"Degüello" by Jaime Herrera Jr. and Luis Treviño
Jaime Herrera Jr. and Luis Treviño: Degüello
Jaime Herrera Jr. is a director from Laredo TX currently living in Chicago, studying film at Columbia College.
Luis Treviño, also from Laredo, is a cinematographer, producer and director. He an Jaime are long-time collaborators. Luis was recently selected for the Blow-Up Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival, where he won the “Best Windy City Student Film” award.
Additionally, Degüello won Luis and Jaime “Best Drama Film” at Cineyouth Film Festival, an offshoot of the Chicago International Film Festival. The film was subsequently shown on WTTW.
You can find the rest of their films at www.themoonbeamboogie.com.
Historical Scope, Cinematic Finesse
Co-directed by Jaime Herrera Jr. and Luis Treviño, it’s obvious that these two are not filmmakers to be trifled with. When we first saw the films Rana and The Baby Farmer, we were immediately astounded by their grasp on image composition, pacing, and painstakingly elaborate production design. With Degüello it became clear that not only have they absorbed and mastered the rigors of a comprehensive film education, but all the while they have nurtured an ambitious vision, establishing themselves as young, reputable auteurs.
Degüello is a product the duo’s artistry, from the script to the storyboard to the editing room. The film manages to simultaneously homage, stylize, document, and satirize what is essentially a slaughter, all while maintaining an unquestionably distinct perspective. We know where we stand as viewers and with whom we should connect, but Degëllo supplements this clarity with the intersection of two polarized cultures. The film’s byproduct, then, is a cohesive, humanistic war tale.
Did we mention that they shot this all in a matter of weeks?
A Striking Visual Language
Also acting as the film’s cinematographer, Luis effortlessly concentrates all of his and Jaime’s motives into a visual language that is precise and singular.
Consider, for instance, the three shots following the title card: A long shot, dark and magenta, starkly motionless and silent relative to the chaotic opening sequence, abruptly cuts to a handheld closeup which embodies the shell-shock of carrying battle wounds forever. Then it cuts right back and in a matter of seconds communicates that this war and this landscape doesn’t care for the inhabitants. As the director of photography, in addition to co-director, Luis establishes a thesis visually.
Combine that visual prowess with uncanny production design and a healthy aversion from too much dialogue, and Degüello emerges as resolute statement from two filmmakers on the glorification of war and what it does (or doesn’t) for soldiers’ capacity to empathize.
Want to See More from Jaime and Luis?
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