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The Story of the Mexican Screenplay

A Study of the Invisible Art Form and Interviews with Women Screenwriters


Maria Teresa DePaoli

The Story of the Mexican Screenplay: A Study of the Invisible Art Form and Interviews with Women Screenwriters contributes to the international development of screenplay studies. While the debate on the ontology of the screenplay continues, a fact remains clear for screenwriters: the screenplay is the film’s skeleton and the main base that sustains a story told through images. Certainly, lack of visibility, including publication, distribution, and promotion, are some of the problems that the screenplay confronts, but these are not the only challenges. Traditionally, the form has been unappreciated and regarded by many as only an initial step in the complexity of film production. In this study, the author elaborates on the cultural baggage that the screenplay carries since it is text imbued with multiple signs that – for various reasons – often get lost in the process and never make it to the screen. In this context, the author touches on the concept of adaptation since it is often a key element in screenplay research.
The Story of the Mexican Screenplay focuses on a general historical investigation of the Mexican screenplay, specifically on women’s screenwriting. In addition to screenplay analysis, the interviews with women screenwriters are revealing of various cultural issues such as gender discrimination in the work place, political censorship, collective screenwriting, and collaboration among writers, and with the director. These topics explain, in part, the double marginalization of female screenwriting in Mexico.
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Chapter Six. Melodrama and The Realm of Fortune: Interview with Paz Alicia Garciadiego


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Melodrama and The Realm of Fortune

Interview with Paz Alicia Garciadiego

Considered by many as one of the most prominent Latin American contemporary women screenwriters, Paz Alicia Garciadiego was born in Mexico City in 1949. She studied literature at the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and launched her career by writing for radio and television. In the mid-1980s, she met her work and life partner, Mexican film director Arturo Ripstein. She has written numerous screenplays for Ripstein since they started working together. She has produced several stories of her own and she has also adapted literary works from Rulfo, Mahfouz, Maupassant, García Márquez, and Séneca. Garciadiego revisits the universe of Arcady Boytler and Leonard Kastle, and explores the melodrama, which she effectively blends with the criminal narrative, tragedy, and dark comedy. Garciadiego is considered a fine neo-realist of urban film narrative, and Mexico City is the great canvas on which she creates the masterful coarse dialogues that have brought her fame and recognition.

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