Hollywood South of the Border

This course will examine the treatment of Latin America in Hollywood film. It will look at films set south of the border, films about the border itself, as well as the presence of Latino stars (actors, directors, and others) in the US film industry. Hollywood is, after all, located in the ambivalent borderland that is Southern California: once part of the Spanish Empirse, part of Mexico, and now increasingly marked by ongoing Latino immigration. Its cinematic output thus negotiates a set of fears and desires about the foreign other, but also the domestic self, as they play out on the silver screen over the course of the century of film. To study the issues these movies raise, we will examine a range of genres, from comedy to the Western, musicals to action adventures.

Among the films we may view:
John Emerson. The Americano (1916).
Fred Niblo. The Mark of Zorro (1920).
Thornton Freeland. Flying Down to Rio (1933).
Irving Cummings. Down Argentina Way (1940).
John Huston. Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948).
Orson Welles. Touch of Evil (1958).
Richard Thorpe. Fun in Acapulco (1963).
Woody Allen. Bananas (1971).
Allison Anders. Border Radio (1987).
Gregory Nava. Selena (1997).
Alejandro González Iñárritu. 21 Grams (2003)
Denis Villeneuve. Sicario (2015).

One of SPAN 220, SPAN 221 and SPAN 302.

Language of Instruction: English

Course registration