Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

30

Nov

PAN-AMERICANISM in The Motorcycle Diaries

CRITICAL ANALYSIS:

In the film the Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto and Alberto travel across South America. Ernesto narrates that rather than several countries, he merely sees a large land populated by a common people. That it is impossible to see where one country starts and another begins, that everyone is affected by poverty and live quaint, honest lives that have not changed in thousands of years. Thus, he introduces the theme of Pan- Americanism, that the people and cultures are relatively similar as is the unfair condition of America’s workers. This unified cultural identity is similar to Pan-Americanism as the people that Ernesto and Alberto encounter all are suffering because of Western consumerism or the greed of large corporate companies who are exploiting the cheap labor available to them on the continent.

THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES

SYNOPSIS:

The Motorcycle Diaries is a 2004 Global Art Film directed by Walter Salles, and is considered a ‘road film’ that was filmed all across South America. The film depicts the early life and transformational journey of revolutionist Ernesto ‘Fuser’ Guevara, later known as ‘Che’ Guevara who helped bring forth the Cuban Revolution (and who was assassinated by the CIA for his pro-communist and anti- capitalist sentiments). Ernesto, who is almost done with completing med school and is best friend Alberto Granado a bio chemist, live in Buenos Aires, Argentina and embark on a 5,000 mile trek across the South America. Their goal was to reach Venezuela in only four months time via motorcycle. The two men travel across the continent and encounter many obstacles along the way as well as see first hand the inequality and poverty that plagues the continent. As the story progresses, Ernesto becomes more and more outraged by the suffering of the poor and native people, which culminates in a speech he gives on his birthday at the leper colony in Peru. After three weeks time, Ernesto and Alberto have established a rapport with the lepers who are segregated from the nuns and doctors who live separately. This causes Ernesto to swim across the Amazon river to the other side, regardless of the difficulty and inert dangers and spend his birthday with his friends in the leper colony. The film ends with Ernesto and Alberto leaving the colony and then part ways themselves.

20

Nov

MUSIC in Chungking Express

CRITICAL ANALYSIS:

In the film there are two central stories, both of them essentially love stories involving policemen. In each of the stories, the central characters are personified through music and song. In the first story the main character, a woman wearing a blonde wig is characterized as a drug dealer, which is enhanced through the intense fast, paced music  that matches her as she is continuously running.Additionally, the Indian men involved in the blonde woman’s drug cartel are developed through the presence of Hindi music.  In the background of the story, there is an American man whom is developed by American pop music. In the second story, Faye is developed through the Beach Boys song ‘California Dreaming,’ which reflects Faye’s desire to travel abroad and study. The music in the film aids in the development of the pace and mood of the two stories, and intertwines them, aiding in providing cohesiveness.

CHUNGKING EXPRESS

SYNOPSIS:

Chungking Express is a 1994 Global arts film directed by Wong Kar Wai. The film is composed of two love stories both of which involve a police man. In the first story, a policeman is sad over the rejection of being dumped and is looking for a sign that his girlfriend wants him back. As a result he eats thirteen cans of expired pineapple and ends up getting sick. He then goes to a bar where he meets a blonde woman (that was a drug dealer throughout the story) and ends up bring her to a hotel so  she can sleep off her hangover from a night of drinking.In the second story, Faye, a cashier at a local restaurant falls for a heartbroken police officer and eventually befriends him. Faye frequently breaks into the policeman’s apartment and redecorates. The policeman slowly falls for her as well and asks her out, only to get stood up. Faye went to California and decides to become a flight attendant and gives the policeman a voucher for a ticket. A year later, Faye returns only to find that the Policeman in the process of turning her old work into an actual restaurant. He begs her to stay, but she wont and instead leaves him another plane ticket.

13

Nov

GLOBALIZATION in Lisbon Story

CRITICAL ANALYSIS:

At the beginning of the film, Philip is seen traveling across Europe. Wenders portrays each country Philip encounters as very much the same. On and on Philip is passing the same road signs, the same backdrop, and the same kinds of cars. Through this  Wenders builds upon the theme of globalization, that as the world progresses and trade and people move from country to country everything become more and more unified. Culturally, Europe is very much the same, the same customs and ideas have become present through the modernization of Europe, especially through the implementation of the EURO. In the opening segment of the film, we see Philip traveling from place to place, but everything looks the same which shows the continuity of the culture that had resulted from the globalization in Europe.

LISBON STORY

SYNOPSIS

Lisbon Story is a 1994 German/Portuguese/English film directed by Wim Wenders. The story circulates around Philip who is a sound engineer and is asked by his friend Friedrich to come to Lisbon, Portugal to make the sound for his documentary film he had been working on. When Philip (finally) makes it to Lisbon, he encounters Friedrich’s empty apartment and settles in. Over the next few days he encounters several of the local children whom have also been helping out Frederich with his film as well as cryptic messages from Friedrich. Philip also encounters a band hired for the soundtrack and becomes enamored with the lead singer. Philip finally finds Friedrich who has become disillusioned with his project, and helps him find his way back and in the end the two are seen making the film (somewhat disastrously).

04

Nov

FATE in The Double Life of Veronique

CRITICAL ANALYSIS:

Throughout the film, the symbol of puppets (especially in the second half) are used to reinforce the theme of free will and fate. this deterministic view point shows how Veronique goes through life living in the shadow of Weronica (even though she is not exactly aware of her existence) and essentially avoiding her mistakes. this is shown most evidently through Veronique’s in explicable yearning to quit her successful career as a singer right after Weronica dies because of singing. She doesn’t know why, only that she has to. Kieslowski provides the audience with the question of whether or not Veronique is really in control of her own fate or not. Although through the films end, we see Alexandre making puppets for his show and begins to explain the duality that Veronique has always felt. Here we see Veronique come to this realization and retreat from the room as the screen fades to darkness. Kieslowski seems to be stating that fate is inevitable, and even when you think you’re in control, you’re really not.

THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE

SYNOPSIS:

The Double Life of Veronique is a Polish and french film directed by Krysztof Kieslowski. This film is considered an global art film due to its filming techniques. The film is about Weronika and Veronique, two identical women living unawares (somewhat) of the others existence. Weronika lives in Poland, and dies as a result of her singing career. Meanwhile in France, Veronique has the sudden urge to quit her singing career based on some inexplicable loss she feels (unaware that it is due to Weronika’s death). For the rest of the film Veronique enters in a relationship with Alexandre, a puppeteer who uses her for a psychological experiment, but ends up falling in love with her. In the end, Alexandre discovers Weronika in photos Veronique took on her vacation to Poland and several other countries and ends up making a two puppets of Veronique. As he explains the plot for his new play, Veronique comes to terms with the bond of her doppelganger. The story in its duality of the two lives of the same woman is a representation of a post world war two Europe, representing the fatalistic and static eastern Europe, and the free, progressive western Europe.