Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xiv

Thanks are in order, first and foremost, to our contributors for their labor and dedication, their suggestions of primary texts for inclusion in this volume, and their efforts in securing rights and permissions for copyrighted material.
The publication of this volume was made possible in part by the generous support of Middlebury College’s Scholarly Publication Fund.
At Indiana University Press, we thank editor Raina Polivka for championing the project from its very first stages, editor Janice Frisch and...

read more

Introduction

Rielle Navitski and Nicolas Poppe

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-12

The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of scholarly interest in Latin American cinema as the globalization of production, distribution, and reception has fueled the resurgence—and, in some cases, the emergence— of commercially viable film production in several Latin American nations. Thanks to new programs of government subsidies, growing opportunities for international coproductions, and increased visibility on the international festival circuit, a diverse group of films from the region has enjoyed impressive...

Part I. The Silent Era: Between Global Capitalism and National Modernization

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-14

read more

Primary text: “The Lumière Cinematograph,” El Monitor Republicano (Mexico City), August 16, 1896

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 15-17

The night before last, on the top floor of the Plateros Drugstore (the second block of Plateros Street, number 9), an exhibition of the apparatus called the “Lumière Cinématograph” dedicated to the press of this capital took place.
The cinematograph is a type of magic lantern that projects a luminous cone onto a white screen placed in front of the spectators.
In the luminous field of the screen, scenes full of life and movement unfold, caught unawares by inventor’s photographic apparatus....

read more

1 Gabriel Veyre and Fernand Bon Bernard, Representatives of the Lumière Brothers in Mexico

Aurelio de los Reyes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 18-33

Studying the history of cinema in Mexico allows one to better comprehend its society, especially if one takes the beginnings of the medium as a point of departure, as it allows us to delve into the habits and mores, in the politics of church and state, given that as a mass phenomenon, both would regulate, police, and condition it. Fortunately, in the case of Mexico we have detailed knowledge about the arrival of the cinematograph thanks to the press, the historical archive of the capital, and the letters written by Gabriel...

read more

Primary text: Tic-Tac (Carlos Villafañe), “The Show on June 15th,” Películas (Bogotá), June 1919

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 34-38

The celebrated journalist Tic-Tac wrote the following charming chronicle on the theme of the June 15 show at the Salón Olympia, during which the films “Winning Grandma,” with Marie Osborne, and “Emir, the Police Horse” were exhibited.1...

read more

2 Films on Paper: Early Colombian Cinema Periodicals, 1916–1920

Juan Sebastián Ospina León

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 39-65

In March and August 1919, an argument took place between two specialized film periodicals: New York’s Cine-Mundial and Bogotá’s Películas. In Cine-Mundial, the Spanish-language edition of Moving Picture World designed to promote American cinema in Latin America, Mexican critic Rafael Bermúdez Zatarain published an article that criticized the artistic virtues of Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli, and Pina Menichelli—the great divas of early Italian cinema. In response, Películas condemned that criticism as an...

read more

Primary text: Enrique Méndez Calzada, “The Lover of Rudolph Valentino,” from And Christ Returned to Buenos Aires (1926)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 66-72

I will recount to you the unhappy end of the love affair between my friend Roberto H. and an agreeable young lady.
First of all, as I believe is the common custom of scrupulous storywriters, I have the pleasure of introducing you to the characters:
She: Seventeen springs. Blonde, slender, and as already mentioned, very agreeable. She belongs to a family that, although they do not summer in Mar del Plata, or attend the “reveillons” of El Tigre, is very honorable.2 Someone has told her that she looks like Pearl White, which gives her an excuse to wear...

read more

3 Manipulation and Authenticity: The Unassimilable Valentino in 1920s Argentina

Giorgio Bertellini

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 73-98

The post–World War I commercial success of American films around the world, caused among other factors by the weakening of European companies’ competitiveness at home and abroad, brought an unprecedented degree of fame to Hollywood companies, directors, and stars.1 In a process that domestically contributed to the commercial and cultural consolidation of Hollywood as the preeminent American entertainment and that abroad prompted the first charges of cultural hegemony and imperialism, the star system...

