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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Review: Gods of Mexico | Poems of Resistance to Globalization | Tomato

There are films that, if we equate literary or journalistic genres, we can classify them as novels, short stories, short stories, essays, reports or documentaries. There are also hybrids. However, there are others that can be equated to writing a book of poetry, such as the Dios de México – 100%, by Helmut Dosentos.

Read also: Gods of Mexico | Helmut Dosantos: “There are thousands of Mexicos for me and I felt the need to paint all those worlds”

Although it has a story rooted in its entrails – which is all Mexican – and micro-stories, its logical and rhetorical structure has a strong connection with the making of a bucolic book, full of exploration of cinematographic language in its pictorial and sonic detail. happened. Its raw material: documentary practice as a production base. Its edition is a reminder of the only limit of creation: the creativity of its authors.

That being said, I’ll attempt a preliminary definition. Gods of Mexico 100% is a lyrical documentary shot with common staging techniques in fiction. It is divided into three parts with four acts. Each part addresses topics framed by artificial expectation: I) Carpe Diem as a function; Second) Mexican portraits in the center of a landscape, where the protagonist is the wind; why III) Work and Day An anthem for communities that cling to their heritage in the country and challenge the imperium of globalisation. The film evokes cultural resistance: a heroism of the present that loves and defends its memory.

The camera in the Diocese de México is an extension of photography, a premise that gives the piece a meaning that is less dependent on anecdote and more stimulating to the imagination or contemplation that is usually assigned to an art gallery. have an intrinsic kinship with the rhetoric of their framing craft cinema, There are bird’s eye views, perspective shots as well as the tight framing that is commonly used to tell a story. save the gonzo nature of the documentaries we watch, for example bankruptcy (2013) by Roberto Fiesco The Storm – 91% by Tatiana Huezo (with whom she also collaborated on Noche de Fuego – 95%).

The film is an exercise in genre. For me personally, his exploration of the boundaries of a photographic genre (portrait) and a film genre (documentary) reminded me of the adventures of Andy Goldsworthy To create sculptures from performances, montages, interventions or videos in the woods while throwing leaves in front of the camera or dirt in a gorge. more than plastic sebastiao salgado, Elliot Landy, Yusuf Karsh, George Hurrell, Edward S. Curtis hey Joseph Sudek In their symbolic aspirations.

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In some aspects it is subservient to the contemporary documentary which tries to find a new poetry in the resistance to civilized progress, although strongly devoted to the extended cinema. jean youngblood, Some directors who are involved in events that mark countries as having open wounds are offered retrospectives. Werner Herzog’s adventures with meteorites or chasing a character in Grizzly Man – Review: Gods Of Mexico | Poems Of Resistance To Globalization | Tomato92% o Fireball —though this director relies heavily on monologues in his process. I think of a case that is similar to the narrative tension that highlights the realities of a country: Sergey Loznitsa, not in the parabolic sense of Field hey Donbassa little yes in the plastic arts and a focus on human relationships Picture, in dosantos There is also an aesthetic desire that evokes dialogue, a worthy successor to the tradition that begins John Grierson (can be easily seen on your granton trawler,

Gods Of Mexico, By Helmut Dosentos.  Courtesy Of The Director.
Gods of Mexico, by Helmut Dosentos. Courtesy of the director.

Since the foundation of film is cinematography and contemplation, I dare to approach it in a way that would be wrong for films. Mainstream Afraid of spoilers. I hope this map will help some viewers better cope with the tape.

The first part and first act, “1. Los Diablos”, presents daily life as an ongoing preparation for the nocturnal ritual, where it is clear that routine does its hatching into joy and happiness.

Each action aims to affirm personal and communal practices or values ​​as a heritage. For example, the relationship between the elderly and infants. A mother who brushes her hair in front of a mirror and sees in the reflection how her daughter imitates her. The mother leaves her reflection to find herself in her daughter, while the girl does not need to look at herself in the mirror: she vigorously combs her hair while looking at her mother. Both continue hunting: they know what to do when they see each other. There is past, there is present. The future doesn’t matter.

This section treats a working day as if it were a holiday. It is interspersed with vignettes in which residents of a community are followed, with cameras highlighting specific actions. The version avoids the static or boring excesses that are characteristic of artisanal cinema. For example, there are no continuous shots lasting several minutes.

