an international and interdisciplinary journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image

Volume 2, March 2005, ISSN 1552-5112




Pancho Villa:  Post-Colonial Colonialism, or the Return of the Americano


Juan Bruce-Novoa




The power of understanding consists in this capacity to reduce the organic whole of experience to an appendix to the "dead" symbolic classification. 

Slavoj Žižek



The cover copy of the 2003, HBO release And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself  [ASPVH] sums up how the producers wanted their film to be viewed:  an "incredible true story of how Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa allowed a Hollywood crew to film him in battle, altering the course of film and military history in the process" (DVD cover).   A similar statement appears at the start of the film itself:  "The improbability of the events depicted in this film is the surest indication that they actually did occur."  Incredible and improbable, but true?  Exactly, but in what sense are we to understand the claim?  The incredible/improbable because we are supposed to be surprised by Pancho Villa's willingness to let a film crew cover his campaign?  Yet by 1914, despite screenwriter Gelbart's claims to the contrary (DVD commentary), moving picture camera crews had covered the major military actions from the Spanish American to the Balkans War (de Los Reyes, Con Villa 36).  As for Mexico, it had served as a movie set for native filmmakers from shortly after the Lumière brothers introduced their process in 1895, and the Revolution itself had been turned into newsreels by camera teams from both sides of the border from the start (de los Reyes, El cine).  De los Reyes lists several U.S. films that had been made on the Revolution before Thayer arrived in 1914 (Con Villa 38).  No, if our credulity is challenged it must be more by the supposed details of Villa's contract that obliged him, in exchange for considerable compensation, to carry out his attacks in the best light or angles for the cameras.  The true claim, however, goes beyond the mere contractual arrangements, because as Gelbart boasts in his commentary the filmmakers went to admirable lengths to consult experts in the field, even to the extent of hiring Friedrich Katz, the leading Villa historian, and Margarita de Orellana, author of La mirada circular:  el cine norteamericano de la revolución Mexicana 1911-1917 as well as a book on Villa and Zapata.  However, Gelbart's reference to Katz represents a stumbling block to any analysis of the film based on its fidelity to truth, because Katz unequivocally denies a cornerstone of that argument, those details of the contract so ingenuously mentioned above:  "The actual contract in fact contained no such clauses.  There was absolutely no mention of reenactment of battle scenes or of Villa providing good lighting" (Katz, Life and Times, 325).  With this central column of the film's truth claim debunked by its chief consultant, we must proceed to follow another path of analysis.  This is not to deny that many of the incidental facts are verifiable, because many surely are.  More pertinent to understanding ASPVH, however, is that for all the research the filmmakers boast of, the film revolves less around historical events central to the Revolution or the specific significance of Villa's military success, than the peripeteia of the U.S. filmmakers' project as ASPVH 's plot line, making the film within the film its central conceit that focuses viewers' attention.

From the start, however, the makers of ASPVH place the movie simultaneously within and against the tradition of U.S. films on Villa.  The movie within the movie conceit allows the claim that Villa appears as himself, so we are led to believe that somehow we are seeing a more accurate Villa than before.  The film even presents the idea of the interior film to have originated from Villa, so the U.S. project is a fulfillment of Villa's desire to become the object of the new media; less obvious is that the framing scene starts with a letter from Mexico in 1923 that sets off the memory of the 1914 film project; in the end the action returns to the 1923 letter to hear it narrate Villa's death and pose the question that sets up the apotheosis of ASPVH 's true protagonist, Frank Thayer, the Mutual Film Company representative who traveled to Mexico to carry out two film projects with Villa.   In effect, the 1914 action of the film, that occupies all but a few minutes at the start and end, appear as an extended flashback in Thayer's mind.   But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

The opening scenes of the 1914 action emphasize that Villa wants film coverage, yet his purpose is not only financial.  Later in the action, when he no longer needs the money from the movie, as he clearly states, Villa consents to a second project in order to communicate his message to the public.  The subaltern wants to speak to correct the negative impression of him and the revolutionary cause that has been created by his enemies—the Hearst newspaper syndicate in particular.  That the 1914 film addresses Villa's desire to speak, if not in his own voice—film was still silent—at least in his own image, can be read as the intention of the filmmakers, both in 1914 and in 2003, to let him realize that desire to some extent.

This positioning maneuver, however, is more complicated than it might seem at first glance, and resembles that of postcolonial criticism.  The proposal to reconsider a well-worked topic in a new way that promises a more direct, more honest treatment with it implies a critical analysis of—if not a blatant attack on—the practitioner's own field, a mea culpa for one's politically incorrect professional ancestors, a finger in the face of current colleagues who still follow their lead, and a simultaneous declaration of difference between them and the post-colonialist based on revisionist historical accuracy and often ringing somberly self-righteous.  Here, the ASPVH filmmakers propose a new, more direct, less mediated encounter with Villa, implicitly promising to avoid the supposed Hollywood misrepresentations.  To anticipate what such a revisionist project would involve, we should remember that the central structuring scheme of Hollywood's Latin American colonizing discourse is known as the Americano in the Great House, (Pettit, Woll, Bruce-Novoa).  To undo such an established colonization pattern, one must attack this paradigm—details of which we will see below—and perhaps the film could be seen to make a preliminary attempt by having Villa initiate the venture with his offer to allow himself to be filmed, thus allowing the filmmakers to claim that they were simply responding to an expressed desire on the part of Villa, a desire that would cover both the 1914 and the 2003 projects.

            Hence, the plot is staged as the conflict between the young, idealistic reformer, Thayer, who finds himself in the position of responding to Villa's invitation.  Once involved and convinced of Villa's merits, Frank Thayer becomes determined to portray a true image of the oppressed victims of centuries-long colonization, and the established discourse of (mis)representation.  In the central narrative line, we follow the sincere efforts of the surrogate post-colonialist Thayer to present the real Villa even when it requires him, at the risk of his career, to challenge his boss and uncle, the CEO of Mutual Films, and the rules of commercial film of his time.  Yet, undermining his efforts are film’s inexorable laws, as Derrida would say, always already in place:  everything sacrificed to the script during shooting—including the truth—and everything including the script sacrificed to the logic of the final cut.  Thus we see both the attempt to tell the real story—that supposedly would let Villa himself speak directly as himself—and the repressive mechanisms that distort the message for commercial reasons.  At a more profound level, the film encounters the dilemma of all representation:  noumena can pass into human discourse only as reconstructed phenomena according to predetermined patterns.  And here we find the loose thread to begin our deconstruction:  despite good intentions—and their consultants' expertise—the filmmakers seem fixated a priori on Villa as noumena, unintelligible, savage force, not simply beyond social acceptability but more significantly beyond representability in logical discourse, and since Villa personifies the Revolution, it comes off equally inscrutable.  The problem is that the real Villa is considered too Real in Lacan's sense of the term as that which remains beyond the discursive order of the symbolic, yet necessary for its existence.  Hence fidelity to accurate minutia only serves to heighten the gap between what can be captured through representational discourse and the attempts to convey Villa's impossibility of being so captured by that discourse except as a baffling amalgam of contradictions. 

To faithfully portray the true Villa to be rescued, the film emphasizes his dynamic mix of a rational and irrational behavior—a true monster, human yet not entirely.  In one scene his animal sense awakens him moments before an attack.  Villa functions like a Lacanian trait unaire, an active synapse between the symbolic and its Real foundation that allows observers to glimpse the process that has created the incomplete being that confronts us; yet the trace elements of the Real that are momentarily revealed retain the vagueness of the amorphous opposite of discourse in that discourse can never fully encompass them within itself.  In other words, to be true to the Villa they consider true, the filmmakers decide he must be represented as that which escapes representation.

