Los Olvidados

Posted by: | January 21, 2009 | Comments Off on Los Olvidados

One of the most truly fascinating aspects of this film, as seen by a modern viewing audience, is the categorization of this film as a “Documentary”. Clearly the film is shot in a linear, narrative structure, with broken up sequencing of events, and makes no effort to appear candid (or at least doesn’t appear candid when viewed today). It would be interesting to research the reactions and thoughts on the film upon release, and if the label of documentary held up in the public eye in the early 1950’s. Regardless, the reading focuses entirely on this issue so I’ll digress…

As for the content of the film…
I am a huge fan of surrealist films, especially those made by Bunuel and Dali, so I very much enjoyed the bizarre dream sequences in the film. The slab of meat especially giving off the sense of a grotesque greed and hunger, and the deadly grabbing of the meat by Jaibo. The surrealist elements also bled out of the dream sequences and into the narrative of the film, particularly with the reoccurring image of the black hen to Pedro whenever something ill fated has happened, or is about to happen. And the old, blind man also carries with him a feel of the unreal, crippled yet capable of drastically affecting the lives of the boys. In fact the old blind man was a very strange character as he was set up by Bunuel to be sympathetic (blind and attacked by a gang of boys) but switches completely by the end of the film when we realize how horrible he is to those around him (creeping on the girl and abusing “small eyes”)
Great film.
Pedro’s character was especially heartbreaking.


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