Dance, theatricality, desire, fire, masquerade, relationships with animals (a butchered cow, a fighting cock bathed and massaged for battle) are rooted in an initiation ceremony for the youngest and courtship for the eldest. There is hubbub, singing, humming and contentment. Meeting of two lovers on the edge of a mangrove. A character who only feels fulfilled when he transforms into the Mask of the Night. The process of enjoying each day through dance is proof of fulfillment.

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Second part and second act of the Dioceses de Mexico – 100%, “2. Rhapsody to the Four Winds”, probably condemns the director’s bet on beautification. It consists, for the most part, of black-and-white portraits in fixed shots with generic and neutral shots, favoring shots where the characters are clearly at the center of a prominent landscape, whether natural or customary.

The average duration of these portraits is 15 seconds each, with a total of 52 portraits, a prologue and some aerial shots based on the exploration of a natural phenomenon or point of interest. These final pieces have a longer span and serve as transitions to relief of the patina of symmetrically calculated faces, profiles and horizons. It has about 13 pictures for each main point of the Mexican Republic. We see farmers, miners, mucks, raramurians, fishermen, sugarcane workers, traditional musicians, shamans, herders, cattle herders.

Each cardinal point is a Mexican deity. The only dialogue, thanks to wonderful sound editing, is air: the breaths of those caught; the crackle of burning meadows; noise of clothes when moving; the grinding of branches shaken by the wind; the treetops hiss; the whistles, chirping, squeals and howls of birds, monkeys and other animals; Breathe in the intricacies of mountains or buildings; Drone in flight fighting against the current during aerial shots.

Read: Dioses de México already has a critical rating

Wrapped in the sacred traditions of native and African-descendant communities, people count only for what they show in their gestures during the stamp. The wind in its various manifestations is the narrator of each story, the bearer of the song.

The Mexicans who appear, all from rural communities and sticking to traditions – within ethnographic-based scenes configured in collusion between the director and the natives – are the custodians of the sacred: aspects of culture that are worth preserving, where the deities The God of our country resides in them. By refraining from accentuating language by region, we appreciate differences and familiarities alike. We are the way the wind meets us and the way we modify the landscape.

God Of Mexico.  Courtesy Of The Director.
God of Mexico. Courtesy of the director.

The third part consists of two tasks: “3. white” and “4. Black”. The first one presents the processes and tasks of a salobral and the second one that of a miner. Both were rigorously assembled so as to display five key moments within each act: 1.- the workers with their respective characteristics, Coexistence, in sounds and the beings accompanying them; 2.- Activities related to fire as a transforming element of matter; 3.- Coexistence during meals, also with fire to make tortillas; 4.- the ego of seeing the fruits of action;and 5.- the entertainment that reminds them in the midst of work that they live and work to live, and not the other way around.

Economic activity performed in an artisanal manner (with rudimentary techniques and few industrial processes), still dependent on expertise, skill and human experience, is taxed as a hierarchical component. Two construction activities related to taking advantage of the earth to the point of incinerating rock between fire, water, and transportation. the director brings, like this, a jobs and days from Hesiod. It dignifies and displays the quality and intimacy that the trades involve, proving the value of a craft work in the way they are executed. In fact, the “white” part is the most traditional and the “black” part tells us about the most industrial aspect of the process.

&Quot;Blanco&Quot;, From The Gods Of Mexico.  Courtesy Of The Director.
“White”, from Diocese de México. Courtesy of the director.

All resistance requires a rhyme. In this case we see an opposition nurtured by a microcosm: majesty is in the earthly, not in gamut or pulpits. Chintan forms a ballad of everyday life in its various shades, reticent to the supernatural aspirations of civilisation. Gods of Mexico 100% is an experimental, artistic and professional feat that showcases the country’s natural and cultural wealth, the heritage of the sacred, in just about 140 minutes, in a way that never seems to tire.

At a time when readings of Mexico’s wealth have been limited to financial, macro-environmental indicators and depend on media interpretation of policies at the state level, gods of mexico is echoed in a critical reflection that respects the landscape without the urban taint. In the game of appearances it shows that there is greatness in small, there is law. There is no metaverse or multiverse, but there is a universe accessible to the eye.

&Quot;Negro&Quot;, From The Gods Of Mexico.  Courtesy Of The Director.
“Negro” from the Diocese de Mexico. Courtesy of the director.

The pareidolia that Helmut Dosantos repeats throughout the film puts it plainly and figuratively: the great eye that gazes back at the landscape; That is, from the Earth’s interior, with the crater as a frame. That eye is repeated in the sky with the Moon. When boat in mangrove water with your lovers. In all cases, it seems that the landscape, the person, all of them, look back at the viewer, looking directly at the camera.

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