Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

“El lagarto me come” The filming of the Life of the Mind

  • Photograph: Emily Taylor
    Photograph: Emily Taylor

Ben Oliver
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Bob Bednar

Through the funds granted to me by the King Creativity Fund, I am in the final stages of a short film project entitled “El Lagarto” which encompasses many various mediums to the ends of its visual and aural expression. The film strives to be an exercise in perception for the audience member. The film has been described in many different terms thus far, such as: a journey of self-exploration, a tale of retribution, an examination of globalization and modernization on the individual, and an examination of the reality of the individual. The process of making this film has been a learning experience through my contact with mediums that I haven’t tried before and further exploration of those I have. Due to the subject matter of the film and its exploration of perception, the audience will be asked to participate in Rufus, the main character’s, experience. The pacing of the film is much slower than what the audience has come to expect from modern media, and the lingering camera shots are set to reflect the aching, defeatist landscape against which Rufus’ outlook is set. The plot is seen in the context of Rufus’ loss of balance with his two alter-egos. The Elephant acts as a blunt guide, while El Lagarto stands to take Rufus’ place almost completely as Rufus assumes and relies on the identity of El Lagarto to fight his battles for him. El Lagarto is a 21st century superhero, a superhero for the self, taking what he can when he can in a society where everyone is out for themselves. He is the antithesis of Rufus, who allows others to run rampant over him. The two antithetical characters are their respective complements with the balancing element of the Elephant. There’s a little El Lagarto in all of us, and a little Rufus too. WWELD? He would take his own stand.