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Mexican Filmmaking, Production, and Consumption in the Twenty-first Century

Frederick Luis Aldama

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

A pesar de todo, en especial de la catástrofe capitalista neoliberal, el cine mexicano sobrevive. Por ello, cada década se hace un refrito de la denominación “Nuevo Cine Mexicano.” El esfuerzos de los realizadores y técnicos que trabajan en esta arte-oficio-mercancía es milagroso. Milagroso y trágico. ...

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

I wrote this book after years of teaching contemporary Mexican cinema, and by “contemporary” I really mean contemporary: Mexican films made mostly in the first decade of the twenty-first century. This focus required me to grow the course in organic syncopation with films newly scripted, shot, spliced, or released. ...

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Lights, Camera, Action

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pp. 1-8

With a few nods to earlier moments in Mexico’s film history, the discussions in the following pages focus entirely on the twenty-first century. In many ways (and journalists have been quick to notice this), the first decade of this century marks a massive rebirthing moment in the making of Mexican films. ...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Mexican Film

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pp. 9-22

Like all cinematic narrative, Mexican films are first and foremost built of movement: of objects and characters within the frame, of the camera focus and angle, and in the juxtaposition of shots. More precisely, it is a double-structured ordering of movement (within the frame and in its composition) that allows Mexican filmmakers to reorganize the building blocks of reality ...

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Hecho a Mano... Hecho por Homo sapiens

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pp. 23-60

While each is unique in his or her film-story expression, Mexican filmmakers are all feeling, thinking, and imagining human beings who share a deep and long evolutionary history with other filmmakers and audiences—human beings in our totality—the world over. ...

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U.S - Mexico Crossings, Trends, and Backdrops

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pp. 61-75

Many twenty-first-century films by or about Mexicans are bound up with stories that one way or another cross the border between Mexico and the United States. In some cases, the film’s story line plots the actions and develops the characterizations of individuals who cross the border. ...

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Contexts, Critiques, Distribution, Exhibition, and Obstacles

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pp. 76-89

Twenty-first-century Mexican films have been identified by media pundits, scholars, and their directors themselves as part of the vital, vibrant buena onda (roughly, “new vibe”) Mexican cinema that, in the words of Alfonso Cuarón, is “reclaiming its part in the world.”1 Many take Amores perros and Y tu mamá también to be the films that best embody this buena onda worldview. ...

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Refrito and Buena Onda Films Put to the Test

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pp. 90-120

It is now time to show how systematic analysis can lead to critical evaluation of twenty-first-century films by or about Mexicans. I will unpack how the blueprints are put together and show how they aim to guide the senses, thoughts, and feelings of their ideal audiences. I will then show how these blueprints succeed or fail. ...

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Bubblegums That Pop; Refritos That Go "Ah"

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pp. 121-137

Perhaps surprisingly, the filmic sincerity and relevance informing some made-for-teens bubblegum films and adult-oriented refritos stand in sharp contrast to the buena onda alternative films of Cuarón and González Iñárritu. There are bubblegum and refrito films that renovate our perceptions, emotions, and cognitions related to the world. ...

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It's a Wrap

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pp. 138-140

Making, experiencing, interpreting, and judging twenty-first-century Mexican films requires us to use our perceptual, emotive, and cognitive faculties. As we have seen, these capacities lead to different artistic products. In this way Mexican films can be seen as a dialect of a planetary cinema. ...

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pp. 141-158

I come to the pleasure of writing this afterword to Mex-Ciné from a history that crosses all dimensions of the filmmaking and filmgoing experience: from cinematic exhibitor and archivist to producer, DP (director of photography), and much more. ...

Mex-Ciné Fimography

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pp. 159-242


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pp. 243-250

Works Cited

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pp. 251-256


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pp. 257-268

E-ISBN-13: 9780472029129
E-ISBN-10: 0472029126
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472071937
Print-ISBN-10: 0472071939

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 41 Halftones
Publication Year: 2013