Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I’m really glad I had the experience of seeing the movies in this course, because the only Mexican movies that I had seen before the course started were The Three Amigos and Nacho Libre. Other than those, the only movies from Spanish speaking countries that I’ve seen are from Spain, Cuba and Argentina.
I remember thinking a few weeks ago that even though the movies in this course were really different from each other in general, that some of them also had a lot in common with each other (or common themes in some way) and it was hard to write a blog that would sound completely different from a previous blog that I had written. Many of the movies in the second half of the course focused on crossing the border and in the end, they were very similar...Touch of Evil – Mexicans and Americans cross the border into the other country, and both American and Mexicans are the ‘bad guys.’ The Three Amigos- Americans cross the border, and end up saving the day. The Wild Bunch- Americans cross the border and the Mexicans are written to be really stupid and everybody gets killed except for the group that was the most scared of getting killed. Traffic is purely about crossing the border and it’s different in the way that there are more perspectives on many things. In comparison to some of the other border crossing movies, I actually think it’s the most interesting in terms of the layering effect of status, and who has more power. The Wild Bunch had a bit of that going on too, as I wrote in my blog for that movie, but I don’t think it was as meaningful as in Traffic. In the second half of the course, I think that the only movie that didn’t focus on the relationship between Mexico and the US was Que Viva Mexico.
I think that seeing the different border crossing movies were educational if you wanted to focus on learning about different perspectives of border crossings between Mexico and the US because they all pretty much have a different ending and a different ‘bad guy’ and ‘winner’, but in the end, I learned more from the first half of the course because the movies were more contrasting. Aguila o Sol was way different from El Callejon de los Milagros, and even though we compared Aguila o Sol and Los Olvidados in one of our discussions because of the orphan theme, the movies were still contrasting. Batalla en el Cielo was refreshingly different from the other movies. I think that if the course were longer, that seeing the various border crossing movies would have been a good introduction, and then we could have branched off into more movies about the perspective of Mexico from countries other than the US...like are there movies that have Mexico in them from a country in South America? Or Europe? I think that I would like to see those if they exist, especially after taking this course, and also because I hate most Hollywood movies with a passion. It’s worth it to me to order a movie from Spain (like I had to with Batalla en el Cielo because they didn’t have it on Amazon and I didn’t want to look much longer) if I’m going to get something out of it. Like I said, Batalla en el Cielo was different from other movies, and even though it’s not something that I would watch with my friends or family (also since it’s European, I can’t play it on my DVD player anyways), I still really learned from it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


One aspect of this movie that I found interesting occurred in the first couple of scenes. There is a definite contrast in the level of organization between the Americans and Mexicans. In a way, it seemed ironic. The Mexican cops knew where the drugs were going to be even though it was a simple drop in the middle of the desert. The Mexican army also knew what was happening and were very precise and disciplined in how they intercepted the police. The Americans, on the other hand, had a much more complex and high tech way of trying to stop the drug smuggler, but the DEA and police ended up getting in each other’s way because they had no communication between themselves. Their drug bust ended up in a chaotic gunfight and chase, and the smuggler nearly got away. In the Mexican scene, guns were drawn but never fired. Their bust was more controlled, which is opposite of what you would expect from the Mexican side.
I liked how this movie was contrasting to the other movies that we’ve seen in this class where the sections are split up and generally (mainly at first) the two countries were separate instead of like in The Wild Bunch where we were mainly evaluating the Americans physically in Mexico.
All of the Americans in the movie are upper class Americans, even the kids are rich - rich and drug addicts. But it wasn’t like a common theme where Americans are rich and Mexicans are poor because the movie showed both rich and poor Mexicans.
In a lot of the parts in the US that had something to do with Michael Douglas and his family, the screen was blue and everything in Mexico had a gold/bronze screen. Why? Maybe it’s partly to make the different sections even more contrasting and easily distinguishable?
Michael Douglas’ character is as concerned with helping drug users as he is with stopping drugs, perhaps because of his daughter’s drug problem. He ends up talking to the General, and asks him about Mexico’s treatment of addiction and his answer is that when they overdose, there’s one less person to worry about. This is another example of how Mexico and the US contrast in this movie.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Three Amigos

