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Celluloid Nationalism and Other Melodramas
From Post-Revolutionary Mexico to fin de siglo Mexamerica
Celluloid Nationalism and Other Melodramas
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Susan Dever - Author
SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
SUNY series, Cultural Studies in Cinema/Video
Price: $73.50 
Hardcover - 273 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5763-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5763-4

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 273 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5764-8
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5764-1

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Explores issues of representation and rebellion in Mexican and Mexican American cinema.

Celluloid Nationalism and Other Melodramas looks at representation and rebellion in times of national uncertainty. Moving from mid-century Mexican cinema to recent films staged in Los Angeles and Mexico City, Susan Dever analyzes melodrama's double function as a genre and as a sensibility, revealing coincidences between movie morals and political pieties in the civic-minded films of Emilio Fernández, Matilde Landeta, Allison Anders, and Marcela Fernández Violante. These filmmakers' rationally and emotionally engaged cinema—offering representations of indigenous peoples and poor urban women who alternately endorsed "civilizing" projects and voiced resistance to such totalization—both interrupts and sustains fictions of national coherence in an increasingly transnational world.

“…Dever’s work is a very insightful and challenging one. Her historical and cultural perspectives into the subject provide us with new tools of interpretation … the book leaves us with a strong sense of the intricacies of cinema-making in a highly contested national setting.” — American Indian Quarterly

"I particularly like the elegant and entertaining manner in which Dever gracefully negotiates different registers of highly theoretical and autobiographical discourse. Her selection of directors and texts combines original rereadings of the Mexican male canon—Emilio Fernández—with groundbreaking work on several understudied Mexican and U.S. women directors." — Cynthia Steele, author of Politics, Gender, and the Mexican Novel, 1968–1988: Beyond the Pyramid

"Dever argues that the work of female directors of melodramas is tied together by a neo-realist or ethnographic sensibility that works against the grain of the traditional melodramatic mode. She is clearly breaking new ground here and challenging the current understanding of melodrama as a weepy 'women's genre.'" — Laura Podalsky, author of Specular City: The Transformation of Culture, Consumption, and Space after Perón

"Dever expands the definition of melodrama to include both 'civic' and 'cinematic' forms, allowing for the crossing over of life and art. She does so with no small amount of dexterity and wit, looking at larger-than-life exaggerations of both aspects." — Claudia Schaefer, author of Textured Lives: Women, Art, and Representation in Modern Mexico

Susan Dever is Associate Professor and Chair of Media Arts at the University of New Mexico.


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Prologue

INTRODUCTION
Of Melodrama and Other Inspirations

Part I : Post-Revolutionary Mexico

1. Re-Birth of a Nation: On Mexican Movies, Museums, and María Félix

2. Las de abajo: Matilde Landeta's Mexican Revolution

3. Pimps, Prostitutes, and Politicos: Matilde Landeta's Trotacalles and the Regime of Miguel Alemán

Part II: Fin de Siglo Mexamérica

4. Neomelodrama as Participatory Ethnography: Allison Anders's Mi vida loca

5. The Last Judgment: Marcela Fernández Violante's Requiem (for) Melodrama

EPILOGUE
Deeds that Inspire Confidence

Notes

Bibliography

Index



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41624/41625(JP/MS/MC)

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