Closing post

Honestly i didn't anticipate getting much cinematic terminologies and concepts from 404, but i feel that it brings me staffs way more valuable than those, and for sure this post is gonna be the most tough one to draw.

Due to geographic reasons, there are two regions on earth that are enigmas for the majority of asians: one goes to Africa, and the other, South America. I dream about adventuring in a primary forrest or jungle and encountering uncontacted original tribes on the mysterious land of South America. But all that's my imagination, because i have no experience in any spanish-speaking country up to now. I can say that my impression on South America mostly comes from all these ten movies now, but i'd rather laying my trust on them. Mexico is apparently a typical nation with profound history and culture under the intense influence of "mezcla", which has no longer being a simple symbol of hybrid or interculture, but stands for more.

In terms of technical perspective, Batalla en el cielo and Que viva Mexico are two most distinctive ones. For the former, the way of portraying the plot triggers my interest; the later, the crossing forth and back on a blurred boudary b/w documentary and feature film gives me another impression. What is more important than pure technical form, is the attitude toward what happened on the territory of Mexico from a viewpoint of mexicans or mezclas. No matter it's Aguila o sol or Los olvidados, Mecánica nacional or El callejón de los milagros, all of these are based on a mixed objective and subjective point. Ranging from low social class to high, not only i can see bright shining traits of a person, but also can i see some dirty and disgusting roles. All these vivid and distinguished characters constitute a seemly true mexican society, which does not only resemble other regions all over the world, but also has its distinct point due to the effect of its complicated history background and human race. I feel like that these mexican-produced movies are probably like the nature of its folks, open-minded and magnanimous, daring to show all staffs about its society. They may not demonstrate much contemporary high level cinematic skills, but the passion to its land and citizens surely surpasses those mechanical staffs. On the other hand, the last couple of movies are more attractive in terms of its cinematic form. Perhaps because of some history and geographical reasons, Hollywood movies no doubtfully contains more issues concerning cross-culture, and then it's an additional point that makes Mexico seems much more mysterious. A mexican and a US definitely have different outlook upon their relation and each other's circumstances, and i cannot see which one would be considered correct or more to the facts, because anything can happen in any country. But i get a strong feeling about the heroism and nationalism in us movies. I think this kind of tendency make a movie more impressive.

If the above intellectual knowledge of what i've got is fruitful, then the changing of my conception on the significance of film or even deeper, the broad meaning of literature, is precious. The art of cinematography for me is no longer a social symbol of out-and-out entertainment, but rather, a window that enables me to explore the complexity of society and humanity. I used to try to analyse a film and the roles much from a technological perspective, but now, i tend to touch them by my heart, because there are always more staff behind the scenes that are worth to dig out than those of i've expected; I used to be careless on people and staffs around me, but now, i've learnt to feel them by soul. That's priceless. Thanx Jon!



I've been sick these days, and since i have the movie in my computer, i watched it again. I just want to say that when i first watched it, i felt it was excellent, but after going through all the movies, i cann't say that it's outstanding, but it's still good. Below is the comment i made when i first watched it:

Después miré la película Tráfico, creo que está es una de las películas más excellentes en la historia del cine de droga. Comparar está con otras películas que tienen la misma tema, Tráfico figura todos los aspectos acerca de droga, de la distribución al tráfico de droga, de la drogacción al drogadicto y de la anti-droga al dejar de la droga. Todos estos argumentos se representan en una manera parelela por tres cuentos por un montón de papeles, que no ninguna de las personas es el principal personaje, sino la única protagonista es la droga. Este punto lo hace notable.

Aunque el senario parece una cooperación entre las administraciones del control de drogas de los Estados Unidos y de México, en verdad el director establece una distinción entre las acciones del control de drogas de estos dos países. Generalmente, cuando se define el cine las imagenes y las posiciones del anti droga, lo que se refleja por la tema es que, para los Estados Unidos, muestra un papel positivo constante; pero en contraste, para México, sus personajes positivos que están en el lado del control de droga son más complicados y tienen más cambios entre la justicia y la maliginidad.

En primer lugar, hay un contraste notable entre el tono de color de fondo. En San Diego, el fondo es azul frío. Sin embargo en cada ciudad del México, es amarillo turbio que nos da una impresión sin desarollar y de sucio. Por lo tanto en el cine, México parece más pobre y su sociedad parece más desordenado.