When I was around twelve, I recorded this movie off of the Disney channel on TV like I did other with a lot of other movies. I really liked this one though, I thought it was funny, I liked the music in it and I watched it a lot. Now it’s really hard for me to look at it from a different point of view, especially from an academic point of view for a class where we’re supposed to discuss the different perspectives of Mexico. When I watched this movie when I was younger, I didn’t care about the Mexico part of it, I just cared about the singing bush and the other humour. Now I still think that the music is well-composed for the movie’s purpose, but I can’t believe that I missed how ridiculous a lot of the humour really is. This time I pretty much only laughed when Dusty asked if they had anything other than Mexican food, but I didn’t laugh because it was funny, I laughed because it was pathetic. The truth is, I’m finding it really hard to come up with anything other than the word stereotype, but I’ll keep trying. I guess I’ll just point out things instead of coming up with a general statement about my opinion.
It seemed like the perspective of Mexico was just a few small towns, where the people were either poor or bad. The people in the poor towns were seen as uneducated, obviously when Carmen misunderstood what the movie was. I guess at some point, that idea could have been humorous, ‘A small town is desperate for help, so a woman mistakes a movie for an advertisement and sends for the actors.’
The actors of the Three Amigos in the movie were in apparently a lot of movies about Mexico, but they didn’t seem to know anything about it when they actually went there, which is why it was pathetic when Dusty asked about the Mexican food.
Overall, I thought that for this kind of parody, it was really well done, which is probably why I liked it when I was younger. This answer is probably really obvious, but due to the sentimental history that I have with this movie, I have to ask, what is it really trying to say? Is it trying to make complete fun of the relationship between the US and Mexico (a common theme in the movies of this course)? Or was it just a partial parody of Mexico with the intention of creating a comedy, so they added in more funny stuff with a Mexican theme? Or is there actually any difference between those two questions? I don’t know if I’m choosing the right words to say what I’m thinking.
I thought that the part where they were drinking water in the desert would have been perfect for a humorous environmental ad: don’t waste water, other people need it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Wild Bunch

I thought that this movie was the most interesting one so far since reading break. I liked it because it wasn’t in a documentary style, and just in general, the way it was directed, it was more interesting than the movie last week.
I watched the movie with subtitles and I thought that it was weird that they didn’t translate the Spanish dialogue into English. I understand that they were in Mexico most of the time and the director probably wanted to capture as much of the culture as possible (I think that this is why I liked the movie better than last week where the culture was pretty much just shown in the beginning), so they wanted to have people speaking in Spanish. But there were entire conversations that went on for a few minutes that weren’t translated, for example when Teresa and Angel are talking, so it made me wonder who the audience was meant to be, and if all of them were expected to understand both languages. The rest of the movie seemed to aim towards Americans, language-wise, for example, when they said the word ‘gringo,’ they usually surrounded it with English so that the audience could understand them.
I also thought it was weird that the only American women in the movie were in the beginning in the Temperance Union, and the rest of the woman were Mexican, and half of them were naked most of the time. I don’t know what the movie’s trying to say, because it wasn’t really the common message that Americans are superior...Angel was Mexican and he was always part of the family to the group. No matter what country they were in, all of the groups were just looking for the “prize” whether it be money or guns, and race didn’t matter. In fact, the rich and powerful people were mainly Mexican, the General.
This wasn’t extremely obvious to me until the end, but there was a kind of layering effect that ended up being kind of humourous. Like I said before, all of the groups were looking for a prize of some sort. It ended up being a kind of chase, but each team was different. The ‘wild bunch’ was really smart,and in the bounty hunter group, there was only one smart guy and the rest weren’t as capable, and the soldiers were rich but stupid, which was obvious when they were trying out the machine gun and when they tried to convince the wild bunch to follow them to the General – in that part, the wild bunch outsmarted them. So in the end, you might have thought that the rich people would have won because they had money, and now guns, and that the bounty hunters would have continued to lose, or maybe you wouldn’t have thought that, but what happened was that for the most part the General and his followers died first, and then the wild bunch, and then for the most part, the bounty hunters. Only one person from the two bottom groups survived, and the people from the Mexican town, who were considered the weakest because they didn’t have weapons. Most of them survived, except Angel and Teresa, who had left the town to try to be something bigger.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

touch of evil

I’m finding it difficult to talk/think about this movie. I thought that it was really boring and hard to watch and therefore hard to follow at times. I don’t know why I didn’t like it. If somebody had summarized the plot for me, and I hadn’t seen the movie yet, then I probably would have thought that it was interesting and I might want to see it. Again, I don’t know why I didn’t like it. I guess it was the way it was directed. I think that there could be so many different ways of showing this movie...it could even be a good play, I think....except for the first scene...that would have to stay as a movie. I wasn’t that impressed by it though because I’ve seen other movies that have similar one-shot openings (like Soy Cuba, where the camera starts out looking out of a helicopter and it slowly descends).
I’m tired of writing about music and photography in my blogs just because they’re what is the most familiar to me, and I tried to read the first part of the essay for this week to hopefully find inspiration as to what to write and I’m finding it really hard to get passed all of the unnecessary elaborate vocabulary that academics use to make themselves sound smarter. I wish that they would just get to the point so that I can spend my time really thinking about what they’re saying rather than trying to decipher the essay. I really have my work cut out for me for Thursday. Here are some of the things that I reacted to. I thought it was really unfair how people were being treated by others (the guy who was framed, the Mexican cop, and his wife). Also I noticed that Americans weren’t completely portrayed as the ‘bullies’ when they were picking on the Mexicans, it went both ways when the wife was also picked on.
I guess I’m also finding it hard to write because I’m still confused from the discussion on Thursday about the different kinds of reality, and what we are and not allowed to talk about. Could racism between Americans and Mexicans be a kind of real___? Yes, there is racism in the (real) world, but how much of it was true (truth= a variation of real__), and how much of it was exaggerated for the sake of getting the point across to the audience? The bullying went both ways, so I guess it showed that people are horrible to each other in general, not just Americans to Mexicans, which is the message in so many other movies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

que viva mexico

This movie was weird and random and I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand the general statement or the purpose of it. I thought it was really artistic...the photography was amazing at first...in the beginning of the movie when they compared people in the present with the sculptures of people from the past the lighting and angles were beautiful...there was one where they showed the slant of the pyramid and it filled up most of the shot. In the rest of it they showed a face...In the end, it’s not that it wasn’t as artistic, but it seemed like they put a lot of effort into the first part and then in the end they showed really cheesy parts (like when the woman got shot and then she did the worst death that I’ve ever seen acted out and then the music goes from a solo timpani to a really loud gong and then you see her hat rolling down the hill...i couldn’t believe how cheesy that part was, especially with the combination of the death and the gong) ..so i guess my point is that the movie’s quality isn’t consistent.
Also, the music was inconsistent both by itself and with its relationship with the rest of the movie. The movie reminded me of Batalla en el Cielo in that it focused a lot on the artistic and sound. Like he said, it’s about expression, not communication. That’s what this felt like too even though it’s probably not meant to. I really loved the piece in the opening scene (the one that re-occurred twice later in different variations)...the piece used Mexican instrumentation, but had Russian influence (chromatic harmonies, humming, etc.), so it seemed like the composer was Russian and tried to interpret Mexican music but still have a European identity so that it could reach out to Europeans. It wasn’t until a scene in the middle (I think it was after the weird pilgrimage) where they finally played pure Mexican music...the one where people are dancing in the town...and then later at the bull fight, they also played traditional music, but I think it could have been Spanish instead of Mexican...I don’t know. Also, when they were in that weird house thing, and there’s music going on, but then the camera shows a picture of that General guy (I forget who he was) and they put in a random dramatic musical statement with a kind of darker instrumentation to kind of say “watch out, he’s bad.” And then earlier, they were in that house and the music was playing and then all of a sudden on top of it there were weird random drones. So weird.
But the other part of the whole music thing is that other than the bull fight, and the part where the girls are singing in the paradise-type place with the monkeys it didn’t seem to fit in...it seemed like the composer wrote a bunch of music and then placed it anywhere. Like I kind of said before, I noticed the music more because the movie was mostly sound and images.
The movie also reminded me of the movie Soy Cuba. It is also Russian, and it exaggerates the Cuban point of view of the relationship between Cuba and the USA...if i understood this movie more, I would probably be able to see more examples of how Russia is exaggerating/its interpretation-other than the music. By the time the movie was half way through, I was bored because I didn’t know what to think.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Batalla en el Cielo Blog

