REPROJECTING THE CITY: URBAN SPACE AND DISSIDENT SEXUALITIES IN RECENT LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA, BENEDICT HOFF (2016)
Cambridge: Legenda, 188 pp.,
ISBN: 9781909662469, h/bk, [pounds sterling]75, $99, [euro]85
Reviewed by Baird Campbell, Rice University
In Reprojecting the City: Urban Space and Dissident Sexualities in Recent Latin American Cinema, Benedict Hoff takes on the ambitious task of bringing together the worlds of urban studies, queer studies and studies of Latin American cinema. In doing so, the author seeks to destabilize the often taken for granted line between dissident sexualities in the Global North and the Global South, tracing and highlighting the often complex relationships between global queer culture and daily urban life in several Latin American metropolises. These are traditionally represented as placeswhere the legacies of colonialism collide with the realities of twenty-first-century global capitalism to produce highly fractured cityscapes of violence and gaping social inequality where, beneath a particularly rampant form of sexual proclivity, lurks a triple menace of machismo, misogyny and homophobia. (2)
Through the close study of four emblematic modern Latin American films, each set in a different city, Hoff aims to gain a vantage point into both the realities of the cities themselves and the interplay between the 'local' and 'global' forms of dissident sexuality that exist therein.
In Chapter 1, the author presents the theoretical framework for a 'queer urban geography of Latin American cinema'. Hoff does a thorough and effective job of arguing his case that Global North (or, in his terms, 'minority world') narratives about the emergence of dissident sexualities cannot be uncritically or wholly applied to Latin American contexts. He traces Latin America's unique historical trajectory back to the violent and sexualized colonization of Latin America during the conquista and the repercussions of the colonial process in the modern Latin American city. For the author, a queer urban geography of Latin American cinema means 'challenging the predominance of minority-world accounts of cinematic urbanism by relocating the "the city" to the majority-world context of Latin America' (34). This decolonial understanding of the city, in conversation with dissident sexualities, allows these films to speak 'back to the homogenizing, globalizing discourses often associated with North American and European sexuality politics and with lesbian and gay studies' (34).
Chapter 2 focuses on Buenos Aires, Argentina, through a reading of the film...
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