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La India Maria : mexploitation and the films of Maria Elena Velasco


Rohrer, Seraina (2017). La India Maria : mexploitation and the films of Maria Elena Velasco. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Abstract

La India Maria-a humble and stubborn indigenous Mexican woman-is one of the most popular characters of the Mexican stage, television, and film. Created and portrayed by Maria Elena Velasco, La India Maria has delighted audiences since the late 1960s with slapstick humor that slyly critiques discrimination and the powerful. At the same time, however, many critics have derided the iconic figure as a racist depiction of a negative stereotype and dismissed the India Maria films as exploitation cinema unworthy of serious attention. By contrast, La India Maria builds a convincing case for Maria Elena Velasco as an artist whose work as a director and producer-rare for women in Mexican cinema-has been widely and unjustly overlooked. Drawing on extensive interviews with Velasco, her family, and film industry professionals, as well as on archival research, Seraina Rohrer offers the first full account of Velasco's life; her portrayal of La India Maria in vaudeville, television, and sixteen feature film comedies, including Ni de aqui, ni de alla [Neither here, nor there]; and her controversial reception in Mexico and the United States. Rohrer traces the films' financing, production, and distribution, as well as censorship practices of the period, and compares them to other Mexploitation films produced at the same time. Adding a new chapter to the history of a much-understudied period of Mexican cinema commonly referred to as "la crisis," this pioneering research enriches our appreciation of Mexploitation films.

Abstract

La India Maria-a humble and stubborn indigenous Mexican woman-is one of the most popular characters of the Mexican stage, television, and film. Created and portrayed by Maria Elena Velasco, La India Maria has delighted audiences since the late 1960s with slapstick humor that slyly critiques discrimination and the powerful. At the same time, however, many critics have derided the iconic figure as a racist depiction of a negative stereotype and dismissed the India Maria films as exploitation cinema unworthy of serious attention. By contrast, La India Maria builds a convincing case for Maria Elena Velasco as an artist whose work as a director and producer-rare for women in Mexican cinema-has been widely and unjustly overlooked. Drawing on extensive interviews with Velasco, her family, and film industry professionals, as well as on archival research, Seraina Rohrer offers the first full account of Velasco's life; her portrayal of La India Maria in vaudeville, television, and sixteen feature film comedies, including Ni de aqui, ni de alla [Neither here, nor there]; and her controversial reception in Mexico and the United States. Rohrer traces the films' financing, production, and distribution, as well as censorship practices of the period, and compares them to other Mexploitation films produced at the same time. Adding a new chapter to the history of a much-understudied period of Mexican cinema commonly referred to as "la crisis," this pioneering research enriches our appreciation of Mexploitation films.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Monograph
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Cinema Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
900 History
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:08 Mar 2018 14:46
Last Modified:20 Mar 2018 00:48
Publisher:University of Texas Press
Series Name:Film, media, and popular culture : Latin America, gender & sexuality
Number of Pages:220
ISBN:978-1-4773-1345-9
Additional Information:Basiert auf der Dissertation Mexican low budget films in their transnational context, Universität Zürich, Philosophische Fakultät, 2012
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/rohrer-la-linda-maria (Publisher)
https://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:default_scope:ebi01_prod011047102 (Library Catalogue)

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