Arturo Ripstein’s and Paz Alicia Garciadiego’s Lucha Reyes and the aesthetics of Mexican abjection
This article explores questions of representation and reception of Arturo Ripstein’s biopic La reina de la noche/The Queen of the Night (1994), loosely based on the life of the pioneer Mexican ranchera music performer Lucha Reyes (1906–1944). Reyes created the sound of ranchera singing as we understand it today: simultaneously aggressive, pained, festive. Her troubled and controversial career is examined in light of the film’s mixed reception, notably the unfavourable reception in Mexico due to the irreverent treatment of this national icon. The divisive representation of Reyes’s alcoholism, mental illness and bisexual lifestyle opens a window into exploring how Reyes’s non-conformist agency rubbed uneasily against dominant society. Yet, despite this critical edge, the focus on Reyes as a tragic and abject victim and her rendering as a queer icon register the multiple layers of ambiguity that made the film so problematic for audiences and critics.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of California, Davis
Publication date: September 1, 2015
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- In 2013, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, is changing its name to Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas to reflect more accurately its content, which is dedicated to the study of Spanish-speaking and Latin American cinemas, including the cinemas of Spain and Spanish-speaking South, Central and North America including the Caribbean, as well as Brazil.
Our target readership includes students, teachers and scholars. The journal is written in English to maximize the opportunities for contact between academic disciplines such as Media, Film Studies, Latin American and Post-colonial Studies, as well as Hispanic Studies, thereby encouraging an inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary focus.
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