While Rodriguez today has achieved tremendous critical acclaim this was not always the case. Rodriguez started from humble beginnings and in-large part carved the path for his own success. This essay examines Chicano filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.
Robert Rodriguez is Chicano American, with both of his parents -- Rebecca Villegas and Cecilio G. Rodríguez – being of Mexican descent. While many people struggle to discover their path in life, from a young age Robert Rodriguez knew he was interested in artistic production. In his autobiography, Rodriguez indicates that “I associate my earliest memories with the movie theatre” (Rodriguez, p. 1). Here there is the recognition that Rodriguez formative youth was occupied by his life at the movie theatre. One considers the understanding that oftentimes foreign languages are difficult to learn late in life. Rodriguez early youth obsession with the cinema seems to have profoundly affected his cognitive development. Rodriguez indicates that his mother took him to the Olmos Theatre in San Antonio and he would watch classic films (Rodriguez, p. 1). While many mothers allow encouraging their children to read books, Rodriguez mother was unique in that she encouraged the future filmmaker to watch these classic films. Rodriguez’ ability to watch classic films was a great benefit for the filmmakers, as the Olmos Theatre was a rare art-house theatre. Rodriguez access to these films then further shaped his development as a filmmaker.
Rodriguez first great break as a filmmaker came after he filmed the short ‘Bedhead’. This short film featured a girl and her brother. The film had a very simple plot, with the boy having disarranged hair. The boy’s disheveled hair causes him to come into a number of conflicts with his sister, as her fastidious behavior is at odds with the boy’s awkward appearance.