Author Topic: P sychotropic Sunrise  (Read 4155 times)

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Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2013, 12:34:21 PM »
+5
Yes, you are right completely in all accounts. I just don't think my job as an artist is to warn people about the dangers of drugs, nor is it to make an ad for drug use. Point of view is unavoidable, and I am a libertarian in that sense, I don't believe in prohibition and I basically think that regarding the recreational use of drugs, people should have the freedom to find answers for themselves. Drugs and food, and alcohol and partying, smoking, sex, and pretty much anything that includes fun in life has the potential to become a problem for individuals and societies, but I don't think prohibition is the answer there.

As I said, most film dealing with drugs as a "main subject" sooner or later impose a moral judgement on the characters regarding their use of drugs, there is always some sort of "punishment" in the serious films, or in the case of stoner comedies, characters tend to be portrayed as idiotic because they smoke pot, like they can't do anything but laugh non stop or say lame things or get the munchies. This is in tune with the official discourse of the war on drugs, the message being that drugs can be fun but they're ultimately unable to offer much more than that. This film definitely aims to show another side of the story. Not only because it's important to me personally, but because we in Mexico, are literally living the worst consequences of that "drugs are bad" philosophy, when it becomes institutionalized. In fact, I wrote the screenplay during the worst moment of the drug war in my city, with people shooting each other on the streets, hand grenades being thrown to cops, kidnappings, robberies out of control, completely corrupted police forces violating individual freedoms and entering houses without warrants, and just a general depressing atmosphere of violence and awfulness. More than a way to answer to this politically, I guess I did all this to answer to that situation emotionally. There is a mexican film called Heli, by Amat Escalante, which deals with the subject of drug trafficking gone bad. It's a horribly disturbing movie, and there's people saying "well, that's reality in Mexico". But my movie is reality in Mexico too, and the question to me is what reality seems less hurtful.

I guess a lot of these things will hopefully become clearer when you have the chance to see the film, and also that is not only about drugs. The subject is hot shit in Mexico, and is inevitable to get some heated opinions on it, let's hope that actually helps me to find a festival where to show it and then a good audience to share it with.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2013, 01:39:42 PM »
0
Drugs and food, and alcohol and partying, smoking, sex, and pretty much anything that includes fun in life has the potential to become a problem for individuals and societies

I don't want to sound harsh, but as someone who has seen people very close to me have problems with drugs and alcohol, lumping those things together with food and sex and fun is cataclysmically ignorant.

I'm not even talking about politics, law, policy, or the drug war. I'm more interested in this as a cultural conversation. (And your film, as I understand it, is engaging in on that same level.)

I think an artist should take ownership of their own cultural effect. Not necessarily to alter it, but at least to consider it and acknowledge it. That is sort of why this is jarring to me:

the official discourse of the war on drugs, the message being that drugs can be fun but they're ultimately unable to offer much more than that. This film definitely aims to show another side of the story. Not only because it's important to me personally, but because we in Mexico, are literally living the worst consequences of that "drugs are bad" philosophy, when it becomes institutionalized.

It sounds like you do have a point of view and you're looking to affect the policy conversation, at least in a small way, by engaging with the cultural conversation, but there is a chasm of a disconnect.

If your engagement with the cultural conversation really is going to be "drugs... maybe not so bad?" then I can't wrap my head around all the various dimensions through which I object to that. While it's obviously true that not every drug user becomes instantly addicted or has their life destroyed, it happens, and it happens on a disastrous scale, and this is precarious advocacy indeed.
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jenkins

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2013, 02:21:01 PM »
+1
let's split this into somewhere else? excited about alexandro's movie!!
"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2013, 02:33:54 PM »
+4
I understand and i thank you for these words. I also ask you to be patient here, as I'm talking about my own work and everyone knows, it's hard to be as eloquent about one's own work as it is easy to be about someone else's. I've also had family and friends affected by drug use and alcohol to the point of losing their lives. I've also had family and friends being able to deal with that. More even, than the former. I lump all those things together because I am talking about addiction, and you seem to be talking about the thing. Those are different things. If you ask me, I would say I'm against addiction, but who isn't? That would be a silly point to make, and even sillier to make a film to make it. But as you point out, not everyone becomes addicted to bad things, not every gambler loses his house because he can't stop, not every drinker gets hammered and drives at 110mph and crashes into some house, and not every drug user kills his grandmother for a fix. My personal viewpoint on it is that prohibition to those things are not the solution to the problem of addiction, which is the real problem regarding those subjects in my view.

I don't think the world needs another anti-drug commercial in the form of a film, and it would be as silly to try and "promote" drugs. My job as I see it is to show something truthful and I will have to trust people will judge wisely if, in their lives, they want to do drugs or not, although I hope that my movie, or any movie for that matter, serves a bigger purpose than being an excuse (and I underline that word, because that's what it is) for people to do drugs or not doing them.

It's not that I don't want to participate in the conversation on the subject of drugs, I do want to. But I'm not here to tell people what to think of them either in the sense of "drugs are good or bad?", because that's just too simplistic and to be honest, I don't think anyone can answer for each individual case of drug use in the world. What I want is to show another slice of that cake, another story within that story, because I believe that is valid too. I can't avoid the political implications, and the drug war implicit reference because this is the context in which the film is made, but because of that is that I chose to put in the table a point of view that, yes, will get averse reactions. And I take responsibility for that point of view. If putting that out there is irresponsible, then any other point of view on the subject is. And it certainly (and this is a very personal opinion) is not as irresponsible as the war on drugs after the disaster it has been. And I hope audiences can see the film and, like you, look at the big picture, and wonder about the implications, good and bad, of what there's onscreen.

I hope we can discuss this again once the film is seen.



Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2013, 05:43:17 PM »
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I obviously have an axe to grind and I'm being less than polite (sorry about that), and I don't want to derail your thread (although I think it's on topic), so I'll try to take a deep breath and be brief...

I lump all those things together because I am talking about addiction, and you seem to be talking about the thing. Those are different things. If you ask me, I would say I'm against addiction, but who isn't?

I think it's self-evident that addictive drugs belong in their own category here. Certainly there are gradations, but we're talking about substances that are directly chemically addictive, not behaviorally addictive, not addictive simply for their rewards. That is a scientifically meaningful distinction. And some things are just vastly more addictive than others. To use one of your examples, the number of people who have a serious addiction problem with food is pretty low proportional to the number of people who eat food. (The fact that you've added gambling to the list probably means we won't agree on this.) It doesn't make sense to lump everything that is addictive, disregarding its actual addictiveness, into the "fun" category.

(Also, as someone who doesn't drink or use drugs, your "fun" list is kind of reductive and annoying.)

The extent to which I disagree with you so severely on all of that got me quite worked up that you were taking on this issue, and doing it with what could be a very beautiful and persuasive film. And my basic point is that you're wading into these hazardous waters whether you mean to or not.

My argument about responsibility and "taking ownership of your own cultural effect" is entirely my opinion, though, so you can take it or leave it.

Also, though your responses and descriptions have not been reassuring, I don't want to judge the actual movie without having seen it. Perhaps it will do some unexpected things. I guess I just had the urge caution you. And who knows, maybe I've prepared you for some of the responses you'll get when the movie comes out!
"Hunger is the purest sin"

Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2013, 06:07:11 PM »
0
And who knows, maybe I've prepared you for some of the responses you'll get when the movie comes out!

This. Thanks.

jenkins

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2013, 06:44:04 PM »
+4
whenever i watch lord of the rings i'm so pissed about elves and the way they flaunt their archery skills. so i can relate
"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

Cloudy

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2013, 06:45:12 PM »
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Alexandro, you recommend Heli? I think Reygadas produced that one. Just based on the films you love and these clips and your impressions on Mexico's current atmosphere has me even more hooked.

Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2013, 07:50:30 PM »
0
Yeah, I recommend Heli and Amat Escalante in general. I'm always baffled by the fact that Steven Spielberg was the president of the cannes jury when Amat won best director for Heli, like what the fuck? Spielberg digs this??

Heli is really good if you are up for the kind of cinema Escalante and Reygadas make. Although I think Reygadas really has carved himself a distinct style while Amat Escalante is still developing from his Bresson/detached/contemporary contemplative influences. My beef with his films is the acting, but so is my beef with Bresson's films. So it's just an stylistic choice that I don't really enjoy.

My favorite Escalante film is Los Bastardos.


Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2015, 10:49:11 PM »
+11
well, I guess I should point out that this film is completed.
it was a hard and painful road but we managed (we and like a million people) to raise the money, pay the post (mainly music I was dead set on having) and now it's over.
although my plans were different, for personal reasons I chose to premiere locally in the Monterrey Film festival, where we were apparently huge. We had three full houses and actually had to give our seats so people wouldn't be left out (at least some) on the last showing.
The film already has distribution in Mexico too, and the "official" premiere will be in Mexico city in january, during another festival. We are thinking what to do next, between here and then.
Well, that's it. I'm just relieved it's over, and it was awesome seeing it finished and with a big audience who mainly got it.

Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2016, 08:49:35 PM »
+5
Hey gang.
Psychotropic Sunrise (or Mañana Psicotrópica) will premiere in Mexico City on the 30th during the Distrital Film Festival. All Tenochtitlán locals and visitors are welcome (if you have friends there, recommend it!).
Also, from the 28th on during 7 days, it will be available for "free" (I don't really know what that means in this context) at Festival Scope, which as far as I know is a subscription service, but anyway, if anyone around here enjoys said subscription you can check out the movie over there.
Hopefully later on there will be more news.
 

cronopio2

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2016, 10:01:39 PM »
+2
ahí te veo,  canijo.

Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2016, 11:34:16 AM »
+5
you can watch it for free here starting today and ending on the 5th.

https://www.festivalscope.com/all/film/psychotropic-sunrise

Alexandro

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2016, 10:13:43 AM »
+4
I don't know if anyone saw this movie here while on Festival Scope.
We had like 240 views there all over the world, doubling the views of any other of the films at the festival, and had full houses too.
Young people love the movie, adults have confronted me in a couple of q&a's about wether is "responsible" to show kids doing drugs and having a good time in a country ravaged by drug wars and/or whether I'm glamourizing drug use. Typicall concerns, but most people get what the film is actually trying to do, so it's cool.

It's been really difficult to get this film into festivals looking to program latin american films. I don't know if it's not "latin" enough or if simply isn't in the style programmers are looking for (usually slow, no music, static camera, bad non actors and "anti narrative" films are what's in, and this is the exact opposite), nevertheless reviews have been pretty good and audience response as well.

Don't know if we have any brazilians at xixax but the film was invited out of the blue to take part at a Cinema Mostra in Rio showcasing "the best of mexican film that hasn't been shown in Brazil", where we are the only new film of the bunch. I'm happy not only because this takes place outside of the usual festival circuit (which I find pretty snobby), but also because we are side by side with some pretty cool films, particularly my favorite mexican film of the decade, Post Tenebras Lux. I mean, that's pretty fucking cool.

In case anyone is in Brazil, here's the info:

http://www.cinemamexicano.com.br

I'm just waiting to see if any american festival will play us before just starting to offer the private link for anyone who asks it to see.


jenkins

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Re: Psychotropic Sunrise
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2016, 01:56:29 PM »
0
xx
"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

 

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