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Cine-Mexicans: An Introduction to Chicano Cinema

Author(s): Roberto Avant-Mier, Michael Lechuga

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2018

Pages: 198

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Cine-Mexicans is about the cinematic representations of "Mexicans" in US American film. By tracking the history of cinematic representations of "Mexicans" in the US, Cine-Mexicans also tracks the notable developments in the Chicano/ a experience and comments on the relationship between the USA and Mexico, between US culture and Mexican/Chicano culture, between US Americans and Mexican-Americans (and/or "Chicano/as"), and even Mexican nationals and immigrants. This book also doubles as an instructive look at the history of cinematic representations of "Mexicans in US/Hollywood movies as an introduction to the development of Chicano/a-themed feature films in which Mexican-Americans ("Chicanos" and "Chicanas") sought to make their own films, for their own audiences, as a response to mainstream cinematic representations of Mexicans. Cine-Mexicans is an introductory text that highlights major cultural and political issues affecting Chicano/a communities that are portrayed in cinema/film, so it can be used for classes in: "Chicano Cinema," "Mexican-American Cinema," "Mexican Cinema," "Borderlands Cinema," "Ethnicity/Race in Media" or even issues in "Latino/a," "Latin American," or "Hispanic" cinema.

Section I: First Era of Chicano/a Films: The Pre-Chicano Era (P.C.E.)

1. An Introduction of Sorts, or … “The Ballad of Chicano Cinema”

  • What’s a Chicano? (Defining “Chicano”)
  • So What Is “Chicano Cinema” All About?
  • Our Approach to Chicano Cinema
  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
  • Américo Paredes, His Pistol, and His Hand

2. The Roots of Chicano Cinema, 1800s–1920s

  • “Mexicans” and “Gringos”
  • “Mexicans” in US Media and Popular Culture
  • “Mexicans” in US Movies
  • Roots of Chicano Protest
  • Summary
  • Salt of the Earth (1954)

3. Cinematic “Mexicans” and Latino Imagery, 1900s–1950s

  • A “Crash Course” on Hollywood’s Latino Imagery
  • Pachucos and Zoot-Suiters
  • Zoot Suit (1981)
  • An Interlude: Hot Tamales and “Spicy” Latina Women

4. Introducing “The Matrix”

  • What Is Chicano Cinema Again?
  • The Chicano Cinema Matrix “Reloaded”
  • But Wait a Minute. There’s a Slight Problem.

5. Proto-Chicano Cinema? (1950s–1960s)

  • Social Problems and Good Samaritans
  • Giant (1956)—“Fight Scene”
  • “Proto-Chicano” Film?
  • Touch of Evil (1958)
  • The First “Chicano” Film?

Section II: Second Era of Chicano/a Films: The Chicano Movement in Film(s) (C.M.F.)

6. The “Chicano Movement” in Film, 1960s–1970s

  • The Four “Eras” of Chicano Cinema
  • An Interlude: Of Small Brown Dogs, Mice, and “Rats”
  • The Advent of “Chicano” Cinema: I Am Joaquín/ Yo Soy Joaquín (1969)
  • I Am Joaquín/Yo Soy Joaquín (1969)—Part 1 of 2
  • I Am Joaquín/Yo Soy Joaquín (1969)—Part 2 of 2
  • Walking Out
  • Walkout (2006)

7. The “Chicano Era,” 1970s and Beyond

  • Early Chicano Films
  • A Cinema of Hunger? (Please, Don’t Bury Me Alive!)
  • Please, Don’t Bury Me Alive! (1976)
  • Other Chicano Films in the 1970s
  • Raíces de Sangre (1977)
  • Alambrista! (1977)
  • Oh Yeah, the Cholo Gangster Flicks and Other Border Movies

Section III: Third Era of Chicano/a Films: The “Classic” Period of Chicano/a Cinema (C.P.)

8. The “Classic Period” of Chicano Films, 1980s–1990s

  • How to Categorize Chicano Films
  • The Transition into the “Classic Period”
  • Chicano/a “Classics”
  • Markers of the “Classic Period”

Section IV: Fourth Era of Chicano/a Films: The “New Chicano/a Era” (N.C.E.)

9. The “New Chicano/a Era,” 2000s and Beyond

  • The Defining Factors of the “New Chicano/a Era”
  • From a Tejana to Luminarias (or, Texas to California)
  • Luminarias (2000)
  • Other “New Chicano/a” Movies
  • “Chicanx” Representations in “Gay” San Francisco
  • La Mission (2009)
  • The Meaning of It All (… a Conclusion of Sorts)

10. Chicanx Cinema “Futures” in Film

  • Invasive Aliens and Scared White People
  • Chicanx/Latinx Futurism
  • Sleep Dealer (2007)
  • Creating a Chicanx Future through Film
  • Section V: Fifth and Possibly Final Era of Chicano/a Films
  • “x” [Untitled] The Next Era of Chicanx/Latinx Film?

Appendices
A. “The Chicano/a Cinema Matrix”
B. Real-Life Matters #1: “Ken Burns Hates Mexicans”
C. Real-Life Matters #2: “Chihuahuas … Again”

  • The Taco Bell Dog (Late-1990s)

D. Real-Life Matters #3: “Golden Sombreros” (or … “SVP in a Sombrero”)

  • SVP in a Sombrero (2016)

E. Real-Life Matters #4: “Trump’s Bad Hombres”
F. Real-Life Matters #5: “Halloween Mexicans”
G. Real-Life Matters #6: Japanese “Chicanos”

  • Japanese “Chicanos” (2017)

H. Real-Life Matters #7: Chicanos on TV Today

  • “Tuco vs. Mike” (2016)

X. Next Level Activity: Write a Movie Review
Further Resources in Chicanx Cinema for Students and Instructors

Index

Roberto Avant-Mier

Roberto Avant-Mier, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Research Fellow in the Department of Communication at The University of Texas at El Paso.  He attended and earned degrees at The University of Hawaii at Manoa, The University of Texas at El Paso, and The University of Utah (earning his Ph.D. at Utah), and prior to UTEP, he was a professor at Boston College.  At Texas-El Paso, he is also affiliated faculty in Chicano Studies, and his main research interests are popular music and film. He is also the author of Rock the Nation: Latin/o Identities and the Latin Rock Diaspora, Continuum (2010), as well as several other research articles on popular music and film/cinema.

Michael Lechuga

Michael Lechuga is an Assistant Professor as the University of Minnesota, where he teaches Rhetoric, Migration, Latina/o/x Studies, and Affect Studies. Michael graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with an MA in Communication Studies in 2007 and from the University of Denver in 2016 with a PhD in Communication Studies. His current research focuses on the role that technology plays in border security mechanisms and the ways alienhood is mapped onto migrant bodies. In addition, Michael is interested in Latina/o/x Futurism, Surveillance Studies, Affect Studies, and Film. 

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