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Write a customer review. Noches azules Book,  Would you like to tell us about a lower price? This study will guide us chronologically, highlighting the most significant aspects of rural peasant life and the conflicts generated within it. The film kicks off with a baptism. At this point, the film introduces us to the main characters in the story.
In front of him, next to the baptismal font, is a baby held by his parents; Paco will be his name. The presentation of the character of Paco and his social surroundings helps to unveil the values of the peasantry — founded in religion and in the parish communities where people were registered Casanova Nueva, , p. Likewise, the "moral authority the clergy held over the population was very considerable" Gil Pecharroman, , p. This socio-religious sphere was united not only by rituals, baptisms, marriages and deaths as will be shown in the film but by the extent to which these rites followed the rhythm of seasonal agricultural cycles.
All of this depends on interdependent factors which, bit by bit, will be significantly altered by events. In the film, Paco's birth symbolizes a new generation and its emergent values and ideas. This change follows a rather precise evolutionary path: However, the story is told from the perspective of the lower classes, far removed from the social elites with whom they come into conflict.
The town, in short, comes to be the very incarnation of values such as "courage, honesty, dignity, hard work, sacrifice, intelligence, ingenuity, willingness to suffer A temporal ellipsis transports us to the period in which Paco has become a boy and messes about with another friend in the church attic, both of them playing with holy images of the saints.
Paco takes this offer very seriously. On the way home, he bumps into the shoemaker, a man who "did not go to Mass but worked with painstaking care for the priest and charged him less. However, in subsequent scenes, Paco is shown doing his very best to fulfill his duties in preparation for an Easter-Week procession, in which the whole town is involved. This reveals "the traditional power of Catholics in the local community" Del Rey, , p. That place shakes the young Paco, as living conditions are dreadful.
The old man is lying on a kind of bed made from rudimentary planks. Buy finpecia cheap But Paco the child is not able to see things this way and intends to do something to change the situation. Nobody can do anything; only the childish innocence that allows him to perceive this social injustice is capable of spurring him, and him alone, to act; but he must wait. These images neatly sum up the level of hardship endured by a large number of rural laborers, whose standard of living was one of bare subsistence and nothing more.
As is noted in the film, it was "believed that the roots of social problems were of a spiritual and moral nature and had nothing to do with the unequal distribution of wealth and power created by men themselves" Casanova, , p. Finpecia buy cipla finpecia prescription Paco understands that this is not the case, that it is their neighbors and fellow citizens who are responsible for helping these people, and that their situation is not merely a question of morality.
For this reason, an opportunity to help is presented when the beginning of the Second Republic is proclaimed. Similarly, the absenteeism of many landowners is underscored as a relevant factor. At another point in the film, Paco, who has now become a man, helps his father out with the farm work.
Paco takes an interest in what they pay in rent to the Duke, who owns the land. When his father tells him, Paco replies: It does not seem fair. This was a time when it was felt that "the distribution of that land could put an end to the utter poverty of a large part of the population", yet there were those who believed that landlordism and the existence of large estates were necessary.
In any case, it would be "this clashing of viewpoints which would cause major conflicts in the Aragonese countryside" Casanova, , p. Nevertheless, the omniscient figure of the Duke continues to be a character who symbolizes traditional Spain, archaic and cacique: However, all this makes clear that the underlying thesis of the film can be found in the idea that "economic backwardness was a root-cause in the outbreak of the civil war" Cenarro, , p.
Ambitions, suspicions and hopes during the Second Republic In the Spain of the first part of the century, land-distribution was highly unequal, plots were harvested poorly and there were uncultivated zones of huge potential; above all, thousands of laborers lived in pitiable squalor, as reflected in the film. It is, as Cruz writes, "a town which, in the end, felt that an injustice was being committed and which rebelled against it The municipal elections of April 12, later became a referendum whereby the monarchy was lost.
The reformist spark had caught fire and put an end to the monarchical regime. As in other parts of Spain, in Aragon, the elections of April 12, awarded Republican and Socialist candidates with clear victories councilors against the Monarchists councilors Cenarro, , p. However, this gave credence to a more relevant issue, namely: At the same time, this development favored the implementation of a series of local contracting policies and even helped keep security forces under control.
One night in the square, we see a considerable group of people who have gathered to await the election results: I will proceed to read the list of elected councilors: However, what interests us is the reaction against this by Valeriano and Gumersindo, who personify the power and influence of traditionalism.
They describe the elected councilors as "riffraff". Their attitude is one of reluctance to accept change. What it reveals is a contrarian and negative posture. The establishment of the Republic "was not received with the same enthusiasm everywhere" Reig Tapia, , p. In certain disadvantaged social strata, it was thought that the introduction of the new regime would allow "the popular masses to achieve equality through mobilization and participation" Cruz, , p.
