Que viva Mexico

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Que viva Mexico

There is something very enigmatic about Eisenstein’s approach to “Montage”.
Especially moving were the huge amount of close-up shots of the face, made even more dynamic by the casting of real mexican people as opposed to actors. The faces were creased and weathered, and seemed to tell a million stories on their own. There were also, as in most Eisenstein films, a couple close ups of men with their eyes rolled all the way back in their head leaving only the whites of their eyes. This image seems to evoke extreme suffering, and perhaps looking towards god. I’m interested to hear what others thought.
And the pilgrimage! Crazy! Was that staged? The shot of the three men with the cacti on their back standing on a rock and turning towards the camera was wild!
I loved the beginning of the film (Not the part with the old guy talking but once the actual film started) that took the human form, and specifically the mexican people, and directly paired it with the land, the history and the monuments. It had a huge impact on me and I felt that the shots were at the same time respectful to the culture, but also removed and uninformed. There was a sense of awe established by the shot construction about these stone figures and symbols, a very light physical comparison of the facial features on both the mexican people and the stone people, but a lack of any explanation with regards to significance that these symbols have. I wonder if this will be a reoccurring theme in the films we watch next? I imagine there will be either a complete lack of explanation, a mistake with regards to certain represented symbols, OR a total over emphasized explanation of a specific mexican symbology that would never be expressed if the film was made by a mexican filmmaker. That’s a theory anyway…
Regardless, the soviet style and mentality definitely showed itself in the film and I enjoyed the idea mentioned in class about the Mexican revolution providing an ideal narrative and story for how it relates to Stalin’s communist USSR.
I also enjoyed the film…


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