At the level of the film within the film this functions well.  Villa must be convinced of the need to bring his life under narrative control even if this means having to pretend to be what he never has been or ever will be, President of Mexico.  Only in this manner will he be able to film his sincere message about Mexico:  "I was forced to sacrifice many lives in my quest for justice, but in the end I have saved the life of my beloved Mexico."  But when Villa cold-bloodedly sacrifices an innocent woman by shooting her in the head at point-blank range, his ends-justifies-the means message becomes too real for his U.S. admirers, resulting in Thayer's disillusionment and break with him. The question posed by this scene is what can be done with the Real noumena that always exceeds symbolization, yet is necessary to its existence in reality.  Lacan's answer is that it gets censured back to silence outside of discourse or reduced to discourse's acceptable limits.  Both operations take place before our eyes in ASPVH.  In the final version of the film-inside-the-film as premiered in New York in 1914, Villa the murderer must be hidden from the audience if Villa the hero is to be seen and heard.  The image of the slain woman, however, is visually too effective to be discarded completely.  So Villa is cropped out, while the printed, explanatory text attributes the savagery to the film's antagonist, the Federal Government against which Villa fights.  Yet the 2003 audience is privy to the original and the edited version, just as they have seen multiple scenes of Villa in constant oscillation between unpredictable, savage menace and good- hearted, determined leader; between unfettered instinct and shrewd and pragmatic reasoning.  This bipolar structure could allow us to affirm that the apparent plot crisis produced by this edited scene is actually just the culmination of the oscillation between opposing versions of Villa that have been present since he first comes on the scene in the film.  In this way, the plot is not really about Villa and his revolution, but about Villa and the revolution as noumena or the Real, Mutual Film's struggle to convert it into phenomena, and what is lost or gained in the process, a kind of metafilm on the process of art itself.

To convey the bipolar, Real Villa, the filmmakers consciously or unconsciously reprised in ASPVH many elements and images from previous movies about him and the Revolution, like Viva Villa (34), The Treasure of Pancho Villa (55), Villa Rides (68), Pancho Villa (72), becoming an anthology of Hollywood Villana.  Doing so undermines its revisionist purpose.  Scenes show us Villa as irresistible physical force in hand-to- hand fighting but the soft touch for a pathetic plea; the marksman Villa; the deadly dark clown or calculating practical joker; the naïvely sincere religious Villa and the scourge of Catholicism; the children's friend and child sacrificer; the vindicator of the people and their implicit executioner; the Villa enemy of the rich, yet respectful of their judgments on cultural values; the protector of abused women and macho sexual predator.          

One can hardly blame the filmmakers for drawing on this catalogue.  It represents a history of predecessors who did their homework to some degree and came to the same conclusion about Villa as a monstrous force of nature.   Ironically, screenwriter Gelbart's claim that almost everything included in the film was supported by research, when combined with the use of scenes that echo previous films, lends those earlier, often criticized versions a modicum of credence.  Yet, by placing an entirely fictional Sophie's choice scene—the race between brothers that ultimately decided which will die—at a key moment in the progress towards Villa's paradox crisis, Gelbart tacitly admits that reality is insufficient to create the generative core of Villa's brutal self-revelation that produces the crisis of purpose in Thayer and his break with Villa (DVD commentary).  The race sets off a series of deaths among his followers culminating in the murdered woman mentioned above.   Ultimately, the justification for including this totally fictional scene is no better nor worse than the justification for inventing the infamous sado-masochism scene in the vilified 1933 Viva Villa:  script logic.  In each case the scene reveals the dark depths of Villa's hamartia and sets up the eventual break between him and key supporters.  But while Banderas' scene functions in escalating series of splits between Villa and the people that functions within the Thayer line of the plot—it explains why Thayer must be called back to Mexico in 1923 to reconcile himself with Villa's memory—Beery's scene sets up the denouement in Viva Villa's last scene when Villa is killed, giving the assassin a motive for shooting Villa who violated his sister and caused her death.  Since Villa's life forms the plot of Viva Villa, this ending is logical and the motivational background is necessary, while in ASPVH his assassination can be explained vaguely by a rumored conspiracy theory voiced off-screen by a minor character because Villa's life is tangential to Thayer's in the central plot.   Perhaps more important, in its filmic, visual interest the Viva Villa erotic whipping scene is far superior to the appeal to sympathy through melodramatic pathos of the ASPVH race of brothers.  And as indicators of the different orientation that distinguishes the two films, in Viva Villa the scene conveys Villa's character through direct action while in ASPVH characterization is a matter of action carried out by other characters that reflects on Villa.  If we compare filmmaking to writing, Viva Villa is like writing in active voice, while ASPVH would be written in passive voice.

