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NOSOTROS LOS NOBLES

Origin of the Story
Nosotros los Nobles (We are the Nobles) Has its origins as a story in real life experiences of director Gary "Gaz" Alazraki: "I studied in Los Angeles for 2 years and a half. I had an American girlfriend that would criticize me about being a 'junior'. Let's say she criticized it out of me.

"When I came back to Mexico, I finally started to understand what it was that she was talking about, and what it was that bothered her so much about my attitude before. This way of life of the Mexican junior, with a sense of entitlement and privilege, disconnected from the real life social injustice. I started to get annoyed by it."

This irritation soon became a story he wanted to tell. He started writing for a Mexican actress, the story about a spoiled little rich girl that moved to her nanny's small town in Veracruz, hiding from her father's enemies. Here she begin to live a transformation very similar to the one Gaz lived thanks to his American girlfriend years before.

"That draft was shit, so I threw it away. But later on my younger brother brought the series Arrested Development to my attention, and said that this series was talking about the same thing but in a different way. So I told myself 'Why not put the whole family in the predicament?' In a night out, the producer Simon Bross told me that if I wanted to wirte this story I had to watch The Great Madcap. Of course part of the story of that movie didn't work for us, like the alcoholic father, but that gave us the line line that we would soon follow to write the story, the prospect of what story we wanted to tell.

We took various things away, like have the children be deceived through out the storyline and develop a subtrama of each character more thoroughly; we cut and mended everything and finally, 18 drafts later, we came to what the story is now." Alazraki explains.

Thanks to the teachings of one of his film school teachers, Gaz had an inkling on how he wanted to tackle the story: "He used to say that at certain points in history, depending on the social context of an era, the industry would promote either comedies or more profound dramas. When there was prosperity or social movements arousing, the audience would not attend to the movies to see screenings of romantic comedies, while when in a crisis, people would rather watch comedies or social satires -- like in the 1930's -- because of the relief these stories had on the general population of a nation, being able to laugh and mock the elite classes.

I did an extensive research about those years in American film history, watching movies like It Happened one Night, My man Godfrey, How to marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, and all the comedic films of that time that would make fun of the bourgeois, like The Philadelphia story, and started to extract all the attributes I could use.

Then watched parts of Arthur, Overboard, and Trading Places and little by little I started to understand that the movie I wanted to make was a movie like the ones John Landis used to do in the 80's. No one had done that in Mexico. My brother and I used to talk about that part of the target for films in Mexico, with that kind of humour, and how it was not being approached at all in our country, and I decided to approach it myself." said Gaz.

The risk on approaching the theme was falling into classist and/or racist stereotypes, a delicate thing to do in Mexico, and not judging anyone: " This is how the movie was born from the script and it is a very closely calculated risk. We never doubted the story we wanted to tell, there was never fear about speaking of this. The movie tackles this subject because it is well founded, directed and because the topic is an ongoing topic nowadays. But also our film industry has been talking about it since the 1940's and 1950's: the clash of classes. For example, Los Olvidados (The Forgotten) by Luis Bunuel or the movies by Pardave or even the telenovelas", Producer Leonardo Zimbron comments.

Even though we were satirical, and we tried to portray reality as much as we could, it was always in a very respectful way, NEVER disrespectfully. We were ironic, satirical, but we never tried to insult anyone," Zimbron adds.

"I think that in any good comedy, there is a hint of anger behind it. But, of course, in order to avoid insulting anyone I had to learn to love my characters, I had to care," Alazraki confesses. "In the moment I started to care for them, I was more sensible about all the things surrounding their world and social circle. It was the first time I could actually tell the difference between just a guy and a "mirrey" (junior), or just a gal and and actual spoiled-to-the-bone "princess". In fact many of them were my actual friends, and they also have feelings, and suffer, they feel intimidated by their families' success, they also party a little too hard to fill void left by their parents -- even if they are in a way responsible for this lifestyle- and furthermore, their self esteem lowers. There is true pain in this. If I could be truly honest, then I would be able to love my characters and see the comedic part of things."

"You are presented with a guy that is dyslexic, and his father doesn't know about it. Or a young girl that is bulimic and her father never noticed. This is real, it is not melodramatic, nor exaggerated, it is the disintegration of the family, the absence of the father, he is the one with the prejudices. He should be helping more instead of trying to teach them a lesson," Alazraki explains.

There are three motivation points for making this film in Alazraki's mind: 1. To make a Mexican comedy, in contrast to the rest of the films that showed a defeatist Mexico. 2. To make a film that most Mexicans, that had lost touch with their own cinema, would feel identified. 3. To make a film with his own humor injected to it very much inspired by sketches he used to watch in SNL (Saturday Night Live) during his teenage years. For him it was a way to exorcise his own demons and attitudes.

Alazraki asked himself what entitles people of highr classes to treat people of the lower classes in the manner that some of them do, or why they go to certain night clubs and they flirt with the neighbor's girl/boyfriend, and then send their bodyguards to defend their "honor" or lack there of. He questioned why they do this without a real authority and even more without having earned the money of status on their own. His answer was within the film. "I wanted to raise my opinion that this is wrong! Let's mock it."

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