Compare and contrast the film Motorcycles Diaries (2004) by Walter Salles and Memories of Underdevelopment (1969) by Tomás Gutierrez Alea
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Write a response to one of the following prompts. The essay must be in Times New Roman, size 12 font, double spaced, and 4-5 pages.
In writing your short essay take into account that every detail is a statement in meaning, therefore explain how any one (or more) of the Latin American directors’ work we have discussed in class finds ways of directing our gaze to specific areas in the image and how they attempt to make us aware of what is onscreen, and make us more conscious of what we’re seeing and why. Please analyze closely at least one scene in the film.
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A) According to David William Foster, in cinema, “allegory directs the spectator to understand how the personal is political and how the particular is historical, because every element in the social fabric is an interwoven part of the whole” (11) . Discuss how we could do a reading of the allegorical configurations represented in one of the films seen in class in relation to a specific socio-historical moment in Chile (Machuca & No) or Argentina (The Official Story and The Headless Woman).
B) “Cinema can draw viewers closer to reality without giving up its condition of unreality, fiction, and other-reality as long as it lays down a bridge to reality so that viewers can return laden with experiences and stimulation” (125). Discuss Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) in relation to this statement by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea in his essay “The Viewer’s Dialectic,” while taking into consideration the distinction he draws between the contemplative and the active spectator.
C) Compare and contrast the film Motorcycles Diaries (2004) by Walter Salles and Memories of Underdevelopment (1969) by Tomás Gutierrez Alea. How do you think we can contrast both films by considering the camera point of view shots? How are these two main characters represented in relation to social inequalities in Latin America?
D) According to Kristin Sorensen documentary films are a more direct way to circulate human rights discourses than fiction films (78). Explain how in Obstinate Memory (1997) the Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán tries to give a personal and collective account of the traumatic effects of the dictatorship. Take into consideration the effects of censorship for his film distribution.
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