In effect, the comparison of ASPVH with the much-reviled Viva Villa cannot be avoided, since the latter is considered the original template for the stereotype that defined the Hollywood Pancho Villa cannon.  Surprisingly, it leads to the unexpected conclusion that the older version comes out fairly well.  The most repeated attack on Viva Villa focuses on the casting of Wallace Beery, a foreigner in the main role.  Yet Banderas is also a foreigner and significantly from the one other nation that represents for Mexicans a major colonizer, Spain.  Critics delight in recalling Beery's butchering of Spanish, but Banderas' struggle to sound Mexican is often laughable or irritating, especially when attempting clichéd Mexican profanities.   Some of his facial distortions could be read as parodic tributes to Beery's unique repertoire of grimaces and hand-to-face gestures.  And the irony of the Spanish Banderas, pretending to be a Mexican mestizo, castigating the mestizo actor Pedro Armendariz Jr. pretending to be a Creole Spanish hacendado, is too rich with irony and deconstructive clues to a globalized film industry to be handled here.  In both cases the studio sought the actor who would attract the largest audience, a perfectly legitimate business decision.  However, the decisions implicitly judge that no Mexican actor has reached that level.  Both decisions were made in the context of complaints against the industry for using non-Mexicans to portray them—even more serious ones in the 1934 case in that Mexico a decade earlier had threatened to ban entire studios for one offense.  The ASPVH case represents, perhaps, a more flagrant misstep in that the filmmakers implicitly and explicitly voiced sensitivity to a politically correct portrayal of the subject matter and the sensitivities of the U.S. Latino audience.  Perhaps their error was thinking in terms of a generic Hispanic public instead of a specifically Mexican one; but then it wouldn't be the first time Hollywood has made that miscalculation.  

Another point of contention is that Beery's portrayal of Villa barely rose above the level of simple clown, and admittedly, no amount of good will can erase the moronic lapses in Beery's portrayal.  But a comparison of character development in the two films again favors the earlier version.  ASPVH invests almost no time in Villa's personal background and little in historical background.   Banderas rides onto the screen in mid battle, throws some dynamite, then gets distracted by the arrival of the Mutual crew and abandons the battle like an easily distracted child yelling, "The movies, the movies have come to Pancho Villa."  The little contextualization comes from a commentary in the voice of the journalist John Reed.  At a later point, after stripping a hacendado of his property, Banderas states that his father could have entered the splendid hacienda only to beg for food.  Finally, in a swimming scene we see Banderas' whip-scarred back.   Viva Villa, on the other hand, creates an entire opening episode to show us Villa's father whipped to death for daring to ask a hacendado for respect while pleading to keep his land, and then the boy Pancho kills the majordomo who carried out the punishment.  By the time Beery rides into battle to play his own version of childlike games, we know who he is and why he is fighting—more than know it, we have seen the reasons in visual terms.  In ASPVH we hear explanations, mostly from the above-mentioned John Reed character, but see little in cinematic terms.   What both films do offer is a set of images to portray a Villa capable of cruel and deadly, childlike jokes, but Beery's have a sinister edge Banderas' never achieve, in part because the script limits his opportunities to try.  Both films feature Villa's encounter with executed corpses of his followers. Banderas orders two hanged bodies cut down and buried out of respect; Beery has some ten corpses posed, seated as a jury to hear the case of their killers, dialogues with them, asks them for their opinion, and only then takes revenge on their killers.  When Banderas commits his worst crime in killing the woman, the best explanation we get, again from Reed, is that national saviors sometimes tire of their burden.  Appropriately, Banderas' Villa commits this crime in a fit of passion, carried out quickly without thought.  Beery's is motivated by an earlier scene to give it narrative logic.  He carries it out slowly, considering the best way to make the pain extreme, prolonged, and individually tailored to his enemy's character, and then calmly enjoys his breakfast while the condemned man screams in the background.  

The most telling difference within similarity lies in the role of U.S. media in Villa's representation.  Both the reporter in Viva Villa and Frank Thayer who accompanies Banderas play central roles in representing Villa to the U.S. public, both convince him to fight a battle from a different direction to suit the their needs, and both reenter Villa's story at the hour of his death with which the films end.  In Viva Villa, the reporter is present when Villa is shot.  In response to Villa's request that he write about his death to make it more impressive, the reporter invents his last words, that include an apology for anything he did wrong.  Beery dies questioning aloud what he did wrong.  His question drifts over the film in response to the fictional representation.  In ASPVH, Banderas complains about the fictionalization that falsifies his life, but pragmatically accepts Thayer's rationale and plays it according to the script.  In the last scene, after Villa has been killed, Thayer is seen showing his film to Mexicans so they can remember Villa.  The white-washed Villa—quite literally painted white for a scene as President and thus more reminiscent of the former dictator Porfirio Diaz than himself—is the last image shown on the screen and the Mexican people give a standing applause to this white-faced Banderas pretending to be the president he never was.  The central focus of the scene, however, switches at that moment back to Thayer cranking the projector, just before a series of full color images reprised from Villa's happier days in the joyous Revolution fill our screen.   But they appear only after the camera has focused closely on Thayer's face, implying that the glimpse of the Real Villa are contained in Thayer's memory, like traces of left-over images that escaped the documentation process of symbolization, yet remain in the realm of the repressed Real.  

