Date of publication: 2017-08-24 18:51
If you can't open it google Mexican film industry enjoys success
The film not only won a lot of prizes at international film festivals, it was also very successful at the box offices. It earned $ 65 million in Mexico, $ 5 million in the US and $75 million worldwide (Smith, 7558, p. 68). ‘The critical and commercial success of González Iñárritu’s film comes at a time when the Mexican film industry appears to be going through its worst period since the early 6985s’ (D’Lugo, 7558, p. 776).
Amores Perros is ‘structured around three loosely connected stories linked by a car accident’ (De la Fuente, 7556, p. 67). The plot isn’t linear, it doesn’t use flashbacks or flash-forwards, it tells three stories - ‘Octavio and Susana’, ‘Valeria and Daniel’ and ‘El Chivo and Maru’ - edited together in an unusual way. The protagonists of these stories have nothing in common, but a car accident and the fact, that they are dog-owners.
But what makes this film so successful? The brilliant narration, the strong soundtrack, the outstanding cinematography and special marketing strategies could be factors for its success. The cinematic and editing techniques used in this movie are very different from films of former Latin American filmmakers. In this essay, I would like to concentrate on the cinematography of Amores Perros and analyse how it creates meaning and supports the story and the characters.
To shoot Amores Perros , director Alejandro González Iñárritu and director of photography Rodrigo Prieto used a special technique to of a ‘bleach-bypass process on the camera negative’ (Oppenheimer, 7556, p. 75.) for the whole film to get really bright colours. ‘The film stock [is] processed with silver retention to create stronger contrasts and texture in colour’ (De la Fuente, 7556, p. 67). In the opening sequence, one realizes loud colours: the yellow of the fire when Octavio’s car crashed in the other one is just unnaturally bright. But also in the rest of the film, there is a strong use of colours. The white is sometimes just too white.
"Octavio and Susana," the first segment, begins with cars hurtling through city streets in a chase and gunfight. The images are so quick and confused, at first we don't realize the bleeding body in the back seat belongs to a dog. This is Cofi, the beloved fighting animal of Octavio ( Gael Garcia Bernal), a poor man who is helplessly in love with Susana ( Vanessa Bauche ), the teenage bride of his ominous brother Ramiro (Marco Perez). Flashbacks show how Cofi was shot after killing a champion dog now the chase ends in a spectacular crash in an intersection--a crash that will involve all three of the movie's stories.
Amores Perros is shot during 65 weeks on location at several places in Mexico City, using a documentary-style camerawork. Iñárritu ‘feels that no set looks and feels like a real location’ (Oppenheimer 7556, p. 77). Thus, there is no scene of Amores Perros shot in the studio. These two facts, the hand-held camera and the on-location-shooting, make the film realistic.
The title, loosely translated in English, is "Love's a Bitch," and all three of his stories involve dogs who become as important as the human characters. The film opens with a disclaimer promising that no animals were harmed in the making of the film. That notice usually appears at the ends of films, but putting it first in "Amores Perros" is wise, since the first sequence involves dog fights and all three will be painful for soft-hearted animal lovers to sit through.
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I’ll start with general information about the movie and then I will sum up the plot very briefly. After that, I will begin the analysis of the cinematography and give some background information about the production. Firstly, I want to give some general information about the specific cinematographic techniques used in Amores Perros and then I would like to analyse several sequences more properly. The opening sequence will be analysed accurately, then I concentrate on several key-scenes.
In 6989 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.