Saturday, January 05, 2008

Apoplectic Bloggers, Apologetic, Barrister/Psychiatrist-guarded Chicana Grifters, Hannah Montana, and 15 Minutes of Infamy

I don't know why a blog that aspires to track the dodgy shenanigans of Latina/o stereotypes should turn its eye this way, but I can't seem to ignore the nefarious doings of one Priscilla Ceballos, a Tejana from Garland, Texas, who, in the sincere desire to score Hannah Montana tickets for her daughter, ghost-wrote an essay for her daughter wherein she alleged said daughter had lost her father in the Iraq war. While the blogosphere is busy tarring and feathering Señora Ceballos (nifty screengrab above), said tale becomes yet another odd Tex[t]-Mexual allegory--but this time the star at the center of the storm is a Tejana scribe, a sharp little cookie with a gift for fiction, who has written herself into a tale of woe.

You think I am exagerrating on the tar and feathering, taste a little of d-listed's screed.

The Today show feature on the escándalo is worth the price of your click if only for the shot of Ceballos flanked by her lawyer and a psychiatrist! Hijole, holy ghosts of Dombey and Son and Freud!

A good deal of Tex[t]-Mex meditates on the idea of the ersatz or "constructed," fabricated human; and from Ceballos's painted-on eyebrows and tattooed lipstick to Hannah Montana being the fabricated alter-ego of a character named Miley Stewart (played by the actress Miley Cyrus--daughter of Billy Ray "Achy Breaky Heart" Cyrus), we find ourselves awash, astray, adrift in oceans of simulacra, of delicious, well-crafted, media-fanned fakery, that Jorge Luis Borges schooled us on in "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and Jean Baudrillard reminded us of with his "simulacra." It would be funny if Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Nazi scapegoating of Jews (and, did you know?, the flagellants 14nth century scapegoating of Jews*), and anti-immigrant bashing by neo-Klan pundits didn't work and thrive through the same logic.

There's more to write about here, but I have to think about it.... More to come.

*Lurid recreations of the same can be witnessed on the History Channel's Plague docudrama!

Essential updates from Hasta Los Gatos and Guanabee--gracias to 'Hasta for the links!

Why Austin, Texas Rocks!!! Festival of Mexican Movie Goddesses!!!

If you are near or in Austin, don't miss the Austin Film Society's tribute to stars from Mexican cinema, including a diva near and dear to my heart, Lupe Vélez! Here's the scoop!

My sordid, theoretical, and lustful views of the one and only "Mexican Spitfire" appear both in Tex[t]-Mex and Bananas to Buttocks--both, from UTPress.

Here's more from the Austin American-Statesman:
A trio of classic Mexican stars shine on Austin screens

By Chris Garcia
Friday, January 04, 2008
With its new Essential Cinema series "Three Mexicanas en Hollywood," the Austin Film Society spotlights a trio of striking actresses who claimed screen fame on both sides of the border. Dolores del Rio, Katy Jurado and Lupe Vélez played everything from torrid balls of heaving passion to galloping thrill-seekers.

Six films spanning 24 years will show Tuesday through Feb. 12. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. at the Alamo at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth St. Free for AFS members; $4 general. Reserve seats and read more about the movies at 322-0145.

• Tuesday: 'Evangeline' (1929) —Edwin Carewe's silent love story, based on the Longfellow poem, stars the winsome Dolores del Rio.

• Jan. 15: 'Deseada' (1921) It's del Rio again, this time wriggling herself into a love triangle that includes her sister, stirring up zesty melodrama in Mexico.

• Jan. 22: 'The Gaucho'(1927) —Matinee idol Douglas Fairbanks is swept up in Argentinian adventure and scorched by the heat of Lupe Vélez, who fights and rides with plucky panache.

• Jan. 29: 'La Zandunga' (1938) —Another steamy love triangle — Mexican cinema adores its soap — with Vélez entangled in the passions of two rival tough guys.

• Feb. 5: 'El Bruto' (1953) —Katy Jurado falls for the title brute in the great Luis Buñuel's melodrama, which is low on his characteristic surrealism and high on suds.

• Feb. 12: 'High Noon' (1952) —Jurado swoons and sweats and agonizes as two of her ex-lovers poise for a showdown. One of those lovers is Gary Cooper.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Speedy Gonzales, Director, I. "Isadore" Freleng (1955)

A key animated short, "Speedy Gonzales," from 1955, directed by Isadore Freleng, credited as I. Freleng so as to cloak his Jewish name from Southern US film distributors (you can't make this up), is now available online on YouTube. The Speedy Gonzales chapter, "Autopsy of a Rat," plays a key part in Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America from UT Press.

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