Solanos and Getino discuss cinema waves in their article “Towards a Third Cinema,” which delineates the destructive nature of mass communications. They underline how “cultural penetration, pedagogical colonization and mass communications all join forces today in a desperate attempt to absorb, neutralize, or eliminate any expression that responds to an attempt at decolonization” (Solanos and Getino 10).

Throughout the article the authors enumerate the three major cinema waves. The first portrayed “movie life,” a reality constructed by those in power (Solanos and Getino 14). The nouvel vague cinema, was the second wave, which allowed the film maker to express himself freely. The third wave, allows the cinematographer to use his new found freedom to help decolonize the world.

Many of the films we’ve seen in the last week are a reflection of this new wave, which strives to shock and disturb the viewer into life. Artists use compelling music which mimics the heart beat of the community, of the tribe, to engage the viewer in the film. An example of this is the slaughterhouse scene in La Hora de los Hornos. This gruesome, crude, and bloody scene pushes the viewer to the edge of their seat, but perhaps too much. After having listened to group presentations this week which showed a completely different approach to engaging the viewer, I have begun to wonder if third wave cinema’s approach was the best. Though I agree that viewers need to be shaken out of their complacency, sometimes too much shock value leads to the opposite effect. What happens when that doesn’t help? When forcing people who have been complacent all their lives to see something so terribly shocking, it may make them want to hide from the truth further. I would be interested to see if with social media we have entered a fourth wave which tries to push people towards action in a more interactive and engaging way.


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