Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the Y Tu Mama Tambien voiceover narration.
When voiceover narration is bad, it’s bad.
Without a good reason to exist, narration can feel contrived and cliché, a way of cheating the storytelling process rather than adding to or elevating it. But, like all things, there are exceptions where fantastic uses of voiceover feel necessary. Such is the case with Y Tu Mamá También, which features an omniscient and unexplained narrator that interrupts our three leads with reflections on a personal and national past.
As the video essay below describes, the odd, unknown narrator in Y Tu Mamá También highlights the extraordinary in the mundane, teasing out the radiance and scale of a story rooted in cinematic realism. His commentary hints at a greater timeline of events, unknown to us, and gracefully collides the past, the present, and the future.
Watch “Y Tu Mamá También: Narrating Identities“:
Who made this?
This video is written and edited by Affrica Handley of We Need to Talk About Film. You can check out the Australia-based video essayist’s back catalog here. And you can subscribe to them on Twitter here. This essay, from two years ago, is the most recent upload in their YouTube feed.
More Videos Like This
- Here’s another video from We Need To Talk About Film, on the delicate and often bungled art of location titles
- And another (narrated by Blake Garcia) on the origins and meaning of the God’s Eye shot
- Cary Fukunaga can’t stop re-watching Y Tu Mamá También
- Here’s Karsten Runquist on what makes Alfonso Cuarón a master
- And you can’t talk about Cuarón without talking about that famous long-take oner in Children of Men
- Fandor has a two-part essay on the good, the bad, and the ugly of voiceover in films (part 1; part 2)
- Here’s New York media guru Tony Schwartz on the best way to direct and record the voiceover narration
- One of the best voiceovers of all time: “As far as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster“