By Zuzana M. Pick
With a solid starting from Pancho Villa to Dolores del Río and Tina Modotti, developing a dead ringer for the Mexican Revolution demonstrates the an important position performed by way of Mexican and overseas visible artists in revolutionizing Mexico's twentieth-century nationwide iconography. Investigating the convergence of cinema, images, portray, and different photograph arts during this approach, Zuzana choose illuminates how the Mexican Revolution's timeline (1910-1917) corresponds with the emergence of media tradition and modernity.
Drawing on twelve foundational motion pictures from Que Viva Mexico! (1931-1932) to And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003), choose proposes that cinematic photos mirror the picture repertoire produced in the course of the revolution, frequently enjoying on current nationalist issues or on folkloric motifs designed for export. eventually illustrating the ways that modernism reinvented present signifiers of nationwide identification, developing identical to the Mexican Revolution unites historicity, aesthetics, and narrative to counterpoint our realizing of Mexicanidad.
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Extra resources for Constructing the Image of the Mexican Revolution: Cinema and the Archive
Scenes of the training of army reservists, a boating mishap at an outdoor festival, and the flight of Tomás Braniff in 1910 complement shots of traditional indigenous dances recorded in different locations, a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Guadalupe sanctuary, and allegorical carts pulled by oxen at a parade in Mexico City in 1904 to offer a view of a society and culture where, according to the narrator, tranquillity and prosperity prevail. This alignment of the cinematic image with the slogan “Order, Peace and Progress” of the Porfirio Díaz presidency is disrupted by the narrator’s account of the political disagreements between his (fictional) father and uncle.
The glamour of the bourgeoisie is but a pretense, as Carlos Monsiváis comments on their photographs in the Casasola Archive: “Perfect clothes, Parisian education, these are the badges of their otherness: we are less Mexican than the rest, and could pass for Europeans” (1984, 40; original emphasis). The scope of the monthlong celebrations in Mexico City in September 1910 is also illustrated in this ten-minute segment. The obsession with appearance over substance characteristic of the period is rendered cinematically through compositions and framing to reveal how ornate monuments and avenues were turned into a stage for the performance of a narrative 30 Constructing the Image of the Mexican Revolution of modernity.
In the first, filmed by Abitía, the focus is the figure of Carranza on horseback. As in the postcards published at the time, he appears generally in the foreground, his body somewhat angled, with Obregón at his side. With shots taken above street level, or slightly over the heads of the predominantly male crowd, he seems to be swallowed up by the admiring masses. A singular high-angle shot, presumably taken by a cameraman riding on a horse and from behind Ca rranza’s head, shows him interacting with those who have come to greet him.