As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I love television and film! I love the symbolism and the artistic vision that goes into every aspect; the set, props, lines spoken, and movement of the camera and actors in the scene are all executed intentionally. All of this is beautiful art!!
One of my favorite parts of film and tv is the costumes worn by the characters. The period that the story is set in is taken into account, the character’s personal style is revealed, and larger themes can be crafted merely on color or style of clothing! What an awesome art form!
One of my new favorite shows on Netflix is Money Heist, or La Casa de Papel. It is a Spanish crime drama that, during the first two seasons, follows a heist at the Royal Mint of Spain with a goal to print billions of euros. The second two seasons document the same robbers attempting to carry out a heist on the Bank of Spain. Each feat has monumental obstacles to hurdle and plans so meticulously made that seemingly never go exactly as planned! The characters (robbers, hostages, and police officers) are all so multidimensional and their story lines intricately woven together. Every second of this show moves the story along. This blog definitely isn’t a plug for this show, but if you like watching television in other languages, I would absolutely check it out!
This show came into my mind as an idea for a blog post because of the costumes that the robbers wear when they take over the Royal Mint. Look at how they’re all dressed:
Each wears a red jumpsuit with a mask of Salvador Dali. You may think that the purpose these outfits serve is to conceal the identity of each person, and you’d be completely correct, but there’s a deeper level to what these costumes symbolize.
The brains behind this whole operation is a character called The Professor, and his own personal disdain for the unequal distribution of money to the people fuels the heists. He wants the public to root for the robbers and to recognize the ways that the government is failing its citizens. The themes are skepticism, resistance, and ultimately, revolution. Each of the robbers has nothing to lose and everything to gain from this heist.
The red color of their jumpsuits symbolize blood, passion, and boldness that relate to the theme of resistance. Red is often associated with revolutions, and has a strong tie to Spain due to it being one of its national colors. This show is undoubtedly Spanish in every aspect, right down to the jumpsuits worn!
The whole idea for writing about this show was obviously the Dali masks! In terms of what they symbolize, if you guessed further patriotism and revolution, you’d be correct. Now, I’m sure you’re familiar with who Salvador Dali was, but as to why he is on the masks that the thieves wear is an awesome nod to both Dali himself and to the overall motivation for this heist. Most of Dali’s work was created during the surrealist movement in the early 20th century, and even though the movement is mostly associated with France, Dali was Spanish and was arguably one of the most important figures of this movement (if not the most important). This was a rebellious time for art, thus Dali’s work was inherently a form of resistance. Dali being Spanish and creating in order to revolutionize art is the perfect “face” of this heist. You’ll definitely recognize some of his most famous works below.
I love it when I can relate television and film to the art world, and this was definitely an awesome example. Thanks for reading, and remember: we are the resistance!