Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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the film is so good
Castillo: have you read the poem the film is based on?
Ramos: at the end of the film
the whole thing feels so wrong, letting life pass you by
knowing you can do more, if only a vague sense of it
Castillo: yeah but it's also i feel this weird system
where in the ignorance of itself it's speaking so clearly about the issue
the 'repetition' felt
the fact that really, it doesn't change
Ramos: we watch it not change
no change no change
Castillo: we experience it not changing
Ramos: we are paralyzed by it not changing
Castillo: yeah, not knowing a way out
that’s that vague sense felt
Ramos: i don't know... the scary part is knowing there is a way out but not doing anything about it
Castillo: your assuming that people are aware?
Ramos: and you are assuming people are asleep?
Castillo: i think that notion is in the action of the poem itself
it's description is both an action and an awareness
Ramos: more like awareness and no action
Castillo: i think people don't have time to think about these things
it's not that their asleep, but the fact that there really is no time to let you mind reach a state of deep contemplation
Ramos: why do you think that is?
is it this weird system you mentioned earlier?
that keeps us on the verge of survival to avoid revolution or action
Castillo: well, because we've lost touch as a society to what’s actually important and what goals we need to be working towards collectively
this i think is primarily 'American' due to the nature of both the poem and the film
the film complicates it a bit because it localizes this idea into a Miami centric position
another thing of note is that Campbell teaching at FIU
teaching = teaches
so it's a nice little trail of these American situations
Ramos: I would question this "Americanness" in both the film and the poem
in the film we hear the voice of a grandmother who obviously came from another country
and in the poem is a dishwasher who eats burritos every day, which suggest an immigrant as well
for me it has something to do with where they come from and adjusting to where they are
perhaps a sense of complacency because they are now in America and that's good enough
like this is not my country to change, I'm just here trying not to be where I used to be
Castillo: hmm, i think that the film tries to include this idea you talk about, however it's not something that i feel is apparent in the poem
it has to do with 7-11
if you are not from this country, you usually want to be around people you feel connected too, i.e. other immigrants from your country. you buy goods from your country or go to restaurants
7-11 makes it very American, that burrito is a bastardization of something
it's a simulacrum
Ramos: but if you are a dishwasher, 7-11 burritos might be as close as you can get to where you came from
Castillo: i was a dishwasher
Ramos: did you go to restaurants while you were a dishwasher?
Castillo: not at all, i did however eat a lot of sandwiches during that time
Castillo: at the restaurant...
Ramos: oh shush
Castillo: i became friends with the cooks and they would just make me food
off the books
Ramos: the Americanness would be the idea that there are restaurants from all over the world and one can feel at home
and one can change this country because it belongs to us all
the immigrant lives another reality sometimes, like in this poem, they don't feel a part of while having a vague idea of what's going on, and get stuck in survival mode
Castillo: i don't think thats just an immigrant problem though
Ramos: i agree, it is more a survival problem than an immigrant problem
but it's common among immigrants
survival mode is the best way to dull the masses
keep them busy
till they reach old age and wonder what they did with their time
Castillo: thats a good transition back into the film
looking at what actions are available to the film maker
manicure, shopping, a boat ride, forced drinking, a conversation with a grandparent, throwing burritos and duck tape
plus that beautiful shot in the supermarket where you can clearly read "produce"
To Capitalist Poem #5, 2013
4 min., 21 sec.
Castillo: it's that impetus thats felt (at least with me) with both the poem and the movie
the action to just say something
Ramos: i don't get your point - the impetus for what, what is it saying?
Ramos: say what you mean
Castillo: to produce something creatively
playing with the word in every which way
Ramos: produce something about not producing anything
Castillo: aside from the manicure this is the second longest shot
i try to decode every bit of the film because i find, like poetry you have to be very considerate with what the medium gives you to work with
Ramos: i can see that, but also, in that shot, the contrast of the frozen food and fresh food, the options we have, the actions we can take
Castillo: it's so rich and layered
again what is the film but a response, reaction, translation of the text
how do we deal with that kind of responsibility when asked to do such a thing
Ramos: "if not, at least with some relief."
it's good enough
Castillo: in only the vaguest way possible.
...because i know your love is true...
Ramos: just like i know this burrito will be here every day for as long as i live