Monday, November 28, 2011

11/30/11 Guillermo Gómez-Álvarez

Una Identidad en Absurdo Vol. 1 (An Absurd identity Vol. 1)
by Guillermo Gómez-Álvarez (Filmmaker in person!)

Una Identidad en Absurdo Vol. 1 (An Absurd identity Vol. 1)
Video 79 min 2011
A musical-ethnographic documentary exploring the representation of the inconsis
tencies of being “Puerto Rican,” both in the island and abroad. The film is a study on the contradictory behaviors—social, political, and cultural—of a people divided on the search for a country. The movie is intertwined with another observational documentary on the soundtrack recording of the movie itself at Monopolio Records, an independent studio.

Different music artists are presented while recording the documentary’s soundtrack, and, at the same time, present conflicts and controversies within Puerto Rican identity. Psychoanalyst Alfredo Carrasquillo and historian Carlos Pabón provide academic knowledge by “interrumpting” the documentary, thus creating a historical-analysis context for the main subject matters, such as socioeconomics, history, politics, religion, and even ecology. The film is constructed by using archive and found footage as a visually powerful witness, frequently in tune with what is explained or played in music. Triggering the viewer’s questions with the many languages film has to offer. Questions like, “Who are we?”, “Are we (Puerto Rico) a nation?”, “What does being Puerto Rican include or exclude?”, etc.

Followed directly by a q&a featuring the Filmmaker Guillermo Gomez.

Guillermo Gómez-Álvarez. Veracruz, Mexico, 1973. R
aised in San Juan, Puerto Rico since he was three years old, Gómez-Álvarez is an alumnus from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.
There he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts (1996), majoring in Latin American Studies, and also a Master’s Degree in Arts (2005), majoring in Audiovisual Production. In 2007, he completed a
Master’s Degree in Creative Documentary at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. He is a fiction and documentary filmmaker, a music video director, as well as a musician and photographer. His first full-length documentary was La Escena [The Scene] ( 2005), on Puerto Rico’s punk subculture, presented at selected theaters in Puerto Rico and the United States; this documentary was part of Gómez-Álvarez Master’s thesis project. La Rosa de María [Mary’s Rose] (2007) is also part of a thesis project at Universtiat Autónoma de Barcelona and aired on Televisió de Catalunya (TVC) in 2007.
Aquel Rebaño Azul [The Blue Flock], Gómez-Álvarez first film, won the Accolade Film Award in 2009. The documentary explores a history of police brutality in Puerto Rico. This film was commissioned by the Puerto Rico Civil Rights Commission, and was presented throughout the island in May, 2010, and also at El Museo del Barrio in New York. Una Identidad en Absurdo Vol. 1 is his latest work, released in April, 2011. Leaning towards an experimental concept, the documentary explores deconstructing Puerto Rican identity through music.