Dioses (“Gods”) – 2008, Peru, Mendez…OR…Why I Should NEVER Watch And Write And Cap And Gif Simultaneously Ever Again/How I Lost All Perspective/How To Enjoy A Film For All The Wrong Reasons – PART III/III

361 - e- Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (259)

Congrats – you’ve found Part III. Part I can be found here, and Part II lives here.

We skip Andrea and Diego’s walk out of the main room, and resume with them in some sort of vacant corridor, the club music (“Only 5 Left”) fading in as background while “Tonada de la Luna Llena” fades out.

The shot begins in one of the back rooms (it looks like a kitchen of sorts) and then slides over to the two of them, like it’s cutting right through the wall.362 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (55) It’s obviously some very interesting camera work, and unlike some of the other choices, I’m not sure what the purpose is. It lessens the intensity of the scene, as opposed to the stark cuts to close-ups of Diego’s face that I’ve pointed out. The scene we’ve seen between them that started out this same way was the masturbation scene (not sure what else to call it, LOL). This style of the shot does give the impression that we’re joining something that’s already in progress. (Though in this scene that’s not the case.) Perhaps it’s just a stylish way of skipping over their walk from the sitting area? I don’t know. It is stylish, though.

As we join them, Andrea is leaning against the wall and Diego is invading her personal space. They’ve just gotten there.363 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (278)

364 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (279) 364 - e - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (280)Prepare yourselves, friends, because this scene comes with a lot of second-hand embarrassment. Not as much as it could, thank God (I can’t stand watching even the worst of villains be humiliated – I just don’t have the heart for it), and also not as much as Diego deserves (I really can’t think of a more fitting punishment for his violations than a humiliating rejection from Andrea, though, as a shipper, obviously I wouldn’t really like that), but enough to make the fainthearted – like me – squirm.

“What’s up?” Andrea asks, which indicates to us that Diego must have only said something to the effect of, “We need to talk,”, although we can still imagine that he said the more suggestive, “Let’s go somewhere more private.” She has her typical slight air of impatience – she’s perfectly willing to make the sacrifice of leaving the club and coming out to talk to him, but will not let him forget that it is a sacrifice.

Nick and Carly from House Of Wax in the "locker stance"

Nick and Carly from House Of Wax in the “locker stance”

Diego, to my great pleasure, positions himself into what I call the “locker stance”, leaning over her with his palm against the wall beside her head. 366 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (56)“What are we going to do?” he asks.367 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (282)

¡¡¡Dioses Míos!!!

God, what an idiot.

“You want to leave?” she asks. 368 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (283)Unlike their earlier conversation on the sofa, here she misinterprets and thinks he’s talking about a much more immediate situation. Which is a big relief to me. Diego likes to speak to her of their life in “we”s – “What the hell are we doing here?”, “What are we going to do?” She lets him, even though she probably wouldn’t use the same language when talking to him. However, when she asks if he wants to leave, her tone suggests that she’s open to going somewhere else to him – someone’s house, another party, etc. She’s willing to accommodate his partying whims. (Which, again, coming from Andrea, is sort of a big deal.)

“No, not that. No,” Diego responds, frustrated. (Dieguito, hon, get a clue, OK? Spare us this embarrassment.) “What are we going to do?” he repeats. “Stay at Dad’s?”370 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (57)

¡Jóven!

Oh, Diego.

Diego, Diego, Diego.369 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (284)

Andrea finds this line of questioning troublesome – she hasn’t told Diego about her pregnancy let alone her plans to go to Miami. She already knows what she’s going to do, she just hasn’t told him.

But she’s also growing slightly confused. She knows he suffers from a certain amount of discontent, but she can’t know why he’s suddenly asking her this.

She closes her eyes and brushes her hair behind her ear; Diego studies her intently.370 - h - GIF---Mine---Dioses---Gods---Peru---2008---Josue-Mendez---Anahi-de-Cardenas---Sergio-Gjurinovik---Andrea---Diego-(58)

370 - i - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (288)He pauses for a second before continuing, but not for long enough to give himself a chance to understand that she is confused. Poor Dieguito just doesn’t have a clue: “It won’t look good to the family – we’re brother and sister.”370 - u - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (285) 370 - v - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (286) OH GOD.371 - oh god reaction face

I can’t watch this part or even think about this part without doing a facepalm.372 - polar bear facepalm373 - monkey facepalm374 - lion facepalm animal facepalm375 - dog facepalm animal reaction  Head in Hands And the expression on her face – she has NO idea what he’s talking about!

He leans in while he says it – not in a kissy way, just in a “what I’m saying is important” sort of way.378 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (289)

Andrea rolls her eyes and puts her palm on his chest, urging him back a couple of inches.377 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (59) It’s a slow and gentle push, and, like I said, only a few inches. (Probably just so she can get a good look at his face to see what the hell is going on there.) And this is the most intimately we’ve seen her touch him. Her fingers are touching his bare chest and she lets her hand rest there before she pushes him, and after.379 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (290)

He’s a little taken-aback. He doesn’t quite get it yet.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” she asks, shifting abruptly.380 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (60)

Then: “Are you nuts?”382 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (61)

(Andrea, you have no idea.)

And finally: “What’s wrong with you?”384 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (62)

I’m going to have a bruise on my forehead from all of the facepalms I’m doing. It doesn’t help that I have to keep sliding back in order to get the best screencaps and to try to pick out the Spanish word, which means rewatching these lines over and over and over and over and over again.381 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (291) 383 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (292)

I really can’t handle this.

Diego is speechless. He’s hurt, confused, terrified. He swallows, moves to speak but doesn’t, and then just backs right on out of there, which is actually hilarious.385 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (63)

Andrea inclines her head – aggressively questioningly – before he makes his escape. After he’s gone, she rolls her eyes, mutters to herself, and sighs.390 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (64)

I spend a lot of time on this site reassuring you that I am not, in fact, delusional. I might have weird tastes, but I’m a rational being. However, you’re going to have to allow me just one delusional sliver of thought. Let me expound: The first time I watched this movie, I watched it without English subtitles. My Spanish was NOT up to the task. I was only able to pick up a word here and there, more rarely a phrase. Knowing the main themes and plot of the film allowed me to come to a basic understanding of what had happened in each scene/what the purpose of each scene was. Fortunately, often enough what was said wasn’t the important part. There were only a couple of times when I was completely wrong, and even then it didn’t affect my overall understanding of the film.

With this scene, the dialogue really isn’t necessary to comprehend the gist of what happened. But watching this scene without knowing what Andrea was saying back to Diego (plus my own wishful thinking, no doubt) left me with the impression that Andrea was genuinely bewildered by what Diego had said, and was intoxicated enough and so lacking in natural curiosity that she didn’t even jump to conclusions, merely growing frustrated with Diego when he doesn’t answer her and flees.

I was able to figure out by the way he exited that he had attempted to broach the subject of his incestuous feelings for her and had found her reaction unwelcoming, but it never seemed to me that she knew he was talking about incest.

Obviously what he said about the family not approving because they were brother and sister could really only have one implication: incest. (Though Diego’s wording is mercifully vague because he believes that Andrea is on the same wavelength.) Moreover, his hasty exit really doesn’t help to create any ambiguity.386 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (294)387 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (295)  388 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (296)

But…Andrea really isn’t the type to puzzle over the meaning of what someone has said or done. She truly is that self-centered and uninquisitive.

Diego’s speedy retreat also implies she is on to him. But it’s possible (keyword: possible) that once he realized she didn’t view their dancing the same way he did, that he was so hurt/disappointed/confused/frustrated that he just didn’t want to be there anymore and had to get out there, especially since he couldn’t answer her questions. Is he fleeing the questions he can’t answer? Or is he fleeing an Andrea that is now clued in? Is he scared that she is going to figure it out, or scared that she already has?

And, of course, there’s always the possibility that he has made another mistake. Perhaps Diego believes that Andrea is now aware of his feelings but is wrong. It’s a perfectly valid theory.

The second time I watched the film(/first time with English subtitles), I retained my first impression – that of an above all clueless Andrea. It was the third time I saw the scene (with pausing to screencap and write), that I realized that my interpretation might be – in fact, mostly likely is – incorrect. I’m certain that part of the reason I continue to cling to my original interpretation is because it is just that – my original interpretation – and one I didn’t question on my second viewing, even with the addition of a comprehension of the dialogue.

But there’s something to be said for first impressions, right? Especially when that impression involved a sort of alternate canvas – in this case, a pure reading of body language. The dialogue is important, of course, but a reading of facial expressions and physical interaction and tone can be just as important as the words, and my impression from that aspect was that Andrea did not know that Diego was implying some sort of sexual interest in her.

If you notice in the GIF, she throws her head forward as a way of silently repeating her question(s). Unlike when she asked him, “What the hell are you doing?” and “What are you looking at?” back in scene 5, she’s expecting and waiting for an illuminating answer. It could be a situation where she’s thinking, “Please tell me you don’t mean what I think you mean?”, or this could be a sign that she is genuinely perplexed.

Also, she rolls her eyes after he walks away. You don’t generally roll your eyes when you’re taking something seriously, or when you’re shocked. This gesture definitely lends itself favorably to my preferred interpretation. (Even if nothing else does, LOL.)

As for the dialogue itself, the Spanish gives us a little bit more leeway (operative phrase being “little bit”). The English subtitle says, “We’re brother and sister,” but Diego actually says, “Somos hermanos”, which could translate to “We’re siblings”. By using “brother and sister” as the translation, the fact that they’re of opposite sex is highlighted in a way that it isn’t the Spanish. Also, “What’s wrong with you,” is the chosen translation for a Spanish phrase that doesn’t necessarily mean “You are a pervert” but can also mean, “What’s happening to(/with) you?” or “What is going on with you?”, which are less accusatory.

I also want to point out that the word Andrea used that was translated as “fuck” might not actually be quite that hardcore. It’s translated as “hell” elsewhere.

None of the alternate translations I discussed change the meaning at all, but they possibly deemphasize certain things.

However, watching the film this latest time, slowly, and, as I said, over and over and over again, it seems to me very possible (and even likely) that Andrea understands his implication exactly, though she is perhaps hoping she has misunderstood, and, naturally from her POV, is bewildered because she has no idea where this is coming from, but is not confused about what he is implying. But even this interpretation can be favorably spun.390 - h - shipping goggles on

It’s easy to see Andrea’s response in this scene as a rejection, but it’s far from that simple.

She asks him if he’s crazy, which means incest is basically so far from her thoughts that she can barely conceive of it. Who knows how she would respond once she had more time to think about it? It has been, like, ten seconds! If he had been going about this in the right way, he would have planted the idea like a little seed and let it grow, and then attempted the subject once she had time to get used to the idea. (A process sort of like what Carly did in my iCarly fanfic.) I made this helpful graph:391 - GRAPH

Diego clearly does not understand the art of seduction.391 - h - y u no meme

Even Andrea’s unborn child is facepalming.392 - fetus facepalm

Also, it’s not as if this is him saying, “I’m in love with you. What do you think about that? How do you feel about that?” He skipped that step, and about five others. He’s saying, “What are we going to do?” as if they were already together in that way, which really threw her. He didn’t give her the opportunity to accept or reject his feelings,  he put her in the position where she had to show him that things are the not the way he thinks that they are, NOT that they never could or would be. So I don’t see this “rejection” as blowing holes in the ship. (Thank dioses for these loopholes.)

And if we study Andrea’s response considering the idea that she’s cognizant of the basic reality of the situation, we see that she looks troubled. 389 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (297) 393 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (298) 395 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (300)There’s just a hint of real emotion after the frustrated eye roll. She’s annoyed – because that’s her default, because he’s being weird and she doesn’t want to deal with it, because she’s leaving and she doesn’t want to end things like this (and she doesn’t want to deal with it), because he didn’t answer the questions that she asked (she’s the only one who gets to ignore questions!), because he just complicated what was a unique and important relationship in her life (and she doesn’t want to deal with it). And then we see that she’s maybe realizing that she might have lost him. She has at the very least lost what she thought their relationship was. And she’s probably thinking that she really doesn’t need this grief right now. Her “What’s wrong with you?” could mean, “Why are you doing this to me?” It’s certainly delivered that way.

We’re actually seeing EMOTION on Andrea’s face!394 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (299) If anything, this scene at least shows that Diego is capable of stirring up those deeply-buried feelings. We’re shown how little everything matters to Andrea, but Diego matters.

(Two of the high-quality promotional photos that were released for the film are from this scene. The one of Diego is potentially from a deleted scene:396 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (301) We certainly never see him like this in the final version of the scene.

The one of Andrea is, I assume, her face after Diego has walked out, from a different angle than we see in the film. And I don’t know if you remember, but it’s actually one of the covers/posters. Hmm?)397 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (301.5)

Now, is Andrea thinking back to when Diego was kissing her leg, and attempting to watch her change her clothes? Or is she thinking that she this is brand new, because of the dancing? She could believe that she was the one who started this by giving him the wrong impression on the dance floor. One thing is definitely clear: Diego was acting as if he believed she felt the same way. This grievous error actually works in his favor, because it indicates to her that she has done something to bring this on.

If Diego was better on his feet, he could have neutralized the situation in a number of ways.

He could have played it cool – pushed the blame for the misunderstanding onto her and just passed himself off as game for whatever she wanted. (The sexy and confident “willing but indifferent” approach.)

He could have come up with some sort of explanation for what he’d said that would have worked on Andrea. He could have said that he was referring to them not having real jobs and living at home with their father, and then deflected using Andrea’s issues with her parents. Essentially picking a fight.

He could have turned it into a joke. It would be hard to sell, but if there was ever someone who wasn’t going to dig deeper, it’s Andrea.

Anything was better than looking scared and running away! It was his uncharacteristic confidence that really did him in. If he would have proceeded with his typical cautiousness, he would have realized that Andrea didn’t think a night on the dance floor equaled running off together to have an incestuous affair before he revealed his feelings to her.

I almost have to fault the writing, really, because how dense can Diego be? They dance a little and suddenly he believes that she’s in love with him and will leave behind her life in order to be with him? It’s true that he’s seen some guy approach Andrea on the dance floor and get in her pants before the night is over. But he should know better than anyone that she doesn’t think much of those tumbles (he surely wants to be more to her than that), and more importantly, the fact that he’s her brother really invalidates any sort of meaningful parallel. He has to know that it would be different for him. If he really thought it was that easy, he would have tried it already.