This blog is over 800 words, I hope that’s ok, I had a lot to say.

Tonight was the second time that I watched this movie, and I’m glad I watched it twice. The first time was this weekend, and it was spent basically trying to take in all of the information that the movie was spitting out. Maybe I shouldn’t say ‘spitting out’ because if it was true, then I wouldn’t feel this lost. Maybe I’m over thinking it, maybe not, but I have no idea, and it’s driving me crazy...I haven’t said what I’m talking about yet, so here it is: I’m a very visual person, and I find it hard to speak out in class discussions because when I watch a movie, the things that are running through my head are the relationships between the film score, the photography, and the characters (surprise!...it’s probably because I have always wanted to be a film score composer and when I graduate from UBC in May, I’m going into photography, while a lot of other people are thinking about the things that we actually discuss in class, basically everything else other than what I automatically think about, and no matter how hard I try, it’s really hard for me most of the time to think the way that others think like...after I’m done with UBC, it won’t matter how I think, because I won’t be graded on it, and I’m going to go on into an artistic field ... but here’s the point:

If you add up the time it takes to run through the dialogue in this movie, it would probably be about 30 minutes or less. The rest of the 100 minutes is either credits or photography ... it should be a movie that I can relate to perfectly but it seems like Reygadas is saying so much in all of the pauses and the photography, but there’s so much, I’m going to have to watch the movie over and over again to understand why exactly he put pauses in (some of the pauses were long enough to be like an actual photograph with a really great composition that I would put on my wall – that said, even though the beginning scene was really artistic with the choice of music and the way that the camera descended and gradually showed what was happening, and from a photographer’s point of view, and interesting composition, I wouldn’t want that anywhere near my wall...same story with the still shots after Marcos and Ana have sex and they’re just lying there...great composition and lighting, but no thanks – I think that whoever was behind the camera or in charge of the photography was a genius.

Maybe it’s all easier that I think. Maybe I’m just excited that we’re finally watching an extremely visual movie and it’s way more simple than I think...but most likely not. I’ll have to wait what people think about it on Thursday.

Even though I’ll have to watch the movie again to have a full understand of the symbolism in the photography, I noticed that whoever was behind the camera (well Reygadas was probably in charge of this) really played with the sense of ordering and time. For example, in the first scene, they could have showed what Ana was doing first before they showed Marcos’ face (reaction), but they wanted to show his reaction first before they showed what he was reacting to. Then later, like I said in class, in the metro, they showed Marcos and his wife first before they revealed where they were and what they were doing there. All you could see were their heads and you could hear the annoying beeping, but you didn’t know where it was coming from (this is similar to the scene in the country where you can hear the hammering but you have no idea what it is until after Marcos and their wife have a conversation). I figured that they didn’t show that they were selling stuff in a hallway somewhere until later, because they wanted the conversation to happen first, with very few distractions to the viewer because it was a follow up of the previous scene when Marcos answers his phone and gets the news from his wife. But in the country scene, there’s no reason why they have to show the source of the hammering at the end, because it isn’t really following anything...I guess it’s similar to the opening scene in that way.

Last thing for now because I’ve written over 700 words...I noticed that there was a sense of going from simple to complex in the metro scene...It’s like they were trying to create layers: first there’s minimal information, just a conversation and beeping, then gradually more information is provided: people ask questions about what they’re selling, and then we see what they’re selling, and then we see the people in that hallway thing, and then finally loads of people walk past them. I wonder if this technique is portrayed this much anywhere else. Maybe that’s what they were trying to do with the first scene, and the country scene, but in less drastic layers. I have to watch the movie again.

Friday, February 6, 2009

General Question/Statement

I have a general question/statement:

I don't understand why different aspects of Latin American culture are so contrasting. So many of the movies and novels have such twisted plots that include prostitution, drugs, homosexuality, murder, etc....and they not only have just one of those things, it's often a bunch of them combined...Like in El Callejón de Los Milagros and other movies that we've watched so
far and novels, like by Isabel Allende for example...We had to read Eva Luna a few years ago in a "What is Bad Literature?" class, it's the only book that I've read by her, and it's really strange and kind of all over the place. I remember thinking "there's no way that all of that drama could possibly happen to a single person." A new character is introduced in almost every chapter and they have really bizarre stories.

I was born in Vancouver, but my dad's Cuban, and almost everybody in my family is a musician, so I've been around a lot of Cuban music and big family dinners where everybody talks at the same time and the mood is generally really happy most of the time. Just listen to merengue, and salsa and cumbia and banda, it's supposed to be really happy. I have Cuban music where they sing about coffee and fire and there`s happy music in the background. It's so contrasting from all of the drama and negativity in the plots of movies and novels. My dad was considering majoring in Spanish in university but he told me that he chose not to because he didn't want to read depressing literature. My mom was in a spanish book club awhile ago where she would basically do what we do in class, but with novels and with her friends...her friends would pick out the books, and she would have to go buy them and she told me that all of them were depressing and filled with drugs and prostitution. All of her friends are from Chile and Argentina, and yes they have problems, but so does every other person that I know...I don`t understand why they kept choosing depressing literature. I've never been to Latin America other than to Mexico, so I don't really know what it's like I guess, and from experience, a lot of people who I met were either like people here (happy when good things happen and down when bad things happen) or really positive and welcoming . My mom`s friends are generally pretty outgoing whenever I see them.

Also, people from here 'escape' to Mexico and other areas to party....to take in the sun, and drink margaritas (and also that they have the Americanized version of a taco and of nachos here at dinner parties and it's supposed to be like one of the 'fun' foods like hot dogs and the Americanized version of pizza) and get away from all the drama in their lives...but the literature is depressing! Do Latin Americans need to escape from their happy lives and watch twisted entertainment? Or do they agree that it's depressing and try to stick to things like Cantinflas and Betty La Fea? Or does happy Latin American literature and cinema exist and I just need to be introduced to more of it?

What's with all of the contrast and exaggeration between Latin American culture, various forms of entertainment and reality? It's something that I'll have to think more about.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

El Callejón De Los Milagros

We all know that the movie was divided into three sections, each one featuring a character. In this blog I want to point out that each of these characters ended up doing something different than what they originally set out for in the beginning. In the beginning of the first section, Rutilio acts like he’s homophobic by getting mad at Chava and Abel for hanging out too much (people might think they were gay), and then he finds a boyfriend and almost ends his relationship with his son, because his son is partly worried about his father’s and his own appearance and almost kills his father’s new boyfriend and has to run away to the US. At first Rutilio is trying to look out for his son, even though his criticism towards him makes him look cruel, and then he ends up losing him for awhile because of their argument.

