We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Hidden Chicano Cinema

Film Dramas in the Borderlands

A. Gabriel Meléndez

Publication Year: 2013

Hidden Chicano Cinema examines how New Mexico, situated within the boundaries of the United States, became a stand-in for the exotic non-western world that tourists, artists, scientists, and others sought to possess at the dawn of early filmmaking, a disposition stretching from the silent era to today as filmmakers screen their fantasies of what they wished the Southwest Borderlands to be.

The book highlights “film moments” in this region’s history including the “filmic turn” ushered in by Chicano/a filmmakers who created new ways to represent their community and region. A. Gabriel Meléndez narrates the drama, intrigue, and politics of these moments and accounts for the specific cinematic practices and the sociocultural detail that explains how the camera itself brought filmmakers and their subjects to unexpected encounters on and off the screen. Such films as Adventures in Kit Carson Land, The Rattlesnake, and Red Sky at Morning, among others, provide examples of  movies that have both educated and misinformed us about a place that remains a “distant locale” in the mind of most film audiences.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (125.6 KB)
pp. 1-4

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (62.0 KB)
pp. 5-6

read more

Preface and Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (126.3 KB)
pp. vii-xiv

...once a set of cultural encounters between filmmakers, film as a technology, and the people of the communities that became the subjects for various film depictions. Thus, the “film drama” I reference in the subtitle also refers to “the drama of filmmaking,” something which is as much about what happens onscreen and as what happens offscreen...

read more

Borderlands Cinema and the Proxemics of Hidden and Manifest Film Encounters

pdf iconDownload PDF (657.6 KB)
pp. 1-30

...More than once I have recalled an exchange among graduate students in my seminar “Critical Regionalism: Discourses on the Southwest.” Early one semester students brought forth their ideas regarding the ethnic and cultural make-up of the Southwest. From the discussion that ensued I learned that some newcomers to the region were working from the assumption that the American Southwest was a region...

read more

Ill Will Hunting (Penitentes)

pdf iconDownload PDF (431.8 KB)
pp. 31-52

...moment Christ was nailed and left to die on the cross. The year is 1888, nearly two millennia after that crucifixion. Charles F. Lummis is the man with his head draped by the black cloth of a Prosch camera obscura. He has just completed a successful New Mexican safari hunt in search of elusive evidence of penitents having bagged the “first ever...

read more

A Lie Halfway around the World

pdf iconDownload PDF (636.9 KB)
pp. 53-80

...at the Metropolitan Syndicate to let him go to New Mexico and uncover the secrets of the Penitentes. Unmoved, Mack’s boss is skeptical that the United States could harbor the kind of “wild, primitive men” the Penitentes are said to be. Mack’s insistence grows as he declares that the government is about to do an investigation that will “root them out” and that he knows of a vagabond cameraman who shot footage of...

read more

Lives and Faces Plying through Exotica

pdf iconDownload PDF (655.8 KB)
pp. 81-112

...In contrast to Native Americans, who have been the subject of a great many ethnographic films and photographic surveys, there is a comparatively small amount of ethnographic materials related to the Mexican Americans of the Southwest before the 1960s. As a rule, the visual ethnographies that do exist, at best, are ad hoc assessments of Chicano material culture (i.e., photo surveys of religious iconography, shrines...

read more

Red Sky at Morning, a Borderlands Interlude

pdf iconDownload PDF (472.3 KB)
pp. 113-145

...Governor David F. Cargo, a Republican who began his first term in office in January 1967, was largely responsible for the creation of the New Mexico Film Commission in 1970. Cargo had long been an advocate of selling New Mexico as an ideal location for Hollywood to make movies, and the Film Commission provided numerous inducements...

read more

The King Tiger Awakens the Sleeping Giant of the Southwest

pdf iconDownload PDF (542.5 KB)
pp. 146-186

...Land loss has historically been the latent grievance of the nuevomexicano. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the Chicano movement of the 1960s, a broad-based social movement aimed at redressing the exclusion of Mexican Americans from educational and employment benefits—and a myriad other social concerns—would become closely identified...

read more

Filming Bernalillo

pdf iconDownload PDF (398.8 KB)
pp. 187-215

...Danny Lyon arrived in New Mexico around the same time John Nichols was making his way to Taos. Like Nichols, Lyon emigrated from New York after having spent ten years working as a staff photographer for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). His time at SNCC involved Lyon in a number of major actions in the civil rights...

read more

Toward a New Proxemics

pdf iconDownload PDF (300.2 KB)
pp. 216-241

...The commitment to record the group experience of Chicanos from an insider vantage point and in the service of a documentary impulse represents a decided turn in the cinematic representation of Mexican Americans, a move which also makes it appropriate to speak of a number of documentary and independent film projects ushered in by the Chicano...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.8 KB)
pp. 242-246

...It has come time to ask what might be profitably learned from stringing together a comparison of a handful of difficult-to- locate films and proceeding to analyze them on account of two elements: first, they happened to be filmed in the Southwest Borderlands, and second, they present and in some instances re-present mexicano/Chicano/Hispanic stories...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF (151.4 KB)
pp. 247-256

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (135.2 KB)
pp. 257-264

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (147.3 KB)
pp. 265-272

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF (74.9 KB)
pp. 273-274

...is a professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and was the department chair from 1999 to 2008 and again from 2010 to 2013. Meléndez’s teaching and research interests include Borderlands cinema and critical regionalism. He has authored a number of books and scholarly articles on Mexican Americans and Borderlands expressive culture. Hidden Chicano Cinema combines his interest in film studies...


E-ISBN-13: 9780813561080
E-ISBN-10: 0813561086
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813561073

Page Count: 288
Illustrations:
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Latinidad: Transnational Cultures in the United States
Series Editor Byline: Edited by Matthew Garcia, Marivel Danielson, Roxanne Doty, Douglas Massey, Catherine Ramírez, Néstor Rodríguez, Claudia Sadowski-Smith, and Angharad Valdivia