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.