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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Kim, Mar 28, 2002.
There's some brief discussion (and a good review link) in the 2002 Alternative, Foreign, Independent and Arthouse Films .
You may know the director from his previous English-language films, The Little Princess and Great Expectations (with Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert De Niro and Anne Bancroft). But this film is unlike anything I've seen from him before.
I think I know what I'll be doing on April 5th. And if Ted vouches for it, it's gotta be gold.
Thanks for the link, Michael. It's a link I'm unfamiliar with, but a good resource. Unfortunately, with my pathetic dial-up, I'm lucky if I hit 30 kbps. As a result, I've had to be frugal & effective with my surfing, meaning no long threads.
Sounds like no one (two) wants to take responsibility for their opinions.
Seriously, although I might have given the impression, I never claimed that I've used both Ted and Michael as the litmus test for all that is pure and great about independent films. I have occassionally disagreed with you guys in the past.
The fact of the matter is that based on an amalgam of both of your film criticisms over the past three years that I've lurked and ultimately signed up as a HTF member, I've deduced two things.
Both of you love creative, evocative filmmaking. Secondly, while you may not always provide detailed analysis, why you like or dislike a film seems to be invariably rooted in substantial reasons, as opposed to the ephemeral, 'it seemed pretty good'.
These reasons run parallel, if not coincide with my understanding of part of which what makes a film great.
Ah,...to hell with the cloying genuflection...the real reason is that you guys haven't screwed up too many times. But watch it - three strikes and yer out!
So sorry I cannot write much, my computer is down and maybe out for good. But...
This movie is one of the 3 best I've seen so far this and last year. Again...one of THREE best.
Thanks again to Ted and Michael for the tickle.
What did you say about my mother?
I liked this, although I've struggled with to what degree. Some films are like that. (I assume there's a whole allegorical thing going on with Mexican society and a struggle between the wealthy and the poor/middle class, but I'm just not all that familiar with the situation until I do some more research.)
The frank depiction of sexuality is likely to bother some American viewers. I know people on here bemoan the MPAA and how it often rates violence versus sexuality, but my observations have been that most American audiences get very uncomfortable when confronted with upfront, naturalistic sex on screen. So consider yourself warned if that sort of thing bothers you, because it starts with the very first frames.
Certainly this film is much more honest about sexuality, the braggadacio of young males, and fantasies, and it approaches the subject in a detached, documentary-like sense. All of the characters basically know what is going unsaid, and much of their problems are in dealing with it when brought into the open.
I really like this movie. Though there are not too many Mexican movies we can see, but there always be some outstanding ones every 1 or 2 years. Think about " Like water for Chocalate" and " Amores Perros"
Like " Amores Perros" , this movie is also about the problems of the Mexican society. The sex scenes are striking. Actually, sex is an very important element to this film and quite necessary.
What impresses me most is the moving shots. Some of them are so accurate and smart. Like the shot: the actress left her own apartment and went to those two guys' car. The camera just stayed in the room, after the actress left, it just moved forward to the window. In the way, the pictures of her and her husband were on the wall, and the camera moving to the window, by keeping certain distance from the roles, the director kept it unemotional about their beginning of the journey.
Also, the long shot showing that they were having dinner in the dirty little restaurant. The information contained in that shot is HUGE!!!
Somehow, I don't quite like the narrations. Though it seems kinda cool with that unique narration and it makes the director state his idea more easily, it makes me feel kinda pretentious.
Anyway, it's a worth-seeing movie.
P.S There were 2 chicks sitting right in front of me when I watched this movie. They are SOOOOOO interested in the sex scenes of that movie and they just kept laughing and chatting about sex. That really PISSES ME OFF!!! ^o^
I really enjoyed this one. It successfully does what most other movies of it's ilk have not - it perfectly captures that moment of adolescence where you have one foot in the past (childhood) and one in the future (adult). It's a heartbraking transition for everyone, I think. This, along with Amores Perros (although I liked the last 1/3 of the movie far better than the other 2/3) have got me keeping an eye on Mexican cinema.
