By Camilla Fojas
The southern frontier is without doubt one of the such a lot emotionally charged zones within the usa, moment simply to its historic predecessor and accomplice, the western frontier. even though they span many genres, border movies percentage universal topics, hint the temper swings of public coverage, and form our cultural time table. during this exam, Camilla Fojas reports how significant Hollywood movies make the most the border among Mexico and the USA to inform a narrative approximately U.S. dominance within the American hemisphere. She charts the shift from the mythos of the open western frontier to that of the embattled southern frontier by way of delivering in-depth analyses of specific border motion pictures, from post-World warfare II Westerns to drug-trafficking movies to modern Latino/a cinema, inside of their historic and political contexts.Fojas argues that Hollywood border movies do vital social paintings by means of supplying a cinematic house wherein audience can deal with irritating and bad histories and finally reaffirm middle 'American' values. even as, those border narratives delineate opposing values and ideas. Latino border motion pictures supply a serious vantage onto those issues; they problem the presumptions of U.S. nationalism and next cultural attitudes approximately immigrants and immigration, and infrequently severely reconstruct their Hollywood family. by means of examining motion pictures reminiscent of "Duel within the Sun", "The Wild Bunch", "El Norte", "The Border", "Traffic", and "Brokeback Mountain", Fojas calls for that we think again the strong mythology of the Hollywood borderlands. This distinctive scrutiny acknowledges that those movies are a part of a countrywide narrative produced from many texts and emblems that create the parable of the USA as capital of the Americas.
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Extra resources for Border Bandits: Hollywood on the Southern Frontier (Film and Media Studies: Border Studies, Latin American Studies, Chicano A Studies)
The postwar ﬁlms tended to invite spectators deeper into the world of the ﬁlm with the more complex dynamics of voyeurism and identiﬁcation. These Westerns tended to question the conventions of the genre, including the social role of the hero, giving these ﬁlms considerably more impact for viewers in similar social predicaments. S. national identity. The frontier stands in for the expansion of the nation in both actual and symbolic terms. Westerns hearken back to an earlier historical period typically between 1865 and 1910, one that is far enough from the era in which it was produced that it seems to have little or no connection to the present.
Indb 35 35 8/12/08 11:45:51 AM The ﬁlm’s setting—Texas in the 1880s—is crucial to the framing of mixed-race Pearl. The state was going through growing pains in these years as Anglo settlement increased its size, so there was considerable uncertainty about the future role of its Mexican and Native cultural heritage. The story has the curious imprint of an actual historical circumstance involving a cross-racial liaison that caused considerable disquiet at the time. 18 According to some sources, the girl’s family sent a troop of Mexican hit men to seek revenge on James McAllen, which resulted in an Alamo-esque night of shooting that McAllen miraculously survived.
She is fated to mime her family history, a fact which suggests that her racial makeup is a congenital weakness. indb 37 37 8/12/08 11:45:51 AM mother and to exhibit the murderous impulse of her father. She will replay both histories when, through her sensual weakness, she attracts a lover whom she is fated to murder. The whole scenario will play out in the high emotional tones of melodrama. ” The title Duel in the Sun refers to a fated scene of double loss, in which a duel leads to the tragic death of the protagonists.