Unfortunately for us, this is the very last scene between them. It’s not the last relevant scene, but it’s the last time they’ll both be present in the same place at the same time. We’re at 1:02:00 out of 1:26:00 (not including credits). It’s a shame that there aren’t any shared Diego/Andrea scenes in the entire last third of the film, but there’s still plenty to discuss.

SCENE 14

All of the time jumps in this film are sort of disorientating, but this next one is particularly so. 398 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (302)Once again we open on a new scene with a close up of Diego’s face. He’s in a (the?) club (“Square Roots” banging on in the background), and he’s wearing a different outfit. It’s strange to have a close up on his face like this and not know that he’s drilling his eyes into Andrea, but as his gaze scans the room we can be fairly certain that it’s her he’s looking for.400 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (66) 399 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (65) He eventually pulls out his cell phone and makes a call. 402 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (67) Whoever he is calling (spoiler alert: it’s ANDREA) doesn’t pick up. He’s frustrated but not angry, consigned to this outcome. He glances around the club once more.403 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (68)We’ll eventually learn that this is the same night as Scene 13, but it’s not all evident at first.

Diego seems quite calm to me. His desire to find her is urgent, but considering how awkward the conversation with her is going to be if he does find her, he seems rather relaxed. (A point in favor of my original interpretation? Yes.)404 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (306)We cut to Andrea. She’s in the backseat of the family sedan, being driven by Ramón (one assumes) to Lima to pack. (Agustín wasn’t kidding about her leaving right away. It’s strange to me that Andrea would leave for Lima/Miami at night. Why would she have a red eye flight?) Her face is back to being a mask, but I’m certain she’s thinking.  Her phone rings. She looks down for a few seconds, then presses the button to ignore the phone call. 405 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (308)406 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (309)She’s already holding her phone, so perhaps this isn’t the first time Diego has called her. (Or maybe she’s thinking about calling him.) If he’s looking for her, then it makes sense to me that he would have called her at least once already.

407 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Elisa - Maricielo Effio

Between Elisa and Andrea, that is now four polka dot outfits in as many days. I think I have found my people.

Elisa’s party is ongoing, the scenes intercut, so we know that it’s definitely the same night.

Elisa gets really drunk at her party and she is the BEST drunk. She’s absolutely hilarious.408 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Elisa - Maricielo Effio She also says that she read the entire Bible. Pretty impressive, since it has only been two days, and it would literally take a person four days to read the Bible if they did nothing else, including not sleeping. (Sort of like this entry!) And we know that Elisa did other things, including studying mythology and botany (and is now an expert in both subjects), shopping, going to parties, sleeping, etc.. She’s some kind of speed-reading savant.

(Obviously I’m being tongue in cheek. What I wanted to point out is that Elisa’s storyline really needed to take place over a couple of months rather than a couple of days. I find it absolutely delicious the way we can follow the film from day to day, but it’s also totally ridiculous. Just like Andrea’s red-eye flight to Miami, the immediacy here is totally unnecessary.)

I don’t know why Andrea is leaving at night. I don’t know why she has changed clothes or why Diego has changed clothes. I don’t know why he would go home and change clothes and then go back to look for her. I don’t know why he would go out and look for her instead of waiting for to come home where they could speak in private. I suppose it’s possible that he went home, and got ready for bed or something, and then felt like he had to talk to her right away, so he put on something else and went out to look for her. Maybe he wanted to find her before she got too drunk? Perhaps if he waited, she would have been wasted, and then it would have had to wait until morning, when she probably would have been too sober! I don’t know why they didn’t run into each other at home, since surely Andrea had to return to Casa Agustín before leaving for Lima. Did she really pre-pack a bag and leave it in the car with Ramón? This is an awful lot of fanwanking for me to have to do to make sense of this.

I’m glad Diego is trying to do damage control this same night. He should have done it right away instead of running away like a little girl (no offense to little girls), but at least he’s taking care of it before tomorrow. What’s he going to say, I wonder? Spill everything (well, *cough*, probably not everything), or has he come up with some sort of excuse? (The ones I mentioned have expired. It’s way too late to use them.)

Or maybe Diego isn’t planning on talking to her, maybe he’s just looking for her because he doesn’t know where she is and he wants to be with her. As Inés will soon point out, Diego looking for Andrea is basically an every day occurrence. It would certainly lend credence to the theory that Andrea didn’t pick up on everything Diego was trying to say to her the night before. (You’ll have to pry this interpretation from my cold dead fingers.)409 - pry from my cold dead fingers And it explains why he seems relatively calm.

Andrea does not seem to be in a good mood. She’s definitely not excited about leaving for Miami, which makes me better disposed towards her. I described her as thoughtful when she was in the car, but I think you can see from her face that she is experiencing negative emotions.

410 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (307)We cut to the Lima house, where she is packing. Some of her clothes still have tags on them. Prop mistake or understated commentary on consumerism and wealth? You decide. Also: check out her bright orange suitcase. Cool! I also like her lamp. (So much ironic use of color in her life.)

Again, Andrea exhibits a sort of melancholy as she packs. At the very least it can be said that she lacks enthusiasm of any kind, vacantly choosing between items of clothing and throwing them into her suitcase wearily. There’s something wrong here. (But there’s not something wrong with her lamp – it’s awesome.)

Her phone rings again. She picks it up, looks at the screen, and bites her lip. She again ignores the call. It’s hard to say how long it has been since the last call, or whether there have been any in between (although I’m leaning towards no). She’s still after setting the phone down, looking down and not returning to packing for a considerable length of time. 411 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (69)She’s in profile and it’s hard to describe her facial expression exactly (and she has never been as easy to read as Diego, who shows us everything), but she’s clearly distressed.412 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (310)413 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (311) 414 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (312) I’d venture she’s as close to crying as she ever gets. She flares her nostrils a little, which could be a sniffle and is definitely a sign that she’s upset. She looks up, but is staring into the distance, thoughtfully.

We jump ahead to her in the middle of a phone call.415 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (313) She says, “But listen to me, don’t say anything to Diego.” 416 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (314)Then she adds, “He’d die.” 417 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (315)But I hear her saying, “se mata” in Spanish, which actually means to kill oneself. I’m going to trust the English translation and believe she’s not saying that he would kill himself, but there’s question mark here.

418 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (316)“Yes, I just wanted to talk to you,” Andrea says. “But don’t tell him anything.”

Then it cuts to Nelly, who is on the other end of the phone call. She agrees to Andrea’s request.419 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (317)Andrea says, “I’ll call him tomorrow when I get there.”

This is the end of the phone call, and Nelly hangs up just as Diego comes into the room.420 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (318)

So we see that Andrea was dealing with so many emotions and everything and she just had to talk to someone, so she called Nelly. Like Diego, her connection to Nelly is essentially a familial one. To both children Nelly is more than just a servant in the house. (And yet at the same time there is a very distinct line.)

As for the part of the conversation about Diego – muy interesante. Andrea does not want to tell him – whether it’s the part about the baby, or the part about her moving to Miami for at least six months, or both – and the main reason she doesn’t want to tell him is because it would kill him. Her words. So she’s clearly aware of the fact that Diego is DEEPLY attached to her, incestuously or not. This is not a revelation based on their conversation from earlier that night. This is something she has always known about their relationship and his feelings for her.

In what she says to Nelly, there’s no indication that there’s any strain between her and Diego beyond the news that she has to give him. And we now know that this is why she has been avoiding his phone calls. She didn’t want to tell him that she was leaving for Miami. She doesn’t even want to tell him until she’s actually in Miami.

This definitely confuses the situation, because we’ve got Andrea behaving in accordance with this huge thing that’s going on in her life, leaving us very little ability to interpret how she is affected by what just happened between her and Diego. We can’t even tell whether she even realizes that something just happened between her and Diego.409 - pry from my cold dead fingers In these scenes, and in Scene 13,the thing first and foremost on her mind had to be have been the fact that she is leaving for Miami to have the baby.

Even though it’s clear that Andrea has unloaded onto Nelly (certainly for Andrea’s own benefit and not to inform Nelly), it’s the call from Diego that spurs her towards this action. When she gets the call from Diego while she’s packing, she basically has a mini little breakdown. (OK, slight exaggeration.) And like I said, I think she was almost sort of crying a little? So why is she crying? (And even if she’s not crying crying, it’s clear from the car ride scene that she’s not happy, and it’s clear from her response to Diego’s phone call that she’s actually deeply affected by what’s happening and really in quite a lot of pain. Malaise, at the very least.)

I hope it’s because she’s sad about leaving. I mean, I really can’t think of any other good explanations. She’s got a lot of feelings about the baby (less than she should, though, probably), but those wouldn’t be manifesting right now, except as frustration about the inconvenience. This is about her leaving. Specifically, this about her leaving Diego. Nelly, too, and Peru, and probably her friends, and hopefully even her father, but especially Diego. And if she’s feeling the separation this much, then she knows that it would kill Diego.

It was really quite terrible of her to leave without saying goodbye to him in person. I mean, he doesn’t even know that she’s leaving at all! But I can give her a pass if it was because it’s just all too painful. One of the points being made about the upper upper class in this film is that they are emotional cowards, and they run from conflict. They fix things with money and trips. Diego runs from that confrontational moment with Andrea, and now Andrea is running from saying goodbye to him. Just like she’s running away to Miami to fix her baby problem.

Diego asks Nelly and Inés if they have seen Andrea. 421 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (319)Inés hasn’t, and then Nelly lies like a champion and tells him that she must be with her friends. He leaves quickly, presumably to look for her elsewhere.

The next relevant scene is the maids cleaning up after Elisa’s party.

They’re speaking to each other in Quechua, an Indian language, and not in Spanish. I would not have expected them to both be fluent in one of the native languages, or for them to choose to speak it to each other when they are alone. Racism against the Native Americans is only touched on briefly in the film, but effectively. We can surmise that many of native descent belong to the lowest classes, just like Nelly. Most of the upper upper class has much lighter skin, even blue eyes or blond hair.

And when Elisa had her dream, she was aghast to see that her grandmother had come to Agustín’s home dressed in traditional Indian clothing:422 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (220)

Elisa treats her Indian heritage like a stain. Just that single line shows so much.

“Diego’s still not home?” Nelly asks.

Uh-oh.

“He must be looking for his sister,” Inés responds. “Why’s he always doing that?”

ALWAYS, she says.

Oh, Inés. You don’t want to know.

“He takes care of her,” Nelly insists, basically implying that Inés is foolish for not realizing it. “Wouldn’t you do the same?”423 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (320)

We know exactly what kind of care Diego takes of Andrea, but I do have to wonder if he has taken actual good care of her in the past. Remember when he says, “If you’re staying, I’m staying?” back in the first scene? It really sounded like he wanted to look out for her. The way Agustín sends Diego to deal with Andrea and the conversation between the maids here gives us a picture of Diego and Andrea’s relationship that covers a lot more than just the four/five days we’ve seen. Diego definitely has this reputation for taking care of her. Is that just because he follows her around (because he is obsessed with her)? I think it’s more than that.

The women don’t have time to go to bed – it’s already 4AM and who knows what time they have to be up again but it won’t be much later. They sit down and talk for a while. Inés is taking English classes. It’s basically the most pleasant conversation in the entire film and I love these two fabulous ladies so much.424 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (324)

SCENE 15

We rejoin Diego after the sun is up. He’s still roaming the streets. Poor baby. Yes, I will call him that. Go home and get some sleep, honey. You won’t find her.425 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (325)

This behavior clearly indicates a desperation to find her. Is it because he needs to talk to her AS.SOON.AS.POSSIBLE. about what happened the night before? About what she may have realized, or about what he thinks she may have realized? Or is he now concerned about her well-being, having searched for her all night and not been able to find her?

He gets a phone call and answers it eagerly.426 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (326)

It’s Andrea.

She made good on what she told Nelly. A promise kept!

It’s a six hour flight to Miami. (Yes, I looked it up.) And I doubt she would have called at the crack of dawn. And Diego will soon run into one of her friends, who I doubt would be out when it was so early. So I think it’s probably late morning and Diego is still out looking for her.427 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (327) 428 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (329)

“Where are you?” he asks. “Where? What the hell are you doing in Miami?” This part is just heartbreaking for me to watch. 429---e---heart-breaking“What problem?”429 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (330)

And then she hangs up. Well, an international cellular connection? Maybe the call was dropped. But I think she probably hung up.430 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (332)

I can’t believe that’s all she said to him: I’m in Miami. I’m taking care of a problem. THAT’S IT? “He’d die”, and this is what she does about it?431 - tumblr meme reaction are you fucking kidding me

I just…I…but…what?…I…huh…why?…I can’t…really?

REALLY?!!!

I have a lot of questions.

Did she wait to call him until she was in Miami because she was afraid he would come after her? That doesn’t make sense to me. She could have called him from the Lima house and lied and said that she had already boarded her plane and that even if he wanted to come it was too late. And I sincerely doubt that he would have made it in time any case, especially without Ramón to drive him. And if he was truly determined to come, then he could just fly out to Miami on his own.

But why make Nelly stay silent so that Andrea could tell him herself if she was just going to spit out a few short sentences and then hang up? Not only is it not a real conversation, she doesn’t even tell him one of the basic facts – that she’s pregnant. She has to know that piece of information is going to come out sooner rather than later.

It just doesn’t make any sense to me that she’s so careful about his feelings when she’s on the phone with Nelly, and then just dumps the cold, hard facts on him and hangs up when she finally calls him herself.

Here’s my fanwank, and I put it forth to you as both the shippiest and most satisfactory explanation possible: Andrea wanted to tell Diego everything herself, but was too much of a coward do it in person. She knows how intense/emotional Diego can be, and she just didn’t want to go through that, particularly because she was afraid it would open the floodgates on her own emotions. (Maybe even tempt her to stay?) So she plans to tell him over the phone once she has her feet firmly planted in Miami. When she had said she would go to Miami, it seemed easy. But now that she’s actually packing and seeing the house and the people in her life for the last time (for now), she’s finding that it’s actually very hard to leave, and it actually hurts. She knows that talking with Diego is just going to make that a million times worse. All the more reason to avoid it for as long as possible. And she spends a lot of time thinking in the car and on the plane so that she’s in a pretty anxious state when she finally does call him. Hearing his voice and hurt confusion is the final straw – she chickens out, just giving him the barest of facts and then hanging up quickly. Basically what I see here is a girl who just keeps running from feeling anything. Fleeing from feelings. She numbs herself with drugs and alcohol, sleeps around instead of developing a serious relationship, and avoids anything serious at all costs.

Just think about it. She tells her friends that she’s pregnant. She can, because she can just laugh about it with them. She has to tell her father because she needs him to fix it. But she avoids telling Diego – even when she’s out of the country – because he’ll treat it seriously. He’ll force her to treat it seriously and talk about it seriously. And perhaps she even knows, on some level, that he’ll have other issues in dealing with it.

Given what Andrea says to Nelly, and the way she says it, I really have to assume that this phone call to Diego was basically her being a coward  and just doing what was easiest for her in the moment, yet again. I’m sympathetic to this vulnerable Andrea, even though she acts outrageously selfish in order to protect herself. But I really wish she could have seen Diego wandering the streets all night looking for her, just as I wish Diego could have heard her phone call to Nelly.

Just seconds after putting away his phone, a vexed and dazed Diego rounds a corner and runs into Pink Suit, who is looking fabulous but confusing in a floral bathing suit.432 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (333)

She is pleased to see him, greeting him as Dieguito and touching his head (perhaps ruffling the irresistible fro). 433 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (71)I’m not sure what’s wrong with these friends of Andrea’s but I would have been ALL OVER Diego if I was them.

“Did you know about Andrea?” he asks her.

“Yes,” she answers.

“What’s she doing in Miami?” he follows up.435 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (336) 434 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (335)

“In Miami?” Pink Suit is flabbergasted. Andrea didn’t tell her friends that she was leaving either. Because they don’t matter to her? Or just another example of her policy of avoidance? “Holy shit,” Pink Suit utters. 436 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (337)“I don’t know. Your father probably sent her. 437 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (338)Or she’s embarrassed.” Pink Suit seems to find this amusing. Some friend she is.438 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (339)

“Of what?”

“Staying here with her big belly.”439 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (340)

Diego’s face is PRICELESS.440 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (70)

(I’ve seen this enough times that I can laugh about it. I can only laugh about it, actually.)442 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (342) 441 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (341) 443 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (343)

Well, cat’s out of the bag now, Andrea.

Back at Casa Agustín, Diego is, predictably, a complete mess. He sits with his head in his hands for who knows how long.444 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (72)

While he’s no doubt troubled by a whole mix of things, I wonder what’s bothering him the most. The baby? The fact that Andrea is gone for an indeterminate length of time?

Andrea told Diego that her reason for being in Miami is a “problem”, which definitely has a temporary-sounding ring to it to me, in my opinion. But he isn’t acting like she’s just going to be away for six months. (Although six months can be a long time.) Or is he upset about the fact that she didn’t tell him anything, that she just took off and left? He must feel so abandoned. He just lost the center of his universe.445 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (344) 446 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (347)

We find him next wandering the dusty streets of what I’m guessing is a much less-wealthy part of town. 447 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (348)He spends several hours at some sort of bus depot/gas station, confused or indecisive.448 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (355) 449 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (354) 450 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (353)

Well, he didn’t die or kill himself, but he’s definitely losing it.

He calls Nelly after it gets dark. “Nelly, did you know about Andrea?”451 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (352)

She asks where he is, and he tells her.

“I don’t want to go back,” he answers. We don’t hear her side, but we can guess what she has said.

So he’s trying to escape the house. He just can’t be there anymore. Because of Andrea? Is he furious with his father for sending Andrea away? Betrayal abounds? Maybe the house will only remind him of her and he needs to get away from that. Maybe he just needs a distraction – something, anything different.

“I don’t know. I’ll find a place,” he answers Nelly, who has apparently asked him where he’ll go. And then it seems that she invites him to come stay with her. He says, “Where is it? How do I get there?”

Raaaaammmmooooonnnnnn

Raaaaammmmooooonnnnnn

He takes the bus. I’m sure he’s missing Ramón right about then. It’s definitely a new experience for him. Nelly leads him into the slums where she lives. He takes it all in. I don’t think he’s ever actually been there before.453 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (349)

As Mendez pointed out a number of times while talking about Dioses, the upper class set themselves apart geographically as much as anything else. They live in these gorgeous homes in upscale neighborhoods, while the poor live in sprawling favelas. There’s a lingering shot of station outside of Casa Agustín when Diego leaves for the office Monday morning, and it confused me, but I think it was just showing that they have a security guard at this house, all part of keeping them guarded and safe and apart on their Olympus.452 - e - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (95)

They go to her place, and he looks around. I almost feel like I’m insulting her when I say it’s not a very nice place, so let’s just say it’s very clear that she’s poor.

“You live here?” he asks. Not exactly in outraged disbelief, but I think horror is boiling under his polite surface.

“In the winter, when I’m not with you at the beach.”

She offers him some coffee, which he declines extremely politely.

“Your father is going to miss you,” she says. Oh Nelly, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.

Diego has sat down. “No. I don’t think so.” It just hurts me so much that Diego could really think that.454 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (356)

“Don’t say that. He’s a kind man.”

Nelly is actually the best. She thinks the best of everyone. She’s always cheerful. She makes jokes instead of complaining. We should all be more like Nelly.

“Kind?” Diego sputters. “Do you really think he cares about me or you?” Wow, he’s definitely angry with is father right now. I really think that line at least is about Andrea.455 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (358)

“Of course,” Nelly says. “He’s even good to us out here. He’s helped us a lot. The kids have a place to play ball now.”

Diego is either skeptical or in actual disbelief.456 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (359)

Nelly has to leave. (To go back to Casa Agustín, I assume.) Diego is understandably disappointed that she is leaving him. All alone. There.

He does not sleep well. 457 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (361) - edit 458 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (363) - edit The neighborhood is very noisy, and Nelly’s thin walls do nothing to keep out the sound.

But he also doesn’t have a blanket on! I know it’s probably hot (in fact, that’s probably his problem as well, no posh AC), but I know I simply cannot sleep without a blanket on top of me.

The strong implication seems to be that the noise is the main reason he can’t sleep, but I’m certain the situation with Andrea is weighing on his mind. Laying there for hours, what else is he going to be thinking about?459---Dioses---Josue-Mendez---Peru---2008---Sergio-Gjurinovik---Diego

The next day he explores a little. 460 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego 460 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (1)These are certainly the least subtle scenes in the film but definitely powerful. At one point he goes to the top of the hill and looks out over the whole area. 460 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (4) 460 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (3)You can just see the shacks sprawling as far as the eye can see. He goes to a place where he sees some kids kicking around a soccer ball. It’s possibly the place that Nelly was referring to, the one funded by Agustín.460 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (5)460 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (6) 460 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (7) Meanwhile, Agustín is the only one actually excited about the baby. 468 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (382)We see him thinking about names – Gianluca, he decides on. “I see him in highschool,” he says. “At graduation. Metallurgical engineer. I can already see him at the foundry, working the metals, preparing the alloys.”469 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (381) He’s got big plans for this kid. He loves Diego, but clearly Diego isn’t the son that he wants, and Gianluca might be that son. Thank God for Agustín, though. Because when I think of Gianluca being able to look back at his mother and Elisa during this time, I feel just so sorry for him. Though heavens help him if he doesn’t want to take over the family business. I’m not sure where Agustín got his passion for metalworking, but I think he needs to accept that not everyone is going to share it.469 - e - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - agustin - edgar saba (381) - annotated

Nelly stands off to the side. Agustín is technically speaking to her, though mostly to himself.

Elisa finally goes to visit her family after spending the entire film avoiding any interactions with them – but she goes alone, even though they have been expecting to meet Agustín for a long time. She lies even to them about the baby, telling them that she is pregnant. They want to come to the baptism, but it’s clear that she does not want to invite them. (And as we’ll see at the end, she does not invite them.)

When she goes up to see her grandmother (the one who slapped her in her dream), a version of “Tonada de la Luna Llena” plays on a Native American flute while Elisa looks at her as she sleeps.470 - Maricielo Effio - Elisa

Does this help us discern a theme associated with this piece of music? Hmmm, no. LOL. Not as far as I can tell. Elisa going to visit her grandmother is a good thing, but we also know that Elisa is going to lie to her and continue to push her away and be ashamed of her. The focus of this part is on Elisa’s face as she looks at her sleeping grandmother. We can imagine what she’s feeling – that it hurts distancing herself from her family and that it’s killing a part of her. (She reminds me of young Cora from Once Upon A Time, when she rips out her heart so that love won’t keep her from getting the power that she wants.) Here we see Elisa confronting something true and real. (If it weren’t for that flippin’ scene at the office I would be sold on that theme.)

Diego spends another night at Nelly’s. 474 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (385)I don’t know how it has come to pass that he has not yet had to use the toilet, but he does not find the bathroom up to his standards.474 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (388) 474 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (387)474 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (386)

He washes his face, and then takes a good hard long look at himself in the mirror. Literally.476 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (389) 477 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (390) 478 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (391)

I think he’s thinking that he’s got to finally take up some agency and become the master of his own life. There’s got to be some changes made.475 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (73)

Obviously, looking around the slums and seeing the conditions that Nelly lives in have had an impact on him, but I think we have to assume that this is about more than that. Is he saying to himself, “I need to get over this thing with Andrea?” Maybe. Honestly, I hope not. But maybe. Or maybe he’s thinking, “I need to be less like a rapist.” I do hope he’s thinking that.

We transition to him washing his face again, this time while wearing a nice suit, and in a very nice bathroom. (We’ll soon learn that it’s the Lima house.) The contrast between the two bathrooms is flagrant (and certainly intentional). 479 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (392)He looks in the mirror, and seems sort of nervous. 480 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (393)

He puts a smile on his face, and then tries again for a better one.484 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (395) 484 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (396) 484 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (394)

He doesn’t feel ready until his third attempt.481 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (74)

So far, the only character that we have seen in front of the mirror is Elisa. There have been two memorable scenes of her standing in front of the mirror, adjusting her clothes and practicing speaking and tasting wine and things like that – basically trying to mimic her new friends so that she’ll look like she belongs.486 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (397)

In some ways Diego is doing the same thing – in order to fit in at the party he needs to plaster a smile on this face. Elisa is trying to please these socialites, and Diego is trying to please his father. (?) 486 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (398)

But there’s also a contrast. We never see Elisa examining herself in the mirror on a deeper level, whereas we see Diego do that twice.

We hear murmuring outside – it’s some sort of party. (As we’ll soon learn, it’s Gianluca’s christening.) Another parallel. Just like the party thrown by Agustín at the very beginning of the film, it doesn’t seem that Diego really wants to be at this one either. This time he seems determined to be a civil guest, but his feelings have not changed – he has to pretend to enjoy it.

We have to ask ourselves why he has to pretend, why he can’t actually have fun and be merry. Is it the other guests? Did his foray into the slums fill him with even more dislike for those people? Is it his father? Is it because this is the christening for Andrea’s baby?492 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (399)

Diego emerges from the bathroom and greets someone generically before running into Agustín.492 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (404) Father and son greet each other warmly! Even knowing that Diego is most likely using his fake smile, it’s very surprising to see them on such friendly terms. 492 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (403)

Agustín says, “There is someone that I want you to meet.” He introduces Diego to Carla, the “daughter of Chalo”. She’s young and pretty. She apparently lives in Argentina but is spending six months here. Presumably not to have a baby, although it’s kind of hilarious that they used six months for the time span. Agustín is such a Diego/Andrea cockblocker and he doesn’t even know it! He sends Andrea to another country and then tries to set Diego up with someone else!492 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (402)

Sergio does such a good job with keeping his smile fake-looking during this whole party scene. 492 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (401)

Diego is a whole new man – he even makes small talk with Carla! Although he’s not very good at it: he asks her how long she’ll be staying in Lima even though his father just told him right in front of her. Carla’s like, “Um…six months!”

Outside, Nelly is holding Gianluca while Elisa stands to the side as all of the women comes to admire him.493 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (405) “He has his father’s eyes,” one of the women comments. LOL. She must know Caregol. (Of course Gianluca could have Agustín’s eyes, though. He’s his grandfather, after all.)

We drop in on two people talking:

Man: “Andrea didn’t come, then?”

Woman: “What are you thinking, Kike? Come to your own son’s baptism and pretend it’s not your kid and smile?”

Man: “Is she alone in Miami?”497 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (406)

Woman: “Alone? That girl is never alone.”

So we know that Andrea is still in Miami, and we’re explicitly given a reasonable explanation for why she did not come. I agree, it would have been awkward. But I also think the sooner she starts treating Gianluca like a baby brother, the sooner a normalcy can be established.

(I don’t know who these people talking are, or how they know the truth. Perhaps they’re the parents of Pink Suit?)

Diego and Carla have migrated outside, and are standing with Carla’s mother. Carla says to her, “Yes, Mom, he lived all by himself in the slums.”

Apparently the small talk ended and Diego told Carla something a bit more personal.

“You had the choice and you went to El Agustíno?” Carla’s mom asks, amazed. “What a crazy idea! And now?”

“I’m studying.”

“Wonderful.”500 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (408)

Carla is staring at Diego appreciatively.499 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (409)

“Yes. I’m in humanities. I’m hesitating between sociology and psychology – one of those two.”

“Your stay in El Agustíno made you sensitive,” Carla’s mom remarks.501 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (407)

“For sure,” he answers with a smile/laugh (fake), and then he turns his face away and looks all around the gardens/patio, his smile fading and then sort of rebounding, sort of. It strikes me as frustratingly ambiguous. Well, the GIFs and caps are here, you judge:501 - GIF - Mine - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Anahi de Cardenas - Sergio Gjurinovik - Andrea - Diego (75) 502 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (413) 502 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (411) 502 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (414) 502 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (415)

The final scene of the film is a playground full of children. But instead of parents, we see hired help in uniforms. And we know that Gianluca will soon be there among them, and that Diego and Andrea once were there.503 - a - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (412)

Fin.

I told you that I made a few mistakes when I watched this film without the English subtitles. Most of those related to this penultimate scene of the christening. It was my impression that Andrea had gone to Miami for an abortion because she was too far along to legally get one in Peru. I thought that Gianluca was actually Elisa’s son. And I thought that after spending a day at Nelly’s, Diego buckled, and returned to the luxury of his father’s home, and this scene was him doing exactly what his father wanted.

We know that that’s not exactly true. Carla says that Diego “lived” in El Agustíno. So how long was he there? Was it just a couple of days? That would be long enough to change him. But maybe he stayed there until the end of the summer? It can’t have been longer than that, since we know he’s in school. It was always his plan to go to school, and we don’t know what he was studying, except that he had excelled in math (in high school, most likely). Had he been planning on sociology and psychology all along? Carla’s mom assumed that he switched over after his time in the slums, but he might have just let her assume that rather than correct her because it was easier. We don’t know for sure that he switched concentrations.

But he probably did.

In studying sociology and psychology, he’s not learning how to do something anymore as much as he’s now learning how to understand something. He’s trying to crack the mystery of his life and his lifestyle and the lives of those around him. If he was going to follow the path laid out for him by Agustín, then he would be studying engineering or business, probably. So I doubt his father is happy with these changes. But they seem to be on good terms. Better terms than they have been so far. Maybe Agustín is happy to see Diego taking charge of his life? Or is Diego still complying with his father’s desires, he has simply found some wiggle room?

Has Diego been living at home with his father? Did he “go back”? From the way Agustín greets him, it’s hard to tell. It really could go either way. Elisa has been in Paris, but Agustín would have had to work, so he would have stayed in Lima most of the time, and I assume his university is there as well. The wedding was in Paris. Did Diego go? I doubt Andrea was there.

Agustín could possibly be called overbearing (as opposed to unconditionally supportive), but it was really my impression that he was better man than most of his friends, and a generally good father. But as we saw, Diego only felt the sting of being a disappointment, and none of that love. Obviously, Agustín could have (and should have) reached out more with his fatherly love, but perhaps what’s really to blame here is that emotional distance between all of the characters. Diego is unable to connect with his father, and is therefore unable to interpret his father’s actions in the spirit in which they were intended. (And Agustín is unable to reach out.) Is this interpretation correct? Does the end show that Diego is maturing (and becoming stronger), and is able to connect better with his father? Or perhaps Agustín is less hard on Diego now that he has another son?

I feel like I don’t know the answers to these questions. I don’t know where Agustín and Diego’s relationship stands. I don’t know how different Diego is now from the boy that we met at the beginning. Is he still saying, “Sí, Papa”? And how bad was that really? Agustín was always willing to let Diego lead the life that he wanted, even if he made it clear that that disappointed him.

So I don’t know about you, but I feel like there was a real lack of resolution where the Diego/Andrea relationship was concerned. 503 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (281)Have they even talked on the phone during these 7 months? Did Diego just decide to not call her anymore? He didn’t want to ask her about the baby or why she didn’t say goodbye? Or did they eventually have a longer conversation?

There’s so much ambiguity in their final interactions, not only because it’s unclear how much Andrea realized…409 - pry from my cold dead fingersBut also because she was also dealing with the baby and leaving for Miami at that time, and those concerns took precedence. The end does nothing to help with our questions.

Diego spends most of the film preoccupied with Andrea and with his feelings for her, and then all of the sudden his storyline becomes about the slums. Are we supposed to think that he had his little breakdown, and then let sociology concerns fill the gap that Andrea left behind? Did he pick himself up and dust himself off and become a more selfless person? Did he have some sort of self-revelation? Did he decide his problems with Andrea were nothing in the face of the suffering of the poor? Did he realize that he needed to just stop with this Andrea obsession?

Because people don’t really do that. And that concept seems awfully simple for a film like this, and a film that’s full of contradictions.

He’s freaking out about Andrea, and then as soon as he gets to that gas station it’s like she never even existed. He doesn’t even talk to Nelly about her once they get back to Nelly’s house!

Did he decide to just suppress everything he felt for Andrea and focus on other things? He can’t be over her, because that would just be stupid. You don’t just get over someone like that. Even if he was no longer on the verge of raping her every time she was asleep while he was around (and hopefully that is the case), that doesn’t change the fact that they spent a lot of time together. He would miss her like crazy!

Even Andrea knew that “he’d die”, and she didn’t even have half the story!

Agustín introduces Diego to Carla, and Diego talks with her. I feel like he might not have done that at the beginning of the film. But why now? What has changed? Is this Diego doing what his father wants? Or is this Diego willing to open up his social circle? Is this Diego cruising for chicks?

Are we supposed to think that Diego and Carla are hitting it off? He certainly didn’t charm her with his small talk but you saw the way she was smiling at him. As for his part, we can’t really tell because of that fake smile he wears like a mask the entire time. (His father scolded him for always having that same expression on his face, and now we see Diego trying to not have that expression on his face, and to smile instead.)

We know Diego went outside with Carla and met her mother. But if he doesn’t want to be there, then he probably doesn’t really care who he’s talking to. Carla is just as good as anyone else. I saw no indication that he liked her particularly, although I do think the argument could be made that he was willing to try to like her. That he was trying to open himself up to the possibility of liking her in that way. (Something he might not have done before this epilogue.) Carla’s mother seems to be like Elisa’s friends, but it’s hard to tell about Carla. Is it relevant that she’s from a different country? She’s not part of this twisted society. Diego can find something different with her.

And then we see Diego turn away from that circle of conversation and look around. Is he looking for Andrea? Since she would have to come all the way from Miami, I feel he would already for sure have known that she wasn’t coming. I’d like to think he was looking for her, though. Shippers gon’ ship. 504 - shippers gonna ship bro reaction gifMaybe it was just a habit. Even though he knows she isn’t going to be there, he looks for her anyway. I’ve been there.

And he lets the mask fall for a minute, but it ends on more of a smile than a frown. (Although, if you look at the last cap, the smile fades again right before the cut away. It’s really only visible in the caps though.) It’s certainly a far cry from the Diego trademark expression.504 - Diego face

Is Diego just putting the fake-smile-mask back up? What is Diego feeling? I don’t even know what sort of ending this is for him, and how we’re supposed to feel.

The Agustín/Elisa/Gianluca half is much easier for me to understand. They have a sort of semi-depressing, status-quo type ending. And Andrea running to Miami and then staying there (at least for now) makes sense to me. It’s the same semi-depressing status-quo type ending, with Elisa and Andrea essentially getting what they wanted, but it has a bitter taste for the viewer because we can see that the situation isn’t healthy or right. That these characters have an emptiness inside. It’s uneasy for the viewer.

There’s also, very clearly, in my opinion, the uncomfortable message that everyone knows about the inequality between the very rich and the poor and how wrong it is, but no one does anything about it. Agustín pays for a play area, the women argue that guilt should not exist – it’s their way of treating the symptoms rather than trying to fix the structures that keep this system in place. And the film shows that this just doesn’t change. That everyone just conforms.

But I just don’t know about Diego.

So, yes, that was about 5+ paragraphs and 1000+ words of just my questions about the ending. It’s not even a particularly open-ended ending, especially not for a foreign film. I just feel like I don’t know where things stand for Diego.504 - x - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (373)

As I briefly mentioned, I spent a few hours scouring the internet for reviews, analyses, discussion, interviews with Mendez, etc. There was surprisingly little. (Half the links I ended up clicking on were just notifications for screenings.) But I did find some helpful pages.

The most insightful analysis of the film (here it is – unfortunately for me, it’s in Spanish) asserts that Diego’s “final decision” is taken with “una pizca de cinismo” – a pinch of cynicism, that he has only “presumably” become sensitive towards this other world. Again, I’m guilty of clinging to my understanding of the film on my first viewing, but it seems to me that it’s actually a much better ending to the film if Diego returns to the lap of luxury, as discontent and as impotent as ever. As Carla’s mother says, his time in the slums made him more sensitive (and he was already more sensitive than those around him), but he is unable to escape the pull of his privileged life or the structures (like family, which isn’t inherently bad, of course) that keep him and it in place. It’s a cynical ending, but no more so than Elisa’s or Andrea’s ending.

Of the conclusion, the analysis says that we are denied the moments of decision and resolution, and are presented only with the consequences and denouement of each story. Mendez frustrates us in this way to correspond with the behavior of the characters. Just like they avoid their confrontations from each other, he withholds the confrontations from us.

At first I was like:505 - futurama fry not sure meme not sure if analysis is correct

But the analysis says that “the holes are, obviously, intentional”, and I’m inclined to agree that something was at least attempted, if not necessarily achieved. But it actually does make quite a lot of sense. And Mendez has told so much through the framing/camerawork, etc., that I should not be surprised that it would extend to the narrative style as well.

Another longer review is here. Yet another thorough review opined that the ending lacked punch, which I think describes the situation perfectly. Even a slice of life film, which this one largely is, often ends with the status quo, but it still has to drive its themes and messages home. That reviewer calls the ending open. Too open, in fact. I think more than an open ending it’s just an ending with a lot of holes. It’s a ventilated ending.

506 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (6)Some reviews say that Mendez doesn’t attack/criticize the rich hard enough, others say he was ridiculously prejudiced against them, sketching out only one-dimensional, unsympathetic characters. For some the maids were the only likeable characters, others were able to sympathize easily with Diego or Elisa. Some call it a comedy, others a Greek tragedy. It was a real mishmash. I do think a lot of those differences come down to how well or how deeply the film and its themes were understood by the viewer.

(Obviously I’m favorably disposed towards the film and have spent A LOT of time thinking about it and researching it, so I really can’t hold some of those cursory/superficial and confused impressions against anyone.) And of course the problem with a slice of life film is that it doesn’t often depict many consequences. There’s really no time for karma. (And this is the type of film where karma has no place.)

But Mendez freely and frequently admits that Dioses is inherently contradictory, and that it can be interpreted on different levels – it’s in the eye of the beholder. He criticizes the one-percenters, but he’s also fascinated by them, tempted and envious of their life. And Mendez went to school in Lima with a lot of kids from this upper crust that he’s depicting in Dioses – a British school called Markham that’s actually mentioned by one of Elisa’s friends in the film – so the tableau he has painted for us is based on his own observations. I think his closeness to the situation really doesn’t permit him to take a black and white view. Which wouldn’t be realistic anyway. And I think that’s why the ending can’t be closed, clear-cut, definitive. It’s just not that simple. He’s not just telling a story, he’s exposing a whole cloaked world, and his duty is first to his depiction of the world and not to the specific story.

I think we can see some of the observations that Mendez made while he went to school with these people. He says, “They’re kids that finish school and don’t have the option of doing what they want to do because their life is planned out for them due to the fact that they belong to this class.” This is what we see with Diego and Agustín and the job at the factory, and what we see with Andrea when she rejects the idea of marriage and kids. Mendez writes that the people in this class are “guided by unbearable and self-imposed social pressures”. They create these social expectations that perhaps no one wants to live up to, and then they continue to impose them upon themselves. Like the scandal of Andrea being pregnant, for example.

We also see that while Mendez criticizes the characters for their behavior, he’s much more critical of the overall system. Agustín tells Diego, “Remember who you are,” – he’s creating this false sense of superiority that is passed down from parent to child, along with the racism and prejudices against the lower classes and the indigenous population. They’re taught these behaviors – what Shell-Shirt does to Inés, Diego and Andrea wasting all of the breakfast food, Diego not speaking to the cleaning woman in the elevator, etc. Mendez doesn’t absolve them of fault, but I think he points out that they are raised in an environment that supports these behaviors, these excesses, these prejudices, this ignorance (Diego never having really seen the slums, and believing he is better because of his class, etc.). 507 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (377)Diego and Andrea, and all of them, really, are products of this environment.513 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (33)

508 - Andrea - Anahi de Cardenas - dioses - 2008 - gods - peru - mendezLook at Andrea: I feel like I can say that the film definitely criticizes Andrea’s lifestyle, not only through Diego’s disgust, but in an objective way as well. (Mendez would probably say that all he was turn the camera on this world, and that the conclusions we draw are our own. But he would also say that there is no such thing as realism in front of a camera. He knows the choices that he made.) But what I think he is truly criticizing is the emptiness that drives her into this lifestyle, the vicious cycle that keeps her and generations future and past in it.

I want to discuss how the topic of incest relates to all of this, but first I want to interject a debate about the nature of Diego’s feelings for Andrea. 509 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (303)It occurred several times as I was researching about this film that someone would say that Diego was in love with Andrea, and then correct his/herself and say instead that Diego was obsessed with her. As a shipper, I have become sensitive about the issue. In fact, when I was watching this interview with Sergio, and he said that Diego was in love with Andrea, I actually paused the video and jotted down a note about how Sergio – a supreme authority on the subject – had said it was love (as opposed to obsession), only to see once I resumed the video that he amends his statement afterward to say that Diego is obsessed with her. I laughed for a solid minute after that happened. A. SOLID. MINUTE.

The truth is, I don’t find the two concepts mutually exclusive. He can absolutely be both in love with her and obsessed with her. In fact, that’s exactly what I propose. I certainly can’t deny that he’s sexually obsessed with her. I don’t want to deny it – I find the intensity and uncontrollability of his desire for her to be extremely interesting (although, naturally, I wish he hadn’t come as close to raping her as he did). I would want it to settle down eventually into a dependence, at the very least.

When Sergio and the reviewers in question correct themselves, I believe they’re doing it because they’ve realized that saying Diego is in love with Andrea just doesn’t quite cover it. It’s not enough. It doesn’t give the full picture. I mean, I totally agree with that. Saying Diego is in love with Andrea is not the most precise description of the situation.

My issue with the whole obsession thing is mostly that it makes it sound like it’s some kind of psychological disorder. I’m not saying Diego couldn’t use some therapy, I just don’t think that that connotation is totally fair. But I’m probably also a little sensitive about it, not only as a shipper and a Diego-lover, but also because I get obsessed with stuff all the time. I have an obsessive personality. I mean, just look at this flippin’ entry, right?

It’s not quite this, though:510 - homeland - carrie matheson - obsessed wall

But still. (Thankfully my obsession with Dioses was a moderate one. Yes, I created this enormous entry on it, but it took me weeks to do because I didn’t spend every waking minute working on it. I didn’t make a fanvid or write a fanfic, which means it was moderate.)

But I’ve never really considered my obsessions a bad thing. It’s usually really fun. Obsession can be a pleasure.

(The problem for me is just that my obsessions don’t usually last too long. It’s frustrating. For example, I’m so jealous of these fans of A Song Of Ice and Fire who have been obsessed with it forever. They’ve seen the episodes of Game of Thrones a bunch of times, and read the books a bunch of times. They know all the quotes and the places and characters and remember everything. I was obsessed for a few months and that was it. I’m too much of a dilettante. I never have enough time to become an expert in something before I’m moving on.)

I know what you’re thinking – can an obsession with a movie really be compared to what Diego feels for Andrea? I would actually argue that yes – they are comparable. They’re all just electrical impulses in the brain in the end, aren’t they? (Of course, Diego’s love for Andrea, both as his sister and non-platonically – and especially the potent combination of the two, which we have seen has crippled Diego almost entirely – is a different question. I suppose it’s a question of short term vs. long term. And also a question of threats and sacrifice. I think if someone was really obsessed with a movie and loved it so much, that love would be for all intents and purposes the same as the love they had for another person – both chemically in the brain, and as seen through action – until they were in danger of losing that person, when it would become clear that the loves are not the same.)

So now it’s on me to prove that Diego is in love with Andrea as well as being obsessed with her.511 - challenge accepted barney stinson how i met your mother

How about the fact that everybody says he’s in love with her? Just because they revise their description to “obsessed” doesn’t change the fact that it’s basically their first inclination to say that he’s in love with her. And some of the reviews/summaries do say that he’s in love with her.

Is his jealousy a good point? Being jealous is certainly associated with obsession as well, but it does exclude the idea that Diego is just obsessed wit having sex with her, like he just needs to have sex with her to get her out of her system.

And what about Diego’s total lack of interest in any other girl? He doesn’t look twice at Andrea’s friends. (And according to the social custom of their class, he would most likely be dating one of them.) He didn’t dance with them, even though they were standing right there. Every time he’s out at the club, he only looks at Andrea. He doesn’t try to meet anyone else. He doesn’t want to meet anyone else.

We also have all of the scenes between Diego and Andrea that aren’t sexualized:

When he goes to roust her from Caregol’s.

Breakfast and the pool.514 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (52)

The phone call to Madre and the serious talk.516 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (166)

Andrea calling from Miami.517 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego

And how about poor Diego just wanting to watch a movie with Andrea? He could have just followed her to the beach and watched her frolic around in her bathing suit. But he wanted to spend quality time with her. He wanted her to want to spend quality time with him.

He wanted her to run away with him, in fact. He wants her to leave with him in their scene on the sofa, and then in Scene 13, their final scene physically together, he’s basically planning the rest of their lives together away from their judging family.

It reminds me of The House Of Yes:

Lesly: Why didn’t he marry her?

Jackie O: He couldn’t.

Lesly: Why not?

Jackie O: It was a family thing.

Lesly: Families objected?

Jackie O: Something like that.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

And please tell me you haven’t forgotten Diego’s tender wooing of her foot, legs, and wrist? Perhaps this whole discussion is just an excuse for me to bring up again the part where he kisses her wrist because it gets me right here. (I’m pointing at my heart.)518 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego

And I hate to bring up anything from the almost-rape scene, but I really do think there’s something to be made out of the way he laid his head on her back, and stroked her hair. (An act that’s romantically loving but not sexual.) Like I said, he’s definitely got some issues, but is he in love with her? Yeah, I think so.

I saved the best reason for last: Mendez actually said so. He used the word “amar” – to love – in an interview. Direct quote. Word of God – it’s really all we needed.

In fact, this seems like the perfect way to transition to the question of Andrea’s feelings for Diego. I don’t have a lot more to add to what I have already along the way. But I do want to discuss the full sentence of Mendez’ quote: “No es un incesto de dos hermanos que se aman, sino un amor no correspondido.” (It is not the incest of two siblings who love each other, but rather an unrequited love.) Total bummer, right?

Yes, but only AT FIRST GLANCE.519 - shipper goggles

But here’s the thing: yes it’s an unrequited love. No disagreements here. I mean, that’s just the facts. An unrequited love…right now. Mendez is describing the incest in the movie – that’s the question he’s answering. The incest in the movie is unrequited. And he’s clarifying – this isn’t the story of a brother and a sister who are in love with each other – this is the story of a brother who is in love with his sister. This is the story of a brother who is in love with his sister and despairs of her ever loving him back. Whether Andrea does/could ever love him back doesn’t really matter in the context of what Mendez is saying. Because that’s not what the movie is about, that’s not what Diego’s storyline is about. It’s sort of irrelevant, because Andrea’s feelings are not a part of the movie or the incest storyline.

I do think it’s pretty clear that Andrea has never thought of Diego in an incestuous way. Consciously, anyway. Again, those are just the facts. But Mendez’s statement absolutely does not mean that she never could or never will. And the film does not make that assertion either. Even Mendez’s statement could be bent to allow for a situation where Andrea does love him in that way right now, but has not realized it and/or shown it to him.519 - y - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (252) - alt 2

On this same subject of Andrea’s feelings, I also want to present another quote from Mendez. Part of a Q&A he did at a film festival is on youtube here. Again, it’s all in Spanish. My Spanish, as I have already noted, is rudimentary at best and that’s in written form – my listening comprehension is an embarrassment. But I think I have understood the gist of what he says. We don’t hear the question, but Mendez answers that he believes that Andrea’s only sincere feelings are towards her brother. (That’s at 01:50.)

Firstly, let me say that I really liked that he said, “I believe”, even though he’s the writer. He’s basically giving us permission to interpret his film in our own way.

Secondly let me say fdjaljfkldjakfjdkajfkdjafdjiojflawjkljkdakljdsa.

Her ONLY. SINCERE. FEELINGS. are for Diego.

Let me die.520 - let me die reaction

No further commentary necessary.

Also, can I just point out the fact that right now Andrea seems to think that marriage and kids is a fate worse than death? Seems like someone is primed for a lifelong incestuous affair.

Now, I talked a little at the beginning about how the Diego/Andrea storyline is a lot more ambiguous than the Elisa part of the film. Obviously I wasn’t complaining, but when I first started thinking about this film on a deeper level, I really had to question why Mendez had included incest in his script. I knew such a carefully made film would have a reason for all of its elements. My motivation in researching the film was to try and ascertain how others – particularly critics – had viewed the relationship and its purpose. I had some ideas, but I wanted more. Most of what I read avoided the topic except to mention it as a part of the plot. It was really only once I had reached the bottom of the barrel that I found two reviews that mentioned interviews with Mendez in which he had explicitly stated his reasoning. My loose translation:

The story of the brother and sister, for me, is a reflection of the inbreeding that exists. I remember in school that the same guys were always with the same girls – their neighbors, their friends’ sisters, etc. – never anyone outside of the circle. The extreme of that is to go out with the person right beside you: your sister.

(A direct translation of the final sentence: “The extreme of that was to go out with that which you had at your side: your sister.”)

So Mendez has written Diego/Andrea as an extreme case of the incestuousness of their social group. A literal incest to represent the metaphorical incest. In order to not let anyone else into the group – whether consciously or out of habit – they only date each other. And they’re so sealed off as a group that they probably don’t meet that many other people. And this was what Mendez actually observed. It’s a combination of two fairly common fictional incest tropes: isolation and bloodlines. Essentially: Diego desires Andrea because he doesn’t interact with other girls; Diego desires Andrea because he believes that he and Andrea are better than everyone else. (In Diego’s case he’s neither cognizant of these two things nor has he, at any point, made any decisions.)

Mendez never says this, but I can’t help but think that the incestuousness of the gods might have been a reason as well. Incest is a common theme in polytheistic religions. Although I think the major reference here is to Greco-Roman mythology, not only because Mendez mentions Olympus (and there’s a diegetic reference to Cronus), but also because those are the first gods that most of us are going to think of. We studied them in school because they are part of our culture – vocabulary, literary allusions – and because mythology gives us an insight into human nature. There’s plenty of incest in Greek mythology. (I talk about this a bit more in what I wrote about Apollo and Athena for the Clash of the Titans deleted scene.520 - n - clash of the titans - izabella miko athena, luke evans apollo It was a real disappointment to me that most of the gods were absent in the sequel.

Ares and Athena - Immortals

Ares and Athena – Immortals

I’ve been wanting to write about the gods in Immortals for a long time now as well.)

But the main case is Cronus, the leader of the Titans, and Rhea, his sister/wife, and their children Zeus and Hera, who also married each other.

Cronus and Rhea

Cronus and Rhea

Cronus and Rhea

Zeus and Hera

One of Elisa’s events with her friends is a flower competition.

My God, would you look at how beautiful this place is?

My God, would you look at how beautiful this place is?

First prize is a representation of Cronus. 520 - p - dioses gods cronus flowers (1)Elisa’s friend Claudia tells her the story – there was a prophecy that one of Cronus’ sons would dethrone him, so he ate them all (but Rhea saved Zeus). Elisa pretends to know the story. Later on when she’s drunk, she brings it up, saying, “Cronus…what an asshole.” (It’s so funny!) I think the implication is that she has been reading up, along with her extremely speedy Bible study and flower research. (Claudia scolds Elisa jokingly and tells her not to insult her Cronus!)

It would actually be deliciously ironic if the Cronus story had anything to tell us that would help us understand the film any better, because Mendez says that the upper class appears to be intelligent, but they only discuss “stupid things.” Wow, sounds like me. “They only talk about flowers and don’t worry about problems.” Wow, sounds even more like me, if you replace “flowers” with “shipping”. So it’s a stupid intelligence to know about Greek mythology. If knowing about Greek mythology was in any way helpful, then such a statement would be invalidated.

But it is interesting that three Greek gods are mentioned – Cronus, Rhea (as “his wife”), and Zeus – and they happen to all three be married to their siblings, even though there are numerous other Greek gods that aren’t associated with full-sibling brother/sister incest.

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to draw any parallels between our characters and the Cronus story. Any other film and I’d know to do it for sure, but I’m not really seeing anything here. I don’t see any Cronus/Agustín parallel to be made, except for the fact that they’re fathers. Agustín wants Diego to dethrone him, in a manner of speaking. And Andrea makes for a hilariously ironic Hera parallel, since she is goddess of marriage and certain attributes of motherhood, and is largely known for being jealous of her brother/husband’s philandering. (Their names are kind of similar, though.) Like it’s actually too perfect. OMG IT’S A PARALLEL OF OPPOSITES AND INVERSIONS.

Elisa, right after bringing Cronus back up, mentions Lot. She says, “Lot – listen, listen to me – Lot…is also an asshole.” She had just repeated no less than three times that she had read the entire Bible (in two days), I guess it’s true because I’m pretty sure they didn’t talk about Lot at Monday’s Bible study. I don’t know about most people, but the first thing I think of when I think of Lot is incest. Father/daughter incest, but still incest. In the story, Lot and his daughters are living alone in a cave. (Mrs. Lot, if you recall, was turned into salt after looking back at Sodom while it was being destroyed.) The elder daughter says to the younger that their father is old and they have no husbands, so they have to have a child with their father in order to continue the family line. So they get him drunk so that he doesn’t know what’s going on and they each have sex with him and then each of them has a child. It’s the sort of story that makes everyone put on a Diego face.520 - q - diego face( The girls having sex with Lot while he is totally wasted is certainly reminiscent of Diego and Andrea.) The girls were successful – their sons ended up being the fathers of two nations – the Moabites and the Ammonites. They did more than just preserve the family line.

[When Elisa calls Lot an asshole, she’s referring, most likely, to an earlier instance when Lot offered his two daughters (still virgins) up to be gang raped by a horny mob (typical Sodom!) instead of his mysterious guests.]

So, a LOT of incest references. (Pun!) Very interesting.521 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Edgar Saba

Back on track:

Truthfully, I was not pleased to read that Mendez had said that about the incest storyline being an example of an extreme case of the inter-dating of the Lima one-percenters. I was hoping to find out that the inclusion of incest had been, essentially, random. A splash of color. An element added to turn the characters into characters rather than just symbols. I enjoy these incest tropes – isolation, bloodlines, and others as well. (Especially, for whatever reason, in their most extreme cases.) And it’s nice to see non-canon brother/sister ships fitting into these tropic situations – because I can point it out and say that fictional incest is almost likely in these situations. But I also really hate it when there’s a rationalization behind the incest. I like it so much better we can say that the brother and sister are in love with each other “because they just are.”

Do you know what I mean?

Discussing Diego and Andrea’s hermetic and glorified social situation as it pertains to their incest makes it seem like the incest is symptomatic of their social situation – a psychological condition. I feel like that really contaminates and distorts the ship. It zaps all the romance, if you will. (What romance was left after the attempted rape, that is.)522---not-romantic-heart-reaction-gif This is another situation where my fictional preferences diverge from my real life beliefs. Even though I absolutely believe in the existence of the spiritual (and I consider myself a devout Christian), I am a huge believer in psychological/psychopathological explanations for most of our tastes, traits, and behaviors. (In fact I’ve fittingly often wondered what the psychological explanation for my enthusiastic subscription to Freudian theory is.) And yet in fiction, especially when it comes to shipping, I prefer the opposite. So even though in real life I would definitely believe that Diego’s incestuous desire for Andrea is a product of his social situation and dysfunctional family (not exclusively though – perhaps they are just catalysts, necessary ingredients in his case), I do NOT want that to be the wind in my fictional ship’s sails.

(I have an extremely contradictory nature. But it doesn’t trouble me. I guess part of my contradictory nature is the ability to reconcile contradictions easily. )

Mendez makes it even worse by implying that Diego/Andrea is a metaphor. It’s not even a real relationship anymore – it’s just a device.

