ABOUT THE ARCHIVE

 

Photograph showing an area of the archiveThe Agrasánchez Film Archive is a significant repository of collections linked to the history of Mexican cinema, dealing mainly with its sound era.  Rogelio Agrasánchez Jr. is the owner, curator, and only sponsor.


The Archive is located in Harlingen, one of the largest cities in the Rio Grande Valley, in Texas.  However, its permanent site is yet to be considered.


Because it is a private source, it is not open to the public.  Still, its assets have been made available to researchers, authors, film festivals, museums and other organizations since 1991.


The collections are partially catalogued, and only a small percentage of them has been digitized so far.  Cataloguing is advanced enough as to allow an efficient search for materials related to a specific subject or film in particular.


The Archive is entirely independent from the Agrasánchez Film Library, which is a motion picture business belonging to other members of the Agrasánchez family.  The Archive is not -and has never been- involved in film licensing of any kind, its purpose being only educational and cultural.



Main goals and philosophy.

 

The Archive's main concern is to contribute to the study and appreciation of Mexican cinema produced from the 1920s to the 1980s. Its basic tenet is that all films are a valuable part of history and singular expressions of culture.


Our objectives and activities part from the fact that we do not establish or impose any hierarchy regarding films and filmmakers.  Moreover, we take into account that the making of any film entails an array of human and material resources; it is not solely the director's work, but a team's effort, in which administrative, technical and performing talents are as significant as the filmmaker's work itself.Photograph:  Mexican film La Llorona (1933), production team


We also see mainstream cinema as it actually is:  a product conceived, developed, distributed and advertised to satisfy specific needs of a segment of consumers.  This view does not deride the artistic values each movie may have; it simply puts industrially produced films in their actual context, and contributes to a meaningful and realistic understanding of their value and function.


The Archive's activities.




Curriculum of Rogelio Agrasánchez Jr.

 

Rogelio Agrasánchez Jr. was born in Mexico City in 1954, where he lived until the middle seventies, then he moved with his family to Texas.


As a child, he spent the weekends at his family's ranch on the outskirts of Mexico City, occasionally giving film screenings in neighboring towns and using films from his father's distribution company.  Later as a teenager, he became involved in his father's company, where he learned to take care of films.


Rogelio Jr. began his college studies in Mexico and when the family moved to the United States, he resumed academic work.  He obtained a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983.


In 1985, he received a M. A. in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.  His thesis, "The Press in Mexico City During The Second Empire, 1863-1867", was supervised by noted scholar Dr. Nettie Lee Benson.


Agrasánchez took up graduate work towards a Ph. D. in Latin American Literature, but he did not actually follow it through; his stronger interest in Mexican cinema history took him to other activities.


He taught Mexican history at the School Branch of the National University of Mexico in San Antonio, Texas, in 1985.


Rogelio Jr. had also a brief experience as a film exhibitor in Brownsville, Texas, in the late 1980s.


Since the early 1990s Agrasánchez Jr. has beeen devoted to personally cataloguing his collections; doing research on Mexican cinema history and editing, publishing and authoring books related to the subject.


 

        




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