FQ Columnist Paul Julian Smith traces the changes in queer Mexican cinema since the 1990s and asks: What does it mean for a film to be both queer and mainstream? Recent Mexican features with lesbian, gay, and trans themes pose this question. They are audience-friendly genre movies, either romantic comedies or thrillers, naturalistic in style, apolitical in attitude, and commercially produced in the hope of exhibition in theaters. Reaching out through social media to a queer community of viewers, they also seek to connect closely with their audience. Smith suggests that a new corpus of queer films is emerging that may be premature in rejecting the political and artistic radicalism of earlier Mexican queer cinema. The great virtue of these new queer films, however, is that they aim to connect with an audience beyond the art house that needs—in these changing, challenging times—to see this newly visible community represented on the big screen.
Screenings: Letter From Mexico: The Queer Mainstream
Paul Julian Smith is Distinguished Professor in the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Languages and Literatures Program of the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of seventeen books, most recently Mexican Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television (Polity, 2014) and Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar, third edition (Verso, 2014).
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Paul Julian Smith; Screenings: Letter From Mexico: The Queer Mainstream. Film Quarterly 1 June 2016; 69 (4): 78–81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2016.69.4.78
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