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1 Lecture 7: How are Latinos/as Represented in the Western? Professor Daniel Bernardi / Professor Michelle Martinez.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Lecture 7: How are Latinos/as Represented in the Western? Professor Daniel Bernardi / Professor Michelle Martinez."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Lecture 7: How are Latinos/as Represented in the Western? Professor Daniel Bernardi / Professor Michelle Martinez

2 2 In the last lecture… Genre & the Social Problem Film Bordertown (1933) & Assimilation Narrative Salt of the Earth (1954) & Resistance

3 3 In this lecture… You can pause the lecture at any point, click on one of the hyperlinks (text that is underlined) to visit a site or view a clip, and then return to the same point in the lecture when you’re ready. John Ford - Irish American Auteur Ford’s Western Types Fort Apache (1948) John Ford

4 4 John Ford: Irish American Auteur Lecture 7: Part 1 John Ford John Ford (center) with actors Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne on the set of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1961)Jimmy Stewart John Wayne The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

5 5 What is an “auteur?” Theory Describing and Explaining “Style” Associated with a Particular Filmmaker –Filmmaker Possesses “Personal” Style –Style Demonstrated Across a Range of Filmmaker’s Work –Filmmaker Retains Creative Control Filmmaker’s “Style” is Identifiable –Cinematography, Editing, etc. –Genre Preferences –Themes and Motifs –Iconography

6 6 Auteur Theory “… a film (or a body of work) by a director reflects the personal vision and preoccupations of that director, as if he or she were the work's primary "author" (auteur). The auteur theory has had a major impact on film criticism worldwide ever since it was first advocated by François Truffaut in "Auteurism" is the method of analyzing films based on this theory (or, alternately, the characteristics of a director's work that makes him an auteur). Both the Auteur Theory and the auteurism method of film analysis are frequently associated with the French New Wave and the film critics who wrote for the Cahiers du cinéma.”auteurfilm criticismFrançois TruffautFrench New WaveCahiers du cinéma - Wikipedia

7 7 Some Examples Classical Hollywood –Charlie ChaplinCharlie Chaplin –Howard HawksHoward Hawks –Alfred HitchcockAlfred Hitchcock –Orson WellesOrson Welles Contemporary Hollywood –Woody AllenWoody Allen –Martin ScorseseMartin Scorsese –Spike LeeSpike Lee –John WooJohn Woo Alfred Hitchcock Spike Lee

8 8 John Ford is Classic Auteur Emphasis on Frontier Communities –Filled with Ethnics / Disenfranchised Outsiders Pluralistic Multiculturalism –Native Americans, Mexicans, Mexican Americans, African Americans, Slavs and Poles, Frenchmen and Italian, Swedes and Germans, poor Whites and Southerners Themes Involve Healthy Suspicion of Assimilation Rhetorical Panoramic Vista / Extreme Long Shots & Internal Framing

9 9 Ford’s “Ethnic” Style “…Ford regarded cultures not as autonomous, static, or fixed states, but rather as fluid, evolving, and organic ones that were inextricably intertwined.” “Ford’s skepticism about assimilation was part of his generally contradictory attitude toward America, which led him to critique the American mainstream even as he periodically celebrates the nation as a whole.” – Charles Ramírez Berg

10 10 Traced to his Ethnicity “Remembering that he was the son of Irish immigrants, surely something he never forgets, one begins to appreciate the fact that his films emanate from the position of that oppressed ethnic minority and that his stories typically focused on marginalized outcasts.” – Charles Ramírez Berg Roddy McDowallRoddy McDowall in Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941)How Green Was My Valley

11 11 Discrimination “While the psychological degradation of the Irish was certainly no worse than that to which blacks have been subjected, it must also be said that from 1850 to 1950 there were no dissenting voices being raised on the subject of the American Irish; no one praised any aspect of their culture, no one suggested that Irish might be beautiful, no one argued that their treatment was both unjust and bigoted.” – Andrew GreeleyAndrew Greeley Suggested Supplemental Reading: How the Irish Became White How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatievr

12 12 The Big Point “...Ford’s films centered not on the dominant mainstream but on the immigrant, working-class, socially and geographically isolated margin. And just as most Hollywood cinema used people of color to prop up its WASP self, Ford’s films – especially his Westerns – used them to promote immigrant ethnicity over the eastern Anglo elite.” Shot from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

13 13 How? Motifs –Drunken Brawling, Singing and Dancing, and Militarism Explore Ethnicity and Assimilation Subversive Representations of Native Americans, Mexicans, Mexican Americans –Casting, Character, Music, Sound effects Well-Defined Cultural Sub-Plots –Sub-Plots Explored Nature of Ethnicity

14 14 Ford’s Western Types Lecture 7: Part 2 Shot from Stagecoach (1939)Stagecoach

15 15 Remember Definition of Genre “Stated simply, genre movies are those commercial feature films which, through repetition and variation, tell familiar stories with familiar characters in familiar situations. They also encourage expectations and experiences similar to those of similar films we have already seen.” - Berry Keith GrantBerry Keith Grant

16 16 Key Questions to Ask What are the visual features/motifs? What are the narrative features/discourses? What are audience expectations/Triangles? Shot from Two-Fisted Sheriff (1937)Two-Fisted Sheriff

17 17 The Types WASP Mainstream Ethnic Margin The Native African Americans Mexicans & Mexican Americans Scar (Henry Brandon) from The Searchers (1956)Henry Brandon The Searchers

