"Arriba! Arriba! Ándale! Ándale!"

by robbiefreeling
June 16, 2006 9:13 AM
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Okay, Jared Hess, I let it go the first time. But, what’s the deal with you and Mexicans? Sympathetic yet cretinous, charming yet freakish…whichever, they certainly are fodder for your dumb-ass culturally superior chuckles. In the awful Napoleon Dynamite, Pedro and LaFawnduh (!) get the cheapest laughs, i.e., the locus of their characters’ hilarity relates solely to their cultural oddities, or “deficiencies,” rather….say what you want about Napoleon and his uncle, et al, being the butt of as many jokes, but Hess gives them their own humanist flavor and idiosyncrasies. Pedro, on the other hand, is funny because, well, his name is Pedro, and he looks all adorably illegal immigrant-ish. We won’t even touch LaFawnduh’s “bling.”

So, now, the Mormon who never met a south-of-the-border type he didn't find inherently hysterical has a movie called….Nacho Libre. Hopefully, the free pass many afforded to his big-time breakthrough won't apply to this sophomore slime. Jokes about garbanzo beans, perchance? As Ty Burr states in his Boston Globe review “He films the lumpy, cross-eyed Oaxacan peasants head on, like found objects at a roadside tourist stand, and he revels in the scrawny physique and jelly-lipped grin of Nacho's tag-team partner, Esqueleto (Hector Jimenez).” Next to this, Cheech Marin’s Born in East L.A. seems downright progressive…well, the poster at least, which is all I've ever seen. Up next for Hess: Speedy Gonzalez: the Movie.


  • Mr. Mojo Rising | July 5, 2006 2:18 AMReply

    Well duh! The guy's a Mormon. What do you expect? Unconventional, socially relevant political satires?

  • johnny neill | June 27, 2006 5:15 AMReply

    For what it is worth... I went to see Nacho Libre on Sunday night here in Austin, and in the same row was a hispanic couple, their daughter, and the father of one of them. Thres Generacions. There were times when the woman translated for the older man. They loved it. They laughed throughout. They left smiling. Nothing seemed to me to have racially offended them. The uber white folks in Napolean Dynamite never struck me as offensive, either. People are goofy and weird looking, all over the world. Except for movie stars, who are boringly perfect and don't look anything like their audience. Jared Hess is a new voice and I look forward to everything he does.

  • mjr | June 17, 2006 8:22 AMReply

    wes anderson's latent racism also gets a free pass for some reason.