By M. MacLaird
Comparing a wide choice of Mexican movies made from the early Nineteen Nineties to the current, this research examines how creation equipment, viewers demographics, and aesthetic methods have replaced in the course of the earlier 20 years and the way those adjustments relate to the country's transitions to a democratic political approach and a free-market economic system.
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Additional resources for Aesthetics and Politics in the Mexican Film Industry
They contend that not just the state, but also cultural production and the mass participation in it, are necessary to keep up a unified nationalism, and in that sense, the national narrative is never purely authoritarian and uncontested. Rather, it is useful to think of Mexican cultural production as a dialectical dynamic between various forces, with fluctuating coalitions, including US culture itself. While the economic imbalances brought on by the free-trade agreement are undeniable, responding with nostalgia for a bygone era ignores the new aesthetic and political ground broken in cinema over the past decade, and calling for the simplistic solutions of creating a “cultural exemption” or protecting “cultural heritage” forgets the very contestation of cultural preservation brought by Zapatistas and other indigenous communities.
IMCINE’s efforts to reform the agency follow the general shift in Mexico toward the professionalization of film production, and at the same time present a level of interaction within the social sphere absent from corporate-run production companies. 25% [of registered public institutions] do not function and the rest operate with grave deficiencies: ‘they are minimally functional and serve little purpose’” (“Reconocimiento” 2009). Historians Gilbert Joseph, Anne Rubenstein, and Eric Zolov propose a need within Mexican cultural and historical criticism to rethink post-1940s Mexican culture as more than just a master narrative put forth by a monolithic state, and instead view the state itself as a fragmented entity riddled with fissures and contradictions: “Cultural and political relationships between Mexicans themselves, between Mexicans and their government, between Mexicans and a host of actors and agencies in the United States, and between Mexicans and rest of Latin America are far more complicated and ambiguous than the revisionist metanarrative will allow” (2001, 6–7).
The existence of both funds positions IMCINE as a proponent of both sides, and follows with CONACULTA’s foundational ideology. The international attention to Mexican cinema in the years of millennial transition seemed to renew hope for the industry. The success of films such as Amores perros and Y tu mamá también piqued the interest of foreign and domestic investors, and Fox’s administration directed more attention to the industry than his predecessor did. The budget allocations to FIDECINE in 2001 were not yet regular, and in 2002 it received no funding (Ugalde, personal communication, December 2011).
Aesthetics and Politics in the Mexican Film Industry by M. MacLaird