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 Ramirez 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 Raul Julia, Rosie Perez, Jose Ferrer, Lupe Velez, 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 Rodriguez. He also presents an exclusive interview in which Rodriguez 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.
Charles Ramirez 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.
Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Part 1: Theory Categorizing the Other: Stereotypes and Stereotyping Stereotypes in Film A Crash Course on Hollywood's Latino Imagery Subversive Acts: Latino Actor Case Studies Part 2: The Hollywood Version: Latino Representation in Mainstream Cinema Bordertown, the Assimilation Narrative, and the Chicano Social Problem Film The Margin as Center: The Multicultural Dynamics of John Ford's Westerns 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 El Genio del Genero: Mexican American Border Documentaries and Postmodernism Ethnic Ingenuity and Mainstream Cinema: Robert Rodriguez's Bedhead (1990) and El Mariachi (1993) The Mariachi Aesthetic Goes to Hollywood: An Interview with Robert Rodriguez Conclusion: The End of Stereotypes? Notes