But it was not as simple as that, and existing power relations, although altered somewhat by the Republic, remained rigidly in place. Spain might have apparently fallen asleep Monarchist and woken up Republican the next day, but that did not mean that all of society followed suit, in sync or in unison.
This shows the relationship between "political and social Conservatism" and the Church Casanova, , p. Because they fear what might happen, they ask him to talk to Paco. They attempt to mediate with the most publicly-recognized figurehead associated with the reforms to be launched. This meeting succinctly captures the feeling that the Republic was yearning anxiously for reform. These laudable goals, though simplified to a certain extent, are clear at the time of presenting them to a cinema audience as part of a permanent vindication of the peasantry.
Clearly, for this to happen, those long-standing and traditional cacique power structures would have to be demolished and the bases of privilege attacked. Here, we are presented with a contrast between the stark and bleak reality of the bare, gray peasant household, and the living room where Paco and Valeriano have their meeting.
This room is furnished with every manner of luxury and comfort and, as such, demonstrates to us the differences in living standards from one social class to another. However, "the worsening social and economic tensions that, in turn, provoked contradictory processes of modernization" Malefakis, , p. In the movie, despite everything, Paco manages to occupy this land. Furthermore, Valeriano finds himself obliged to get out of the village because of such events. Although, in the film, it seems that they obtain reforms in what is an exaggeratedly idealized version of reality, the real historical reforms did not even address the demands of the peasantry leading up to the Civil War.
This fomented a tension between pro- and anti-revolutionary factions, more a product of propaganda and rhetoric than anything else, which resulted in fears and exaggerations that created fertile ground for military uprisings.
In any case, it should be added that, at the end of the Republican period, the question of land distribution had still not been resolved Malefakis, , p. We should not ignore that "the major contribution the editing has made to the filmic narrative structure is that it allows the audience to see parallel and simultaneous acts which happen in different places" Vanoye and Goliot-Lete, , p.
The film, constructed around a far-from-accidental gaze on the past, contains significant flashbacks that always finish right at the present moment in history. This filmic mechanism, besides breaking away from the traditional chronological narrative form because certain stylistic preferences, establishes a close relationship between past and present, both of which are united by memory.
It is no coincidence that it took more than three decades to adapt the novel to cinema. Not by chance has the interest in dealing with a guilty conscience been reignited. This is not exclusive to the priesthood or the final cut of the film, which is haunted by the memory of still-un-exorcised ghosts, but also affects a certain part of society which collaborated with those groups spearheading repression.
The scene continues as follows: He ends up sitting, with an air of defeat, on a wicker chair. The town has regained social peace in exchange for abandoning its conscience. For this reason, their absence represents their disapproval of the way in which the parish and local power have proceeded.
However, the metaphor is extremely telling.
The populace was highly aware of the barbaric events and openly condemned them. Continuing with the film, the young altar boy heads toward the place where the church-bell rope is situated.
Belonging to quite another generation, this adolescent is not aware of the seriousness of recent events — events which have changed the future of the local area. This is because he has not lived through anything similar before, despite having learnt a song about this tragic sequence of events; this song allows us to assess how such events came to be expressed by people from many towns, such that we should never forget what happened.
We appreciate this when we hear Paco singing as he rings the bell. At the end of the song, a new flashback is introduced. He is going to be baptized in the church. In a certain sense, the song becomes the collective social memory of a town which is accustomed to remembering events in this way — events in which the town is immersed. As James Fentress and Chris Wickham explain: No group of human beings is made up, no action undertaken and no thought communicated without their involvement; this story is as much a product of social memory as a source of it Fentress and Wickham, , p.
In the film, a man tosses candies to the children, which are then picked up with great joy. The children are singing a song but stop when they enter the church. The silence of this image in the half-light of the room, punctuated only by the sound of horseshoes against the ground, reveals a quiet, withheld sadness; this, once again, whisks us off to another memory of the young Paco who, still a child, is mulling over his experience in the caves where he sees how many of his neighbors live. The altar boy approaches him to tell him, once again: Don Valeriano crosses himself with holy water and heads for the sacristy, where the crestfallen Priest can be found.
He bows before the altar and his sonorous footsteps reverberate in the ceiling of a deserted church. Away with all those bad feelings! His eyes are bloodshot. He is being consumed by pain. We anticipate a tragic story. He closes his eyes and the memories come flooding back. Another man knocks on the door. Upon hearing him, he looks up and, brusquely observes the arrival of the last of the men who have come to pray for Paco. Enter the altar boy. Surely it was her.
