All in a Row

A 90 minute film is an assemblage of 90 one minute scenes, this is the art of movie making.

The following short sequences, or scenes, will be stitched together by narration to create longer projects: 24, 45, and 90 minute films. As the sequences – scenes are finished they will be posted here for review. Currently, these video clips are part of Good Morning Alamos,
a three DVD set that looks at Alamos in the winter, spring and summer.

An introduction to a Short History of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.
“Here is something Special”, Spanish explorer Vasquez de Coronado noted in 1540 as he headed north, passing by tall white rocks on Alamos de Sierra. This is the opening chapter to “A Short History of Alamos” written, filmed and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Narrated by Bruce Miles. Soundtrack by AtomicSonics and Estudiantina de Alamos.

Alamos shares a strong maternal bond, steeped in history, with all the Southwest.
Juan Batista de Anza departed Alamos in September 1775 with silver, and local families, to settle “Monterey and the Californias”, including San francisco. Another expedition, five years later, left Alamos to settle Los Angeles.

The conclusion to a Short History of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico embraces the Sierra Madre.
Here, Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral in the Plaza, a three-tiered belfry, shines gold in morning light. Here, looking east, one’s imagination is stirred by the forbidding beauty of the Sierra Madre Occidentals. Together, they shape the Alamos experience.

The rainy season arrives on a cannonade of lightning as surrounding hills turn to jungle and children of all ages, cooled and cleansed by spirited showers, dance on glistening streets…

An occasional summer storm floods three arroyos in Alamos with mountain runoff.
Summer is the rainy season. Occasional tropical storms, remnant of hurricanes, come in from the Sea of Cortez to the west. This is the morning after a storm hit the region hard the previous evening.

A summer rodeo – music concert with trained horses dancing the two step.
Throughout the summer there are activities to enjoy in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. On this day the rodeo came to town along with a Mexican pop singer who was backed up by the local “Halcon de Sierra Alamos” band. The stars of the show, which started late, were the dancing horses.

To the east, the Cuchujaqui River is a nearby Alamos summer getaway.
The Cuchujaqui River is to the east of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Three arroyos join together in Alamos and flow to the Cuchujaqui River, on to the El Fuerte River and ultimately the Pacific Ocean. It is a cooling retreat for Alamos folks especially in the hot summer. On this day, Antonio, an Alamos dentist, spear-fished one bass, a couple of catfish and many carp.
A good time was had by all.

Summer is the Alamos season of vibrant color, rains and nights of natural magic and wonder.
Lightening on a warm Alamos summer evening is a show to remember. The romantic Plaza is a wonderful vantage point. Rolling thunder punctuates child’s play and lovers embraces.

Daybreak in the Plaza is a quiet song that slowly builds into a symphony.
As the day turns from dark to light watch Alamos come alive. Everyday is a new start, another challenge, another opportunity. The late Levant Alcorn is seen collecting bird feathers on his morning walk around the Plaza de las Armas.

Estudiantina de Alamos performs before a packed Plaza as a film crew captures the event.
It is a big day in the Plaza. A TV crew has come to town and is filming a music concert. Estudiantina de Alamos, a crowd favorite, is performing. They will also back up several other acts. The bandstand is surrounded by adolescent girls and an scattered smiling mothers.

In the hearts of many, Alamos is the center of the universe.
Independence day starts early in the morning with a municipal parade through the town’s colonial center. Alamos school kids, the first high school in the Californias started here, and the entire city government take part. In 2010 the students added their own uniformed marching band to the parade. From children to government, Alamos continues.

This is a Blessed Season for a Multitude of Reasons.
In mid-afternoon the air pressure begins to drop and a stiff wind sweeps the valley from the west, a storm is coming. Night falls and showers start. We go from the Plaza to the Alameda and back. The following day the sun comes out and then is covered by clouds. Kids play and men work gathering sand in the arroyos. A summer day can be complex in its textures and atmospheres.

If ones wants to have fun, one can have fun. And today Alamos is smiling.
The season’s strongest storm passed through in early September. A couple of weeks later there was still a little water flowing in the arroyos. Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day, thousands of folks, young and old, gathered in the Arroyo de la Aduana north of the Plaza.
Dancing horses, music and beer is everywhere.

Folks from all over the Alamos region gather in the arroyo to celebrate Independence Day.
And the celebration in the arroyo continues. Everyone wants to have a good time and enjoy the warm sun, brillant blue sky and the murmurs of running water. There is much to do and see. The party will continue late into the night under beautiful Sonoran stars. How romantic.

