• View author and book videos on our YouTube channel.

  • Making Cinelandia: American Films and Mexican Film Culture before the Golden Age

    Author(s):
    Pages: 336
    Illustrations: 46 illustrations, 3 maps
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $99.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5641-7
  • Paperback: $26.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5653-0
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • A Note on Translations and Film Titles xi

    Prólogo (Prologue) xiii

    Acknowledgments xv

    Introduction 1

    Part I. The Yanqui Invasion 17

    1. U.S. Motion Picture Companies Go South of the Border 19

    2. American Movies, Mexican Modernity: The Cinema as a National Space 47

    3. In Lola's House: Fan Discourse in the Making of Mexican Film Culture 85

    Part II. Border Crossings 121

    4. La Virgen and La Pelona: Film Culture, Border Crossing, and the Modern Mexican Woman 123

    5. Denigrating Pictures: Censorship and the Politics of U.S. Film in Greater Mexico 154

    6. Al Cine: Mexican Migrants Go to the Movies 180

    Conclusion 215

    Abbreviations of Frequently Cited Sources 223

    Notes 225

    Bibliography 279

    Filmography 303

    Index 309
  • “Because it deals with Mexican film culture from the teens to the early 1930s, Serna's fine book is a perfect complement to Robert McKee Irwin and Maricruz Castro Ricalde's Global Mexican Cinema, which begins where this study leaves off.  The early period was dominated by Hollywood films, representing an exciting, alarming modernity and exhibiting considerable insensitivity toward their neighbors to the south. Yet, as Serna (USC) demonstrates with admirable data and interpretive imagination, cinelandia was welcome to the politicians and capitalists who saw the distribution and exhibition of Hollywood films both as an opportunity and as evidence of post-revolutionary Mexico's movement into the modern age. . . . Recommended. All readers.”

    "Moving skillfully between Mexico City, El Paso, and Los Angeles, Serna shows how star-struck fans, ordinary filmgoers, and critics of U.S. films generated transnational articulations of Mexican identity."

    Making Cinelandia transports its reader to new physical spaces and reveals a material culture perhaps as interesting as the rare or lost films themselves. … At hand is an interesting and well-written text, an effective transnational history suitable for the Latin Americanist or film scholar, the graduate student of either field, and, one hopes, the wider world of film buffs.” 

    “Laura Isabel Serna's exhaustively researched and engagingly written Making Cinelandia reconsiders the terms of scholarly debate on Latin American cinema and global film culture more broadly.”

    “Laura Serna has written a groundbreaking study of the impact of US silent film on cinematic culture, in Mexico and among Mexican migrant communities north of the border during the interwar period. A film historian, Serna presents ideas that are both theoretically nuanced and meticulously documented. She gleans dozens of original insights from an astounding array of primary sources in Mexico and the US. . . . Serna’s book is an exemplary work of scholarship.”

    "Making Cinelandia is a ground breaking cultural history. It is admirable for the attention it pays to the performative, promotional, and cultural practices that were a part of moviegoing and for its extensive archival research across Mexico and the United States. It is original, thoroughly readable and accessible and, most significantly, it changes how we think about Mexican film culture in the twentieth century."

    Reviews

  • “Because it deals with Mexican film culture from the teens to the early 1930s, Serna's fine book is a perfect complement to Robert McKee Irwin and Maricruz Castro Ricalde's Global Mexican Cinema, which begins where this study leaves off.  The early period was dominated by Hollywood films, representing an exciting, alarming modernity and exhibiting considerable insensitivity toward their neighbors to the south. Yet, as Serna (USC) demonstrates with admirable data and interpretive imagination, cinelandia was welcome to the politicians and capitalists who saw the distribution and exhibition of Hollywood films both as an opportunity and as evidence of post-revolutionary Mexico's movement into the modern age. . . . Recommended. All readers.”

    "Moving skillfully between Mexico City, El Paso, and Los Angeles, Serna shows how star-struck fans, ordinary filmgoers, and critics of U.S. films generated transnational articulations of Mexican identity."

    Making Cinelandia transports its reader to new physical spaces and reveals a material culture perhaps as interesting as the rare or lost films themselves. … At hand is an interesting and well-written text, an effective transnational history suitable for the Latin Americanist or film scholar, the graduate student of either field, and, one hopes, the wider world of film buffs.” 

    “Laura Isabel Serna's exhaustively researched and engagingly written Making Cinelandia reconsiders the terms of scholarly debate on Latin American cinema and global film culture more broadly.”

    “Laura Serna has written a groundbreaking study of the impact of US silent film on cinematic culture, in Mexico and among Mexican migrant communities north of the border during the interwar period. A film historian, Serna presents ideas that are both theoretically nuanced and meticulously documented. She gleans dozens of original insights from an astounding array of primary sources in Mexico and the US. . . . Serna’s book is an exemplary work of scholarship.”

    "Making Cinelandia is a ground breaking cultural history. It is admirable for the attention it pays to the performative, promotional, and cultural practices that were a part of moviegoing and for its extensive archival research across Mexico and the United States. It is original, thoroughly readable and accessible and, most significantly, it changes how we think about Mexican film culture in the twentieth century."

  • "MakingCinelandia is one of the best new books I have read in a very long time—a groundbreaking study of Mexican film culture that will transform our understanding of exhibition practices, censorship, fan cultures, and filmgoing habits during a period traditionally excluded from histories of Mexican cinema. Laura Isabel Serna adds considerably to knowledge of silent-era Hollywood's global reach, transnational stardom, and struggles over the representation of race and ethnicity on movie screens." — Shelley Stamp, author of, Movie-Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture after the Nickelodeon

    "Laura Isabel Serna presents an original and compelling analysis of Mexican film history and the international reception of Hollywood films, making a substantial contribution to our understanding of both. Making Cinelandia shifts attention within the historiography of Mexican cinema from production to reception, from national boundaries to the idea of 'Greater Mexico,' and from national cinema to foreign films. It also provides an exemplary case study of how nation-building occurred in dialogue with U.S. culture." — Chon A. Noriega, author of, Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In the 1920s, as American films came to dominate Mexico's cinemas, many of its cultural and political elites feared that this "Yanqui invasion" would turn Mexico into a cultural vassal of the United States. In Making Cinelandia, Laura Isabel Serna contends that Hollywood films were not simply tools of cultural imperialism. Instead, they offered Mexicans on both sides of the border an imaginative and crucial means of participating in global modernity, even as these films and their producers and distributors frequently displayed anti-Mexican bias. Before the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, Mexican audiences used their encounters with American films to construct a national film culture. Drawing on extensive archival research, Serna explores the popular experience of cinemagoing from the perspective of exhibitors, cinema workers, journalists, censors, and fans, showing how Mexican audiences actively engaged with American films to identify more deeply with Mexico.
     

    About The Author(s)

    Laura Isabel Serna is Assistant Professor of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu