Frida


2h 3m 2002
Frida

Brief Synopsis

The life of artist Frida Kahlo--from her relationship with her mentor and husband, Diego Rivera, to her affair with Leon Trotsky, to her romantic entanglements with women, Frida lived a bold and uncompromising life as a revolutionary.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
Historical
Biography
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 25, 2002
Premiere Information
Venice Film Festival opening: 29 Aug 2002; World Premiere in Toronto, Canada: 5 Sep 2002
Production Company
Lions Gate Films; Miramax Films Corp.; Ventanarosa Production
Distribution Company
Miramax Films Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; New York City, New York, USA; Mexico City,Mexico; Ministry of Education,Mexico; Puebla,Mexico; San Angel,Mexico; San Angel studio,Mexico; San Luis Potosi,Mexico; Teotihuacan pyramids,Mexico
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera (New York, 1983).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m

Synopsis

In 1922 Mexico City, capricious schoolgirl Frida Kahlo lives with her father Guillermo, a German-Jewish photographer, and her stern Mexican-Indian mother Matilde in their family home, Casa Azul. One day Frida and her boyfriend Alex sneak into an auditorium and catch muralist Diego Rivera seducing his model. Frida startles the couple and tells the married Diego that she is "just keeping him honest." Days later, when Frida dresses as a man for the family portrait at her sister Cristina's wedding, Guillermo indulges her, believing in her creativity and independence, despite Matilde's protests. One day in 1925, Frida is on a crowded city bus when a collision with a trolley crushes her leg and leaves her with severe spinal injuries. During subsequent grueling operations, Frida dreams of broken bones and the taunting skeletons of doctors and nurses talking about her slim chances for survival. After three weeks, Frida returns home in a full body cast to find that her beloved Alex is leaving for Paris. In order to endure the heartbreak and excruciating pain, Frida determinedly begins to draw, covering her cast in bright butterflies. Her parents, although nearly bankrupt from the operations, buy her an easel and place a mirror in the canopy above her bed, thus enabling Frida to begin a series of self-portraits. After an extensive recovery period, Frida regains her ability to walk and decides to take her paintings to the now famous Diego. After warning him that she is aware of his womanizing, Frida demands his honest opinion. Diego sincerely compliments her talents and invites her to a "radical" party held at photographer Tina Modotti's house. At the party, Diego's second wife Lupe Marín scoffs at Frida, insinuating that she is just another of Diego's many lovers. Late that night, when Diego argues with competing painter David Alfaro Siqueiros about Communist politics, David retorts that the rich hire Diego only to "assuage their sense of guilt." Infuriated, Diego shoots at David, but misses. Trying to break the tension, Tina offers to dance with the winner of a drinking contest. Frida quickly swallows half a bottle of liquor and leads Tina in a sultry dance. Over the following months, Diego, a Communist party leader, introduces Frida to a fervent political life and makes her his studio protégé. After he proposes that they take a vow to be only friends and colleagues, Frida kisses him. When a fun-loving affair grows into a romance, Diego proposes to Frida, promising to be loyal but not faithful. During the marriage ceremony, the middle-class Frida wears brightly colored traditional Mexican dress, which becomes her signature style and reflects her and Diego's interest in pre-Hispanic Mexican culture. Soon after, Frida learns that Diego has leased an apartment to Lupe upstairs. Frida is furious, but after time, she and Lupe develop a friendship that helps Frida cope with Diego's voracious appetite for food and women. When Diego is offered a solo show at a New York museum, the couple moves there. While Diego works and continues to have affairs, Frida entertains herself with the city's attractions, movies and affairs of her own. While watching King Kong one day, Frida fantasizes that Diego is Kong and that she is his helpless victim. Although Diego enjoys his success and ensuing popularity in the New York art world, Frida despises the pretentious, ambitious crowd. Months into their stay, Frida becomes pregnant, but loses the child in a traumatic miscarriage. Demanding to see her child, Frida is given the miscarried fetus in a bottle of formaldehyde, which becomes a subject of her drawings. Soon after her recovery, Frida is called home to be with her dying mother, while Diego remains in New York to finish a mural for the Rockefeller Center lobby. When Diego refuses to remove a portrait of Lenin from the painting, Nelson Rockefeller orders the mural destroyed. As hundreds of people protest outside the building, Frida, who has returned to New York, assures Diego that his success resides in arousing the people's passions and ideals, not in the finished work. After a Chicago commission is canceled that winter, the couple returns to Mexico City, where they live in separate studios connected by a bridge. Frida then hires divorced and impoverished Cristina to work with the depressed Diego in the studio, but soon after discovers Diego and her sister having sex. Pained by the betrayal, Frida announces to Diego, "There have been two accidents in my life. The trolley and you. You are by far the worst." Moving into a run-down apartment, Frida shears her long hair and begins drinking heavily while continuing her work. Months later, on the Day of Dead, Diego finds Frida at her mother's grave and asks her to take Communist Russian political refugee Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia into Casa Azul, where they will be protected by armed guards. Frida graciously invites the couple to the family home, where, during dinners with Diego, Frida and other compatriots, the charismatic Trotsky warns that both Hitler and Stalin have fallen victim to their own power. Frida, now accompanied by her pet monkey, continues to paint, creating surreal landscapes and cityscapes filled with death and suffering. One day on a group outing to the ruins of the Teotihuacan Pyramids, Trotsky compliments Frida on her ability to express universal pain and loneliness through her paintings, but Frida has little confidence in her work despite selling paintings to collectors. As the weeks pass, Frida and Trotsky grow closer and an affair begins, but when Natalia learns of the infidelity, Trotsky moves with his wife to another house. Frida explains to Diego that Trotsky sacrificed his pleasure with Frida to save his marriage, accusing Diego of being incapable of such depth of feeling. Offered a solo show in Paris, Frida enjoys a series of affairs there, but misses Diego and attributes the show's success to Mexican exoticism. Soon after, when Trotsky and Natalia are murdered in Mexico, Diego asks Frida for a divorce and flees to California to avoid a possible Mexican jail sentence for his association with Trotsky. When Frida refuses to reveal Diego's location during police interrogations, she is sentenced to prison, where she suffers a physical decline from the harsh conditions. After she is finally freed with Diego's help, several of her toes must be amputated due to gangrene. Relegated to a wheelchair and forced to live in a cumbersome back brace, Frida continues to make self-portraits revealing the torture of living in her body. Diego, now wealthy from his commissions, misses Frida's companionship and asks to marry her again. They move back into Casa Azul, where Cristina cares for her ailing sister, giving her daily injections to relieve her pain. In 1953, on the eve of her first solo exhibition in Mexico, Frida's physician refuses her request to leave her bed and attend the opening; however, during Diego's speech praising Frida's ingenuity, to everyone's surprise, Frida is carted into the gallery still in her bed. Two weeks before their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Frida gives her husband a silver ring to celebrate and asks that he cremate her upon her death. She writes in her journal, "I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return," and dreams of her bed alight with fireworks that burn her body as she peacefully sleeps.