En segundo lugar, la posición verdadero y potencial del representante del México gobierno, Capitán Salazar, es otro ejemplo que forma la total de impresión de debilidad de la sociedad de México. En la misma posición del trabajo, el jefe de la oficina del control de droga de los Estados Unidos, Robert, es un papel positivo contantemente, por lo menos no trabaja para cualquiera de los distribuidores del droga. Según unas informaciones, el papel de Capitán Salazar es creado de acuerdo con un capitán actual con misma situación en la historia del México, quien muestra la corrupción y el crimen que incrustados en la sociedad mexicano.

Por último, el papel del policía mexicano, Javier, es el personaje más complicado que experimenta un cambio del su sentimento para su trabajo. Como un personaje positivo, la posición de Javier hasta el lado de justicia y de maliginidad en cuanto al control de droga cambia cuando pasa el senario. Sin embargo para Montel y Ray, los policías americanos, sus imagenes son constantemente justos y brillantes. En pocas palabras, la retrata describe por el cine sobre el control de droga de México es más negativa y oscura.


¡Three Amigos!

Racking my brain again...
Recalling all of these movies i've watched up to now (including Traffic) concerning Mexican culture, tradition, and custom, i have a vague feeling of the existence of a significant margin b/w the first 7 (Que Viva Mexico is counted) and the last 4. Obviously, Hollywood films present more sophisticatedly artistic, cinematic, and dramatic technics and devices, but once there is heterogeneous perspectives upon a specific object, it always comes controversy. North americans have different viewpoints with those of latinos, and even within the group of hollywood, directors always attempt to dig different aspects of a same object, or i should say it's just because they have their own outlooks on it based on their personal experience. Although the first group of films have a sort of same tendency, but in general, they all incorporate both "good and bad" for a particular race (latinos), but hollywood apparently has an inclination of going to extremes - either barbaric folks or progressive outsiders, either uneducated mexican women or brave US women, and either tactful mexican cop or crafty US officer...I wonder which one is more onto the verge of the true representation of mexico? Of course i know that there is a cinematic device called "dramatization", but as an audience who has no background knowledge about mexico, i always have a tendency to classify those properties either humanistic or ethical shown in the moive, so i guess if i only have a chance to watch only one of them, i might get biased idea.

Back to Three Amigos...
I like it simply because it's funny. Wowww finally i've got to watch a movie without burning my brain cells or straining my heart. I like the light atmosphere it creats, and i'm not picky on comedies as long as it makes me laugh. Once again, characters have distinctive personalities that "didactically" presents me which group is evil and which one is angel; in this way, this seems unsophisticated, and i expect more complex traits of roles, which would be more attractive.


The Wild Bunch

Personally I don't have much special feeling about this moive.

It's definitely long and the plot is huge, composed of a series of stories. All roles seem "bravo",

and the last shootout is tremendous, so perhaps for guys, this is really exciting.

I don't like the excessive violence in it, but I marvel at Peckinpah's shooting and editing

techniques, with my assumption that there has no "computer artificiality" been invented to

modify and embellish the shots at that epoch. So I was always wondering how he did it when I

saw the sparging of blood and particularly the shot of the explosion of the timber bridge and the

falling down of those horses. I guess Peckinpah would be one of the pioneers of this kind of

violent action movies, and also, maybe editing plays an important role in it.


Touch of Evil

It's so annoying to be late for the movie but finally I've got to watch the first 3 minutes. It's really a long shot, and i personally guess that the underscoring of the scene might be the most interesting one. Welles uses different sounds of, like, footstep, car horn, and broadcasting music to create an atmosphere that triggers me to "expect" something to happen on that particular car. I think its relationship between vision and sound goes quite effective, so I believe that background music weighs a lot in this movie.

The musical color in the movie is also remarkable. It differs from background sound, which pumps the sense of reality of the setting directly into my mind. Instead, Welles shots on desert landscape, the littery beard on officer Hank's face, and the filthy riverside...all these things contribute to a musical color that brings me a feeling of desolation.

The plot is fluctuant, absorbing and complete - good, for that i no need to rack my brain to conjecture what happens in the story, so i like this kind of movie in the way that saving my brain cells. Also I wanna express my praise for this plot. There is no character in the film is perfect to me, even the male protagonist, because the way Welles portrays makes me consider that this character is a fictional and typical one who is standing for justice. Well, I have to confess that i have a bias against American films, especially Hollywood ones, because many NOWADAY Hollywood productions are tragically becoming a useful instrument for those politicians to control public voice (eg. i never take those hollywood shots on mainland china or hongkong seriously), but this one might shows the truth. It reminds me of Traffic, which might also be what truely happens in US and Mexico, but that one to me is a little bit heroic and nationalist. I guess Welles tries to demonstrate the story in a "realistic" sense.