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Queer Mexico

Cinema and Television since 2000

Paul Julian Smith

Television Studies, Film History

Queer Screens

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Paperback
Published: October 2017
ISBN: 9780814342749
Pages: 176 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 15 black and white images
eBOOK
Published: October 2017
ISBN: 9780814342756

Queer Mexico: Cinema and Television since 2000 provides critical analysis of both mainstream and independent audiovisual works, many of them little known, produced in Mexico since the turn of the twenty-first century. In the book, author Paul Julian Smith aims to tease out the symbiotic relationship between culture and queerness in Mexico. Smith begins with the year 2000 because of the political shift that happened within the government—the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was voted out of national office after over seventy years in power. Judicial and social changes for LGBT Mexicans came in the wake of what was known at the time as simply "the change" ("el cambio") at the start of the millennium, bringing about an increased visibility and acknowledgment of the LGBT community.

Divided into five chapters, Queer Mexico demonstrates the diversity of both representation and production processes in the Mexican film and television industry. It attempts also to reconstruct a queer cultural field for Mexico that incorporates multiple genres and techniques. The first chapter looks at LGBT festivals, porn production, and a web-distributed youth drama, claimed by its makers to be the first wholly gay series made in Mexico. The second chapter examines selected features and shorts by Mexico’s sole internationally distributed art house director, Julián Hernández. The third chapter explores the rising genre of documentary on transgender themes. The fourth chapter charts the growing trend of a gay, lesbian, or trans-focused mainstream cinema. The final chapter addresses the rich and diverse history of queer representation in Mexico’s dominant television genre and, arguably, national narrative: the telenovela. The book also includes an extensive interview with gay auteur Julián Hernández.

The first book to come out of the Queer Screens series (a sub-series of the Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media series), Queer Mexico is a groundbreaking monograph for anyone interested in media or LGBT studies, especially as it relates to the culture of Latin America.

Paul Julian Smith is distinguished professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author of nineteen books, including Mexican Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television, Amores Perros, and Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar. He was a juror at the Morelia and San Sebastián International Film Festivals and is a columnist at Film Quarterly.

This is a groundbreaking study of Mexico’s emerging LGBT audiovisual culture as it mirrors essential changes in contemporary Mexican society. Among the many strengths of Queer Mexico is Smith’s cogent reevaluation of the relation between television and film as it forms a unique mediascape that reflects and informs Mexico’s increasing sexual tolerance.

– Marvin D’Lugo, co-editor of Routledge Companion to Latin American Cinema

In line with his essential work on Mexican film and television, Smith’s Queer Mexico opens new doors to the study of media in Mexico by placing in the spotlight queer production that has remained either secret or undiscussed in current debates. From Julián Hernández’s magnificent movies, through porn, documentary film and commercial movies, all the way into telenovelas and web series, Smith traverses queer media production with the intelligence and enjoyment that characterize all of his works.

– Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado, author of Screening Neoliberalism: Transforming Mexican Cinema (1988-2012)

Paul Julian Smith’s latest contribution to Latin American screen studies offers a thoughtful, wide-ranging examination of the queer audio-visual horizon in Mexico since 2000. The book offers rich descriptions of production contexts, identifies salient representational trends, and recognizes the vital role of queer cultural producers and critics during a period of increased legal rights and greater visibility.

– Laura Podalsky, author of The Politics of Affect and Emotion in Contemporary Latin American Cinema: Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico and co-editor of The Routledge Companion of Latin American Cinemas

This book will shape Latin American, Mexican film, and queer cinema conversations for years to come.

– Sergio de la Mora, associate professor of Chicana/o studies at the University of California, Davis and author of Cinemachismo: Masculinities and Sexuality in Mexican Film

This is a groundbreaking study of Mexico’s emerging LGBT audiovisual culture as it mirrors essential changes in contemporary Mexican society. Among the many strengths of Queer Mexico is Smith’s cogent reevaluation of the relation between television and film as it forms a unique mediascape that reflects and informs Mexico’s increasing sexual tolerance.

– Marvin D’Lugo, co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Latin American Cinema