top_2_1.jpg top_2_2.jpg
Alton's Paradox
Foreign Film Workers and the Emergence of Industrial Cinema in Latin America
Alton's Paradox
Click on image to enlarge

Nicolas Poppe - Author
SUNY series in Latin American Cinema
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 376 pages
Release Date: September 2021
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-8503-4

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 376 pages
Release Date: January 2022
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-8504-1

Available within 3 month(s)
Billed when shipped
Available as a Google eBook
for other eReaders and tablet devices.
Click icon below...

Available as a Kindle Edition.
Click icon below...

Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Uses extensive archival research to explore the manifold contributions of foreign film workers to emerging film industries in Latin America from the 1930s to early 1940s.

Alton's Paradox builds upon extensive archival and primary research, but uses a single text as its point of departure—a 1934 article by the Hungarian American cinematographer John Alton in the Hollywood-published International Photographer. Writing from Argentina, Alton paradoxically argues of cine nacional, "The possibilities are enormous, but not until foreign technicians will take the matter in their hands and with foreign organization will there be local industry." Nicolas Poppe argues that Alton succinctly articulates a line of thought commonly held across Latin America during the early sound period but little explored by scholars: that foreign labor was pivotal to the rise of national film industries. In tracking this paradox from Hollywood to Mexico to Argentina and beyond, Poppe reconsiders a series of notions inextricably tied to traditional film historiography, including authorship, (dis)continuation, intermediality, labor, National Cinema, and transnationalism. Wide-angled views of national film industries complement close-up analyses of the work of José Mojica, Alex Phillips, Juan Orol, Ángel Mentasti, and Tito Davison.

Nicolas Poppe is Associate Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies at Middlebury College and the coeditor (with Rielle Navitski) of Cosmopolitan Film Cultures in Latin America, 1896–1960.

Bookmark and Share

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1. Alton's Paradox

2. Hollywood, City of Dreams: The First Spanish‑Language Film Industry

3. "The Biggest Revelation of Hispanic Cinema": José Mojica's Transnational Stardom

4. Mexico City Dreams: The Emergence of Latin America's Most Important Film Industry

5. "The Best We Have in This Forsaken Place": Cinematography and Collaboration in Alex Phillips's Films with Arcady Boytler and Fernando de Fuentes

6. "But only one, Juan Orol, is fundamentally different from the rest": Orolian Melodrama and cursilería in the 1930s

7. In the Studios of Buenos Aires: The Rise and Fall of Argentina's Film Industry

8. "The Primary Champion of National Film": Ángel Mentasti and the Invention of Argentina Sono Film

9. "A Man Expert in the Needs of the Set": Tito Davison, an Éminence grise in the Argentine Film Industry of the Late 1930s and Early 1940s

10. Foreign Film Workers and the Emergence of Industrial Sound Film in Latin America


Related Subjects