Austin Connection – The 20th Anniversary Celebration of Robert Rodriguez’s EL MARIACHI


Austin Film Society & El Rey Network present
The 20th Anniversary Celebration of
Robert Rodriguez‘s
Followed by a special musical performance by Chingón!

When you think of  micro-budget filming not always do you think of a quality film in the end. When you think of Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi, most think of a quality film.

20 years ago the debut of writer/director Robert Rodriguez’s $7,000 budget film ‘El Mariachi’ was born. The Spanish language film was shot in the northern Mexican bordertown of Ciudad Acuña with a mainly amateur cast. The film was originally intended for the Mexican home video market, but executives at Columbia Pictures liked the film so much that they bought the American distribution rights.

El Mariachi’s success has led to what Hollywood now call’s The Mexico Trilogy after Rodriquez created two further entries, Desperado (1995) and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). This Also led to a book called, A Rebel Without a Crew (subtitle: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player)

Rodriguez’s cleverly written script about mistaken identity and a tragic love story buried underneath the imaginative action sequences had me from the very moment I started viewing it.

Robert Rodriguez was producer, director, writer, special-effect man, etc, the only job he didn’t do was act, as there would be no one else to operate the camera.

Tonight we are able to celebrate 20 years of film history with Robert Rodriguez and his band Chingón, playing songs from his movies, DESPERADO through MACHETE, with clips running behind the band on an enhanced digital screen.

Photos always speak louder than words.



EL MARIACHI is a 1992 American action film that was the debut of writer/director Robert Rodriguez. El Mariachi (played by Carlos Gallardo) is a traveling musician who wanders into a small mob-run town where he is mistaken for a notorious hit man known for carrying his weapons in a guitar case. In 2011, the film was inducted into the Library of Congress to be preserved as part of its National Film Registry for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.

A special thanks goes out to Rebecca Campbell and Agnes Varnum of the Austin Film society. The Austin film Society since 1996 has raised has awarded 451 grants, totaling over $1.15 million in cash and over $100 K in goods and services to 351 projects. In addition to grants for production, post-production and distribution, we have disbursed $21,000 in stipends to Texas filmmakers traveling to prestigious film festivals through its Texas Filmmakers’ Travel Grant program.

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I grew up on Kung Fu theater movie weekends, a lot of Top Ramen Noodles, G.I. Joe's, Evil Knivels Stunt Cycle and Stretch Armstrong. My Movie reviews and Artist Interviews have been a regular around Follow me on Twitter @arainbolt. or email me