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Cantinflas & El bolero de Raquel

BUT FIRST, SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE FINAL PROJECT

Your turn to play teacher!

Each of you will be responsible for the presentation and preparation of a Mexican film that we didnt view in class. You will prepare a PowerPoint presentation with background information relevant to the film, assign relevant readings from the text [and find an additional source or 2 on-line], assign discussion questions and an essay topic. Everyone will pick a different film. Information about the films, including trailers if available, will be on the blog page. The film selection is first come, first served. This is your final exam; the PowerPoint you will present in class on the last day we meet (10 Dec.). The written part is due by 14 Dec.

The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema


1935-1959: World War II severely affected the film industries in the US and Europe. The US and Argentina concentrated on making war films; the film industries in Europe [France, Italy] were limited by rationing of cellulose, which was used to make film. They were also directly involved in combat, and if films were made at all, they were also war films.

Without competition from these other markets, and without direct participation in the war, plus the benefit of having most favored nation status for their support of the Allies, Mexican filmmakers were able to prosper.

Rural vs. Urban settings


All en el Rancho Grande was the first box-office success. The singing socialist cowboy flick was of the rural genre, and is also considered part of the musical/ comedy genre. Jorge Negrete starred in many of these films.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVinVgC rhQY

Pedro Infante
His singing career began in 1937; his film career in 1937. Before his death in 1957, he made 55 feature films and appeared in 4 others as himself. He also recorded 366 songs.

He became THE most popular actor in Mexico and after his death in a plane crash [his third] his fame continued to grow.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1ozsmZIG88&feature=related Esta noche me voy de parranda

Mara Flix

She was a larger-than-life full-fledged movie star. She starred in 47 films, many of which were mediocre except for her presence in them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnyI776dAtY Even if you dont speak Spanish, you can understand whats going on here. The man says I told you that I would kill you. Watch her face change from fear and surprise to defiance.

She constructed an image of a tough woman, a sort of one-liner she-male that went beyond the traditional role of Latin American women. Her marriage to Agustn Lara, the most popular Latin composer from the 30s to the 60s, was a great event itself. Her fame went beyond Mexico to Latin America, Spain, France and Italy. She always refused to learn English, so she never acted in any English language movie. That's the main reason why her fame was related almost exclusively to Latin countries.

Dolores del Ro
Dolores del Rio was the first Mexican movie star with international appeal and had a meteoric career in 1920s Hollywood (an extraordinary accomplishment for an Hispanic female in those years).

Her film career started in Hollywood; her first Mexican films werent until the mid 1940s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2hP9y oS1xI&list=LPI8ccFs3w6Wk&index=9&feat ure=plcp


She became the prototype for Mexican beauty internationally, and was said to sleep 16 hours/day to preserve said beauty.

The aforementioned stars performed mainly in rural dramas, playing peasants or natives, although on occasion they would play a more urban or wealthy character.

The URBAN genre films took place in the middle and lower class neighborhoods in Mexico City.

The initial urban genre films were comedies. These later gave rise to more serious films that addressed issues of crime, violence and poverty in the cities.

GRMAN VALDS (TIN TAN)


An actor, singer and comedian. He often played the pachucoa Mexican American of the 1930s-1950s who wore zoot suits and spoke a Spanish full of slang and English. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDFVDwfCl7M&feature =related Rancho Grande as a tango, in Cuba style, in Spanish style (!)

Pedro Armendriz
Armendriz had a brilliant career in Mexico, the United States and Europe.
Together with Dolores del Ro and Emilio Fernndez, Armendriz made many of the greatest films in the so-called Mexican Cinema Golden Era: Flor silvestre (1943), Bugambilia (1945), Mara Candelaria (Xochimilco) (1944), among others. He was considered a prototype of masculinity and male beauty. His green eyes and almost perfect features made him perfectly cast in any role he made. But it was his passion, force and acting abilities, combined with his quality of a gentleman what made him an instant favorite of great directors like John Ford, international costars like Mara Flix, Sean Connery or Susan Hayward, and his fans in Mexico and other countries.

CANTINFLAS1911-1993birth name Mariano Moreno Reyes

After lying about his age to join the army at age 16, he next decided to become a boxer. A knockout in the first round of his first fight inspired him to seek another career, this time in the carpa

http://users.marshall.edu/~brooks/LaCarpa-Garcia-photos.htm

His first film was in 1936; his most famous and popular films were made in the 1950s-early 70s. His last film, El Barrendero/The Street Sweeper was made in 1981.

