DescriptionMexican cinema is booming today, a decade after the international successes of Amores perros and Y tu mamá también. Mexican films now display a wider range than any comparable country, from art films to popular genre movies, and boasting internationally renowned directors like Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Guillermo del Toro. At the same time, television has broadened its output, moving beyond telenovelas to produce higher-value series and mini-series. Mexican TV now stakes a claim to being the most dynamic and pervasive national narrative.
This new book by Paul Julian Smith is the first to examine the flourishing of audiovisual fiction in Mexico since 2000, considering cinema and TV together. It covers much material previously unexplored and engages with emerging themes, including violence, youth culture, and film festivals. The book includes reviews of ten films released between 2001 and 2012 by directors who are both established (Maryse Sistach, Carlos Reygadas) and new (Jorge Michel Grau, Michael Rowe, Paula Markovitch). There is also an appendix that includes interviews carried out by the author in 2012 with five audiovisual professionals: a feature director, a festival director, an exhibitor, a producer, and a TV screenwriter.
Mexican Screen Fiction will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars and essential reading for anyone interested in one of the most vibrant audiovisual industries in the world today.
Introduction: Mexican Screen Fiction 1
Jump Cut 1: Y tu mamá también 7
PART I SETTING SCENES 13
1 Revising Mexican Cinema 15
2 Following Festivals 30
Jump Cut 2: Perfume de violetas, Frida 47
PART II AUTEURS AND GENRES 53
3 A Case Study in Transnational Gay Auteurism: Julián Hernández’s A Thousand Clouds of Peace Encircle the Sky, Love, Your Being Love Will Never End 55
4 A Case Study in Genre and Nationality: Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth 64
Jump Cut 3: 21 Grams, Battle in Heaven, KM 31 78
PART III MARGINAL SUBJECTS 87
5 Youth Culture in Mexico: Rebel, I’m Gonna Explode 89
6 Lady Killers in TV Fiction: Women Murderers, The Aparicio Women 120
Jump Cut 4: We Are What We Are, Leap Year 152
PART IV TALES OF INSECURITY 159
7 Film Fictions of Violence: Hell, Saving Private
Pérez, Miss Bala 161
8 TV Histories of Violence: In the Sewers, Cries of Death and Freedom 191
Jump Cut 5: The Prize, Windows to the Sea 220
Conclusion: Between Cinema and Television 224
Appendix: Interviews with Five Media Professionals
(Jesús Mario Lozano, Daniela Michel, Alejandro Ramírez, Roberto Fiesco, Leticia López Margalli) 227
''Combining insightful readings of key films with social science approaches to issues of production, distribution, exhibition and audience response, Paul Julian Smith’s Mexican Screen Fiction ventures beyond the boundaries of traditional film studies to offer a probing and wide ranging study of Mexico’s dynamic audiovisual sector.''
Kathleen Vernon, Stony Brook University
''With his latest book, Paul Julian Smith not only offers valuable insights into contemporary Mexican screen fiction, bringing together both film and TV, which are located in their industrial, critical, cultural and historical contexts. Researched and written with evident pleasure, he provides us with an innovative paradigm for thinking about screen media in the twenty-first century.''
Andrea Noble, Durham University