Crew

Benito Aguilar

Gaffer

Dante Aguilar

Transportation Coordinator

Florentino Aguilar

2d unit Electrician

Lauro Aguilar Palma

Composer

Ernesto Aguirre

Driver

Ruben Alcantara

Driver

Gabriel Navarrete Alcaraz

Legal services Mexico

Bob Allen

Associate Editor

Ivonne Alva

Fiscal accountant

Julieta Alvarez Icaza

Assistant set dec

Eric Amador

Driver

Lucy Amador

1st Assistant accountant

Gian Amara

Assistant art Director

Mark Amin

Executive Producer

Ernesto Anaya

Guitars

Luis Arcaraz Torras

Composer

Jay Aroesty

Leadman

Eder Alejandro Arroyo Jr.

Driver

Guinduri Arroyo

Prod runner

Alejandro Arroyo "ronco"

Transportation capt

Raul Lopez Arteaga

Stunt performer

Teresa Arteaga

Stunt performer

Alfredo Audel

Best boy grip

Adam Avitabile

Compositor, Look! Effects, Inc.

Jamie Baker

Foley Editor

Ana Ballesteros

Catering/Craft service

Adriana Balvanera

Artist

R. C. Baral

Accounting-post prod

Brandy Barber

Prod intern

Juan Manuel Barreto

Greensman

William Count Basie

Composer

Jamie Baxter

Lead artist, Digital Firepower

Eric Beaver

2d Supervisor, Look! Effects, Inc.

