This seems like a very basic thing to address that I actually haven’t gotten around to and has just not occurred to me. First I should address the title, which is Vagabond Cinema, I had originally intended to only write about movies I felt where on the outside of mainstream, the film canon, and films that may not be in the canon but are likely to be pursued anyway. This largely still includes films from all throughout Latin America, Africa, Black American, anime, documentaries (oddly enough), etc. I don’t believe I’ve fulfilled what I set out to do due to erractic nature of my posting habits and usually feeling the need to force myself to write. I still have about 15 half written posts that range from 15 words to 1500 in length. Also, the reason the name is ‘panamaenrique’ is because Enrique is one of my names that I got from my grandfather who was Panamanian.
Now I should get into specifics about what I like and why I’m interested in those type of particular films. I first grew attracted to Cinema Novo because of the films Black God, White Devil, Entranced Earth, How Tasty Was My Little Frenchmen and Quilombo. What sparked this was my interest initially was to see ‘arty’ films with people that looked somewhat similar to me and my family. I was unaware at the time that there were/are plenty of Black American films that fit into that criteria. I was not disappointed with this endeavor and have since seen a few films that I list as some of favorite of all time, How Tasty Was My Little Frenchmen and Vidas Secas being the first two that pop into my mind.
I have been an anime fan virtually my entire life, or at least as long as I’ve been watching television with Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon being the obvious starter kits for those in my generation. I won’t labor on this point as I’ve obviously shown a great interest in anime here on this blog via my Anime Beyond Miyazaki posts. I would like to reiterate however that I’m not anti-Miyazaki. It is just that when people think of universally quality anime they usually begin and end with Miyazaki as if he’s the only person in the history of Japan that has released non-anime anime (I’ll address this in a post tomorrow PINKY SWEAR) that is great. Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Katsuhiro Otomo and Mamoru Hosoda are great examples of that being completely untrue.
Despite my distaste for most aspects of school, I have always loved to learn. This has mostly been on my own time, much to the irritation to
some many of the teachers who have had me as a student during my life time. Another issue I had with all that book learning that you do in schools is the sanitized exploration of almost any and every topic that I was beset on engaging because of sheer boredom. This is ultimately why I love documentaries. Not just because they are forced to explore topics in a fashion that, not even in even exclusively entertaining sort of way, flips the common perceptions of whatever topic is being explored askew. Or at least that’s what the good-great-brilliant ones are able to achieve. As wonderful as narrative cinema can and often is, for me, there is nothing more disheartening or beautiful than to see people bare their souls in the most intimate ways that only documentaries can capture and project. I shall make a list of my favorite documentaries that do just this at a later date.