            The ultimate flaw in ASPVH, however, is in that despite its revisionist intentions, it faithfully follows the Great House, Americano paradigm.  This paradigmatic plot for Hollywood films set in Latin America features a maturation experience of a Usonian youth who upon being forced to travel to Latin America becomes a man by proving himself in a liminal rite of passage during a descent into an inferno of semi-primitive chaos that is resolved and organized by his effort.  It often involves a sexual conquest, the learning of the foreign culture, and the successful overcoming of personal challenges verging on life and death crises.

The opening episode, instead of personal background on Villa, provides it for the film project, and within this foundational act, Frank Thayer unmistakably emerges as its protagonist.  Plot focus slips back and forth between clusters of Mutual Film's CEOs (Harry Aitken, D.W. Griffith and Thayer) and a starlet.  The camera follows the Thayer character from one nucleus to the other, investing him with visual and narrative gravity.  In this opening scene Thayer plays a lackey, knowledgeable but ineffectual, at the beck and call of his superiors, a sort of super Best Boy at the service of his uncle, Harry Aitken, the head of Mutual Films, and D.W. Griffith, the famous director.  In the presence of the starlet he can barely speak, like an inexperienced adolescent.  He is sent to Mexico in Griffith's stead only because he is Aitken's nephew.  When Thayer, now the veteran of months of running a film crew amid the dangers of warfare and dealing with the unpredictable Villa, and the starlet meet again in Mexico, the young woman comments on how he has changed.  Soon they bed each other in a scene in which, as she points out, he is impressively ready to do a second take almost immediately.  A running motif in the film is Villa's comment on Thayer's testicular development that ultimately allows him to stand up to Villa himself, twice, and escape with his life.  He has mastered the challenges of both male and female objects of desire and come off well, admired for his prowess and potency:  quite literally he can stand up for himself when the situation demands it of him.   His crowing last act of personal ascendance, however, is selling his life-project—his Villa film—to the Mexican people themselves as the authentic memory of their assassinated revolutionary hero. 

As in a typical Hollywood Americano film—in which even good-intentioned, physically capable native heroes lack the organizational intellect to coordinate large-scale movement and continue them into successful social reformation—the country and its revolution can only be saved through the Americano's intervention in the form of organizing the chaotic action of the native revolutionary.  Without Thayer, the revolution might waste its effort in pointless violence and destruction.  The Villa campaign reflects this paradigmatic plot line.  As portrayed in ASPVH, the Revolution has no beginning or end and seems to lead into a repeating loop—as the character of the Jewish mercenary says near the end, from the vantage of 1923:  "Some revolution!  The new fuckers are the same as the old fuckers.  The big guys up here still control everything that's going on down there."  The last act of Villa's revolution that we witness, the one that forces Thayer to break with Villa, is a brutal slaying of an innocent woman that follows shortly upon the death of two other members of his army who have been invested with positive value and audience empathy.  In other words, when the film closes out Villa's participation in the 1914 project, he is moving towards self-destruction through attrition of his followers, a process that taken to its logical conclusion would leave him alone and back at a beginning we never saw.  But then ASPVH is Villa's but actually Thayer's story.  His character undergoes a process of development, change, and eventual definition in kunstlerroman fashion, becoming a successful artist on, we are led to believe, the basis of the experience we have seen him live in the film.  Villa, on the other hand, becomes more exposed, accumulates scenes, is allowed to confront enemies from local to international ones, is even shown confronting the workings of the media, but is still the contradictory character—admired leader cum unpredictable menace—that he was at the start.  When the pressure of battle squeezes the poles of his bipolarity into unbearable proximity, he explodes in one of those Lacanian eruptions of the Real that produce an indelible stain on the ordered surface of representation, a blotch impossible to reduce to discourse except as the inexplicable and hence unacceptable identity of its irreducible self:  Pancho Villa as unanswerable question/exclamation mark in the sea of signification (Žižek 15).

