Latino Images in Film

9780292709072: Paperback
Release Date: 15th August 2002

41 b&w illus., 7 figures, 5 tables

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 328

Series Texas Film and Media Studies Series

University of Texas Press

Latino Images in Film

Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance

Paperback / £21.99

The bandido, the harlot, the male buffoon, the female clown, the Latin lover, and the dark lady—these have been the defining, and demeaning, images of Latinos in U.S. cinema for more than a century. In this book, Charles Ramírez Berg develops an innovative theory of stereotyping that accounts for the persistence of such images in U.S. popular culture. He also explores how Latino actors and filmmakers have actively subverted and resisted such stereotyping.

In the first part of the book, Berg sets forth his theory of stereotyping, defines the classic stereotypes, and investigates how actors such as Raúl Julia, Rosie Pérez, José Ferrer, Lupe Vélez, and Gilbert Roland have subverted stereotypical roles. In the second part, he analyzes Hollywood's portrayal of Latinos in three genres: social problem films, John Ford westerns, and science fiction films. In the concluding section, Berg looks at Latino self-representation and anti-stereotyping in Mexican American border documentaries and in the feature films of Robert Rodríguez. He also presents an exclusive interview in which Rodríguez talks about his entire career, from Bedhead to Spy Kids, and comments on the role of a Latino filmmaker in Hollywood and how he tries to subvert the system.

  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Theory
    1. Categorizing the Other: Stereotypes and Stereotyping
    2. Stereotypes in Film
    3. A Crash Course on Hollywood's Latino Imagery
    4. Subversive Acts: Latino Actor Case Studies
  • Part 2: The Hollywood Version: Latino Representation in Mainstream Cinema
    1. Bordertown, the Assimilation Narrative, and the Chicano Social Problem Film
    2. The Margin as Center: The Multicultural Dynamics of John Ford's Westerns
    3. Immigrants, Aliens, and Extraterrestrials: Science Fiction's Alien "Other" as (among Other Things) New Hispanic Imagery
  • Part 3: Latino Self-Representation
  • Backstory: Chicano and Latino Filmmakers behind the Camera
    1. El Genio del Género: Mexican American Border Documentaries and Postmodernism
    2. Ethnic Ingenuity and Mainstream Cinema: Robert Rodríguez's Bedhead (1990) and El Mariachi (1993)
    3. The Mariachi Aesthetic Goes to Hollywood: An Interview with Robert Rodríguez
  • Conclusion: The End of Stereotypes?
  • Notes

Charles Ramírez Berg is Joe M. Dealy, Sr. Professor in Media Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has won every major teaching award. He is the author of several books, including Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance and Cinema of Solitude: A Critical Study of Mexican Film, 1967–1983.

"This book fills a void in bringing together Hollywood stereotyping and Latino self-representation in one study. With clarity and insight, Berg demonstrates why it is so important to take such an approach."

Chon Noriega, author of Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema