Book

Mock Classicism

Nilo Couret

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2018 | ISBN: 9780520296848
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780520969162 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520296848.001.0001
Mock Classicism

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This book reconceptualizes both the geopolitical boundaries and the periodization of Latin American film histories in order to reveal a predominant comic mode in the cultural practices of Latin America in the twentieth century. Comedies have been either relegated to the margins of regional film histories in the shadow of the New Latin American Cinema or articulated to the broader socializing and nationalistic function of earlier commercial traditions. Rather than map Latin American cinema according to radical politics, film directors, or film movements—as do conventional film histories—this comparative project examines the formal and narrative operations of Argentine, Brazilian, and Mexican commercially successful comedies released between the 1920s and the 1950s in order to demonstrate how they functioned as peripheral responses to modernization and prefigured the more explicitly political New Latin American Cinema of the 1960s. Each chapter braids empirical research, close reading, film theory, and Latin American studies to argue that Latin American cinema from the studio period became classical in ways that were phenomenally distinct from but structurally akin to those of Hollywood. To that end, each chapter presents one way that classical Hollywood was constructed within film studies and demonstrates how the ways cinema became classical in Hollywood do not occur identically in Latin America. Using an approach that encompasses both textual analysis as well as a range of practices from the film experience, such as stardom, trade and popular publications, and broadcast media, this book proposes thinking classicism as a discourse that mediates and renders the world, looking at the construction of the aesthetic world as diegetic totality and the circulation of the texts and objects in global circuits of economic exchange.

Keywords: comedy; modernism; Classical Hollywood; Latin America; mock classicism; stardom; studio cinema; sound studies; cultural nationalism; intermedia

Book.  296 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Mock Classicism

Chapter

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The Call of the Screen in Mock Classicism

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Timing Is Everything in Mock Classicism

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Fictions of the Real in Mock Classicism

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