Saturday, October 04, 2008

More Mexican Cinema Highlights with Pedro Infante and Carmen Sevilla

1953 was a very good year; ... from Gitana tenías que ser*

*You Had to be a Gypsy or Gyspsy, yes, in the end, that's what you'd had to have been--a telling title that jives with something that was in the air in Hollywood in the fifties, something having to do with "gypsies." Orson Welles's pet name for Rita Cansino, aka Rita Hayworth was "gypsy"--when he was mad at her, at any rate.

Sinematic Mexican Body: María Félix

A curious video in Spanish that documents the trials and tribulations of María Félix in Cuba--a pretty cool resource that knowingly charts celebrity bodies and the way they reverberate through the socius!

Reviewing TOUCH OF EVIL: Siskel and Ebert

The chapter on Touch of Evil in Tex[t]-Mex, an abbreviated version of which appeared in Chicanos and Film edited by the one and only Chon Noriega, was one of the hardest things I ever had to finish. I have to admit, it is not an easy chapter to read, and having to reread all of genius Stephen Heath's ruminations on Welles's classic, almost drove me bonkers--I still don't think I got it right, truth be told. In any event, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel have an easier time of it in their review of the re-release of the film available here or by clicking the image below.

Musica Chicana: Ry Cooder and Ersi Arvizu

Honoring a Chicano Original

In Tacos We Trust!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Xicanosmotic Lensmaster!


Xicanosmotic Wine Bar! East Side Luv

I am in debt to my waycool colleague Joanna Brooks for tipping me to this cool joint that blends my predilections for Bacchus's gift with Boyle Heights' semiotic/cultural richness! Viva Vino!

SoCal Blues: Dealing With Suburban Blight/Detritus

Yet Another Photographic Specimen From the History of American Stereotypes

Jews, Blacks, Florida and Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman is hyping the Big Schlep--a last-minute appeal to Jewish Americans to hop on a plane to Florida to get their grandparents to vote for Barack Obama! Her bit is filled with sage wisdom and vivid stereotypes and promises to be both effective and useful (and, to be sure, offensive, for some).

Watch it and comment--I will try to get back here in a couple of days to add some commentary myself.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sexdrive: He's Leaving Virgin Territory

Gustavo Arellano, resident Mexpert of the cosmos, and now, impish revisionist historian of Orange County, writes in to dare me to analyze the image above (click to enlarge, as with many images on this site). It's the promo splash page at Apple for the new movie Sexdrive from Summit Films that features the sure-to-be viral gagline, "the Big Mexican won't go down."

Easy 'Tavo: in Tex[t]-Mex I argued that "Mexican" works as a synecdoche (a proxy, a surrogate, a supplement) to a sordid sort of sexual potentiality--an intrinsic sort of swarthy soup of f***ng potentiality or, also, potential f***ing. Here, in the latest major film release to treat of virgins and post-adolescent incipient teen sexuality (think Superbad), the funny be-mustachioed, giant-sombrero wearing cute gringo, tasered by the law (not only is the gag profiting off the Mexican/Sex synechdoche, but we get to thrill to Johnny Law tasering a "Mexican" effigy, mucho grande). In any event, we've seen it before, it works; it works, also, because we have seen it before.

That does not mean the movie is "bad" or to avoid it; I have not yet seen it. It only means that the advertising campaign surrounding this "blockbuster's" release is surfing the logic of the textmex zeitgeist!

So there Gustavo! Happy!?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

XicanOSMOSIS: Disney-style

XicanOSMOSIS is the term I introduced in Tex[t]-Mex to account for the fecundity of cultural exchange between and amidst the Americas. David O. García back in the house with a link to a curious musical video that weds cumbia music with Snow White--XicanOSMOSIS City! That the song visually features "Snow White" yet "meditates" lyrically on morenitas penchants for "new rhythms" is one for the irony bank.