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By M. MacLaird

Comparing a extensive choice of Mexican motion pictures made from the early Nineties to the current, this examine examines how creation tools, viewers demographics, and aesthetic ways have replaced during the earlier twenty years and the way those alterations relate to the country's transitions to a democratic political process and a free-market economic climate.

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Additional resources for Aesthetics and Politics in the Mexican Film Industry

Sample text

In 1961, the government nationalized the exhibition chains Compañía Operadora de Teatros S. A. (COTSA) and Cadena de Oro, consisting of a total of 329 cinemas (Lay Arellano 2005, 67). INDUSTRY AND POLICY 25 The 1970s offer the most exaggerated examples of the state’s fluctuating participation in the film industry, thanks to President Luis Echeverría’s efforts to win back the support of the intellectual middle class following his role, as secretary of state, in the violent repression of the student movements during the previous decade.

Two years later, the EZLN’s demand for land rights and social equality in the name of Emiliano Zapata and the state’s violent response to these demands created a stark contrast between cinema’s nostalgic exportable images of revolution and the very real conflicts taking place. Other films, such as Sólo con tu pareja (Love in the Time of Hysteria, Alfonso Cuarón, 1992) and Cilantro y perejil (Recipes to Stay Together, Rafael Montero, 1995) use the romantic-comedy genre to playfully present the impact of NAFTA on Mexico’s middle class as a central concern, yet managing to reconcile a coexistence of US business culture with family-centered traditions and values.

In 1989, IMCINE, which had operated as part of the Secretaría de Gobernación (Secretariat of Governance, SEGOB), transitioned into CONACULTA. The new goals of IMCINE under the direction of Ignacio Durán Loera (1989–94) were largely responsible for the next incarnation of a “New Wave” in the early 1990s, including Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate, Alfonso Arau, 1992), as well as a number of films by first-time filmmakers and women directors (de la Mora 2006, 140). The success abroad of several of these films is due largely to the superficial optimism with which they represent Mexican cultural history, making it easily consumable.

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