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Mexican Cinema 1990 >>

vikiwalden | Tuesday November 06, 2012

Categories: A Level, EDUQAS A Level, EDUQAS A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Film History, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, Cronos, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Genres & Case Studies, Mexican

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Background: The Beginnings

To fully comprehend any one period in a country’s cinema, there needs to be some contextualisation. Early Mexican filmmakers profited from the turbulent times the country faced at the turn of the century. The civil war was the subject of many silent films; several significant battles were documented on camera. As the country began to stabilize during the 1930s, filmmakers had a myriad of social issues to choose from as themes for their films. However, they preferred a detachment from reality and this tradition would continue.

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After the Second World War, Mexican cinema entered its “Golden Age? characterized by formulaic, commercial films. Counter to this was the work of Spanish émigré, Luis Buñuel. His surrealist films often attacking bourgeois values established him as one of the country’s most important filmmakers – though because of his nationality many debate this status.

As the baby boom filmmakers of America produced edgy and youthful offerings, so the middle class Mexicans abandoned the work of their countrymen in favour of Hollywood’s new generation. Rather than compete, Mexican filmmakers favoured the commercial style. From the 1960s to 1980s sex comedies, drug traffic films, action films, punk action films and melodramas targeting a less-educated audience were the most common national productions at the cinema.

While many countries were in the midst of a new wave, filmmakers in Mexico were uninspired by their socio-political climate; stabilized after the revolution and World War 2, the existing socio-economic problems were constant as was the reigning Communist PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, Institutional Revolutionary Party) government. No major events had happened to capture the interests of filmmakers, bar the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre.

In the 1980s, PRI faced its first convincing opposition party, the right-wing PAN (Partido de Acción Nacional, National Action Party). As...


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