Posted by: | March 30, 2009 | Comments Off on Review…

I have never been in a film class before, except for a Literature and Film class in High School in which we talked about how books were adapted into films, but I didn’t get much out of that class.  I am totally the person who will watch a film quite passively, as entertainment. I will not often stick with or see value in films I do not like.  This class made me realize the merit in films I usually would have written off.  It doesn’t mean I am going to watch them voluntarily, but at least I can get something out of them now.  For example, I hated Three Amigos at first, but I grew to appreciate it more the more I thought about it and the parodies it made.  It was nice to see Mexican films, especially dating so far back, as I haven’t seen that many.  I saw part of Los Olvidados in High School and remember strongly disliking it, because I didn’t understand it. But in this course with the discussion and the articles, it helps me to see more clearly what a film is doing or at leas trying to do… then I can form an opinion.  I am simply not accustomed to watching a film critically in this sort of way.

So… review? I will talk about the most memorable parts of the course, I guess.  We started with Cantinflas in Aguila o Sol and Bunuel’s Los Olvidados, two of the most famous artists in early Mexican cinema. When I told my friend about this class and the movies we were watching, she responded with disgust for both of them.  This was interesting for me, taking this into account when reading articles about what people think of Cantinflas, etc.  Callejón de los Milagros was the one film that I see the relationship between the US and Mexico in; many young men go to the States for work, but we see all the shops in el Callejon going out of business, and the changes in the lives of those they leave behind. The film that struck me the most from the first half of the class was Batalla en el Cielo, for its lack of dialogue and movement, which made me uncomfortable, and as a result, more involved in watching it.

Honestly, it is hard for me to relate the first half of the class with the second. I understand that the first half was about Mexico City because of the original plan for the course.  The second half was mostly about the border, as the US naturally has an interest in the border more than the city.  But the fact that the focus of the films in either half is so different it makes it difficult to compare the two.  We are supposed to be thinking about representations of Mexico in this class, but the Mexico of the border and the Mexico of the D.F. are really different to begin with.

As for the second half, like I said above, I usually would not like any of these films… but upon closer examination and through the discussions in this course I can appreciate them nonetheless, for various reasons.


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