Crazy as anything but as mischievous as ever. The horse, free once again, begins to trot. Indeed, "the results of Civil War cut short hopes of agrarian reform and, resultantly, gave rise to a generalized feeling of resignation" Richards, , p. This is also how Casanova quite rightly interprets things: With this forcefulness and conviction, a reality can be revealed through images. Arguing from another perspective altogether, Cervera states that, in the film: The role played by the Church is assessed as being negative.
However, when underlining these facts, it is worth clarifying that the film is remiss, once again, in making clear that the Republican regime was of importance in awakening aspirations within the Spanish peasantry: It is true that "priests, Falangists and landowners instigated murders" Bernecker and Brinkamann, , p. There are examples of priests who were involved in defending and safeguarding lives and not every Falangist committed terrible acts.
He does not participate in violence by any means, but rather resigns himself to it because he has no other choice. Those responsible for the executions were those who drafted blacklists.
These names could only be given by local residents: Let us speak then about these accusers: This, in a way, sums up his old-fashioned mentality, typical of an era characterized by highly rigid social and moral hierarchies.
This, coupled with his fabrications and false accusations, marks him out as a conservative and suspicious soul. In any case, their attitudes — fearful and childlike right throughout the film — establish them as distrusting and not-in-the-least-progressive characters.
Although they have used religion to justify the way they go about things, we are given to understand that their actions have, above all, been driven by another factor of greater weight: Let us return to the final images of the film.
In the same drawer is the old wooden gun that, as a child, Paco so naively tried to hide from the priest. This "becomes a symbol of death along with his personal memories" Faro Fortaleza, , p. Certainly, his attitude was prescient and not-in-the-least coincidental because, after all, his only weapons were reason and the legality of Republican rule, neither of which injured or killed; on the contrary, the others, the rulers of the town and the Falangists, resorted exclusively violence to impose their will.
Leaving the chalice on the altar, he begins Mass.
A wide shot reveals the three men who wanted to pay for Mass kneeling in an empty church. Nobody else has attended the ceremony. Nobody in the town feels able to attend a ceremony commemorating the tragic life of a man who, without committing any crime greater than distributing land among the very neediest, was murdered like other innocents besides him who met the very same end.
The absence of the entire town is significant. This demonstrates a public condemnation of what has happened; rather than being because of fear itself, it is because they fear being confronted by their "shame" Bernecker and Brinkamann, , p.
It would not be believable if nobody attended these celebrations. We must not exclude those who, as believers, saw the substantial value of forgiveness and reconciliation in these acts; however, considering the attitude of the regime at the time, we need not conclude that this is the intention of the director in this scene.
Nevertheless, the factor of crucial importance in this scene is the exposition, for the first time and in ever such an illustrative way, of "the loneliness of the Franquista victors" Faro Fortaleza, , p. This is supported by the socio-political reality at the time: The image of an empty church is, above all else, the result of cinematographic and novelistic imagination; it is a reminder of a bitter silence and the covert social protest over contemporary events.
Without doubt, it creates a cinematic effect which is useful in recovering the symbolic value of a part of history wherein Franquista repression was deemed unacceptable. Of course, the film eventually indicates to us that those who do not forget these events are the townspeople. Reception, awards and film reviews The film was shot in the villages of and Envid and Codees, not far from Calatayud.
Its budget was a hundred million pesetas and the film was funded, in part, by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and by local government in Zaragoza Rovira, According to Gubern, the movie was received unenthusiastically by critics, who considered it a film which belonged to another era Gubern, , p.
Her repetition of phrases and concepts that in previous works united a bunch of seemingly disparate events to create a fractured whole, now does seem something of a tic.
Another stylistic choice that seemed to dominate this book was, for want of a better word, product placement. And by that I mean it is never a pair of shoes, a hotel, a sweater; it's Laboutins, the Dorchester, cashmere. Truly, are we supposed to lament that Bendel's is no longer the same? Even people are nothing more than product placement. This actress, this director gave a speech at Quintana's wedding. Part of the strength of Didion's work written in the s and the s is that the protagonists of her essays were no different than you or I, except that maybe they were part of Manson's family.
And although that is a hell of a difference, in her hands it was also not a hell of a difference. A "there but for the grace of God" sensibility dominated.
In her current work everyone has a name. A big name.
Almost like these larger than life people had no right to up and die. Unlike you and me.
Because we don't have names. It's unsettling at first and then becomes annoying. It undercuts the real issue in this book.
The loss of her daughter. Does it really matter that she went to school with and had dinner at this restaurant with this Hollywood icon? It doesn't make her passing any more tragic, although there is the hint that she was special because of it. When in reality, she was special because she was so loved. In the end I certainly would recommend this book because Joan Didion is one of the most thoughtful and fantastic writers of her generation, but Blue Nights doesn't have the strength of The Year of Magical Thinking.