ALBUQUERQUE ― The National Hispanic Cultural Center presents an afternoon talk, screenings, and book signing with author and UNM professor A. Gabriel Meléndez on “Hidden Chicano Cinema: Film Dramas in the Borderlands.” Occurring 2-4 p.m., Saturday, May 7, the event is free and in the Well Fargo Theater of the NHCC’s Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts.
The talk and the underlying book, Hidden Chicano Film: Film Dramas in the Borderlands, examine how New Mexico, situated within the boundaries of the United States, became a stand-in for the exotic non-western world that tourists, artists, scientists, and others sought to possess at the dawn of early filmmaking, a disposition stretching from the silent era to today as filmmakers screen their fantasies of what they wished the Southwest Borderlands to be.
The book highlights “film moments” in this region’s history with narration by Meléndez of the drama, intrigue, and politics of these moments and accounts for the specific cinematic practices and the sociocultural detail that explains how the camera itself brought filmmakers and their subjects to unexpected encounters on and off the screen.
A Distinguished Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, Dr. Meléndez has authored several books, serves on the board of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project and is a general editor for the Pasó por aquí Series at UNM Press. He has been a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at Eszterházy Károly College, Eger, Hungary.
“Melendez sensitively and carefully considers all the possible kaleidoscopes: whether a film is directed by Chicanos, whether it is Chicano-themed, whether the governance of the film and its overall narrative architecture is Chicano-driven, and the few films-virtually all of them obscure and politically-themed-that fit all these threads,” Michael A. Olivas said of the book Hidden Chicano Cinema in Somos en escrito-The Latino Literary Online Magazine.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities, and is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. If you would like more information about this event or other events at the NHCC, please call Alberto Cuessy at 505.238.2695 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.