Do Mexicans run Hollywood?

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I should’ve watched the Oscars.

Not for the guilty liberal comments about diversity (or the lack thereof).

Side note: Nothing more excruciating than guilty liberals. Deal with it people. Those who hold the power, wield the power. If you hold it, do something, don’t just talk about it.

Besides, Chris Rock’s Hollywood Reporter take down took care of any guilty liberal silliness when he wrote (among other things), “There’s this acceptance that Mexicans are going to take care of white people in L.A. that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

And, as I reread Rock’s essay tonight, he hit the nail on the head (one of many times) when he said, “You’re telling me no Mexicans are qualified to do anything at a studio? Really? Nothing but mop up? What are the odds that that’s true?”

I’m not saying Chris was off — I don’t know enough to comment on the tragedy of the Academy’s nominations this year. But, an argument could be made Mexicans are running Hollywood from both ends of the labor market: Sweeping floors and making movies.

This evening, a friend sent me one of many articles bouncing around about the emergence of Mexican movie makers. The article, “How Mexicans became Hollywood’s best directors,” reminded me of all the great movies about or by people who weren’t born in America. Iranian (Gabbeh), Yugoslavian (Underground), African (Coming to America), among others.

Just kidding on the last one. It may be my favorite immigration movie (and might be the only immigration themed movie I will watch), but I know it isn’t African.

I’m no cinephile (weird word), but the Mexican movie that has always stuck with me is Amores Perros. Haven’t seen it for years, but I can still feel the tension of crime, drama and dogs the film created. It was just a remarkable film. And, for a while, it felt great Mexican movies were crossing the border every month.

On a lark, I went to the film’s IMDb page and discovered it was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu — who won the Oscar for directing a decidedly American movie, Birdman (which I have yet to see — I don’t seem to get out much).

Which follows Alfonso Cuaron’s win last year for Gravity — which I saw, and I’m pretty sure didn’t have a Mexican in it. (Don’t hold me to that.)

My point here is that, slowly but surely, American culture is being impacted by those south of our border. Which is a really good thing.

A career that began with an amazing movie set in Mexico City is now a career that includes an Oscar winning movie set in New York City.

If the next award winning movie made by a Mexican director is set in Kansas, I think this is all going to work out.

Originally published at ali-noorani.com on February 24, 2015.

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