Picture the scene: a short, empathetic Mexican woman dedicated to the art of massage has abruptly and unexpectedly entered into this superficial dynamics of extremely wealthy people gathering with a glass of exquisite cocktails. She remains unseen because she, herself, is not able to fit into this social ambiance in which she rarely believes and yet moves around to somehow make her point within such an elitist view of life. Her name is Beatriz and she is totally out of place.
Salma Hayek claims this role along with her astonishing performance as the Mexican Goddess, Frida Kahlo, to be her favorite performances of all her long career as an actress. Perhaps this has to do with Beatriz´connection to life itself and those who live in it. The actress has said to own a bunch of animals including dogs, cats, goats, birds and gold-fishes. But what is it that makes this role so special for the universal Mexican actress?
Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is about to participate in a revealing dinner with totally different people
It may be her simplicity, which combined with the hypocrisy of Californian elite resounds days after watching the movie. It could very well be her strong connection and empathy with the surroundings. The audience is able to feel her aching heart for human abusive behavior when it comes to his attitude towards the Earth, animals and other human beings. Perhaps what makes this specific role special is how unexpected the story turns out by the end of it, leaving each and everyone perplexed after witnessing what more than one would enjoy doing... Don´t worry, I am not going to make any spoiler.
I may be the reflective type rather than the fireworks lover. Perhaps this movie, which my friends claim to be weird-ish, heads towards an attempt of providing a Woody Allen or French-like gathering around a table, good wine and profound conversation about what life looks like and what´s our place in it. However, Beatriz at dinner seems to go beyond. It´s not just an inner (I am guilty) pleasure observing an apparently defenseless woman trying to defeat individuals oblivious to nowadays reality but also quite enjoyable to do so through a powerful woman that transcends her character.
It seems to me that class clashing is among the most interesting things in this social-political turmoil that cinema can provide. It must not be easy to take part in a diametrically opposed ambiance where your ideas are shuttered by people you don´t necessarily agree with, but at least Beatriz can say aloud she sticks to her principles and keeps being coherent with them. She deliberately tries to make her points over and over again unsuccessfully, embarrassing the guests continuously. The thing is that being out of place is a complete art.
Happy belated Father´s Day 2017 from ALFF ¡Cine Magnífico!
People will wonder why it is we are wishing you all a happy Father´s Day. The one and only reason is that we like to wish our beloved parents day after day how great they are! Cinema has shown over the years this strong bond that unites us with our fathers no matter where or when. If I may, this works also as a personal call to tell mine, who is far away in Spain, how much I love him. Now, who would be the first loving father that would come to your mind within the 7th Art? I guess there are as many tastes as colors and yet one of them could be... Bingo! Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, perhaps the most representative example of a fighter, knowing the situation he and his family is confronting and never giving up on his children.
Mrs. Doubtfire having fun while cleaning
If you also have straight away several examples of movies where giving fathers work so hard to make their children´s life better, that could only mean two things: a father is irreplaceable and loving cinema makes you one of us!
Today is the World Environment Day and we want to celebrate it by making visible important values such as respect for nature, sustainable development and green attitude diffusion. Being part of the cinema sphere implies relating the latter with everything taking part of our society. Environmental awareness is no longer seen as a hippy concern but rather as a world-wide issue involving every human being no matter the background.
The world needs to be protected not owned and spreading the word about this is crucial for every living thing on planet Earth. Cinema has showed us over the years different sides of nature either from a catastrophic perspective, an educational one or else romanticized. Every case has helped however to increase environmental awareness in many different levels. The 7th Art is a great platform to serve major causes in a remarkably artistic way.
Here we offer a small selection of movies visibly related to the environment:
"Avatar" (2009) by James Cameron is one of the highest-grossing films ever, widely known by its fierce nature preservation message
"Finding Nemo" (2003) by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich under Disney and Pixar alliance came to revolutionized animation movies and at the same time making us reflect on the importance of cooperating with one another and respecting the marine environment
"Before the flood" (2016) by Fisher Stevens under National Geographic and with the actor Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most recent, devastating portraits of human unlimited consumerism and its consequences
Every kind of film may show very well the issue in question: fiction, animated and documentary. Each and one of the ones here have shaped somehow my view on nature and how I can deconstruct at least partially the unlimited consumerism mode I have been raised in. Let´s take a step further in protecting the environment and let´s make cinema a great part of the process.