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Guillermo del Toro
10 personal musings about ROMA. 1) The opening shot suggests that earth (the shit-infested ground) and heaven (the plane) are irreconcilably far even if they are joined -momentarily- and revealed, by water (the reflection). All truths in ROMA are revealed by water.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
2) These planes of existence, like the separation within classes in the household cannot be broached. The moments the family comes "closer" are fleeting... "She saved our lives" is promptly followed by "Can you make me a banana shake?"
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
3) In my view, Cleo's "silence" is used as a tool for her dramatic arch- that leads to her most intimate pain being revealed, by water - again- after the Ocean rescue: "I didn't want her to be born" Cleo surpasses and holds her emotions in silence until they finally pour out
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
4) One key moment, precisely crafted is Cuaron's choice to have Cleo's water break just as the violence explodes and her boyfriend breaks into the store holding both a gun and a "Love Is..." T shirt. The baby will be stillborn.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
5) In every sense, ROMA is a Fresco, a Mural, not a portrait. Not only the way it is lensed but the way it "scrolls" with long lateral dollies. The audio visual information (context, social unrest, factions & politics / morals of the time) exists within the frame to be read.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
6) It seems to me that the fact that Cuaron and Eugenio Caballero BUILT several blocks (!) of Mexico City in a giant backlot (sidewalk, lampposts, stores, asphalted streets, etc) is not well-known. This is a titanic achievement.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
7) The Class stratas are represented in the film not only in the family but within the family and the land-owning relatives and even between Fermin and Cleo- when he insults her in the practice field.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
8) ROMA cyphers much of its filmic storytelling through image and sound. When viewed in a theatre, it has one of the most dynamic surround mixes. Subtle but precise.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
9) Everything is cyclical. That's why Pepe remembers past lives in which he has belonged to different classes, different professions. Things come and go- life, solidarity, love. In our loneliness we can only embrace oh, so briefly by the sea.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
10) The final image rhymes perfectly with the opening. Once again, earth and heaven. Only Cleo can transit between both. Like she demonstrates in the Zovek scene, only she has grace. We open the film looking down, we close looking up- but the sky, the plane, is always far away.
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
Cuaron often uses the Ocean in a metaphorical way: Children of Men, Roma, Y Tu Mama Tambien, etc
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
And the great ending of Gravity... The studio was pressuring Alfonso to "show" helicopters in the sky, coming to rescue Sandra Bullock's character. He said "no". Emerging from the water was the triumph, touching the earth- standing...
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Guillermo del Toro Jan 13
Replying to @RealGDT
The studio then said: "Ok what about hearing the helicopters?" Alfonso, once more, said "no". The studio then suggested adding a radio giving her coordinates, promising help. Alfonso said "no". Once more an ending made of Air, land and water.
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