Lecture: Gaston Lillo. Film: EL BRUTO

Donnerstag, 27. April 2023, 20 Uhr

Gaston Lillo (Ottawa)
Melodrama in EL BRUTO: An Aesthetics of Astonishment

Among the roughly twenty films that Buñuel made during the course of his Mexican period, some, like LOS OLVIDADOS (1950), EL ÁNGEL EXTERMINADOR (1962) and NAZARÍN (1959), have received a positive critical reception and won international prizes, contributing to the director’s prestigious image. However, other films from this time, such as EL GRAN CALAVERA (1949), SUSANA (1951) and EL BRUTO (1953), were considered as films made “for pecuniary reasons”, “without great aesthetic interest”, containing “inexplicable concessions”. On the basis of the reevaluation which the melodrama has undergone in recent years (thanks in part to the writings of Peter Brooks) and the growing theoretical interest in the importance of the affective dimension of texts, Gaston Lillo will show how EL BRUTO uses the narrative and thematic resources of the melodrama outside of a pejorative, mocking ethos, typical of irony, while pointing towards an ethical and ideological horizon contrary to that which characterized the Mexican melodrama films of the era. At the same time, Lillo will show that the film, through its “emotional pull”, activates mechanisms of subjectivation which distance it from the subjective interpellation of the then dominant Mexican discourse.

Gaston Lillo is professor of modern languages and literatures at the University of Ottawa.

Vortrag in französischer Sprache mit Übersetzung

Film: EL BRUTO (MX 1953, 83 Min.)

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