Tag Archives: Cadena Perpetua

Thinking Aloud About Film: Cadena perpetua/ Life Sentence (Arturo Ripstein, Mexico, 1979)

A great noir, currently on MUBI, that brings to mind Crime & Punishment, Jean Valjean, Bresson’s Pickpocket and I Was a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, among others. A petty thief and former pimp, now a banker, s forced back into a life of crime by the very police who are meant to uphold the law. The story is told in flashback, through voice-over; the setting is contemporary; the indictment of the culture in the final shot, brutal. Whilst a society of spectacle is obsessed with a football match our hero’s odds against tomorrow are nil. There’s no exit, he’s got no way out. He’s no good, but the structures of the culture are even worse. A great film.

The podcast may be listened to below;


The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT

and on itunes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/first-impressions-thinking-aloud-about-film/id1548559546


The Podcast references:

A Place Without Limits

Las Islas Marias

Pedro Armendariz Sr, here in another great noir: La noche avanza.

Dolores Del Rio, in one of the great films of Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age, here also with Pedro Armendariz

Emilio Fernandez (here a marvellous scene from Victimas del pecado/ Victims of Sin