OR SO HE SAYS.  523 - shipper goggles

It is up to me to make more of it than that.524 - challenge accepted meme

Punto uno: In addition to describing the select few girls the chicos he knew dated, Mendez also says that he was surprised by how the lovers rotated among friends through the years. These were brief, superficial relationships.

We see this practice in the film: Andrea gets physical with Suitor 2 on Saturday, but he’s treated like just another friend after that. And he seems to be growing closer to Pink Suit. Andrea slept with Caregol a few months back, now he’s just another friend. It’s a rotation. They take turns.

So why include Diego/Andrea on top of this? A couple more lines of dialogue among the friends and maybe one or two additional scenes and this point would have come across perfectly. We could have easily seen that these people only date each other – that they’re a metaphorically incestuous group – and that those dating relationships have very little meaning, that they just take turns. It’s the very definition of casual. I actually think that showing Diego with one of Andrea’s friends and Andrea with one of Diego’s friends would have gone a lot further in showing the dating habits of this group than Mendez’s metaphor.

(The only review that discussed this agreed that the Diego/Andrea incest storyline was not the most effective way to illustrate this point.)525 - e - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (0)

Also, Diego’s feelings for Andrea are anything but superficial, meaningless, casual or brief. He’s in love with her. The most emotional scenes in the film are about Diego’s feelings for Andrea.

If Mendez really wanted to include the incest, he could have gone a number of other directions that would have supported these ideas better. He could have written a brother and sister that had sex with each other as casually as they did it with the others in their circle of friends. He could have written a party scene where the sister was so drunk and so used to passing from one guy to the next that she ended up making out with her brother. He could have written a brother that lusted after his sister without the more tender aspects and without the obsession.

And the Diego/Andrea scenes are by far the most intense. All of the reviews/analyzers agreed about this. And it’s done on purpose. I already mentioned how we cut to close-ups on Diego during some of his most intense moments. But there’s another filmmaking technique that puts an emphasis on the Diego/Andrea scenes. In that analysis that I linked to earlier, the writer points out that Mendez :detains, limits, and interferes with the advance of the action” sometimes with the purpose of putting us on the same level as the characters. He points out that Mendez slows down the action during the Diego/Andrea scenes, which makes them stand out, and also intensifies them. And it’s true. The scene where Diego makes sweet love to Andrea’s foot is really long and slow, and very little happens in it. And the “masturbation scene” is so slow, and quiet, and still. Those are just examples.

Also, the Diego/Andrea incest aspect takes up a HUGE part of the film. The last time that Diego is undebatably focused on Andrea is 1 hr. 11 minutes, only 15 minutes from when the credits start to roll. Before that, the majority of the minutes were part of the Diego/Andrea incest storyline.525 - dioses - gods - peru - 2008 - mendez - sergio gjurinovik, anahi de cardenas, diego, andrea

More than one reviewer made a point of indicating that the scenes of Diego’s longing were too numerous, too lengthy, and inexplicably so.

WHY SO MUCH, MENDEZ?

Even if he was married to the idea of the incest metaphor, why make it such a big part of the film? He could have gotten the point across with a tertiary, even quaternary, storyline. Instead, Mendez made it a primary storyline, and made its scenes the most intense. There are people who came away from this film saying that it was about incest. I know, because I saw them say it.

Basically, I don’t find that Mendez’ explanation satisfies the facts. So I’m not saying that he was lying, but I just think there’s a lot more to it than that.

And obviously I think very highly of him as a filmmaker, so I would very much like to think that he didn’t reduce his characters and their relationships to symbols and literary devices.  He’s good enough to have both themes/messages and good characters. And a good story. And he admitted that the film is full of contradictions. And he said that the film could be enjoyed on a purely entertainment level – which means it needs to be able to stand on its own without the deeper meanings. He also admitted that he always had trouble summarizing his films in just a sentence – he always considers them far too complicated for that, too full of different themes. So it’s possible that the incest was a theme on its own, separate from the class commentary.

526 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (7)Maybe he decided to include the literal incest (maybe he observed it, or maybe he just came up with the idea of the metaphor), and then as he was writing the script and making the film he just got really enthusiastic about it.

I mentioned that part of the filmmaking was documented, and it came out in one of the videos that Mendez had more of a working script than a finished product as he was filming, and that he made a lot of decisions afterwards in the editing room. Which means it’s very possible that as he was filming, he saw how…I don’t know…appealing the Diego/Andrea scenes were and decided to make them longer, or make more of them, or give them more intensity/emphasis. (Obviously how appealing they are is a matter of opinion, but I think someone not put off by incest is going to find them pleasant to watch, especially someone able to sympathize with Diego. I assume Mendez is both of these things.)527 - shipper-spin-gif

In this same video we see an image on one of the computer screens in the background:528 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio

I wish I had magical TV-cop skills and could enhance it, but it looks to me like Diego sitting in the sand, with Andrea coming up behind him. This is not in the film, which means it was left on the cutting room floor. We don’t know how far it got before it was cut – whether it could technically be called a deleted scene or not – but it intrigues me. Does it take place on Sunday? Did Diego go with Andrea and Caregol to the beach? We never see what he wears on Sunday after he changes out of his swimsuit/shorts after being in the pool, and we never see him wearing a yellow shirt like in the image above, so it all matches up. What happened there? WHAT HAPPENED!!!!!! And what else was cut? The film is rather short – 85 minutes without credits. What if Frears advised Mendez to cut a bunch a stuff? What. If.529 - what if i told you morpheus meme

Some of the high quality promotional stills aren’t recognizable as specific frames from the final cut of the film. This Andrea picture that doubles as one of the posters seems like it could be from the end of its scene (though it’s clearly taken from another angle than the filming camera), but the Diego one might be from something that was cut. This picture of Agustín and Elisa is not from anything in the film. I wonder if it’s the same beach scene as the one we glimpsed on the computer screen? And there’s this one:530 - Dioses - peru - 2008 - edgar saba, sergio gjurinovik

It could just be Sergio and Edgar Saba standing around, but it looks like Diego.531 - Diego face

What else was cut? WHAT. ELSE?!!!tumblr_lkbiyzpI121qdo7yb

Maybe Mendez is just an incest shipper. If I put incest in a film I wrote, I’d be coming up with explanations too. And I think we all know how good I can BS when I want to. Gob Bluth - Arrested DevelopmentAnd I wouldn’t take the outcome of Diego/Andrea as written as any kind of sign, because a few authors I feel fairly confident have a bit of an incest fascination – George R.R. Martin, Anne Rice, Philippa Gregory – certainly haven’t written any happy endings.

532 - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (304)532 - da - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (109) - editBut even if the incest isn’t only a metaphor, we still have the issue of Diego’s escalating violations. Regardless of how far he went, the fact that he is unable to control himself and that it is getting worse is clearly A BAD THING. So, why? Why is it overwhelming? Why is it escalating? Is there a reason? Mendez is criticizing the environment that has produced the dysfunctions in these characters and their relationships with each other, so it stands to reason that the incest is included as one of these negative consequences. But just like this depiction of the upper class is both critical and beguiled, I think there’s both a fascination and a demur in the depiction of the incest. In some ways, I think Diego is handled like a victim of these impulses which are symptomatic of his environment. The film is grouping Diego’s incestuous desires in with Andrea’s promiscuity – these characters are broken because of the environment in which they were raised. The vicious cycle – which causes them to harm each other as much as they harm themselves. And Diego seems to suffer from feeling too much in a sea of people who feel too little, which is part of what causes his antisocial behavior.

But the film criticizes Diego for being weak. He’s NOT off the hook. He’s still absolutely to blame for his behavior.

Perhaps if Diego were stronger, he could take control of his desires and bring them to fruition in a healthier way.532 - dl - Dioses - Gods - 2008 - Peru - Josue Mendez - Sergio Gjurinovik - Anahi de Cardenas - Andrea - Diego (248) - edit

I think my ending for this is just sort of going to fizzle out now. I’ve basically already said everything that I wanted to say, and then some. I could waste some time on a fancy conclusion, but I don’t need to repeat myself, do I? No one wants that.

Obviously, as a shipper, the ending is a bit of a disappointment. I’d rather never see another scene between Diego and Andrea than see her reject his feelings for her, but just as it could be worse, it could also have been much better. But as I always say, as long as they’re both alive, there’s still hope. And we’ve got one better than that: they’re both still single, essentially. They haven’t met “true loves” so to speak. (Not that such a concept has a place in this film.)

Andrea has to come back from Miami eventually. Maybe her father will get tired of supporting her, maybe she’ll mature, maybe she’ll want to settle down in Peru, maybe she’ll be deported, maybe she’ll come visit for Christmas or something, and realize that she wants to stay for good. And when she does come back, Diego will be there.

Maximum cheesiness achieved.

MAXIMUM CHEESINESS ACHIEVED

Or: Diego will be there…533 - lolcats soon meme

Watchin’…

Waitin’…

Creepin’…

534 - creepiness achieved

MAXIMUM CREEPINESS ACHIEVED

Depending upon how much experience you have with this blog, you may have noticed that when I really, really ship something, I basically gush on and on about how right they are for each other. And you may have noticed that I haven’t really done that for Diego and Andrea. I think that’s because they’re both still figuring out who they are.  And maybe they’re not right for each other (read: anyone) right now. They both need to do some work on themselves before they could ever manage a proper relationship, especially one so hazardous and challenging. But Diego’s intensity of feeling for her – how could I not ship it hard? And Diego being, essentially, Andrea’s only true emotional attachment – how could I not ship it hard? In a way, the fact that they’re so nebulous – so undefined, so fluid – means that they  fit together perfectly. But I think that even once they get to know themselves better, they’ll always be able to find enough common ground to always want each others’ company.

And, in danger of being super cheesy again, I really like the idea of our over-emotional Diego puncturing Andrea’s shell, rowing a little boat over to her isolated inner island, and, you know…(God this is lame) teaching her to feel. After rejecting meaningful attachments her entire life, maybe she’ll actually be drawn to the intensity? She has never experienced that before. She’s like an emotional virgin. (When I started this paragraph I was trying really hard to avoid sexual imagery and now look at it.)

Another thought as I’m wrapping up my commentary – watching the new season premiere of Mad Men reminded me of Dioses. I’ve never felt like I’ve understood the concept of existentialism well enough to apply it, but I think Dioses might be sort of existential. Maybe.

I’ll conclude with some remaining thoughts and images of the actors.

Telenovela Anahí:535 - Anahi de Cardenas - Photoshoot - edit

Glamorous Anahí:536 - Anahi de Cardenas - Photoshoot (12) - edit 3 537 - Anahi de Cardenas - Photoshoot (10)

Adorable Anahí:538 - Anahi de Cardenas - Photoshoot (14) 539 - Anahi de Cardenas - Photoshoot (13) - edit 540 - Anahi de Cardenas - Photoshoot (15)

Singing Anahí:540 - b - anahi de cardenas

Anahí and cast:541 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (3) - edit 542 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (5) - edit

Too much fro Sergio:543 - Sergio Gjurinovic - edit

No fro Sergio:544 - Sergio Gjurinovic (1) 545 - Sergio Gjurinovic (3)

Sergio and cast:548 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (9) 547 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (8) 546 - Dioses - Gods - Peru - 2008 - Josue Mendez - Behind the Scenes - Sergio Gjurinovik, Anahi de Cardenas, Maricielo Effio (4)

In 2009, he was in a short called Animales Domésticos (“Pets” – at least I think that’s the best translation. Domestic Animals is the literal translation.) 549 - Sergio Gjurinovic (7) - animales domesticosThe trailer is  here. (The trailer is worth the watch, actually. Just to be like: “wtf?” Because it’s very…interesting.) Or you can watch the whole thing: Part I is here, and Part II is here. (In Spanish, of course, though the sparse dialogue really isn’t important.)

It’s about a maid who is in love with Sergio’s character (called “él” or “he/him”) – he doesn’t even notice her as she goes about her life of disgusting and monotonous drudgery.animales domesticos - stephie jacobs, sergio gjurinovik

It’s sad and funny. And pretty disgusting. A considerably less beautiful take than Dioses. But I thought it was really good.

animales domesticos - stephie jacobs, sergio gjurinovik (4) The chick who plays the girlfriend (referred to as “ella” or “her”) – Stephie Jacobs (I assume she’s married to or related to the writer/director Brian Jacobs) – holy crap is she gorgeous. animales domesticos - stephie jacobs, sergio gjurinovik (2) animales domesticos - stephie jacobs, sergio gjurinovik (1)

animales domesticos - stephie jacobs, sergio gjurinovik (3)Sergio was also in a series of interesting-looking plays. Teatro Sergio:

El chico de la última fila (“The Boy of the Last Line”)550 - Sergio Gjurinovic (8) - el chico de la ultima fila

Automáticos (? “Automats”, “Automatics”?)552 - Sergio Gjurinovic (9) - automaticos 551 - Sergio Gjurinovic (8) - automaticos - teatro

El lenguaje de las sirenas (“The Language of Mermaids”)554 - Sergio Gjurinovic (10) - el lenguaje de las sirenas - teatro 553 - Sergio Gjurinovic (11) - el lenguaje de las sirenas - teatro poster theater

Clips and whatnot, if you’re interested: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Sergio was on a Peruvian talk show hosted by a man named Jaime Bayly in 2008 to promote Dioses. (I think the show must be pretty popular, because the interview is posted on youtube  and it has a lot of views and comments compared to almost everything else that has to do with Dioses.) It’s the same interview I mentioned earlier in connection with the obsession vs. love question. I HATE watching interviews with actors, but I really wanted to hear what Sergio had to say about Diego and Diego/Andrea, so I started watching it. I was able to follow it surprisingly well a lot of the time. (Sergio enunciates, bless him. Though not when he’s playing Diego!) But I really wish that I hadn’t been able to understand what was being said, because the host is kind of an a$$hole. He started asking Sergio about the incest in the film, and then started asking him about his own real-life sister and just a series of outrageously awkward, personal questions. At one point Mr. Bayly said that Sergio did such a good job of portraying Diego’s incestuous desire that he wondered if he it was something he had dealt with in his real life. (I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist. I am not kidding.) He said it in the way of a joke, but I mean, WHO THE –bleep—ASKS SOMEONE SOMETHING LIKE THAT? ESPECIALLY ON –bleeping– NATIONAL TELEVISION? I mean really. In the words of Elisa:555 - Elisa, Maricielo Effio - what an asshole reaction

I think we’ve already established that I’m extremely sensitive to secondary embarrassment, plus I adore this kid (he’s actually older than me, gracias a Dios), so I could not handle this. You could tell that Sergio was uncomfortable, but trying to be amiable and pleasant. And there was only scattered, half-hearted laughter from the audience at Mr. Bayly’s stupid jokes. Everyone but him seemed to realize how inappropriate he was being.  There are a couple of comments on the youtube page remarking on it. One guy said (my translation): “Bayly speaks of incest as if it were something the actor practices.” ¡Ay ay ay!557 ay ay ay

And then Sergio talks about how he’s studying Communications Sciences in university, and Señor Bayly expresses some skepticism about the applicability of the term “science”. Basically, he needs to stop picking on my guy, who is clearly too nice.555 - f - y u no meme

The interview is really long – 30 minutes – and Bayly seemed intent on discussing personal matters rather than discussing the film, so I called it quits. It’s probably a good thing – the last thing I need is more to write about. A part of me is haunted by the idea that Sergio says something really insightful later in the interview, but I don’t have the fortitude of heart to wade through the awkwardness, and trying to understand the Spanish is hard work and takes a long time. So I guess I’ll never know.