Part II. The Interwar Period: Between Hollywood and the Avant-Garde

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 99-100

read more

Primary text: Felipe de Leiva, “Memoirs of an Extra,” Cinelandia (Hollywood), November–December 1927

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 101-111

The film studios, magnetic north for the ships of ambition, a dream for the days and nights of youth; an ocean into which rivers of longings flow.
I never thought I would be Sinbad the sailor, a navigator seeking the opportunities offered by Hollywood. If I went to the movies, there in my Latin land, it was to conceal my flirtation with Leonor in the propitious darkness of neighborhood movie theaters. When a storm of bad luck tossed me up in California, I set my sights on a job as a dishwasher or floor scrubber. That way, I’d have a sure meal at least....

read more

4 Mediating the “Conquering and Cosmopolitan Cinema”: US Spanish-Language Film Magazines and Latin American Audiences, 1916–1948

Rielle Navitski

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 112-146

In 1918, a columnist from Santiago de Chile writing for the US Spanishlanguage magazine Cine-Mundial observed that the “feverish activity in the cinematic circles of this capital have had repercussions all over the country, where the empire of the screen is rapidly expanding.”1 Four years later, a correspondent in Caracas noted that “the conquering and cosmopolitan cinema” now overshadowed live entertainment.2 While they make no explicit mention of Hollywood film, the imperial metaphors used by these local...

read more

Primary text: Octávio de Faria, “Russian Cinema and Brazilian Cinema,” O Fan (Rio de Janeiro), October 1928

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 147-150

It is with this epigraph that Mr. Léon Moussinac opens his new book, Le Cinéma Soviétique. An impassioned manifesto of cinematographic Communism, this work is of great interest not only as a declaration of enthusiastic support but also as a faithful documentation.
It’s not even worth clarifying that I’m not a Communist. Such a statement would go beyond the limits of this publication, which is not preoccupied with politics or sociology....

read more

5 Parallel Modernities?: The First Reception of Soviet Cinema in Latin America

Sarah Ann Wells

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 151-175

In 1930, the British avant-garde film journal Close Up published a paean to Buenos Aires’ film culture. In “Cinema in the Argentine,” H. P. Tew writes, “Though the Argentine is, comparatively speaking, a non-producer, it must be one of the world’s greatest consumers.” Rendering Argentina’s film production invisible, Tew defines its reception in terms of an “impartial” receptivity. The heterogeneity of the population—what Tew deems its “cosmopolitan mass”—mirrors its access to, and appreciation of, foreign films.1...

read more

Primary text: Guillermo de Torre, “The ‘Cineclub’ of Buenos Aires,” La Gaceta Literaria (Madrid), April 1, 1930

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 176-179

Buenos Aires, too, now has its own Cineclub, which has just concluded its first series after having held fifteen very interesting sessions. The only strange thing is that in this city, overflowing with movie theaters and spectators— without a doubt, the largest consumer of films of any Spanish-speaking market—the formation of such a society had not taken place earlier. But multitudinous environments leave little space for the gathering of select groups. Thus the Cineclub of Buenos Aires emerged, perhaps a bit precipitously,...

read more

6 A Gaze Turned Toward Europe: Modernity and Tradition in the Work of Horacio Coppola

Andrea Cuarterolo

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 180-210

The period of avant-garde movements in the 1920s marks the beginning of a singular moment, in which, for the first time, one can speak of a certain parallelism between modernity in the visual arts—above all, painting and photography—and filmic modernity. This is also, aside from cinema’s earliest years, the phase where one most often encounters photographers who are simultaneously dedicated to or experimenting with the seventh art....

