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  • Writer's pictureRacehorse Pictures


Robert Rodriguez Double Bill

"El mariachi" (1992)

"Desperado" (1995)

Director of Photography:

Robert Rodriguez - "El Mariachi"

Guillermo Navarro - "Desperado"

Rodriguez bursted on the scene in 1992 with his energetic and funny low budget action film and pulled a bit of a "Mad Max"/"The Road Warrior" by revisiting/remaking/reimagining his debut with a bigger budget and bigger stars in "Desperado". "El Mariachi" is a lot of fun. Famed for its $7000 budget and run-and-gun, one-man-army guerrilla-style filmmaking, the film inspired a generation of low-budget filmmakers well before Youtube and digital filmmaking became the norm. The film is full of inventive, energetic camerawork, clever editing, silent film-era comedy, slo motion, high speed and many other filmmaking techniques. "Desperado" repeated the formula with more cinematic polish, great use of music, creatively shot action scenes, and sexier stars. Although I love some of his later work (and want to love others), I lament his career trajectory. I think switching to digital was a mistake. I'd like to see him return to the discipline of 35mm. His digital era has a laziness to it and he relied on trashy Z-grade genre too much. I'd like to see him challenged. To quote "El Mariachi":

"What happened to the days when the guitarists were Gods like my ancestors? Technology has crushed us, robbed us of our culture, turned us into machines."

If only Rodriguez heeded his own prescience with the future of cinema and held on to the old school techniques like some of his peers have. Still, I always hold hope that he will do another great film. Bought at Videomatica.

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