One of the better film's I've seen this year. The independent/arthouse discussion thread linked above does contain Ted's initial post on the film and our subsequent mini-reviews.
As the film began, immediately the cat-calls/yelps began breaking out among many in the audience (the opening scene is very explicit). By the time the credits rolled, these voices were silent. The film takes some very typical genres (the road trip, the coming of age film) and does something with them that (by the end of the film, at least) feels utterly fresh and new.
I also really enjoyed the panning shots mentioned above.. as she embarks on the trip, and the scene in the restaurant. Very revealing, very understated. I had some initial reservations about the omnipotent narration and the way it abruptly shut out the soundtrack when it came on.. but in hindsight it's very effective because 1) it gives the film a very realistic, documentary feel without feeling exploitative and 2) there is a sense of 'this already happened' over the entire film which gives it a 'lyrical confidence.'
I really hope this film isn't over marketed or sold as something it's not, because as well as I can shut out things, there's something really intrusive for me about a shamlessly misrepresentative campaign for a film I love.
Some people have commented on the differences between the Spanish and Mexican accents, respectively, and how it really adds something to the film. As I am not a native speaker I would be interested to hear feedback on this from anyone.
THE BEST MEXICAN FILM SINCE AMORES PERROS!, i just loved this film, as Roger Ebert said, this film should not be rated, since its a film that everyone that can understand this kind of material can see
I saw this film Sunday afternoon in a theater that was near full - probably 100-120 people there. I was shocked that nobody walked out. I guess I tend to underestimate the audiences around here, but I expected the double whammy of subtitles and explicit sex to cause someone to decide they chose the wrong film.
I got to thinking afterward about movies with sexual content in general and the stigma that goes along with them. I have seen some people online (not here, thankfully) completely dismiss Y Tu Mamá También out of hand because the sexual content seemed gratuitous. My experience is limited, admittedly, but I haven't seen a film before this one where the sexuality was so inherent to the characterizations. If anything, I think that sexual behavior can be a better indicator of a person's character. It seems obvious (to me, at least) that the filmmakers didn't set out to be shocking just for the hell of it.
But the other thing that is missed by those who can't handle the sexual content is the interesting portrait of Mexico contained in the film. I spent two weeks in Mexico in 1999. Most of that time was spent in Guadalajara, which was somewhat similar to the Mexico City portrayed in the film. Then, at the end of the job I was doing, I had to get in a van with someone and drive all the way from Guadalajara back to the U.S. border. Outside of the major cities, it's amazing what the country is like, which is pretty much shown in Y Tu Mamá También. Unlike the characters in the film, we had to stop at each roadblock we came to.
I'm sure that the film was imparting a slightly more political angle than I had the knowledge to detect. But the intent to make a statement was definitely there. And because of that, I think a repeated viewing of the film would uncover more of these things. In my book, that's a high complement indeed.
To dismiss Y Tu Mama Tambien as simply a road movie of sexual discoveries would be a mistake. There is a deeper film at work here . To a certain degree, it works as a social and political satire and makes a statement about the current state of affairs in Mexico and about classism. Director Alfonso Cuaron succeeds in getting his points across using multiple storylines.
Is this film one of this year’s best? As a practice, I make it a point to see a film twice before I award it the full 4-star rating. Luckily, I will get a chance to see this film again and decide after that. Besides, there is so much to absorb in this film that it warrants more than one viewing.
This is the second import from Mexico I have seen in a year, the first one being Amores Perros. So far, I like what I am seeing from these filmmakers south of the U.S. border. They are films with substance.
Alfonso Cuaron (A Little Princess, Great Expectations) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores Perros) are two directors to keep an eye on.
The more I think about this film, the more I like it. I would compare this one to Pale Rider or Midnight Cowboy as a film that speaks to a certain class, group or generation.
Ted Todorov wrote: