By M. MacLaird
Comparing a huge choice of Mexican motion pictures made from the early Nineties to the current, this learn examines how construction equipment, viewers demographics, and aesthetic ways have replaced in the course of the earlier twenty years and the way those alterations relate to the country's transitions to a democratic political approach and a free-market financial system.
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Extra resources for Aesthetics and Politics in the Mexican Film Industry
Vargas’s summary of the changes is representative of a common perspective among artists and filmmakers, and the language of his outline embodies all of the same contradictions inherent to this moment of transition (and deconstructed by Smith): the efforts of individual filmmakers, acting as members of civil society, are propelling the struggle for state support, while the independent production companies—a collaboration of artists, investors, and marketing professionals—are the source of the “fresh ideas” that have kept interests in film production piqued in the past decade.
Reflecting on this period, Montiel Pagés recalls that he and other veteran filmmakers found this period to be disquieting, as they viewed Altavista as the return of the old private sector in the guise of novelty and innovation while taking advantage of the new economic climate (Montiel Pagés, personal communication, Oct. 2011). In some ways, the new form of private production seemed to be offering the potential to do everything the state did, and more. Altavista and Anhelo, both supported by two of Mexico’s largest corporations, combine the need for artistic innovation and commercial viability in their products, including their desire to give work to new talent and explore new topics and visions (Smith 2003b, 395).
NAFTA’s repercussions on exhibition and distribution opened floodgates to allow Hollywood studios to monopolize the market and as a result solidified the national divide between the two cinemas. Although two of the major exhibitors are Mexican-owned, the industry rift of exhibitors/distributors versus producers often reinscribes the national categories: Mexican producers accuse exhibitors (including television networks) of favoring US content, whereas exhibitors accuse Mexican cinema categorically of being of inferior quality.
Aesthetics and Politics in the Mexican Film Industry by M. MacLaird