Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Response to Devin

I agree about the colors and the vigorosity of the film. I also want to comment that I did not quite understood the role of the busty women. She was not a prostitute, she seemed more like a overly liberal (libertine) women who wanted to have fun. She did not seem to fit into any stereotype of Mexican culture and she left the film without explanation. She did not harm or was harmed. I was very intrigued by this character.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mecanica Nacional y los 1001 temas

Mecanica Nacional is to me a very clear example of a tragic-comedy. It has a linear narrative with a lot of funny situations and extravagant characters and at the same time, its turning point is a sad and tragic event: The death of the grand mother Dona Lola.

The humor in the movie is mostly synical. The characters make fun of Mexico, mexicans and Mexico-USA politics while they inpersonate the sterotypes they are making fun of. For example, when all Euebio's friends were expalining to Gregorio why it was good to cheat they ended up going around in circles and laughing about themselves and about how absurd there arguments were. It was not clear to me whether the director was making a critique of Mexican society or if he was just making a commentary on the multiple layers, contradiccions, and contrasts embedded in the culure and social politics of Mexico.

There were many social issues mentioned in the movie but none of them were fully developed. Some of them were: Machism, violence against women, traffic, social indifference, sensationalism and lack of self control. Some topics were more prevalent than others but none seemed to bother any of the characthers. It almost appeared to me that the characters needed to have all the defects they had to be funny and for the movie to make sense. I think that if any critisism was intended by the director it had to do more with the audience's reaction than with the characters themselves. If the audience could identify itself or its neighboors in the movie, then the audience would be accepting the director's portray of mexico and therefore the director would be attacking the audience. Some times we can only identify our own defects when they are reflected in other people and I think that the director makes it obvious that some of the behaviour of the characters was wrong.

Some of the scenes in the movie are also very foreign to the narrative and therefore I would suggest that they are there to point out that some sort of social commentary is trying to be made. I am specifically reffering to the couple wearing white. They first appear very clean and tidy and slowly become very dirty as the movie progresses. I would say that the couple is trying to show what is happing in the movie and specially how the behacivour of the characters has spoilt the trip which was supposed to be fun. Another of these foreign scenes are the takes of the traffic vs the race which can have a methaphorical meaning of the crowded city life of the family vs the fun and spontaneity of the country side.

One last thing! The movie also presents some positive aspects of mexican culture . Mexican people were shown as solidary, simple, family oriented individuals with a big sense of humor and hospitality.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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I can't see my posts on the course blog and I am getting really frustrated :(

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Los olvidados

Today was the second time I watched the film and I was surprised that I did not feel as sad as I did the first time. I remember being very moved by the hatred and anger that the children felt in the movie and also very uncomfortable with the blind beggar character because of the way he rejected the past of time and the changes of social dynamics. I didn’t feel anything of that this time. I am actually worried of being so far removed from the reality shown in the movie that I can not feel for the community represented in the movie anymore. I think that they have become “those people” and
I have just become an audience.

My reason for telling my feelings with respect to the movie is to point out that “Los olvidados”, whether a documentary or not, does pretend to raise awareness about what is going on in the slums of Mexico city and therefore he has an specific audience in mind. Such audience are those who do not live in poor neighborhoods or who don’t experience the lost of a son in a gang fight. “Los olvidados” does a good job documenting various issues in expanding cities like marginalization of peripheral areas, delinquency, youth crime and family violence. The story line is so dramatic and intense that it makes the actual facts taken from reality even more shocking. Luis Bunuel adds a lot of dramatic elements to the movie like close captions to the chickens, dreams, coincidences and symbols that add to the intensity of the emotions that the characters deal with and therefore allow the view to get to know them.

In contrast to Aguila o Sol, the orphans of this movie are not as lucky and they end up being killed or abandoned. The women of both films are both supportive instead of protagonist but in “Los olvidados” women are shown as vulnerable and blameful instead of ideal beings.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Aguila o Sol

La pelicula Aguila o Sol fue estrenada en el ano de 1937, el cual pertence a la llamada edad de oro del cine Mexicano. Algunos elementos mencionadoes por Noble sobre el cine mexicano de esta epoca se evidencian en la pelicula. Por ejemplo, la importancia simbolica de las mujeres, la apelacion a la identidad mexicana y las diferencias sociales entre los mexicanos.

Adriana representa la mujer perfecta. Ellas es buena, bonita y fiel a sus sentimientos. Como discutimos en clase ella mantiene el orden. Ademas ella es el centro de atencion en la pelicula por su carisma y su talento. Es interesante que muchas de las canciones revelan diferentes aspectos de mexico, hay una cancion folklorica, una mas tropical (el cabaret), hay tango, hay bolero y hay un poco de flamenco. Me parece que la condicion humilde de los protagonistas forma parte del intento del director por acercarse a la audiencia mexicana de clase media.

En general me parece que el objetivo principal de esta pelicula es entretener y que lo mas importante son los segmentos donde se presenta la musica, el baile y el teatro. Me parece interesante que la pelicula trate de representar algo que podria verse individualmente como los skits de los dos amigos. Lei un poco en internet acerca del fil y encontre que aguila o sol traduce al ingles "tails or heads" y que los apellidos de Polito y Carmelo eran Sol y Aguila respectivamente. Me parecio interesante porque solo en el sueno vi la exclusion que la particula o implica, entre los dos amigos. Siempre estuvieron juntos y asi permanecioron hasta el fin de la pelicula.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Who is Carolina?

Hi, My name is Carolina. I am a third year Biochemistry major. I am an international student from Colombia. I am really not sure about what I want to do with my life becuase I really like science and literature and I have not been able to find a way to do both. I am really exited about this course and I hope to learn something.