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
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."
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
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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