In the second section, it really never seemed to me that Alma loved Abel as much as he loved her, but she promised him that she would wait for him and she didn’t. She started out as a clean virgin who was searching for a future, but when Abel moved away, she gave up on him almost right away and decided that her future would be prostitution, even though she ran away from it at first.

Susanita was a lonely landlord who was desperate enough for a family to give up rent money in order to have her cards read, but she ended up with a thief, who she got new teeth for (not a cheap procedure). She spent all of her money for men and to get men...she didn’t make Chava pay her back...and then because she realized that Guicho was stealing from her, she tried to end her dream of a family by finally putting herself first and yelling at him for it.

As an audience member, rather than a student who would be analysing it later, I found this movie kind of disturbing because I was rooting for the first two romances to work out (the first one is kind of questionable depending on your opinion, but whatever makes them happy is ok with me) and the first boyfriend almost got killed and with the second romance Alma became a prostitute and Abel got killed. With the third romance, I knew the guy was going to keep stealing from her, so I didn’t care that he got busted in the end. I’m not completely sure how the first two sections significantly blend into the third section, but it seems that if Chava and Rutilio hadn’t gotten into a fight, then Abel wouldn’t have moved away, and then Alma wouldn’t have become a prostitute...but then what would have happened with Susanita? Would she have gone after Chava? I’m not sure what happened there with them except that Chava gave her hope for a new man by kissing her. I guess now that I’ve finished typing this, I don’t think that the movie’s disturbing, but the characters are really pathetic. Only Abel really stands up for what he believes in and doesn’t give up until he’s dead.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mecanica Nacional

Watching this movie was like watching the wild side of immature teenagers. I didn’t understand most of the language, so most of my opinion is from a visual observation. It was like watching a party that I probably wouldn’t ever want to go to because it consisted of adults behaving like teenagers. The Human Geographies essay says that “They eat and drink, sing, flirt, make love, talk, argue, fight, threaten each other with violence...” (58) They played with boundaries, especially the way that the women were treated (the grandmother in particular...). The men and women seemed to want to fool around with people who they didn’t arrive with, and I don’t know her name, but everybody was all over the lady in the pink outfit...when she fell on the ground (which didn’t seem like a very hard position to get up from) everybody reached in to “help her.” Also, I don’t know his name either, but the main character whose mom died...when he found his daughter on the ground with her boyfriend, he seemed to snap out of party mode for awhile and act like an adult in order to punish her, but then he kept hitting her throughout the movie, even when she was sorry that his mom died. When the mother died, you would have thought that more people would have acted more serious, but they only seemed to act decently as a group when the press was there and when they were in another traffic jam at the end in the moment of silence. Otherwise, they were more interested in the race...even the old woman’s son couldn’t stay by her for more than a few minutes even though he seemed upset...especially when the race started. He got up from her side, and then all that was left was a dog for awhile. The whole thing was a giant party, and the death was hardly a distraction...they wouldn’t let it ruin their event.
The Human Geographies essay also says that the traffic jams at the beginning and the end are supposed to be a parody of a growing population....I didn’t get this connection until I read this in the essay...I just figured that it was supposed to symbolize impatience to get to their party/race.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

