Monday, October 23, 2006
CINEMACHISMO—Sergio de la Mora Bookstore Appearance
I'm grateful to my friend Tere Romo, curator for The Mexican Museum, for introducing me to Sergio de la Mora at a recent Galería de la Raza platíca. Sergio de la Mora is an Assistant Professor in the Chicano/a Studies Program at the University of California, Davis.
Sergio had his publisher, the University of Texas press, forward me a review copy of his recently-published Cinemachismo: Masculinities and Sexuality in Mexican Film, which I have found thoroughly captivating and essential reading for anyone interested in Mexican film, gender studies, and theories of queer spectatorship.
In a preface, intro, four erudite chapters, and an epilogue, de la Mora accomplishes some major work, offering in his first chapter a survey of major developments in the discourse of the prostitute and transgressive sexualities that engages feminist insights on the role of women in nation building. In the next chapter he considers a parallel narrative, the multivalent masculine role models embodied by Pedro Infante in his "buddy movies." Provocatively, de la Mora applies a queer reading of Infante's films and appropriates Infante as a screen idol for an alternative queer film legacy. In Chapter Three de la Mora explores how representations of male heterosexual machos in popular Mexican films from the 1970s are riddled with ambiguity and anxiety elicited by the presence of gay men, imaged as flamboyant queens (namely Arturo Ripstein's memorable portrait of La Manuela in El Lugar Sin Limites / Hell Has No Limits). Finally, de la Mora extends his analysis by moving the gendered national discourse into the contemporary period, examining the renewed attention awarded revolutionary melodramas and the global popularity of the new Mexican cinema.
The read is thorough and accessible, specific to Mexican cinema, but applicable to all "national" cinemas. San Franciscan audiences have the keen privilege of hearing Sergio de la Mora read from and about Cinemachismo this coming Thursday, October 26, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, free.
Anticipate an Evening Class interview with Sergio de la Mora in the near future! But for now, don't miss his Modern Times Bookstore appearance!