Claudia Becker

Mexico casting

Steve Beeson

Accounting Supervisor

Roger Bernstein

Composer

Pablo Berti

2d transportation Assistant

Ivan Bess

Assistant to Ms. Green

Harry Bluestone

Composer

Roberto Bonelli

Sr set Designer

Françoise Bonnot

Editing

Peter Borjeson

Intern, Ameoba Proteus

Sarah Botstein

Music Supervisor

Michele Boudreau

Prod accountant

Steve Bowen

Digital col timer, EFILM

Hernán Bravo Varela

Composer

Raymundo Cabrera

Assistant art Director

Vincente Cadena

Driver

Emil Cadkin

Composer

Christian Camacho

Video playback Assistant

Victor Camacho

Video playback

Luis Canedo

Swing gang

Jose Luis Capilla

Special Effects Assistant

Allen Cappuccilli

Editorial, EFILM

Alexandra Cardenas

Assistant to Ms. Green

Roberto Cardenas

2d unit Electrician

Betty Carney

Painter, Ameoba Proteus

Luis Carranco

Loc Assistant

Arturo Castañeda

1st Assistant Camera

Alida Castelan

Art Department Coordinator

Gerardo Castell

Driver

Alberto Castellanos

Stand-in

Jose Castillo

Driver

Pedro Antonio Castillo

Driver

Jules Cazedessus

Coordinator for Ms. Taymor and Mr. Goldenthal

Dionisio Ceballos

Head artist

Lazao Cervantes

Special Effects Assistant

Miguel Cervantes 'tyson'

Set Dresser

Emile Charlap

Contracting and Music preparation

Gabriel Chavez

Head painter

Benjamin Cheah

Foley Editor

Judy Chin

Key makeup artist

Regina Cinta

Assistant to art Director

Laura Civiello

Dial Editor

Patrick Clancey

Digital opticals, EFILM

Jo Claudio

Dialect coach

Jose Luis Conde

Driver

Rafael Contreras

Driver

Héctor Córdoba

Composer

Carolina Cortes

Production Assistant

Gilberto Cortes

Props Master

Pia Ana Corti

Head sculptor

Marko A. Costanzo

Foley artist

Jen Cox

Post prod accountant

Myrna Cristerna

Assistant hair stylist

Colin Crowley

Intern, Ameoba Proteus

Dany Crusius

VFX Coordinator, Look! Effects, Inc.

German Manuel Cruz

Swing gang

Hector Cruz

Driver

Rafael Cuervo

Unit Production Manager

Jose Luis Curiel

Driver

Beatrice D'alba

Key hair stylist

Charles D'arby

VFX Supervisor, Digital Firepower

Leonardo Davila

Driver

C. Marie Davis

Executive visual Effects prod, CIS Hollywood

Jeremy Dawson

Visual Effects Supervisor

Joaquin De La Puente

Digital film scanning, Film East Effects

Eduardo De La Rosa

Head of painters section

Carmen De Los Rosa

Production Assistant

Hector A. Del Moral

Sculptor

Raúl Del Olmo

Painter's intern

Javier Del Rio

Loc Assistant

Xochitl Del Rosario

Stunt performer

Maria Del Rosario Flores

Stunt performer

Alejandro Del Toro

Artist

Javier Delgado

Costumes

Janna Delury

Script Supervisor

Kenna Doeringer

Assistant Sound Editor

Kira Dominguez

Production Assistant

Saul Dominguez

Rigging Electrician

Mark Driscoll

VFX prod, Look! Effects, Inc.

Chris Edwards

Manager of operations, EFILM

Bob Eicholz

Executive in charge of prod, EFILM

Robert Elhai

Orchestration

Joy Ellison

Dialect coach

Lena Esquinazi

Addl rec Mexico

Fish Essenfeld

Compositing 2d Supervisor, Kleiser-Walczak

Ben Estrada

Digital col Assistant, EFILM

Bill Feightner

Tech Director, EFILM

Robert Fernandez

Re-rec Sound mixer

Silvia Fernandez

Hair stylist

Felipe Fernández Del Paso

Production Design

Henrik Fett

VFX Supervisor, Look! Effects, Inc.

