Discussion-Film Response 3: The Swamp (La ciénega)

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Keep in mind that your response should NOT simply be a re-narration of the film’s plot or a summary of the assigned reading. A higher grade will be awarded to responses that demonstrate your ability to provide original interpretation of the film while also applying relevant concepts, issues, and theories covered in the course.

How does the film, The Swamp, create an atmosphere of stagnation and decay? (Name at least three examples)

How does the film portray the families in the film and what do you think this portrayal says about the role this social class may have in Argentina?

The film lacks a clear protagonist and portrays the characters in a fragmented fashion, with the camera frequently shooting at oblique angles or not showing full bodies or even presenting head shots. How does this influence your perception of these characters? What do you think the director is trying to tell us about these characters by this use of fragmented representation?

and have a short peer review to this one.

The Swap portrays stagnation and decay through the lack of action in the characters lives, the state of the pool and at times the houses, and the state of the drunken mom and dad. The characters don’t really have a plot or a reason in the film, the film just shows them day to day in a really hot house with too many people.

There are no clear ambitions or storylines happening. This creates stagnation in the movie and kind of portrays the characters as stuck in their lives.The dirty pool, living areas, and people at times also portrays decay. The pool is dirty the whole time and often the children are sweaty and dirty from the day and often get the houses dirty in the process.

This shows decay because they are not cleaning the pool or themselves. It is just wasting away with time. There is no motivation to be clean or feel clean.The drunkenness of the parents and their denial of a problem also shows stagnation and decay in the film. They are constantly drinking and going nowhere day to day, the dad is shown most of the time just sleeping. They are ‘wasting’ away their lives in a sense due to sitting around drunk all day.

Nothing is happening, they are in a stagnate life and decaying as the days go by.2. From my portrayal of the film, there are two main families shown. The older mom and dad who have Jose, Momi, Vero, etc, and all of the dogs. This family is more wealthy and can afford to buy (for example) things off of TV commercials like new fridges. The parents drink all of the time which shows wealth and they have a larger house with a pool.

Though nothing is really kept up. They also have two housekeepers that stay with them. The other family which is the mom and dad that have Luchi, the little girl, and the older girl is in a different situation. They have a smaller house, and seem to be less wealthy. Something that stood out to me though was that the children in this family seemed more ‘put together’ compared to the wealthier family. I think this is due to lack of parenting in the wealthier family.This portrays that the social classes in Argentina are similar to those in America.

The wealthier class can afford to buy things and have things they don’t need. And lower classes have to work harder for what they need.3.I think they are doing this to try and get the viewer to not fully sympathize or connect with the characters. The characters themselves are not that important in the film, but more of the dynamics of the relationships between the characters.

Personally, it makes me pay more attention to what is happening versus how I feel about the characters. I think the director is more focused on the plot (which little there is) rather than the build of the characters.

 

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