Month: January 2015

Notes on Latino Lack of Diversity in Hollywood and Selma Omissions

If you are Latino and have followed both the Golden Globes award ceremony and Academy Award nominations, then you might be celebrating eight Oscar nominations in several major categories or an unexpected win (and incredible speech) by Gina Rodriguez two weeks ago…down goes Dunham, down goes Dunham! By now you should have also come across articles criticizing the lack of diversity this year at the Oscars; more specifically, the meager two nominations for a critically acclaimed film like Selma…this after 12 Years A Slave won three Academy Awards last year, including nine nominations. Selma only received two nominations: one for Best Picture, which is also the most crowded and contested of all the major categories; and another for Best Original Song. But let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment, “Glory” is a really terrible song; it almost ruins the experience as you’re leaving the theater. So I interpret the nomination as a sarcastic gesture to say the least. Taking a few steps back always comes with its distractions. This year, you have Birdman receiving …

Notes on Developing as an Artist

This essay is meant as a personal history of my own aesthetic narrative, as I would imagine it to be for artists in general. In essence, I will be attempting to explain my experience of developing a creative process through the larger context of what it means to be an artist. In this way, I can analyze my progress and lay the groundwork for others to potentially examine their own personal narratives in relation to mine. The first stage, which I will call the Nascent stage, is the very beginning of the creative process, sort of like an aesthetic mirror stage for the artist to recognize his or her own creative potential. It’s interesting that I would have the opportunity to begin this essay one week removed from my interview with Argentinean indie musician Juana Molina. She had mentioned that she no longer actively sought creative influences; instead relying on some of her earliest influences as a child to inform her creative impulses. These influences were often inherited directly from her parents’ decision to expose …

Notes on Walking Out of Inherent Vice

I couldn’t sit through more than an hour of Inherent Vice. I’ve never read a Thomas Pynchon novel either, but hearing some of the narration, I would assume his narratives to suffer the same form of dry monotony. Who knows? It might just be remorse for not having read the book beforehand. Anyway, I decided that this experience, at more than two and a half hours and on a work night, wasn’t for me. That’s not to say it wasn’t difficult for me to leave the theater, but I’m trying to be less stubborn when it comes to forcing an experience onto myself. It really felt like you needed the book as a point of reference to understand the film. There were a couple of guys sitting a few rows ahead of me. I’m going to assume they were  either Pynchon bros, Paul Thomas Anderson bros, or perhaps some combination of both. Anyway, they were visibly excited for the film to start. So I kept an eye on them and noticed how much more they …

Notes on Dr. King’s Legacy in “Selma”

I’m still in awe at how much attention the portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in the film Selma has received in the last few days. Some have even gone as far saying that what happened in Selma was actually his idea (we shouldn’t take these criticisms seriously to say the least). To be honest, I didn’t think the film really made much of his legacy besides appealing to his vanity. Remember when he plagiarizes Dr. King when confronting Governor George Wallace about the repercussions of suppressing the movement? That’s about it. Maybe a few details have been rearranged or some have differing opinions on his role in the matter, but are we really having a discussion on the lesser of two historical figures presented in this film? I say lesser to emphasize that this is a black narrative. If anything, Dr. King gets a worse rap than the President. His legacy, which is often oversimplified for the sake of understanding, is  much more vulnerable to revision. In this case, it’s a good thing. Revealing, but …