Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mecanica nacional

It took me a little while to get into the movie as I wasn’t sure what to make of the style of filming as the camera shots and scenes were sort of confusing. I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of dubbing of the characters voices and that a few scenes, especially when they were all at the field having the get together and it also looked like some parts were shot in a studio with some trees and countryside looked artificial.
This film is quite different from the previous movies that we have seen in terms of the women not being seen to be in a powerful role. The men are seen to be macho and controlling of their women and the marchioness is emphasized in the older men showing with typical ball cap, big cars, guns, alcohol, men all gathered around telling their points of views and stories, while women watching and talking about their husbands. And there was sort of a double standard going on where the women get blamed and accused easily of flirting and would end up getting treated badly but it seemed it was ok or defined differently when the men did it so they could get away with it. It also showed an aspect of the father as a hierarchy figure within the family as showing an extreme loyalty to family values and upholding his strictness by scolding the daughter and wife for their actions and also shows his weaker side as being passionate to his mother. The director possibly tried to portray the views he had of how culture and society was being portrayed at the time in the 70’s and used the different generations sharing the same space as a way to compare these differences. The old ways with the older generation and how they try to teach their children, but now these children have more resources and advantages than their parents so they have different views and also the influence of the free spirit 70’s which adds extra pressure on changing attitudes and views. I also noticed a difference in comparing los olvidados where there was not a sense of community or happiness, whereas in Mecanica nacional, it portrays the community as strong and together with concern and respect for each other like in the scene where everyone put aside their differences and came together to give their respects to the deceased mother in the field and on the drive back to town.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Los olvidados

Los olvidados had quite the negative tone from start to finish just as was mentioned at the beginning of the movie. This film depicted a raw and explicit image of the day in the life of impoverished youth in the slums of Mexico City but to an exaggerated extent to possibly send the message to really get the point across to the audience; give something for them to talk about and then the social issues are understood. For example, the film didn't just show youth stealing apples or ripping off stores, it when as far as to show a blind man and disabled man getting pushed around, humiliated, and robbed. This was to show how brutal and heartless these characters really were. This film had a few elements similar to Aguila o sol such as the issue of social class being the central theme, both dealing with the lesser class, but it is important to note that Aguila o sol showed the two social classes of the have's and have not's where in Los olvidados it was entirely the have not's . Also, the main characters in both films not having strong family values, especially the lack of father figures, and the use of dream sequences to act as a sobering experience for change to Polito and Pedro. That would be most of the similarities to the two films as there were more differences in terms of direction and tone. The main difference that sticks out is the fact that Los olvidados has a negative tone from start to finish and has no happy, or at least, positive ending. Polito gets his father and saves his friendships, whereas Pedro ends up dead. The problems that are faced at the beginning are not resolved and just as there was a hope for a positive outcome, such as in the case of Pedro's mother finally accepting her son or when Pedro is attempting to change his life to a positive direction, tragedy and misfortune strikes and no silver lining is considered. The character of El Jaibo is shown to be the consistent and persistent criminal who has a bad intention in every judgement he makes. As Pedro attempts to better himself and to win over his mother, El Jaibo is there to lure him back. An example of this is during the slow motion dream where Pedro is yearning for his mothers' affection and acceptance and when she offers him the meat, there is El Jaibo nearby who takes his food away and ultimately ruins his dream. One last thing to mention was the fact that I did not like Don Carmelo, the blind man. At the beginning of the movie, where he gets roughed up, I felt bad for him and thought he would be a fighter for justice but towards the end he is like the criminals he despises as he did not have any morals in him. The way he treat Ojitos and the girl Meche and his view on justice, which was to kill the criminals, made him just as bad.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Águila o Sol

The film Aguila o sol was filmed in a way that made for some confusing scenes that did not help out with the films storytelling and which aided to disrupt the flow of the plot. It starts off with the three children, Polito, Adriana and Carmelo being abandoned in a convent when they are born and then they later escape at which during this time Don Hipólito, Politos father decides to search for his son. After this the story explains the direction of the lives of the three children which result in them staying together performing in theatre. When the film explains more about their adult lives it is then that some confusion occurs. It seemed that certain scenes focused too much on the great costumes of the cabaret dancers, Adriana singing abilities and the stand-up acts performed by Polito and Carmelo which all took away from the plot. What I found to be poorly filmed were the camera shots when it would turn to the crowd for their reaction of the comedic acts.
The ending was also confusing. The dream sequences where Polito dreamt of losing his friend Carmelo and love Adriana did not fit in well with the storyline as the dream comes about from his concern of losing his girlfriend after listening in on a conversation about her potential as a solo performer. As he wakes up he realizes he did not lose his friends but then also is introduced to his father who was searching for him.
One of the concerns I had during the end of the movie which wasn’t clarified was that whether the Politos father was in awkward position since he had assumingly had shown interest in Adriana. And whether or not Adriana decides to go onto performing alone or would the three of them continue on performing together.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Span404 self introduction

My name is Jordi and I am currently a 2nd year student at UBC.
I am pursuing a BA in arts majoring in Spanish.