Chon Noriega and Ana M. Lopez, Eds. the Ethnic Eye: Latino Media Arts

Article excerpt

In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the relationship between the media arts and the Latino communities of the United States. A number of important books and essays have been published on the subject, most notably Chon Noriega, ed. Chicanos and Film: Representation and Resistance (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), George Hadley-Garcia, Hispanic Hollywood: The Latins in Motion Pictures (New York: Carol Publishing, 1993), and Gary D. Keller, Hispanics and United States Film: An Overview and Handbook (Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Press, 1994). In fact, there have been so many books, edited collections, and essays published on the subject in recent years that they are beginning to bump into each other in dramatic ways. A very recent example of this is the re-publication in Clara E. Rodriguez, ed. Latin Looks: (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1997) of Lillian Jimenez's 1993 essay "Moving from the Margin to the Center: Puerto Rican Cinema in New York," which also appears in this excellent, slightly earlier collection of essays edited by Chon Noriega and Ana M. Lopez.

The Ethnic Eye: Latino Media Arts is in fact limited mostly to a discussion of film and video. The volume is divided into two sections: "Critical Mappings" and "Close readings." As the editors note, the first section "provides thematic histories" for Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Cuban cinema, and for Latino gay and lesbian independent film and video, while the second section "provides a series of close readings of individual texts, drawing upon diverse critical discourses and historical sources"(p. xiii).

There are a number of fine essays in this collection, most notably Chon Noriega's own essay "Imagined Borders: Locating Chicano Cinema in America/America" and Frances Negron-Muntaner's "Drama Queens: Latino Gay and Lesbian Independent Film/Video," which, as the title suggests, cuts across Latino sub-national categories to focus on Latino gender and sexuality. …