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Love Goddesses: angels and demons in Mexican cinema

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Abstract:

This essay analyses two important Mexican urban melodramas of the 1940s: La devoradora/Devourer of Men by (Fernando de Fuentes 1946) and La diosa arrodillada/Goddess on Her Knees (Roberto Gavaldón 1947). Both films are structured according to the canons of film noir and extol the figure of the femme fatale, the 'Love Goddess'. As such, these films are representative of myths created in the 1940s, which determined cultural perceptions and structured different ways of seeing and understanding the gendered world. The analyses respond to fundamental questions regarding the representation of women generally and the femme fatale in particular in Mexican cinema: how do these feared women, with sexual and economic power, and who disrupt moral values, actually reinforce traditional moral values? What is behind these gender representations that established some ideals of femininity and masculinity in Mexican cinema?

Keywords: Mexican cinema; cultural stereotypes; femme fatale; gendered representations; patriarchal ideology; urban melodrama

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/shci.8.1.19_1

Affiliations: Universidad de Guadalajara

Publication date: 2012-01-30

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