Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mecanica Nacional

Wow. This movie really gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand I don’t like how it’s very chaotic and incoherent at some parts, on the other it might just be reflecting what Mexico City was really like at that time. It is chaotic since there were so many people and cars involved. The background noises sometimes made it difficult to hear what the main characters were saying.

First of all, I was rather bothered by the scene of traffic congestion at the beginning of the movie where everyone shouted at each other. The atmosphere was hostile and unpleasant; made me wonder why they would want to have this kind of “fiesta” often, as part of their life. Secondly, some of the scenes didn’t quite make sense to me; for example, the scene with a couple wearing white who ate from morning to night and from night to morning. I didn’t understand why it was there nor how to make logic sense out of it. I mean, how could that pot of paella lasted so long? Haha. Lastly, there was a scene with the wife running down a hill. When she began to run, the sky was dark, however when she got to the bottom of the hill, it was bright again.

However, despite the little pieces here and there, I thought the whole film gave a strong impression on the Mexican cultural of how the people were very tight and close to each other. They were also very open about the events/incidents that happened in their own families. I was somewhat shocked to find people discussing the death of the grandmother so casually like that. For me, it would have been a lot more private and personal. I think it is interesting that the personal space needed in Canadian culture and Mexican culture is so drastically different.

Moreover, the film reflected machismo vividly and realistically. When I was in Spain, the problem with machismo was also frequently discussed and debated. The film demonstrated how the society accepted such machismo and violence towards women.
I like the realistic takes on Mexican society and its values.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Los Olvidados

Me gusta la película Los Olvidados mucho porque la trama es coherente y credible. Me parece que más realista que Aguila o sol pero al mismo tiempo, Aguila o sol es una comedía. Pienso que la película puede ser un forma de documentary porque los escenario y la mayoría de personajes son reales, no son accesorios. Además, la película refleja muchos problemas que existen en México. Estoy de acuerdo con Winston que, “The difference [between documentary and fiction] is to be found in the mind of the audience”.

La yuxtaposición entre el ciego y el principal de la escuela de granja sirve como un crítico fuerte. Aunque la manera del principal no funcionaba 100%, ya podemos ver el cambio en Pedro. La confianza que el principal tenía de Pedro le daba un sentido de importancia. En lugar de compartir el dinero con Jaibo, Pedro trató de devolver el dinero ah principal. Eso es un cambio significante. También, esta confianza del principal le daba Pedro el coraje a decir el pueblo las criminalidades de Jaibo. Por lo tanto, aunque Pedro fue matado al final, no cambia el hecho que había cambios en las acciones y mentalidad de Pedro. Si tenía más tiempo, podría ser bueno otra vez. Sin embargo, es muy triste que la sociedad que estaba en reforma no tuviera bastante gente como el principal pero pobreza estaba demasiado.

También me sorprende mucho que solamente Jaibo y Pedro son actores porque la situación era tan horrible que tengo un poquito dificultad creyendo que las escenas pasaron (y todavía pasan) en la ciudad de México.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Águila o sol + The Formation of a National Cinema Audience

The Formation of a National Cinema Audience provided a lot of the historical and cultural background that helped me achieve a better understanding of the film Águila o sol. To start off, I would like to point out a few points that I found interesting in the reading. On page 73, it says, “the cinema represented a new point of contact in this hierarchical society … Aurelio de los Reyes invokes an audience scenario that reveals not only that the new invention cut across class divisions, but also that it was a pleasure in which women could legitimately indulge…” Although I am already aware of the influence of media on the society nowadays, I still find it amazing how cinema critically contributed to the merging different social classes in Mexico. On top of merging social classes, it is amazing that cinema also contributed to the gender equality between men and women. In the film Águila o sol, the audience within the film did include more than one social class and female participation was also present. Moreover, I also found “suicide rate and alcoholism was noted to decline in the early decades of the twentieth century, as this pastime became an increasingly popular form of family entertainment” very impressive. I wonder if our cinema today still has this kind of positive influence on us.

In the reading, the author also noted that the most popular comedians were the ones who played “roguish characters embodying elements modeled on the popular audiences” including their “modes of speech, dress and social conduct” (77). This point is evident in the film that we watched in class. When Polito was acting on stage within the movie, he dressed like a lower social class and also talked like a lower class. I did not notice many people from the audience within the film that dressed like him, most of them dressed like middle class, but they were enjoying the show nonetheless. Does it mean that the class distinction between lower and middle class wasn’t that great? Overall I enjoyed the movie, except for some parts where they spoke very fast and I had some difficulty understanding what they were saying.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Hello everyone! my name is Yuhan and I am a fourth year student. I study both Spanish and English. I moved to Canada when I was in grade 7. I am taking Spanish because I love to travel. When I was younger, I also wanted to be a translator too. However, now I found it to be more challenging then I had thought lol. I love watching movies!

Hmm, I also go by Andie so if Yuhan is too hard to remember or pronounce, I'll respond to Andie as well.