Border Bandits Hollywood on the Southern Frontier

ISBN-10: 0292718632
ISBN-13: 9780292718630
Edition: 2008
Authors: Camilla Fojas
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Description: The southern frontier is one of the most emotionally charged zones in the United States, second only to its historical predecessor and partner, The western frontier. Though they span many genres, border films share common themes, trace the mood  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 1/4/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 249
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792

The southern frontier is one of the most emotionally charged zones in the United States, second only to its historical predecessor and partner, The western frontier. Though they span many genres, border films share common themes, trace the mood swings of public policy, and shape our cultural agenda. In this examination, Camilla Fojas studies how major Hollywood films exploit the border between Mexico and The United States to tell a story about U.S. dominance in the American hemisphere. She charts the shift from the mythos of the open western frontier to that of the embattled southern frontier by offering in-depth analyses of particular border films, from post_World War II Westerns to drug-trafficking films to contemporary Latino/a cinema, within their historical and political contexts. Fojas argues that Hollywood border films do important social work by offering a cinematic space through which viewers can manage traumatic and undesirable histories and ultimately reaffirm core _American_ values. At the same time, these border narratives delineate opposing values and ideas. Latino border films offer a critical vantage onto these topics; they challenge the presumptions of U.S. nationalism and subsequent cultural attitudes about immigrants and immigration, and often critically reconstruct their Hollywood kin. By analyzing films such asDuel in the Sun, The Wild Bunch, El Norte, The Border, Traffic, andBrokeback Mountain, Fojas demands that we re-examine the powerful mythology of the Hollywood borderlands. This detailed scrutiny recognizes that these films are part of a national narrative comprised of many texts and symbols that create the myth of the United States as capital of the Americas.

Camilla Fojas is Associate Professor and Director of Latin American and Latino Studies and a member of the Asian American studies program at DePaul University and author of Border Bandits: Hollywood on the Southern Frontier.

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