El Cuco

 
 

my mini short film “el cuco” is about the folkloric monster of latin american, spanish and portuguese cultures that scares disobedient children. inspired by the aesthetics of old horror movies, i decided to shoot all of it on 16mm film with a bolex reflex camera. additionally, i incorporated an animated collage illustrating a child being taken away by the cuco, exactly like the mother warned at the beginning “go to sleep child, go to sleep now, or the cuco will come and get you.” i made that pasting together old images (edited and animated digitally, and shot the projection of on film afterwards) along with the photographic series "des monstres sous le lit" from 1923, translating from french to "monsters under the bed.” 

the cuco doesn't always look a certain way, it modifies its appearance for each individual child it haunts. i show this by changing the way it looks each time you see it. because the legend started as a lullaby to scare children in to falling asleep, i depicted the children's skepticism of its existence in a scene in which the cuco is being photographed with a polaroid but nothing appears, alluding to their uncertainty.

Lucia Cordero

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