Looking back

Posted by: | March 29, 2009 | Comments Off on Looking back

Taking a look back at the class, I can enjoyed it very much. There were some movies that I would rather not have seen, but in general, it really gave me a pretty big scope on mexican cinema, and more importantly, it got me triggered on learning more about stereotypes of latin american people on film. I had never really thought about the social implications these have, until reading more about it. Stereotypes really reflect an inner image that needs to be stripped down further. I think I’m going to tal about each movie and how I liked it or not:
aguila o sol – it was the first cantinflas movie I saw, and it was a bizarre movie because most of the narrative seemed to be in the head, and then the plot points suddenly come together in the end. I didn’t dislike it, but my grandmother is a cantinflas fan and she seems to like other movies more.
Los olvidados – I don’t know if this is a Mexican film per se, it was directed by a spanish and even if he lived in Mexico many years, he used his film to portray the negative aspects of Mexico in a social context, alienating what makes Mexico good, it was too one-sided but I liked it either way.
Mecanica Nacional – I really didn’t like this movie. It portrayed family and relationship life in Mexico pretty well, with a focus on the lower class, but the narrative was slow and the movie itself was really slow as well. There was no real conflict, and weirdly it is one of the movie that focuses more on stereotypes (the latin lover, the dark lady, the obnoxious grandmother etc…)
El cajellon de los milagros – this was the the film I liked the best in class. I loved it. The juxtaposition of narratives is interesting, the tragic ending makes it worth watching, there are no stereotypes because most of the characters are 3 dimensional, even if you think theyre one-dimensional (a stereotype, like the germans in three amigos) the director showed us a different facet of the characters to make us feel sorry and like them at the same time.
Batalla en el cielo – Had it’s interesting parts, but it could have been done into a 30 minute movie and had the same effects. Scenes were long and nothing happened. If I want to watch nice photography I’ll go to an art gallery.
Que viva Mexico – This is the movie I remember the least, I don’t know why. It portrayed Mexico from a very touristy perspective, almost too touristy. It reminded me of “Come to the jungle” commercials. The last segment was interesting because it played with what a documentary was trying to achieve, but also played on stereotypes.
Touch of evil – After watching this film twice, I really think it is overated. Just because it became a cult classic doesn’t mean its good. Its confusing at many parts and I think I’m just saying this because Charlton Heston was a horrible Mexican, so i’m going to stop.
The wild bunch – This was probably the American film that showed stereotypes as reality the most. The characters were very well fleshed though, these are evil men that kill and rob but you still like them. The ending is amazing as well. They had to die, but more importantly, they knew they could do nothing about it. Great ending.
Three amigos – I know professor Murray thinks this is a masterpiece, but I still have the idea that this movie does not achieve what it was trying to do (make fun of stereotypes and create new versions of them in our mind) because of the target audience. 12 year old are not going to watch this movie and think: “oh that was a parodical representation of Mexico meant to make us think about what we see in cinema”. We will, they won’t. Either way it was funny.
Traffic – Interesting portrayal of Mexico, also the only hero is Mexican. Finally a movie that doesn’t dwell on stereotypes, but presents reality in the drug world as it is: tragic yet necessary.


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