Latinx Los Angeles on the Screen

Los Angeles is one of the most cinematic cities, not only as a recurring and identifiable setting for films, but also as an urban shooting location and a site of media production. After all, L.A. is home to Hollywood, the capital of the U.S. film industry. But what can L.A.-based films tell us about the city’s Latinx people, who, despite comprising the majority of the population, have often been marginalized or made invisible in the city’s representation of itself, onscreen or otherwise? This course focuses primarily on U.S. narrative cinema to examine different ways that Latinx experiences have shaped representations of L.A., as well as the role that L.A. has played in Latinx creative labor, storytelling, cultural representation, and political action on the screen. Topics will include the following: the historical relationships between and among L.A., Mexico, and Hollywood; the idea of L.A. as a “global city”; the Chicano Movement in film and media; class, gender, and sexuality in Chicanx films of the early-twenty-first century; problems of recognition both for Latinx immigrants and Latinx films; the intersections of Latinx, black, and Asian communities in multi-protagonist films; and the adaptation of Latinx folklore.