Archive for February, 2009

¡Que Viva México!

February 25, 2009

Me costó bastante entender la película hasta el final, cuando hablaron de soldaderas.   La falta de una narrativa y tener que leer subtítulos lo hizo bastante difícil. No entendí al principio por qué hablaron de aquella muchacha que se casaba, y porque, por lo menos al parecer fue la misma muchacha, en el principio andaba sin camisa, y después siempre vestida.  Hasta el final no entendí que intentaba hacer un recorrido de la historia de México… una historia de opresión hasta el fin de la película cuando nos dice que querían representar las revoluncionarias ‘soldaderas’ que darían esperanza a los oprimidos.

Otras cosas que me llamaron la atención incluyen lo siguiente: cuando el narrador pregunta ¿Esto es lo que esperabas? a la muchacha que se casa.  No tenemos explicación de muchos imágenes, como la escena con los botes de remos decorados.  Tampoco entendí por qué incluyeron, y además dedicaron tanto tiempo, a la corrida de toros.  Lo que yo entendí del epílogo fue que la primera parte de la película trataba de la opresión, pero no vi a los toreros como oprimidos.

Me gustaría haber visto la parte de las soldaderas, creo que el resto de la película tendría más sentido quizás, cuando uno puede relacionarlo con esa parte que falta.

Lo que sí me gusto de esta película fue la fotografía, especialmente al principio con las caras vivas y caras de piedra.


Batalla en el Cielo

February 11, 2009

This film was very interesting to watch, despite its prolonged depictions of apparently mundane events.  There was such a lack of dialogue, which was refreshing and disconcerting at the same time for me; it is refreshing because it seems more honest (for lack of a better word), seeing as we are not always talking, especially about precisely the things the audience wants to hear, and we don’t always have eloquent or well-put-together things to say, even though this occurs in so many films.  It is disconcerting, because we are used to getting more information about what is going on, and we feel uncomfortable, hence, with such long silences, which make us wonder at what is happening/being depicted. I, for one, wish we knew why they had kidnapped a little boy and what exactly had happened, whether Jaime knows about Ana and Marcos, what happened to make her want to be with him, etc.  Yet at the same time it is intriguing that the director leaves these out.  Much like there are not always explanations for the things we witness every day. I enjoyed the photography and sound design in this film – especially in the airport towards the beginning, where as they walk through, you hear the music and ambient noise change and they pass different shops, etc.

This film did a lot to make the audience uncomfortable, perhaps to make them think and consider their reality? Among other things, it spends an extraordinarily long time focusing on Ana and Marcos’ oral sex in the beginning, shaking the audience out of complacent, passive viewing within the first scene.  Later, things such as an obese couple having sex, Marcos wetting himself, the long takes of sex or naked bodies… and finally, the long silences throughout the film… these all contribute to this uncomfortability.

Before we saw this film, I had read reviews and found that people either loved it or hated it.  I find myself somewhere in between – appreciating its honesty and its unconventionality and interested in the cinematography on the one hand, but, like I said, a bit disconcerted by the silence, the grotesque images, the lack of explanation of people’s actions, etc.  The discussion on Thursday should prove quite interesting.

Callejón de los Milagros

February 4, 2009

I don’t even know where to start with this film.  It was intense, but more difficult for me to discuss than the other ones; I guess I am still trying to wrap my head around everything.

The way in which the film jumps from person to person is interesting, but leaves certain gaps.  Earlier in the film, for example, Rutilio’s marraige is falling apart due to his affair with Jimmy, but after Jimmy’s injury, we don’t see him again and Rutilio seems to be back with his wife.  We don’t know what happened in the meantime. Also… why did Alma go back to the pimp, José Luis, after she had fought him earlier?

It also would have been interesting to see Chava and Abel’s experiences in the U.S. – if for no other reason than to further develop Abel’s struggle to provide for and marry Alma.

More thoughts to come tomorrow in my responses…