Jaime Bayly interviewed Anahí a few weeks before Sergio. I have a lot more trouble understanding her than Sergio. She has some other interviews out there from around the time of the release of the film – like this one – but I couldn’t follow them at all. I can understand Jaime Bayly a lot of the time, though, so depending upon what the question/answer is, I can make a guess at what Anahí is saying in her interview with him. Well, guess what? She’s got a younger brother, and Bayly was pretty quick to ask about him. (Sergio must have known the question about his own sister was coming – he had to have watched Anahí’s interview.) I was too uncomfortable, yet again, to keep watching – I learned my Bayly lesson with the Sergio interview. I didn’t even want to know what else he was going to ask. He just seems more concerned with getting his own ideas out there rather than discussing the meaning of what’s actually in the film. But he talks about incest like it’s something that’s surprisingly common and just kept secret, so I guess that’s sort of a good thing, in a way. He freely admits that the incest part of the movie is the part that interest him the most (no, really?), which causes Anahí to sort of tease him, almost with an edge. (She has a lot more experience than Sergio in dealing with this stuff. She’s great in the interview. Sergio was shyly charming, but lacking in Anahí’s dexterity. And her hair – OMG – so cute!) I think she could tell Bayly’s interest was sort of prurient.

One word that came up in both interviews was “enfermo”, which means sick. Bayly asked Sergio if he gets recognized on the street, and Sergio talked about someone recognizing him on the street from Dioses and calling him sick. But I couldn’t tell if he was joking or relating an actual anecdote in the most humorous way possible. (Sergio’s in a better position than anybody to sympathize with Diego, but actors tend to be very hard on their characters as well.) Then in the interview with Anahí, Bayly says that Diego is “erotically obsessed” with his sister, to which Anahí replies, “Enfermo”. (Her tone is ambiguous.) Then Bayly repeats, “It’s sick,” and adds: “He’s hot for his sister!” And Anahí sort of giggles. She’s amused by the phrase he has chosen to use, which makes light of the situation. What interests me is that they’re only talking about the incest, NOT the attempted rape. Obviously I can’t say if the subject of rape comes up in the interviews, because I didn’t watch them in their entirely or understand the parts that I did watch completely. But it seems to me that the incest was the only topic addressed. Bayly showed several clips from Dioses, and two of them were part of the masturbation scene and part of the attempted rape scene. But all Bayly did afterwards was compliment Sergio on his performance.  (LOL. Performance!) Which was so believable, according to him, that Sergio must indeed be in love with his own sister.

You can see that I’m haunted. I’m haunted by what Sergio and Anahí might have said that I didn’t hear.

Sigh. Moving on.

Sergio has been in some other things, but I don’t have pictures. Sadly.

EXCEPT FOR CHIQUITOONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!558 - a - peru - frecuencia latina - chiquitoons - sergio gjurinovik

I wish I could end every entry with gifs of an actor from the goofy children’s show they were on.558 - b - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (21) 558 - c - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (22)

He even dances.558 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (30) (And we all know how I feel about Sergio’s dancing.)559 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (31)

And sings.560 - sergio-gjurinovik,-chiquitoons,-peru-gif

There is even…there is even some rapping.561---sergio-gjurinovik,-chiquitoons,-peru-gif

563 - dead gravestone bye reactionI can see why Mendez hired him to play Diego with only Chiquitoons under his belt – two words: Acting. Chops.564 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (9)

In the interview, Sergio said he didn’t have the formation of an actor, but he was clearly understating the formative influence of CHIQUITOONS!565 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (18) 566 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (19)

His girl costars were pretty adorable, including the one named ANDREA!567 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro 567 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (1) 569 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (2)

And his pretentiously-named male costar – he of the eyebrows – Juan Carlos Rey de Castro – turned out quite nicely:570 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - juan carlos rey de castro (3) 570 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - juan carlos rey de castro (7) 570 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - juan carlos rey de castro (6) 570 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - juan carlos rey de castro (5) 570 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - juan carlos rey de castro (4)

/detour of gratuitous pics of Juan Carlos.

I can see why Sergio’s parents got him into acting: what a ludicrously good-looking kid.sergio gjurinovik - chiquitoons - peru   Some final images of Sergio.576 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (25)576 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (26)576 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (27)576 - Peru - frecuencia latina - Chiquitoons 1998 - sergio gjurinovik, juan carlos rey de castro (28)

And thus endeth this monster of an entry.580 - sergio-gjurinovik,-chiquitoons,-peru-gifPart II is here, and Part I is here.

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8 Responses to Dioses (“Gods”) – 2008, Peru, Mendez…OR…Why I Should NEVER Watch And Write And Cap And Gif Simultaneously Ever Again/How I Lost All Perspective/How To Enjoy A Film For All The Wrong Reasons – PART III/III

  1. hoagie says:

    Honestly I feel like I’m pestering you, since I have commented a lot lately, but I keep finding entries that are really interesting and I just cant stay away from this blog and its delightful insanity. This write up was huge but I can proudly say I read the whole thing, well actually I skimmed through the part about music, not that I think you wasted your time with that. Once i got to the part where you detailed the scenes with Andrea and Diego In them I could not stop reading this. I haven’t even seen this movie but there is something so strange but interesting about their relationship.

    At first it seems like a really one sided relationship (well I guess it is) but the way Andrea lets him touch her and the way Diego actually seems to matter to her makes you think. I mean even after the disaster at the night club she seems concerned with his feelings, she doesn’t want Diego to find out about her leaving from Nelly and she tries to break it to him herself the next day. Doing that over the phone isn’t exactly the kindness way to do that, not to mention she barley says anything to him but I guess that fits her character being an emotional coward. Then there’s a few scenes where Andrea initiates what could only described as weirdly intimate contact or near contact with her brother so it all just makes you wonder.

    I feel screwed up about it, but there’s a part of me that wants to cheer for Diego, I feel its a sign of good story telling when a character that gropes and nearly rapes his sister is oddly sympathetic. What Diego does to his sister is wrong but at least he feels guilty about it afterwards and he appears to be the only one in his social class that doesn’t treat hired help like their physical property. Its like you said this movie seems to have a healthy dose of moral ambiguity, something hollywood movies could use more of, since in the real world there a few truly black and white choices of right and wrong. Well, taking advantage of someone that’s too drunk or high to know whats going on around them is always going to be wrong, but it doesn’t look like Diego is defined by the sins he commits.

    Yeah this entry was huge but I think the story you covered here was interesting enough to warrant such a exhaustive synopsis. I don’t want my two weeks back, it was more like two hours that I spent reading this. My butt is kinda getting numb but I definitely don’t regret reading this, great job!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Oh my gosh no, you are the opposite of bothering me, truly. Any comment on any entry is a delight to me, and you’ve been commenting on some of my (understandably) less popular posts so I am hugely grateful to you. I enjoy writing these analyses but receiving comments about them and discussing these relationships are one of the biggest rewards.

      You deserve an award of some kind for reading my entire commentary of Dioses. I can’t tell you what it means to me to know you found it at least interesting enough to make it to the end. Obviously it was never intended to be that long but my need to be thorough is a curse. I guess I just feel like if it is possible for something to be said then I should say it. And I can’t seem to suppress that urge. Plus, given the subject matter (the almost rape) I felt it was important to cushion what I had to say with plenty of disclaimers and explanations.

      I’m very glad to hear that you felt the same way as I did about Diego and about much of what happened in the film. I think he’s a very nuanced character who is very refreshingly gray and there’s really no question that he’s strangely sympathetic, and not just because the movie is from his POV.

      Dioses really took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it and then I ended up somehow enchanted by it despite the fact that the incest is largely one-sided and nearly culminated in rape. I hope you decide to watch the movie at some point.

      Thank you so much for this comment!

      • hoagie says:

        I should watch Dioses but I think it would just be depressing since the relationship between Andrea and Diego is left unresolved. I feel stupid saying that because I Like it when writers, Directors, and storytellers have the courage to give a story an inconclusive or unsatisfying ending. Everyone, including myself, seems to want a happy fairy tale ending, but when I stop to think about it, I feel like that attitude restricts creative freedom.

        You go on and on about how long this is but again I think your being too harsh with yourself since the majority of your writing is detailing the relationship between the brother and sister(the point of the whole blog) or the intentions and thoughts of the director. I like the little bit of background information you give for the actors involved too, the only real negative i see is that maybe your going a little overboard with the pictures but then again the picture and GIFs make the scenes your describing easier to imagine and just gives everything a little extra weight behind it.

        I hate to do this again but I have another question that’s off topic, well its still brother/sister related but has nothing to do with this movie. What is your opinion of the cartoon Gravity Falls? I’m stupidly assuming you have seen it but its hard for me to believe that any show with a twin brother and sister as the lead characters has escaped your attention.I’d get it if the age of the characters made you uncomfortable but watching that show was the first time that I thought about what pairings I could play around with but realized the only one I liked was putting the brother and sister together. Like I said I’d get it if you didn’t feel comfortable with the age of the characters involved but I’m doubly biased towards liking that show since I love western animation and I absolutely adore Kristen Shaal and will watch anything she’s involved with.

        • Shipcestuous says:

          Thank you for your encouraging words! With this entry in particular I did go a little overboard with the pictures. The problem was that I made the screencaps and then planned on just choosing the best ones, but I had a lot of trouble eliminating them because they’re all different in small ways. It was totally unnecessary to use as many as I did but I just couldn’t help it, LOL. And then you need the gif to see the motion, but the screencaps are nice for studying because they’re larger and sometimes seeing it in still-form can have a different effect. Anyway, what it comes down to is that I totally realized I had too many but I just didn’t have the willpower to eliminate them. (The same with the pictures of the cast.)

          I do like it when moviemakers have the courage to try something different. I don’t always need happy endings, and sometimes I really like it when things are left very open because that way I can always imagine the way I want it to end, but it’s always frustrating when I feel unsatisfied. In the case of Dioses I clearly would have liked a little bit more information, though it could have been worse.

          You are not wrong to assume that I have seen Gravity Falls. It was recommended to me by someone on my tumblr and I followed up. I haven’t seen all of the episodes but a fellow incest-shipper friend of mine made a short list of the best Dipper/Mabel episodes and best episodes in general for me and I watched them. I enjoyed it well enough but not quite enough to commit to watching it regularly.

          Their age isn’t really a problem for me. It’s easy for me to imagine children characters when they’re older and just sort of fastforwarding to the future when they’re of a more appropriate age for shipping, sort of applying their same dynamic to a different age. Or even imagining their dynamic as totally changed by their new ages. In the case of Dipper and Mabel, even though they’re only 10 or so, they’re both already having crushes and dating and whatnot, so it’s just not a big deal to me, especially since they’re the same age. And when it comes to cartoons the children characters are almost always more mature than their given ages. They’re not only voiced by adults but they’re usually very smart and world-aware. It’s true for the two cartoons I’ve written about on here – Avatar: The Last Airbender and Phineas and Ferb – and even for cartoons that aren’t aimed at children like The Simspons.

          Shipping Dipper and Mabel is actually pretty popular, all things considered. I think their relationship is usually called “pinecest”. These are what I’ve reblogged onto my tumblr, but I haven’t even gone through the tumblr tag yet, which is really quite full.

          It’s actually my curse that I’m mostly only lukewarm about the most popular incest ships. I like Dipper and Mabel a lot but I can’t quite get excited about them. Even though their dynamic is one that I really enjoy – the “normal” brother and the unpopular-ish/extremely quirky sister.

          I’m afraid I don’t have anything insightful to say about them. I think it’s clear that they have a very good and loving and healthy relationship and all there is left to do is want them to be together.

          Please, never feel bad about bringing another pairing into the discussion! If I’ve never heard of them then I want to know about them, and if I have heard of them then I am always happy to discuss them.