los olvidados

Los olvidados has a lot of huge important themes, especially since Buñuel thought of it as a documentary, but I think that the relationships are the most interesting part of the film...the relationships between the gang and their parents, the relationships within the gang, and the relationships between the gang and others such as authority figures, animals and people who are weaker than them (the blind man and the legless man).
When I first heard about this movie, I thought that the kids were orphans who started a gang, so when I saw the movie and some of the kids had parents/authority figures in their lives I thought it was interesting that they did but still choose to rebel and be part of a gang. And also that Pedro still really cares about what his mom thinks of him even though he makes a lot of bad decisions. His dream about his mother convinces him to behave, and makes him realize that his relationship with Jaibo is a bad one...Jaibo tries to control him and pulls him into situations that’ll get both of them in trouble...but even after he tries to get out of Jaibo’s influence, he can’t escape him until they’re both dead. The gang picks on people who are weaker than them, so that they can take their money, and they run away from any authority figure that could potentially punish them. Also at the beginning, it seems like Buñuel is going to have Ojitos inspire the gang members to change because he’s from the country and he’s knowledgeable, and he has a good heart. I kind of missed what was happening when he was pretending to be sick, but I thought that in general that his relationship with the blind man was important because it showed that different behaviour is possible, especially when he starts to get mad at the blind man and starts to throw a rock at him, but then chooses not to...I thought that whole scene represented the possibility of making good choices if you want to make them. I wasn’t really clear about Pedro’s relationship with animals, or why chickens/roosters kept appearing everywhere when something good or bad happened. Pedro seemed to have a soft heart for animals, which could represent the good in him, but he was still willing to kill them at the farm when he got angry.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Aguila o Sol

Aguila o Sol.........what an interesting movie. I'm really glad that this is a blog because the language was way too fast for me to understand most of what they were saying and I wouldn't be able to give concrete examples like I would have to in an essay. That said, I guess it didn't really matter too much that I didn't really understand what they were saying because I still understood that there wasn't much of a plot. The whole movie, even the parts where they weren't on an actual stage was like stand up comedy.........When they were on stage though, just from the way that they dressed up, it seemed like they were trying to appeal to a lower class as well as an upper class..also when they were selling newspapers, it seemed like they were trying to make a connection with a lower class audience so that the comedy would appeal to them as well as the upper class. It reached out to all classes because it showed that they worked themselves up from the bottom when they were orphans and on their own to when they had their own act (this could perhaps give hope to a lower class audience?) and also to an upper class audience, as we could see when the characters were performing on stage, the camera kept showing how much the audience like the comedy....but going back to what I was saying before, this doesn't really apply to when they were children, but I noticed that they were constantly trying to entertain the audience (I mean the audience watching the movie, not the audience that was watching the show) through constant stand up comedy and slapstick...even the transitions attempted to entertain...for example when Cantinflas and Carmelo are going from the theatre to the bar, and the movie shows comedy with "El Gallego" before going back to the main characters. I also noticed that when they're drunk, they talk in nonsense and then sing when they are transitioning to another joke or section of the stand up comedy or to end the scene.

The plot can’t have much purpose other than to entertain, especially if they have to put in such a large and random dream scene. They seemed to want to show off the talent of the other characters ( I guess that’s what the other show was for too) some more, and add more slapsticks with the coconuts falling on their heads (or rather a crew member throwing coconuts at their heads)...otherwise there wasn’t much point it, or any part of the movie. So the movie was made up of a combination of the two points that I mentioned here (and probably more)...constant entertainment, and appealing to more than one class...maybe the dancing in the dream appealed to a higher class...I have a question though, and it’s not really relevant, but here it is. When Cantinflas and Carmelo are on stage and they are talking about verb tenses, doesn’t that imply that they have had some sort of education? Or do you learn grammar from selling newspapers on the street? This most likely isn’t important, but it’s something I noticed...At the time when they are telling the joke they seemed to be dressed up like lower class people, so if they did need an education for that then it doesn’t really make sense.

Friday, January 9, 2009


We're supposed to introduce ourselves...and I don't really know what to write...My name is Elena, and I'm a music and Spanish major. I guess I'm interested in cinema courses because as a musician I've had to analyse/study a lot of different styles of music from different cultures and look at them from different perspectives... and cinema to me is similar to music with all of the many components and layers, except that music is mostly conveyed through sound, and so is cinema, but obviously it is also really visual. Of course there are a lot of other differences, but I can see the similarities too, so on one hand, I don't think that studying cinema will be much different from what I'm used to (though I could be wrong), but I also know that it will offer a lot of new challenges. Anyways, I guess that's my introduction for now.