Live Fast Die Young Become More Popular than Your Husband

how to make a movie about a hard-living, heavy drinking, bisexual Mexican painter with one leg and one eyebrow....

How would these events be portrayed (if portrayed at all)?
By Hollywood By a more independent filmmaker

Wilhelm Kahl’s immigration from Germany Frida’s bouts with polio and its physical and psychological effects Frida’s relationship with Alejandro The accident on the bus Frida begins to paint

Frida’s involvement with Communist groups
Frida meets Diego Rivera Their marital ups and downs Her health problems and eventual death

A bit of background history:

1. Mexican muralists—los muralistas

David Alvaro Siqueiros José Clemente Orozco Diego Rivera

Palacio de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Palace)

Palacio Nacional (National Palace)

*Mexican Communist Party (MCP, Partido Comunista Mexicano), created in November 1919, when the workers’ movement gained strength in Mexico under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution . The MCP actively sought to win over the masses and organized the anti-imperialist movement. *On its initiative the Anti-imperialist League of America was established in 1924 and the National Peasant League in 1926, the latter playing an important role in the spread of the peasant movement.

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

*In 1929 the Communists helped establish the Mexican Unitary Trade-Union Confederation (MUTUC). Also formed that year was the Workers’ and Peasants’ Bloc, comprising the MCP, the MUTUC, the National Peasant League, and a number of local workers’ and peasants’ organizations. *Frightened by the Communist Party’s growing influence, the ruling circles banned it in June 1929. After regaining legal status in 1936, the MCP organized several major actions by the masses of workers and peasants between the mid-1930’s and early 1940’s.

Diego Rivera

Diego’s side

Frida’s side

Famous / influential friends and supporters

Leon Trotsky Tina Modotti

Josephine Baker Edward G. Robinson

The version that we’re NOT going to watch Paul Leduc 1986 very little dialog, lots of singing looooong moments of no one saying anything Ofelia Medina

Juan José Gurrola

What to watch for:

Frida with and without Diego (and other men) the use of music (Lila Downs) the role of Lupe (a previous wife of Diego) painting the outside world vs. the inside world casting choices celebrity life


Alexandra Cassandra Abigail

Jordan Vittorio Kaela

Carolina Chelsea Chandra

George Kyle Tessa Jamel

Group discussion:

Why do some celebrities seem to live by a different set of rules? Who determines that they can do this and get away with it? Did Frida “get away with” anything?

being true vs. being loyal vs. being faithful

What do you think of the casting?
Brit w/ Spanish father


Stephanie Mencimer wrote in "The Trouble with Frida Kahlo" for the Washington Monthly: "Fridamaniacs are inspired by Kahlo's tragic tale of physical suffering – polio at 6, grisly accident at 18 – and fascinated with her glamorous friends and lovers.” Do you agree or is there more to the Frida story that has made her so popular?

What was left out that you expected to see? Why do you think the songs weren’t translated or at least subtitled?

For next week, another controversial woman who •became a public figure by seemingly riding the coattails of a famous husband •became as famous if not more than the husband during her lifetime •died young •remains more famous and more beloved than her husband María Eva Duarte Ibarguren de Perón aka EVITA Presentations: 1. the story behind casting Madonna as Evita 2. a description of “Mi mensaje” (supposedly her deathbed message) (en español) 5 questions and answers about these 2 articles. (stop at the bibliography)

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