  2. Lesley says:

    I watched this movie on your recommendation and it BLEW MY FUCKING MIND, so first of all, THANK YOU. I actually started reading your first post about it, closed the tab when you said “don’t watch the trailer,” then came back and finished reading at 5am. Best decision I ever made in my life. The film is so much more rewarding if you have to work for it instead of just being told, this is how it goes down this is how the characters feel – all the major revelations are emotional rather than plot-based, so seeing the trailer would have been cheating. I also appreciate all the links you’ve included to reviews, interviews, etc. because that’s the first thing I would have done, gone trawling for those – and to find that Word of God actually lends a great deal of credence to a shipper-friendly reading of the film … well, I almost died. I did die. I’m still flailing because I was already in #Iwillgodownwiththisship territory, but after thinking about it more I dunno if that’s even necessary. I dunno if it’s true that we’re “not supposed” to be rooting for Diego and Andrea, as you said in your disclaimer early on; I dunno if this is in fact one of those “it’s fucked up but imma ship them anyway” situations. I mean that’s what I thought at first too but as you pointed out, there are so many ways Josué Méndez could have made this an actual unhealthy obsession instead of, you know, the realest most emotionally intense relationship in a film about people being fake and fleeing from their feelings. I can think of lots of terrible, unambiguously unhealthy relationships where the sibling who initiates the sexual contact is a creep (usually it’s the brother, but then there’s good old Philippa Gregory). He doesn’t almost-rape Andrea because he wants power over her (for an example of someone who does almost-rape his sister because he’s on a power trip, we need look no further than Viserys Targaryen – and it looks very different). He wants her, he wants ALL of her, because she is the only good thing, the only true thing in his life. I don’t think anybody else bothers to look past the venality to see the good in Andrea. I mean, who else is there? Augstin? Pink Suit? Caregol? Lol. The single-mindedness of Diego’s obsession is perversely, I think, its redeeming feature, because he’s so loyal to her. This is not an “I don’t reckon Cliff was any better than you. Just more remorseful” situation. For one thing there’s no Cliff, and for another thing the ENTIRE POINT of Andrea and Diego’s relationship is that it is not replicated anywhere else. It is unique. They have, against all odds, built something real.

    I also think that Diego’s feelings for Andrea cannot be disentangled from his general sensitivity to, well, everything. That’s what I think Mendez was trying to get at when Diego has this life-altering experience living in the slums, because we’ve already seen that he is about 1000x more aware of inequality and privilege than anybody else, including Elisa. Let me rephrase that. Elisa is hyper-AWARE of inequality – she has to be in order to negotiate it her own survival – but she’s schooled herself not to care. Diego can’t help caring, that’s just how he is. That’s why his conversation with Ines hit me so hard, because like, he’s trying right? He’s clueless, so he goes about it wrong and he doesn’t understand her precarious position, but he cares about HER and that’s why he came into the kitchen. To make sure she was okay. The thing I love about Diego is that Nelly loves him. Nelly genuinely loves him. Of course like you said there is still a line there – if you listen to Nelly give Diego the tour of her apartment it is EXACTLY the same tone of voice she uses when she’s giving Elisa the lowdown on how the neighbors treat the help and Elisa’s fiddling with pillows on the couch. EXACTLY the same tone of voice. Nelly is WELL aware of where the line is. You hear her talking to Ines in Quechua and you can immediately tell by contrast how artificial her tone is when she talks to her employers. And yet. When Nelly has the chance to trash Diego (they’ve already trashed Elisa as they’re cleaning up the after party) she doesn’t, she instead chooses to defend Diego, to defend his attachment to Andrea. And it’s like, by seeing the good or the potential good in Diego, Nelly is helping us see it too. Because Nelly is flawless. But also, she’s willing to lie to Diego to keep faith with Andrea, which suggests that she cares about Andrea too even though we don’t get to see the two of them interact. That’s what i want to believe though, on the scant evidence that we have. If you look at Ramon’s not-particularly-expressive face in the 2.5 seconds it’s in the frame, when he says “I think she overdid it,” it sounds like he’s worried for her more than anything else. Sure he could be more worried about his own liability; he could be putting on a front for Diego; we don’t know what’s going on in Ramon’s head and moreover there is no reason to believe that Nelly shares Ramon’s opinions about anything. But still. There’s usually a consensus among underlings about whether a particular boss is good to work for. And Ramon carried her from the car all the way up the stairs to her room and just kind of stands there. Was he considering alerting someone else in the household before Diego showed up and conveniently took the matter out of his hands? We don’t know. But it’s a possibility.

    All of your commentary was so on point. You brought a lot of stuff to my attention that I didn’t notice on a first watch re: the camerawork and the score. When that fucking song came on in the club – I don’t think I paid attention to the instrumental versions earlier – I was like what the actual fuck. My spoken Spanish comprehension is laughable, but you don’t have to be fucking fluent to understand “Así es como se enamora tu corazón con el mío.” I just. I could not believe this was actually happening. True story I actually skipped the locker-stance scene (love that term!) because the schadenfreude was so bad I couldn’t actually bear to watch it and I still haven’t. I didn’t find out what happened until I saw your blow-by-blow account of it.

    Anyway I’ve been thinking a lot about Diego and that rape scene, and god knows you have the right of it so there’s no need for me to rehash your caveats, but it occurs to me one thing that the attempted rape does is establish Diego as a very flawed character. It’s not the only mistake he makes but it’s certainly the biggest one. It’s also very clear just from the cinematography that what he did to her was bad and unacceptable. I disagree vehemently with your concession to “objectivity” that maybe he’s just crying because he didn’t get to have sex with her. I think that’s inconsistent with what we know about Diego and his sensitivity and how much that boy CARES (about everything, but especially about her); and I think it’s a reading that you could only come to if you had blinders on and you were dead set on attributing the worst motives to Diego. But as you’ve already mentioned, Diego is the protagonist of this film much moreso than Elisa. I just don’t think it’s realistic to see his crying as pent up sexual frustration. At the same time that scene has a profound impact on him and on the rest of the movie, so nobody (certainly not Mendez) is trying to handwave Diego’s responsibility for his actions. What I am talking about with Diego being flawed though is that, ok, I read Forbidden a few weeks ago. At first I just lost my shit and threw things, as one does when one reads Forbidden. Then I started thinking about – well about a lot of things, chiefly to do with the unevenness of the characterization and how if you’re going to bill two people as co-protagonists they ought to have comparably well fleshed-out inner lives – but the relevant part is, good guys and bad guys. Lochan and Maya are definitely the former. Nothing Lochan does, including using a chokehold on thirteen-year-old Kit, or essentially calling Maya a whore “like mother like daughter” – none of that receives any real narrative censure. I think the book would have been better for recognizing Lochan’s flaws (or endowing Maya with a personality that would have permitted her to exhibit actual flaws). Look, I’m not gonna lie, that book fucking destroyed me. But the reason I bring it up is to point out by contrast how much more nuanced “Dioses” is and how much more there is to mine here, where the goodness or badness of the characters is much less straightforward.

    Of the Spanish-language movies you mentioned in your intro I’ve only seen Daniel y Ana, but I’ve stuck all the others on my to-watch list and I’m grateful to you for all the links and resources you’ve provided for like-minded souls. Please, never ever apologize for the length of your posts because after I watched Dioses I just wanted to talk about it with someone and given he unfeasibility of finding someone to do that with in meatspace, it was suuuuuch a relief to just be able to pick your brain to see what you thought about it. I do want to mention in passing that Spanish-speaking people (Latin America mostly) seem to have a much bigger penchant for brother-sister incest (or much less of a hangup admitting it) than we do in the Anglophone world, and have you noticed it? I’m in asoiaf fandom and my OTP is Jon/Arya, so that’s where I started noticing it first, just in the quantity of the fic and the photosets and the discussion. Oh, Portuguese-speaking people as well, for sure. But after I’d started noticing it I would start seeing it crop up everywhere, and by “it” I mean the sympathetic portrayal of such a relationship not the kind where the villains are secretly incestuous. So I’ve always wondered if there is some cultural reason for why brother-sister incest appeals to a disproportionate number of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking fans, or if it’s just an observer effect since heaven knows I can’t prove any of this empirically, or what.

    in conclusion ilu you are perfect and i’m going to watch the color wheel tonight

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Your comment made my day – maybe my whole week. Let me just start off by thanking you for all of the kind words you had to say about me and my blog and my commentary, and by saying that I’m just so glad you enjoyed both the movie and what I had to say about it.

      It’s so gratifying to meet someone who had such an intense reaction to the film and the relationship as well. It’s not going to inspire shippers in the same way that some of the more popular incest ships like Jaime/Cersei are, but I think once you really dig in to the movie and the characters and the relationship then it’s only natural to find it interesting and to care about the ship.

      Thank you for reassuring me that I didn’t write too much – or at least that you didn’t mind. I probably said this several times in the commentary, but I figure I had might as well point out every possible thing I can think of or else why even bother? I have never heard the term “meatspace” before but IT’S MY NEW FAVORITE WORD. But yes, with something like this, the internet is the only place to turn.

      The movie expresses its ideas in so many different ways, and one of things I really appreciated it – and which I see you appreciated too – is how much it forces us to do our interpretations. Working for that understanding is very rewarding. Sometimes its frustrating – especially when what’s going on is a little ambiguous – but it’s also very fun. And like you said, the plot isn’t important – it’s about the emotions.

      Your more optimistic viewpoint on Diego and Andrea is quite thrilling for me! I really like what you said about Diego and Andrea’s relationship being “the realest most emotionally intense relationship in a film about people being fake and fleeing from their feelings”. It’s so true. When Andrea avoids Diego at the end, it’s for the very reason that she can’t be fake with him. For sure Mendez would have written the relationship as much more unhealthily. (The contrast with Viserys is a great one.) The lines Diego crosses with Andrea are more signs of his weakness than any sort of stereotypical evil streak or underlying creepiness. At the stage it’s at their relationship is unhealthy – obviously Diego can’t approach the relationship in a way that’s healthy right now (during the main action of the movie), but I definitely believe that that won’t always be the case. I’d like to think that was Mendez’ vision as well.

      And you make a great point about Diego’s obsession also being a redeeming feature in a way, because Andrea isn’t interchangeable with anyone else for him. It’s out of control, and it’s taking him to dark places, but it’s about Andrea, not himself. He cares about her. I think Andrea would probably really appreciate that in a way, because I’m sure she knows that she’s replaceable to her friends and lovers.

      That’s great insight about the employees at the house. She uses a very different tone with Diego than Ines, even though she has a good relationship with Diego. I’m sure Nelly, Ines, and Ramon talk to each other quite a bit and have a general consensus about the different members of the family. I do think Nelly has a certain loyalty to Andrea that we saw when she wouldn’t answer Diego’s question. And I think Ramon was definitely concerned about Andrea and not quite sure what to do. (LOL at his inexpressive face.) I’m sure he was also thinking about how it would reflect on him, but if she was in danger I don’t think he would just walk away.

      The “locker stance scene” really makes me squirm. I don’t blame you for skipping it! I just can’t bear poor Diego’s eager overconfidence. He has no idea what’s coming.

      I also really like what you say about the almost-rape scene establishing Diego’s flaws. Since he’s the only one of the elite class that we see treating the servants with anything approaching respect, and he’s the only one we see trying to be better than he is, it was important to also show that he’s not perfect. He’s a product of his upbringing and environment as well.

      I also don’t think he was crying about his pent-up sexual frustration. I always like to make a show of considering even the most unwelcome possibilities, but I’m with you. And it’s important, like you pointed out, that Mendez doesn’t handwave Diego’s wrongdoing. It’s shown in a negative light, as much as anything in the movie is shown in any kind of light.

      Wow, and you just read Forbidden too? I can certainly understand that you’re destroyed. That book is far from flawless but I actually hadn’t quite been able to formulate in my mind that one of my criticisms was that Lochan and Maya are a little two-dimensional. Maya in particular, I completely agree, didn’t really have any flaws and never quite felt real. I think Suzuma did everything she possibly could to make Maya and Lochan sympathetic, which included putting the entire world on their shoulders and then making them impossibly good.

      That’s a very interesting discussion, the one about views on incest across different cultures. Generally speaking, incest aversion has been one thing consistent from culture to culture, but even that’s not 100% true: there are a couple of cultures that have(/had?) no incest taboo whatsoever. In some ways I have noticed that incest is more acceptable in Hispanic cultures. Certainly where it concerns real life siblings in the entertainment industry – Penelope Cruz did a pretty racy music video with her brother and sister, for example, and I can think of a couple of different sets of siblings who have modeled together in pretty scandalous photoshoots. It just doesn’t seem to be quite as big of a deal.

      I’ve watched a lot of movies for incest and I’ve seen them from a lot of different countries, but I do think – aside from English-speaking countries – that the most come from Spanish-speaking countries. But it’s almost impossible to make any true comparison because the number of movies made total, and, if possible, the popularity of the incest movies would all need to be factored in.

      But if it’s true and views on incest really are more relaxed there, it would be infinitely interesting to know why.

      I really hope you enjoy The Color Wheel! If you do like it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      And thanks again so much for this discussion and just for commenting. When I wrote this whole huge long thing I never thought anyone would read it. It’s just so validating to know you got something out of it.

  3. Blue says:

    I don’t if this is slang in peru, never heard it anywhere but the way they used sick might be slang for being hot for someone. The definition mentions someone losing patience. There’s also a love sick connotation. Well by the tone, it doesn’t seem like she meant it in the mental sense.

    Immediately after saying he’s sick for her, they mention him having the hots for her. This is Jaime saying it too, so he in general doesn’t seem to want to label bad.

    Not in the sergio interview I imagine. But that was apparently a drunk that confused the actor and the character. Jaime asks Sergio how he thinks and he gives an answer about the feelings being involved(implying love and consent ect), and Jaime agrees with him.

    It’s funny, In the Jaime Bayly interview with sergio gurinovic. He says he has two sisters. One that’s only a year older than he is, and another that’s only two years older.

    So he says when he was 13 and they were 14 and 15, he wanted or was tempted to peek/spy at them showering, out of curiousity he says.

    Apparently his parents were very religious so they would cut all sexy pictures of girls from magazines before they were brought to his house. So he says this after saying he wanted to look at his sisters so that’s his justification.

    so apparently he wasn’t joking when he said he has an interest with even a momentary desire for family.

    The interview with Sergio doesn’t seem bad at all(sergio doesn’t seem weak in it). He does bring up the other guys sister but he says that it was a good age to avoid looking at her. Though I’ve read the opposite is true.

    What he does ask about is whether Sergio was dating, and he mentions he broke up with his girlfriend, and that his girlfriend dumped him, and hopefully not for another guy at the time. Jaime was prodding all these questions. It didn’t seem like Sergio was uncomfortable but maybe he looks more like a pro to me.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Wow, thank you so much for all of your insight into the Spanish! That alternate meaning of sick would have a big impact on the meaning of that interaction.

      Maybe I projected my own sense of embarrassment onto Sergio Gjurinovik – I hope he wasn’t uncomfortable. Thank you for sharing some of what was said in that interview. That’s very interesting about his sisters. I can’t believe he would say that!

      Thanks for this comment and all of your help!

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