Thursday, September 20, 2007

Touch of Evil, Ed Wood, Orson Welles, and Johnny Depp

One of the great things in Orson Welles's Touch of Evil is watching Charlton Heston in brownface cavorting as "Mexican" narcotics agent Miguel "Mike" Vargas. While I was fixing the YouTube videos in the posting below, I ran across this snippet of a scene from Tim Burton's Ed Wood wherein Wood, played by Johnny Depp, encounters Welles at Musso and Frank's in Hollywood.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Touch of Genius: Orson Welles, Proto-Chicano Motion Picture Director?

Originally posted April 9, 2007 | updated

The first main chapter of Tex[t]-Mex concerns itself with Orson Welles's masterpiece, the 1958 production of Touch of Evil. I don't want to give too much away about the chapter but its main claim to fame is the assertion that Welles was a proto-Chicano director--one of the first to parse the verge of the border with semio/cultural sensitivity and cleverness. The chapter, a revision of a piece that first appeared in Chicanos and Film, is entitled "Hallucinations of Miscegenation and Murder: Dancing along the Mestiza/o Borders of Proto-Chicana/o Cinema with Orson Welles's Touch of Evil."

Here, courtesy the ever-present, churning servers at are the coming attractions trailer for this sordid, bordertown potboiler... well as the famed opening few minutes of the film--this second sequence is from the "director's cut" version of the film that unfolds without the opening credits. For Touch of Evil fanatics, here as well appears the orginal 1958 opening scene with the credits--the quality is a little dicey with video remnants/scratches in places:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Saddest Chapter of Tex(t)-Mex: Lupe Velez and Rita Gonzalez

The fourth chapter Tex[t]-Mex was the hardest one to write, the one entitled: "Chapter Four. Lupe Vélez Regurgitated; or, Jesus's Kleenex: Cautionary, Indigestion-Inspiring Ruminations on "Mexicans" in "American" Toilets." It was so hard to write, I went through three or four re-takes, one of which appears this month in Myra Mendible's collection Bananas to Buttocks. In any event, in my web spelunking I happened across the best cinematic take on la Lupe I have ever seen, The Assumption of Lupe Velez by Rita Gonzalez. Check it out if you have the chance or have your library pick up a copy. A screengrab from Gonzales's opus appears here to your right.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Southsourcing on Colbert

Galleryblog reader, Sam, has just written in with link to a recent Colbert Report piece on outsourcing entitled Southsourcing--needless to say our 21st-century would-be Swift, Colbert, is in fine form:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Orozco and the Faces of Mexico

All too often, our Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog spends way too much time documenting the growth and metamorphoses of cripplingly stupid Mexican stereotypes. On September 16, 2007, let us do otherwise by directing our eyes to a Mexican artist who, contrary to the strangulating logic of stereotypes, expands our semiotic gaze and multiplies our perspectives when it comes to Mexican figuration: Jose Clemente Orozco


A quick hello to those of you visiting owing to the profile in today's Union Tribune Currents section. A primer on this Galleryblog is here.

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