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Archive for the ‘1932’ Category

The making of QUE VIVA MEXICO cured Sergei Eisenstein of the desire ever to work in North America again. On the verge of leaving Hollywood in disgust in 1930, Eisenstein accepted financing from a group of investors, led by writer Upton Sinclair, to make an ambitious film on Mexican culture. When the director ran out of money before shooting was completed, Sinclair shut down production and seized the extant footage. More than 40 years later, the film was turned over to Eisenstein’s assistant, Grigori Alexandrov, and he edited what remained according to the director’s notes. The film consists of three vignettes: Sandunga, Manguei, and Fiesta. The first explores the precolonial world of the Incas, observing ancient architecture and detailing pagan religious practices and langorous mating rituals. In the second, a murderer is punished for his crime in an unusually graphic and barbaric manner. The third features a brilliantly photographed bullfight. There was to be a fourth episode, Soldadera, dealing with the 1910 revolution. Although it was never shot, Alexandrov describes Eisentein’s intentions with the aid of still photos and sketches. Despite its fragmentary nature, this unique document, permeated by images of eroticism and death, contains what is likely the most breathtaking photography of Mexico on celluloid.

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Film en cuatro episodios, más un prólogo y un epílogo. El prólogo presenta imágenes alegóricas del México prehispánico. El episodio “Sandunga” recrea los preparativos de una boda indígena en Tehuantepec. “Fiesta” desarrolla el ritual de la fiesta brava, mientras que “Maguey” escenifica la tragedia de un campesino victimado por rebelarse contra su patrón. “Soldadera” muestra el sacrificio de una mujer revolucionaria. El epílogo, también conocido como “Día de muertos”, se refiere al sincretismo de las distintas visiones que coexisten en México alrededor del tema de la muerte.

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