Arnold Finkelstein

Foley recordist

Lindsey Flickinger

Producer

Lauda Flores

Assistant to Ms. Hayek

Pedro Raul Flores

Tailor

Roberto Flores

Driver

David Fortier

Legal services provided by

María E. Franco

Artist

Raul Gaher

Stunt performer

Juan E. Galicia

Driver

Antonio Garcia

Driver

Arturo Garcia

Set dresser prod Assistant

Griselda Garcia

Cutter/fitter

Keyla Garcia

Stand-in

Manuel Garcia

Rigging Electrician

Pablo Martinez Garcia

Warehouse keeper

Carlos Gardel

Composer

Jose Cruz Garduño

Driver

Luis Garduño

Artist

Juan Carlos Garrido

Unit prod chief

Bettina Garro

Painting coach

Yuria Goded Garzon

Office prod Assistant

Larry Gaynor

Digital paint artist, CIS Hollywood

Brian Gibson

Executive Producer

Mark Gill

Executive Producer

Becky Glupczynski

Prod Coordinator

Antonio Godinez

Assistant Props master

Teese Gohl

Music prod

Victoria Gohl

Visual research consultant

Matthew Goldenberg

Post prod intern

Elliot Goldenthal

Music Composition

Elliot Goldenthal

Orchestration

Elliot Goldenthal

Composer

Isaac Gomez

2d unit grip

Jorge Gonzalez

2d unit Electrician

Luis Diaz Gonzalez

Driver

Jesus Gonzalez 'moroco'

Rigging gaffer

Mario Granados

Driver

Sarah Green

Producer

Mariano Grimaldo

Head artist

Adrian Grunberg

1st Assistant Director

Maria Luisa Guala

Assistant to prod Designer

Miguel Guarneros

Guitars on ¿La Llorona¿

Armando Guerrero

Assistant extras Coordinator

Jorge Guerrero

Extras casting Director

Mireya Guerrero

Prod runner

Paolo Guerrero

Painter's intern

Sonia Guerrero

Extras casting Coordinator

Hugo Gutierrez

2d 2d Assistant Director

Jose Gutierrez

2d unit 1st Assistant Camera

Roberto Gutierrez

2d unit Electrician

Tomas Guzman

Stunt performer

Nancy Hardin

Producer

Karen Harrison

Assistant to Ms. Messick

Walter Hart

Digital EFX prod, Film East Effects

Salma Hayek

Producer

Salma Hayek

Tango choreography

Leonardo Heiblum

Assistant to Ms. Taymor

Leonardo Heiblum

Music prod Mexico

Eric Hendricks

Post prod intern

Gerardo Hernández

Driver

Ricardo Hernandez

Rigging Electrician

Carrie Holecek

Digital mastering prod, EFILM

Edgar Hurtado

2d Assistant Camera

Erica Hyatt

Post prod Assistant

Joel Hynek

VFX consultant and Supervisor, Kleiser-Walczak

Alejandro Isita

Artist

Joel Iwataki

Rec and mixed

John Jackson

Prosthetic makeup artist

David Jardon

Tailor

Fausto Jardon

Tailor

Bernardo Jasso

Op, Motion Control

Maria Del Carmen Jimenez

Anda delegate

Pedro Jimenez

Driver

Dr. Ken Jones

Visual Effects Supervisor, CIS Hollywood

Ashley Judd

Tango choreography

David Kaldor

Assistant Editor

Lindsay Knaub

Assistant to Ms. Slotnick

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
Historical
Biography
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 25, 2002
Premiere Information
Venice Film Festival opening: 29 Aug 2002; World Premiere in Toronto, Canada: 5 Sep 2002
Production Company
Lions Gate Films; Miramax Films Corp.; Ventanarosa Production
Distribution Company
Miramax Films Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; New York City, New York, USA; Mexico City,Mexico; Ministry of Education,Mexico; Puebla,Mexico; San Angel,Mexico; San Angel studio,Mexico; San Luis Potosi,Mexico; Teotihuacan pyramids,Mexico
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera (New York, 1983).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m

