Monday, July 09, 2007

¡Ay, Chispita!

So, as I've mentioned before, I lived in Mexico City back in the 1980s. It was a hell of an experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Living in Mexico City in the 1980s means that, by default, I saw a lot of neat stuff, and I saw some really weird stuff stuff, too.

One thing I didn't see, back in 1983, was Coqueta ("Flirt"), starring Lucerito, Pedrito Fernandez and Rosita Quintana.

But yesterday, my friends...I became a man.



I became a man who has seen Coqueta, starring Lucerito, Pedrito Fernandez and Rosita Quintana.

You can say what you will about Wal-Mart, and I will, too, believe me. But there's an immutable fact about Wal-Mart and that is this: they sell Mexican movies, on DVD, for $5.50 a pop.


From the ground, now: Coqueta is bad. It's not even really 'so-bad-it's-good' bad, it's...just...well, here: It's like they couldn't afford to actually crash a Renault, so they drove it up to a lamp post and simulated the accident with sound FX.

And anyway, I didn't buy it for its technical or artisitic qualities, of which it is pretty close to bereft.

I bought it because it was made in Mexico City in about 1983, and that means it contains the following two things:
  1. Copious footage of city streets and people's houses; and
  2. More legs-o-mutton than a butcher's shop.
Watching this film was like a shot of pure nostalgia, straight to the brain. School uniforms? Wore one. VW Beetles and Renaults parked everywhere? Walked past 'em. Tile floors instead of carpets? Ahhh, yeah.

This was a glimpse back at my childhood -- one I thought I'd do better just to ignore, but one which, frankly, I've come to miss a lot.

The movie itself is a gelatinous mass of story, sent a-quiver with the occasional badly-lip-synched pop tune, with a tiny, possbly cartilaginous plot inside: Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, girl is revealed to have debilitating heart disease, girl dances too hard, girl dies.

No, really, that's it.

At least the girl, Lucerito (now just 'Lucero') is pretty cute, and I remember thinking so then, too (I was 9 when the movie came out, and she was really popular); I don't think the same now. But that doesn't matter.

What matters is that I got to see all those places, all those things again; and although I don't recognize the specific locations, they are immediately recognizable as Mexico City.

Recognizable as my youth.