18 18 WASP Mainstream Rigid, Hypocritical, and Intolerant Selflessly Convinced of Social, Moral, and Racial Superiority Figured as Handful of Arrogant Colonizers –Henry Fonda’s Lieutenant Colonel Thursday in Fort Apache (1948) Fort Apache –Law and Order League in Stagecoach (1939) drive prostitute heroine out of town.Stagecoach Click Here to See Scene from Stagecoach (1939)

19 19 What’s wrong with the mainstream? “The money, power and influence of the mainstream are corrupting forces rather than civilizing ones.” “In short, if ethnics and minorities are sometimes stereotyped in Ford’s films, the WASP mainstream always is, with its members, consistently depicted as heartless, oppressive, and intolerant.” – Charles Ramírez Berg. Lt. Col. Thursday (Henry Fonda) in Fort Apache (1948)Henry FondaFort Apache

20 20 Ethnic Margin: Betwixt and Between Refugees from European Societies –Mormons’ Exile in Wagon Master (1940)Wagon Master Immigrants Ethnics Banished to Frontier –Doc and Prostitute in Stagecoach (1939)Stagecoach

21 21 Two Critical Points “Besides escaping intolerance, Ford’s margin ethnics leave the cultural center for two other reasons: first, to increase their opportunity; and second, to find a space where they can openly practice their ethnicity, which is impossible within the tightly constrained, ethnically cleansed mainstream.” – Charles Ramírez Berg Shot from The Searchers (1954)The Searchers

22 22 The Native: Great Unknown Enigmatic; Define Ethnic Margin –Noble Savage StereotypeNoble Savage Stereotype Peaceful Native Defines Margin’s Morality –The Natives and the Mormons in The Wagon Master (1950)The Wagon Master Savage Native Defines Danger of Frontier –Scar in The Searchers (1954)The Searchers Click Here to See Scene #2 from The Searchers (1954) Click Here to See Scene #1 from The Searchers (1954)

23 23 Characterization Chart Mainstream: WASP Establishment elite; represented in the West by colonizers and assimilated Westerners Margin: European immigrants, especially the Irish (pioneers, settlers, soldiers at the frontier) Native: Native Americans Shot from The Searchers (1954)The Searchers

24 24 African Americans: Marginalized of the Margin Exist Only in Segregated Outskirts of Margin of Society Faithful Servants (Uncle Tom & Mammy) –Daisy in Drums along the Mohawk (1939)Drums along the Mohawk –Lukey in The Horse Soldiers (1959)The Horse Soldiers –Pompey (Woody Strode) in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Click Here to See Scene from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

25 25 Mexicans and Mexican Americans: Hybrid Race Mexicans in Mexico: Light-skinned, Upper-Class, Educated Mexicans in the US: Darker-skinned; In- habit the Margin’s Fringes –Conflated w/ Native Americans Stereotypes as Sneaky and Untrustworthy –Chihuahua in My Darling Clementine (1946)My Darling Clementine Click Here to See Scene from My Darling Clementine (1946)

26 26 The Motifs Brawling & Carousing –Freewheeling Joy of Life –Loose & Fun Singing & Dancing –Celebrate Ethnic Community –Demonstrate Self-Expression Marching & Parading –Level Playing Field –Demonstrate Patriotism Shot from Fort Apache (1948)Fort Apache

27 27 Fort Apache (1948) Lecture 7: Part 3

28 28 Credits Released in 1948 Directed by John FordJohn Ford Stars John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Pedro ArmendárizJohn WayneHenry FondaShirley Temple Pedro Armendáriz Addresses Genocide of Native Americans

29 29 Plot Summary “In John Ford's sombre exploration of THE FETTERMAN MASSACRE OF 1866 mythologising of American heroes, he slowly reveals the character of Owen Thursday, who sees his new posting to the desolate Fort Apache as a chance to claim the military honour which he believes is rightfully his. Arrogant, obsessed with military form and ultimately self-destructive, Thursday attempts to destroy the Indian warrior Cochise after luring him across the border from Mexico.” Summary written by Bernard KeaneBernard Keane

30 30 Ramrez Berg’s Thesis Ramírez Berg’s Thesis Ford Uses Basic Cinematic Components to Demonstrate Cultural Sensitivity –Casting –Language –Character Development –Music –Sound Effects “Sociologically honest filmmaking seldom seen in Hollywood cinema, before or since.”

31 31 The Native and Latino Characters Dark-Skinned Mestizo (Mexican Indio) Miguel Inclán to Play Cochise Miguel Inclán –Speaks Historically Correct Spanish and Native American Language Pedro Armendáriz to Play Sergeant Beaufort, a Mexican American Army OfficerPedro Armendáriz –Accepted as Equal –Experienced and Tempered

32 32 Characters are Defined Natives are Fleshed Out / Sympathetic / Well Developed / “Authentic” Mexican American is Fleshed Out / Respectable / Sturdy / Reliable White Mainstream is Genocidal / Cold / Indifferent / Lifeless / Inflexible Ethnic Margin is Heroic / Identifiable / Anti- Assimilation but Pro-Patriot

33 33 The Big Point “… Ford’s multiculturalism was driven to by an obsession with justice and tolerance, which, at its best, offset his ethnocentrism. In his Westerns, this resulted in such counter hegemonic elements as his persistent critique of the mainstream and his ubiquitous cultural subplot. Moreover, as his career progressed, the cultural focus of Ford’s films widened beyond class and ethnic discrimination to include racial prejudice.” – Charles Ramírez Berg.

34 34 End of Lecture 7 End of Lecture 7 Next Lecture: Latino Urbanism: How can a cockroach also be a shark?


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