Technically, Cinco de Mayo isn’t even a national holiday in Mexico. Meant to mark the victory of the Mexican army against the French at The Battle ofPuebla on May 5, 1862, Cinco de Mayo is arguably more recognized in the U.S as a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. What’s more, for fans of Mexican cinema worldwide, there’s been a great deal to celebrate these last few years. Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men), Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel) have cut a cinematic path, and forged a deep and lasting friendship, as impressive and artistically vital as that of Spielberg, Scorsese, Lucas and Coppola in the early 1970s. So if you’d like to augment your margarita-and-mariachi haze with some examples of terrific Mexican cinema, you’d do well to check out this trio’s early work: Cuaron’s Y tu mamá también, Del Toro’s Cronos*, and Iñárritu’s Amores Perros are all as fascinating as they are singular to their respective director’s particular vision. (*Although it’s set in Spain, Cronos won a boat-load of Ariel Awards, Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscar. Fascinatingly, Del Toro has yet to set a film in Mexico.)
But even though all three men have gone Hollywood of late — Del Toro, of course, is set to direct The Hobbit — they haven’t abandoned their heritage. Their production company, Cha Cha Cha, is releasing its first movie stateside this weekend after a blockbuster run in Mexico: The brothers-in-futbol dramedy Rudo y Cursi reunites Y tu mamá también stars Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal (pictured), and is written-and-directed by Alfonso Cuarón’s younger brother Carlos, a screenwriter making his directorial debut. I don’t want to steal our film critics’ thunder, but I will say I saw the film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it was adorable. After the jump, I’ve embedded the trailer, along with an incredibly fun video interview I did with both Cuarón brothers, Del Toro and Bernal at the festival. And in case you’ve got an hour to kill, I’ve also included the fantastic episode of Charlie Rose featuring the elder Curaón, Del Toro and Iñárritu back in 2006. Enjoy, and feliz cinco de Mayo!