Alamos is home to the jumping bean along with elements that touch all the senses.
This video features the jumping bean, a drive into town from the west, and several cameos: church bell ringing, closeup of flood waters, timelapse of clouds passing in front of Mt. Alamos, and a street puddle at night reflecting shimmering light.

A Ranch on the outskirts of town, looks forward to the future.
Estancia Crysalis, along the El Camino Real, is a mile southeast of the Plaza in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. The 140 acre ranch, on Sierra de Alamos sloping foothills, is focusing on a new day. And new opportunities gliding on tropical breezes.

Buckle-up as we take a super fast car ride through Alamos on a grey winter day.
Driving Across Alamos on an overcast December day starts at La Puerta Roja Inn. We head east and circle the Plaza de Las Armas before heading to the Panteon – Cemetery. We head back to La Puerta Roja exploring different routes. The best way to travel is walking.

A parade of lights brings song and joy to colonial Alamos streets during Christmas.
We see a traditional Posada visiting from house to house and arriving at Casa de los Tesoros where children in their holiday attire play and adult family take in another Christmas in Alamos. It is a tradition. Another scene is a trip to the Alameda.

A special time in a special place for people who feel special.
This is the introduction to a film that was shot over the 1993 winter holidays in Alamos. This is a glorious season for the town. We start out at the airport and head east into town and visit the Alameda lined with stores and professional offices.

Pember told Anders, “always call us Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.” And Anders has.

Pember and Elizabeth Nuzum were a major part of the North American Community for decades. Their casa next to the Church on Calle Comercio #2 greeted many many who visited Alamos, including Anders. It is not uncommon to have rain squalls in December. And it was common to hear Pember playing his theater organ in the Nuzum music room. Those days are gone. But the spirit lingers, it always does.

Music is part of the Alamos fabric, the Alamos way of living.
The location is the Old Miners Hotel on the east side of Plaza de Las Armas. The event is a holiday wedding reception with imported polka band and a free flowing bar. High spirits, friends, family and a driving beat makes for a good time. Tomorrow would be another day.

Time stands still: a river moves on and letter-press printing continues.

Two days before Christmas 1993 the film crew travels out to the Rio Cuchujaqui. It is a world unto itself but not that far away from Alamos. And then we visit a print shop that has been in operation for over 100 years. Alamos had the first printing press in the Californias. One wonders if these presses are still at work. Letter presses have an imprint-edge that can be felt with the fingers and the soul.

They come from all over the region with things to buy and sell.
Sunday, north of Arroyo La Aduana, there is an open-air market filled with people and music. Meals, snacks, produce, clothing, toys, tires, bikes, tools and what ever folks bring to sale fill out both sides of a colorful promenade. It is a wonderful place to shop and meet neighbors, family and friends, new and old.

Warmth Radiates off of Adobe Walls as Another Winter Day Begins.
Kite flying is popular in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Drinking beer outside the pickup with friends is popular. Fun and work go on side by side as we visit a wood shop.

Tis the Season of Love and Jackets.
Christmas in the Plaza de Las Armas is a time of of sharing and joy. Food, fireworks and the town coming out to be seen and see is what community is all about.

Night is Filled with Sounds and an Occasional Lull of Only Stars Whispering to Each Other.
The Bells of Alamos ring through the day and night. They have for over two hundred years. We visit the bells as they are being rung, watch folks mill about the Plaza and enter the church from the belfry. And then it is out for an evening walk from the Plaza to the Alameda. And the steps we take have been taken for hundreds of years.

Towns Live On Through the Skills and Attention of Its Maestros, Craftsmen and Laborers.
Walking is a common choice of transportation in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. To school, work, play, church, shopping to the buses. There are taxis and cars but walking is the Alamos way for most. And in the day wherever you walk there are workers at work. Big jobs, little jobs, it is all work.

Exuberance is Everywhere: Listen for the Laughter of Youthful Rhythm.
Kids playing games on the streets of Alamos is a common fabric of everyday life. We also tour a couple of homes and their gardens. Smiles are honest and come easy.


