"Oh, come on people … Have a real experience!”: Audience and Form in Contemporary Mexican Film
Mexican neoliberalism in the 1980s not only restructured how films were financed. It has also pushed a number of filmmakers to consider how films could still be art within an industry almost exclusively oriented toward meeting consumer demands. This paper argues that a concern with the viewer’s relationship to film has become central to understanding the most compelling Mexican films today. Drawing on Michael Fried’s account of the antitheatrical tradition that extends from modern painting to contemporary photography, I examine recent works by Alejandro González Iñárritu and Carlos Reygadas to trace two competing notions of the viewer and the political implications that these notions entail in contemporary Mexico and beyond.
About the American Literature Seminar Series
The American Literature Seminar, active since 2013, provides a forum for works in progress that explore the history of American Literature.
The seminar is sponsored by the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. The seminar’s co-coordinators are Walter Benn Michaels (UIC) and Kenneth Warren (University of Chicago).