Part III. The Golden Age of Latin American Film Industries: Negotiating the Popular and the Cosmopolitan

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 211-212

read more

Primary text: John Alton, “Motion Picture Production in South America,” International Photographer (Hollywood), May 1934

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 213-216

The Spanish Market, as you know, is the second after the English. I believe there are about one hundred and sixty-three million Spanish-speaking people, although many of different accents, but always Spanish. During the silent era of motion pictures this market was controlled entirely by Hollywood. Here and there appeared a few pictures of German origin, or a few French comedies, but the Latins preferred the quick tempo of American cutting....

read more

7 John Alton in Argentina, 1932–1939

Nicolas Poppe

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 217-240

Caught within transnational flows between the United States and Latin America in the early-to-mid-1930s, which would lead to the development of national film industries in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, were a set of production, distribution, and exhibition practices and processes. Even though several film historians have detailed how some of these distinct influences helped to shape emergent film industries in the region, little work has been done on the aesthetic, economic, social, and technological contributions and...

read more

8 The Golden Age Otherwise: Mexican Cinema and the Mediations of Capitalist Modernity in the 1940s and 1950s

Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 241-266

Few critical commonplaces are as pervasive and lasting as the connection between Mexican Golden Age cinema and national identity. The link between the two is undeniable, given the well-known catalog of stereotypical characters played by figures such as Cantinflas and Pedro Infante and of carefully crafted landscapes captured by Gabriel Figueroa’s legendary lens. However, Mexicanness—or Mexicanidad, the representation of a national self on the silver screen and in other forms of culture—constitutes merely...

read more

Primary text: Gabriel García Márquez, “The Mambo,” El Heraldo (Barranquilla), January 12, 1951

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 267-268

When the serious, well-dressed Cuban composer Dámaso Pérez Prado discovered a means of stringing all urban sounds onto a thread of saxophone, there was a coup-d’état against the sovereignty of all known rhythms. Maestro Pérez Prado emerged from anonymity overnight, while the spectacular Daniel Santos took slices of music from of all the typical Havana characters, and Miguelito Valdés died of decadence trying to pay his own orchestra and Orlando Guerra (Cascarita) howled his extraordinary wild...

read more

9 Bad Neighbors: Pérez Prado, Cinema, and the Politics of Mambo

Jason Borge

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 269-292

In the early 1940s, operating through the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (OCIAA) and film industry collaborators, the US government promoted hemispheric “brotherhood” based on an asymmetrical understanding of global politics. As cultural showpieces of the Good Neighbor policy, films such as the Carmen Miranda vehicle The Gang’s All Here (dir. Busby Berkeley, 1943) and the Disney pictures Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944) promoted a harmonious relationship...

Part IV. The Afterlives of Moving Images: Cinephilia and Cult Spectatorship

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 293-294

read more

Primary text: Thomas E. Sibert, “Fox Film de Cuba, S.A.’s Continuing Competition for Scholarships to Summer School at the Universidad de La Habana” (unpublished circular, June 1956)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 295-297

CinemaScope 55, inaugurated with Carousel, is the topic of the competition.
Fox Film de Cuba, S.A. once again offers ten scholarships to the Summer School session of the Universidad de La Habana. As in past years, the president of Fox Film de Cuba, S.A., Mr. Thomas E. Sibert, deeply interested in cultural activities, has decided to sponsor scholarships for the course “Cinema: Industry and Art of Our Times,” to be given by Professor José M....

read more

10 Film Culture and Education in Republican Cuba: The Legacy of José Manuel Valdés-Rodríguez

Irene Rozsa

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 298-323

The University of Havana offered the film course El Cine: Industria y Arte de Nuestro Tiempo (Cinema: Industry and Art of Our Times) from 1942 to 1956. José Manuel Valdés-Rodríguez (1896–1971), who created and taught the course for its full duration, proudly asserted that it was the first of its kind in Latin America.1 Cuba’s importance as a site of international exchanges for Latin American filmmakers from the 1960s onward is widely recognized. However, much less is known about the cosmopolitan aspects of the Cuban...

read more

11 The Secret History of Aztlán: Speculative Histories, Transnational Exploitation Film, and Unexpected Cultural Flows

Colin Gunckel

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 324-348

In their 2002 film The Great Mojado Invasion, Part 2 (The Second U.S.–Mexico War), Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Gustavo Vázquez construct a speculative fiction about the history of US–Mexico relations. Narrated as a history told from the future, this self-proclaimed “uncensored version of the director’s cut of the Chicana/o sci-fi classic banned in sixty-nine festivals” uses clips from low-budget cinema on both sides of the border to trace a satirical narrative that begins with the Conquest and continues through the...

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 349-376