Neighboring towns come to Alamos in the spring and celebrate their Indian Heritage.
Indian Day comes to Alamos in the Spring. Villagers from around the Alamos region come by bus to the Alameda and celebrate their native culture. Dancers, musicians and exhibits fill the business center with color, motion and music. Nacion Mayo and Nacion Popagayo are some of the regional dancers, musicians and exhibits competing in front of a panel of judges.

A mourning mother’s deep wails, crows cawing – perched on white crosses…
It is a warm spring day as we explore the “Pantheon” – (Cemetery) on the road to the Sierra Madres, minutes east of the Colonial Center. The ages speak here. Be it ancient mountain sounds or human voices, mourning and celebrating since 1794. All is timeless, and all thoughts are a point on our circle of life.

It all begins and ends in the Working Center of Town.
The Alameda, center of activity, transportation hub, bars, offices, shops, gas station and markets … This is Mexico working, traveling and playing. Boom boxes serenade food carts and shoe shines.

Not that long ago the best way to travel to Alamos was by mule train.
Alamos has a 5,000 foot runway, at 1,300 feet elevation, awaiting your landings and takeoffs.
The Alamos City Airport, to the west, is minutes away from downtown. Talk about arriving first class.

Behold a Cornucopia of Color, Shapes, Textures and Scents.
Alamos has six seasons a year and a diversity of native and imported flora. Gardening is both a passion and industry. It can become all consuming. It can be an mental oasis, freedom from the outside world’s cares and concerns. And it is something to share with those who visit, be it bug, bird, mammal or human.


Spring Day in the Plaza – Part One: The Race.
Spring days in the Plaza de Las Armas are a portrait of the community at large. Here, we start with small children with big back packs enroute to their classrooms. This sunny morning, there are school races, boys and girls, around the Plaza.

Spring Day in the Plaza – Part Two: Getting Ready for another Day.
In the cool of the morning folks go about hand sweeping and cleaning the streets and sidewalks of Alamos, Sonora, Mexiso. Residents take pride in the town’s appearance. Enjoy a 360 degree pan of the plaza from the gazebo-bandstand in its center. We end with the garbage men making their rounds.

Spring Day in the Plaza – Part Three: People come and go and the day goes on.
This is easter weekend in the Plaza De Las Armas. People come and go across the Plaza or are headed for the bus station to leave town for the holiday. A crowd leaves the church and will travel along the streets of Alamos following a reenactment of the Crucifixion.

Spring Day in the Plaza – Part Four: From Light to Night.
Afternoon shadows begin to creep across a Plaza shared by all: young and old, workers and those relaxing on a bench, going from here to there, meeting others, watching Alamos pass by, hearing the news, being one with all that surrounds… Horseback, on foot, bicycle or driving – it is wonderful to be part of the eternal promenade.

The Streets of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico become Another Time in Another Place.
Easter week in Alamos is a special Spirit. Viernas de los Delores is celebrated on Good Friday. Decorated altars are displayed in windows and doorways throughout town. In the evening people stroll the streets viewing these commemorations of Christ”s suffering. In this segment we join a reenactment of the Crucifixion through the streets of Alamos to Guadalupe Hill.

Fast paced music video that is more than its parts, much like Alamos itself..
This is an experimental clip that weds close-ups textures shot out a moving car’s window and 120 blended stills images of Alamos life. High speed video at its best. Alamos, Sonora, Mexico has never looked like this.

In another era, Estancia Crysalis was a working horse ranch.
Today, the spirits of these departed steeds, proud Arabians, are present, be it a sound of a branch breaking under weight or a small flurry of dust. Shut your eyes and listen, they are still here.

Special thanks to the following contributors:

Pember, Elizabeth and Kit Nuzum, Puerta Roja Inn, Estudiantina de Alamos,
Quartet de Alamos, Los Angeles Cathedral Choir, Museo Costumbrista de Sonora,
Antonio Estrada, Francis Curry, Jose Antonio Figueroa Carrasco, Teri Arnold,
Sharon Bernard Harrison, , Rudy Hale, Chaco Valdez, Dr. Joaquin Navarro,
Ernesto Alcorn, Antonio Mendoza, San Sanchez, June Ray, Swickards, Meisenheimers,
Frielobs, Cooks, Stephanie Meyers, Bruce Miles, Earle and Joan Winderman,
Doug Reynolds, Robert Ganey, Gary Ruble, AtomicSonics, William Brady,
R. Harrington, Donna Beckett, Del Mar TV 38, Robyn Ardez and all the people
of Alamos for their grace, warmth and hospitality.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.