Award Wins

Best Makeup

2002

Best Score

2002

Award Nominations

Best Actress

2002
Salma Hayek

Set Decoration

2002

Best Costume Design

2002

Best Song

2002

Articles

Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to Film - Frida Kahlo on Film


Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to Film (Newmarket Press) is a lavishly illustrated new book that is about the making of the current Miramax film, Frida, starring Salma Hayek. The actress recalled "the first time I saw a painting by Frida Kahlo, I was fourteen years old," recalls Hayek in the above book. "A friend of mine showed me a book with these bloody paintings, which I thought were just horrendous. But these images haunted me, and I would return to my friend's house and ask, 'Can you show me those horrible pictures again?' And so, in the beginning, I was both terrified and intrigued; then slowly, I fell deeply in love with Frida Kahlo and her work, and she has been in my life every since."

Frida includes essays by Julie Taymor, the director of the film, Hayek, and Kahlo biographer Hayden Herrera. It also contains the film's complete screenplay, illustrated throughout in 4-color with movie stills, behind the scenes photographs, reproduction paintings by Kahlo and her husband, celebrated Mexican artist Diego Rivera, interviews with cast and crew members and more. Also featured are excerpts from the diaries and letters of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, along with fascinating quotes from many of their published biographies.

Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to Film is currently available from most major book store chains and specialty book shops everywhere.

Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life And Art To Film - Frida Kahlo On Film

Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to Film - Frida Kahlo on Film

Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to Film (Newmarket Press) is a lavishly illustrated new book that is about the making of the current Miramax film, Frida, starring Salma Hayek. The actress recalled "the first time I saw a painting by Frida Kahlo, I was fourteen years old," recalls Hayek in the above book. "A friend of mine showed me a book with these bloody paintings, which I thought were just horrendous. But these images haunted me, and I would return to my friend's house and ask, 'Can you show me those horrible pictures again?' And so, in the beginning, I was both terrified and intrigued; then slowly, I fell deeply in love with Frida Kahlo and her work, and she has been in my life every since." Frida includes essays by Julie Taymor, the director of the film, Hayek, and Kahlo biographer Hayden Herrera. It also contains the film's complete screenplay, illustrated throughout in 4-color with movie stills, behind the scenes photographs, reproduction paintings by Kahlo and her husband, celebrated Mexican artist Diego Rivera, interviews with cast and crew members and more. Also featured are excerpts from the diaries and letters of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, along with fascinating quotes from many of their published biographies. Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to Film is currently available from most major book store chains and specialty book shops everywhere.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film opens with a scene of Frida Kahlo being carried in her bed out of her house and onto the bed of a truck. She is accompanied by her sister Cristina, in a foretelling of the trip shown at the close of the film that the artist makes to her solo exhibition in 1953. Salma Hayek, as "Frida," provides voice-over narration at various points in the film. During the beginning of the New York sequence in the film, Alfred Molina's voice narrates the highlights of their stay. Some passages of Frida's dialogue in the film and quoted in the above summary were taken from Kahlo's own diaries and interviews. In the opening credits nine principal actors are listed beginning with Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina; however, in the film's closing credits the cast is listed in order of appearance.
       The picture lists the following companies and individuals as providing the Photography (Montage) stills: Archive Films by Getty Images; Hulton/Archives by Getty Images; Museum of the City of New York; George Eastman House; Engineering Site; Library of Congress, Prints & Photography Division; Serge Patzak and Jeremy Dawson. The credits state that reproduction of artwork by both artists was authorized by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature and that original rights to each artists' artwork belong to The Banco De Mexico Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. In addition, the credits note that the Vogue magazine with Kahlo on the front cover is used by permission of the Condé Nast Publications, Inc. Many individuals and companies are listed in the "A Very Special Thanks" section in the closing credits of the film, including: Miramax executives Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the Instituto Nacional De Bellas Artes and actor-writer Edward Norton, who is credited in several magazine articles as contributing to the screenplay, but only listed onscreen in this section.
       As portrayed in the film, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) grew up in Mexico City in her family home, Casa Azul. At age eighteen she was involved in a bus accident that left her with chronic health problems and caused her to endure over thirty operations in her lifetime. After her initial recovery, Kahlo began to paint. She met Mexican artist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) in 1928, married him the next year, divorced him in 1939 and remarried him in 1940. While Rivera enjoyed an international art career through commissioned murals, Kahlo continued to create intensively autobiographical paintings and became world renowned several decades after her death. As depicted in the film, Diego's mural for the Rockefeller Center lobby was destroyed in 1934 when Rivera refused to remove its portrait of Lenin.
       The couple's studios were made into the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio-House Museum, where many of their works are on display. During their marriage the couple socialized with many world-renowned personalities, including Communist Leon Trotsky, who immigrated to Mexico in 1937 and, as depicted in the film, was assassinated in 1940; surrealist André Breton; photographer Tina Modotti; singer Josephine Baker, although the character is called "Paris chanteuse" in credits, and others. One year before Kahlo's death, Rivera lauded his wife's work in an interview, stating, "Kahlo is the greatest Mexican painter. Her work is destined to be multiplied by reproductions and will speak . . . to the whole world."
       Frida is based on the 1983 novel Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera. According to an August 2002 Hollywood Reporter article, in 1988 film producer Nancy Hardin purchased the rights to the book. When HBO agreed to make the film for cable television in 1994, Mexican director Roberto Sneider, producer Sarah Green and, according to a August 23, 2002 Screen International article, producer Lizz Speed, joined the team. The August 2002 Hollywood Reporter article states that Rodrigo Garcia, son of Nobel prize-winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez, worked on the script.
       By the early 1990s, several other companies were interested in producing television and feature-film versions of Kahlo's story. Musician and actress Madonna approached HBO about joining her project with Hardin's and, according to a June 17, 2001 The Times (London) article, had lined up Marlon Brando to star as Rivera. The August 2002 Hollywood Reporter article states that producer January Rosenthal and actor Robert De Niro considered making a version. According to a August 30, 2000 Los Angeles Times article, Venezuelan director Betty Kaplan also had plans to make a film based on Kahlo, starring Edward James Olmos.
       Another version was slated to begin under the direction of Latin American Luis Valdez entitled Frida and Diego. The production was to be based on Martha Zamora's Frida Kahlo: The Brush of Anguish and to star Raul Julia and Jennifer Lopez; however, when the film was to begin production in 2001, Julia had died and Lopez left due to other film commitments. According to a August 23, 2002 Screen International article, Francis Ford Coppola had agreed to produce the Valdez production.
       According to a July 15, 2001 Los Angeles Times article, in the meantime, the HBO project was purchased by Trimark Pictures in 1996 with Hayek assigned to star. As noted in the August 2002 Hollywood Reporter article, Hayek had auditioned for the lead in Valdez's version, but was rejected at the time because the former Mexican soap opera star was not the internationally popular draw required by the director. A August 23, 2002 Screen International article states that after Sneider left the Trimark project, Hayek became a producer, as well as the star, for the film under her production company, Ventanarosa.
       Although a March 3, 1998 Hollywood Reporter production chart states shooting would start in the spring of that year, according to Screen International, Hayek left the project to work with Miramax, and promised Hardin to try to convince Miramax to take on the production. The article also notes that Hayek worked with producer Walter Salles, who left the project due to scheduling conflicts. A October 13, 2002 Los Angeles Times article notes that Spanish director Pedro Almodovar also considered the project in 1997-1998. According to an August 2002 Hollywood Reporter article, after Trimark subsequently dropped the project in 1998 because of Hayek's budget, the star, as promised, then took the project to Miramax on the condition that Julie Taymor direct it.
       Taymor, known for her experimental work in both theater and film, chose several techniques to highlight Kahlo's creative process. Among these techniques were the blending of live-action sequences into versions of Kahlo's paintings and vice versa. As noted in an October 2002 American Cinematographer article, Taymor filmed Hayek in makeup that closely matched the paintings "The Two Fridas, Self Portrait with Cropped Hair" and "The Broken Column" in order to make the illusion seamless. The paintings "My Dress Hangs There," "The Suicide of Dorothy Hale" and "What the Water Gave Me" were animated to blend the paintings into live-action sequences.
       As also noted in the article, Kahlo and Rivera's journey through New York is depicted through the use of montage, referencing early 20th century Dadaist collage. Black-and-white film documenting Rivera's visit to a Detroit factory was used, as well as cityscape cutouts which form the background on which paper dolls of Kahlo and Rivera walk. An actual clip of the film King Kong is used during a sequence in which Frida visits a movie theater. Later, a King Kong sequence is recreated in which Diego is portrayed as Kong climbing up the Empire State Building. In addition, the surreal images of dancing skeletons and broken bones depicted during Frida's early hospital stay were created by the use of puppet-animation sequencing. Tinting was used to highlight the differences in location including vibrant color for Mexico, sepia tones for Paris and cooler tones for New York.
       In addition to the recreation of the Casa Azul and other sets at the Churubusco Studios in Mexico City, portions of the film were shot on location in Mexico City and the outlying towns of Puebla and San Luis Potosi. According to the October 2002 American Cinematographer article, permission was also granted to shoot at a number of locations central to Kahlo and Rivera's life, including the Mexican Ministry of Education, the site of one of Rivera's murals; the San Angel studio where the couple lived and worked and the Teotihuacan pyramids, which according to the August 2002 Hollywood Reporter article, required the special permission of Mexican president Vincente Fox. Although early production charts list shooting in New York and Paris, due to financial constraints, Taymor choose to recreate both metropolitan locations within Mexico City.
       A November 7, 2002 Wall Street Journal article notes that composer Elliot Goldenthal blended period music with his own compositions and augmented the orchestra with a small group of Mexican musicians playing traditional instruments including the vihuela, guitarrón, marimba and the Mexican harp. In the film, the over-ninety-year-old Costa Rican singer Chavela Vargas, at one time Frida's lover, sings "La Ilorona" while portraying death haunting a drunk and depressed Frida.
       Frida opened the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 2002. In addition to being selected as one of AFI's top ten films of the year, the picture earned a Golden Globe for Best Original Score, by Elliot Goldenthal, and received a Golden Globe nomination in the category of Best Actress-Drama, for Hayek. Hayek was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, and the film received Academy Awards for Best Makeup and Best Original Score, in addition to being nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. Hayek received a SAG nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Movie, and Alfred Molina was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category. The National Board of Review included the film in its list of the 2002 top ten films. The film received a BAFTA for Achievement in Makeup and Hair.
       Although Kahlo has been the subject of many documentaries, according to modern sources, only one other major feature exists about the painter. The 1984 Frida is a Mexican film by director Paul Leduc starring Ofelia Medina, in which, according to a August 30, 2000 Los Angeles Times article, the painter is portrayed as an innocent victim of Rivera's tyranny. Diego and Kahlo's New York stay, Diego's Rockefeller Center commission and the mural's subsequent destruction, were also depicted in the 1999 film The Cradle Will Rock, about a WPA Federal Theatre Program play in 1930s New York.

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for two 2002 Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) awards, including Best Actress (Salma Hayek) and Best Supprting Actor (Alfred Molina).

Voted one of the 10 best films of 2002 by the American Film Institute (AFI).

Nominated for Best Film by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards.

Released in United States Fall October 25, 2002

Expanded Release in United States November 8, 2002

Released in United States on Video June 10, 2003

Released in United States May 2001

Released in United States 2002

Released in United States January 2003

Shown at Cannes International Film Festival (market) May 9-20, 2001.

Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Opening Night) August 29 - September 8, 2002.

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival January 9-20, 2003.

Project was previously in development at New Line Cinema.

Project was previously in development at HBO.

Project was previously in development at Trimark Pictures.

Ventanarosa is Salma Hayek's production company.

Ed Norton rewrote the screenplay for free.

Released in United States Fall October 25, 2002

Expanded Release in United States November 8, 2002

Released in United States on Video June 10, 2003

Released in United States May 2001 (Shown at Cannes International Film Festival (market) May 9-20, 2001.)

Released in United States 2002 (Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Opening Night) August 29 - September 8, 2002.)

Released in United States January 2003 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival January 9-20, 2003.)

Nominated for two 2002 awards by the Broadcast Film Critics Association including Best Actress (Salma Hayek) and Best Supporting Actor (Alfred Molina).