Splendors of Latin Cinema

Splendors of Latin Cinema

Splendors of Latin Cinema

Splendors of Latin Cinema

Synopsis

In this insightful account, R. Hernandez-Rodriguez analyzes some of the most important, fascinating, and popular films to come out of Latin America in the last three decades, connecting them to a long tradition of filmmaking that goes back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Directors Alejandro Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, and Lucretia Martel and director/screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have given cause for critics and public alike to praise a new golden age of Latin American cinema. Splendors of Latin Cinema probes deeply into their films, but also looks back at the two most important previous moments of this cinema: the experimental films of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the stage-setting movies from the 1940s and 1950s. It discusses films, directors, and stars from Spain (as a continuing influence), Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Chile that have contributed to one of the most interesting aspects of world cinema.

Excerpt

Latin cinemas have recently enjoyed a high degree of international attention, led by the successes of Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil—something that makes all Latin cinemas very optimistic about their future. This book provides an introduction to the vitality and diversity of these cinematic traditions. Rather than focusing on one country or a strictly chronological order, this volume offers a general view of the cinemas of Spain and Latin America; it therefore encompasses two continents and for the most part two languages (Spanish and Portuguese), although some films in other languages will certainly be mentioned.

All through their existence, the cinemas analyzed in this book have been considered marginal both in their distribution and in that the kind of films known outside these countries have been very limited in their scope—predictably the most popular are the ones addressing social and political issues considered typical of underdeveloped nations, such as poverty, migration, crime, corruption, and repression by fascist military governments. And although these problems are important in the history of many Latin countries, to assume that films dealing with such issues are the only kind produced in the region is not accurate—especially if we consider that most of these countries developed film industries long ago, with genres and star systems that reflected the diversity of their own societies. These cinemas also all enjoyed success at some moment in their history, although were not always able to compete with Hollywood. Nevertheless, Latin cinema has long been viewed as essentially marginal.

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