He resembled Charlie Chaplin [who once called him the greatest comic in the world] in that he always played one type of charactera sketchy sort who talked his way into and out of difficult situations, exposing the hypocrisy and corruption of the politicians and other social agents who were after him [sometimes literally.]

cantinfleara verb meaning to talk disjointedly and rapidly and not actually say anything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ__hR 7pkbQ&feature=related

"Patriotas, patriotas de la patria, sabis lo que esa palabra significa

And now a real life example, in English, from a few years ago:

Cantinflas on TV

Amigo and Friends (also known in Spanish as Cantinflas Show, Cantinflas y Sus Amigos, or simply Cantinflas) is an educational children's cartoon that was originally made in Mexico in 1969.The show, which concentrates on a wide range of subjects intended to educate children, follows Amigo, a little Mexican character, who goes on educational adventures through time and space and gets to visit Shakespeare, see the ancient pyramids, and even travels to other planets.

http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=qUWBVXX 6h6A

Cantinflas the philanthropist

He donated millions throughout his lifetime to the Red Cross [la Cruz Roja], to APAC [kids with cerebral palsy] and to various organizations helping kids with cancer.

Since his death, his biological son and an adopted child have fought over the rights and proceeds from his recordings, and have even been jailed.

Cantinflas in English: Around the World in 80 Days

This 1956 film featured some of the biggest names of the time. Cantinflas played Passepartout, a sort of butler to star David Niven [the recent remake featured Jackie Chan in this role.] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4D0xXj w5_E

Tonights film, El bolero de Raquel


Bolero has 2 meanings in Spanish, and 2 meaning within this film.

Bolero=shoeshine boy
His profesion in this film.

Bolero, by Maurice Ravel


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34J5j74VPw

There have been a number of famous, or infamous, versions of this piece:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APj6E4 W6xBo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVD7d2I9Uo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2zbbN4 OL98

Chapultepec Park

Museums
National History Modern Art Anthropology Marine Science and Technology Natural History Childrens Historical Gallery

Castillo / Castle
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/chapul tepec-castle.htm

Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec in Spanish) is located on top of Chapultepec Hill.

The name Chapultepec stems from the Nhuatl word chapoltepc which means "at the grasshopper's hill".
It is located in the middle of Chapultepec Park in Mexico City at a height of 2,325 meters (7,628 ft) above sea level. The building has served several purposes during its history, including that of Military Academy, Imperial residence, Presidential home, observatory, and finally museum. It serves today as the Museo Nacional de Historia. In the 1860's, it was greatly transformed and refurbished to be used as an imperial residence by the reigning Mexican Emperor Maximilian I, and his consort Empress Carlota, during the Second Mexican Empire.

The film opens here.

Panten Jardn-cemetery

Acapulco

The other location presented in the film.

Acapulco in the 1950s and 60s was a hot spot for foreign, particularly US, tourists.

It was relatively cheap and easy to get to, exotic without being scary.

The combination of beach and mountains made for ideal weather and gorgeous scenery.

Everyone who was anyone showed up in Acapulco in those days.

1951

2008

Life for the natives 1951

2008

La Quebrada Cliff-divers
These are professional divers who jump from 45 meters or more into the water below. The official group was formed in 1934 although the activity dates from much earlier.

Many of the divers suffer brain injuries from the repeated contact with the water from such heights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcA653 58yjE

What to watch for / think about:


Roger Bartras analysis of Cantinflasdead on, off the mark, or a mixed bag?

Chavitas life and future

What elements of life and society are being criticized and commented on? Is broad humor and slapstick an appropriate vehicle? Do you think that what worked in 1956 no longer does?

For next week:


Readings on handout Presentations:

1. El Santo
2. Blue Demon

Review of tonights film: Tweet it! 140 characters not as easy as you think!

Discussion/ Discusin
What do you think Cantinflas is criticizing in this film? What is your reaction to his behavior with Chavita? with women? with the police? with the tourists? According to Bartra, this is more than a simple comedy. What do you think? Qu crees que estaba criticando Cantinflas en esta pelcula? Qu opinas de su comportamiento con Chavita? con las mujeres? con la policia? con los turistas? Segn Bartra, no es simplememente una comedia; qu opinas tu?

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