the idea that to every moment of obscurity there is also light, and that no single individual is ever alone in the struggle of finding one’s self-identity. ”
“Fool’s Paradise” was produced by musician, composer and producer Michael Ramos at his Brown Recluse Studio. Ramos, of Charanga Cakewalk fame, has toured and recorded with artists such as Paul Simon and Shawn Colvin. In 2014, he teamed up with award-winning musician Gina Chavez for her Latin folk-pop album “Up.rooted.”
Following her album release, Reynaga – who is also the editor of TODO Austin – plans to perform in New York City.