            At the end of the 1914 plot line, during the premier of the The Life of General Villa, Thayer is left to ponder Villa's Real actions, asking himself, "Why did he kill her? . . . . So coldly, so brutally.  It's as if he killed the whole revolution."  Perhaps he will never find the answer, but at least he must come to a resolution.  As John Reed tells him, "You'll find a way to live with yourself; you'll find a way to live with Pancho, too."  The road to understanding, as Žižek says, "consists in this capacity to reduce the organic whole of experience to an appendix to the "dead" symbolic classification" (51), but the proof of one's conclusion would be in the communal acceptance of the "truth" of that reduction.  Thayer's dilemma is that he finds no consolation in the acceptance of his reduction of Villa by the U.S. public.  He needs more, and his chance comes nine years later in the letter from Mexico that sets off the entire memory of the 1914 adventure.  With Villa's death, a gap opens in the historical memory, which the 1923 letter from Mexico, that forms the frame the central action, laments:  "How will the sons of Mexico remember our Pancho Villa?"  The question sets up the actual denouement, allowing Thayer to fill the gap with his film as surrogate desired object and himself as its source—the shot of Thayer reading the letter in his New York office fades into the next of Thayer cranking the projector in, we assume, Parral, Mexico.  He is showing his film to answer the question of how the Mexican people will remember Villa.  Thayer offers them a vision of an ideal figure to lead them towards their future well-being.  As the artist capable of translating the irreducible Real into crowd-pleasing, symbolic representation capable of moving upper-class sophisticates in New York or the common people in Mexico, Frank Thayer proves himself the hero of ASPVH.   A true Americano who saves the great house of the Mexican nation by providing a key building block in its collective memory.

We still, however, have not addressed the question of the attempt to contextualize the film in the requests from Latin America to come to its rescue—one missive for each temporal plot line, 1914 and 1923.  For argument sake, above I momentarily gave it the benefit of the doubt as a sincere effort to set up the post-colonial intervention as a response to a need expressed by the colonized desirous of aid.  Yet, once we have positioned ASPVH within Hollywood's Latin American paradigm, the invitation reveals itself as one of its oldest features. Villa's call for help from a U.S. film and the letter to Thayer implicitly requesting help to save Pancho Villa from oblivion are anticipated in a letter from the president of the mythical Latin American country of Paragonia requesting a mining engineer to save their failing economy in the archetype of the Americano subgenre into which most Pancho Villa films fall:  the D.W. Griffith supervised, Douglas Fairbank's 1916 hit, The Americano, filmed for Aitken's new Triangle Film Corporation, founded in 1915 when he and Griffith broke with Mutual over the making of The Birth of a Nation.  Through an intricate pattern of associations, The Americano and its elements can be considered part and parcel of the foundational acts of U.S. film industry.  In its reprising of the letter-of-invitation-for-a-U.S.-expert motif, ASPVH, far from breaking with the cannon of the colonizing tradition, reaffirms its persistence.

Aurelio de los Reyes wrote that Mutual Film's The Life of General Villa, "despite its good intentions . . . only offered an acceptable and pleasing view of the Caudillo.  The plot made no effort to comprehend Villismo as a social movement, what generated it, what it sought, etc."(61). Unfortunately, his remarks can be extended to subsequent remakes over the last ninety years, including ASPVH.  And in the latter case, this superficiality can hardly be attributed to ignorance, but does indicate that the presence of the top authorities, Katz and Orellana, does not guarantee that they will be fully utilized.  Here they represent a wasted opportunity at any serious historical revision.

ASPVH does teach an important lesson, however, one drawn from the cover copy and the film themselves:  truth, even of the post-colonialist ilk, can be both improbable and incredible.





Works Cited


The Americano.  John Ericson and Anita Loos, screenplay; John Emerson, director;

D.W.Griffith, supervisor.  Tri-Stone Pictures, 1916.

And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself.  Larry Gelbart, screenplay; Bruce Beresford,

director. Home Box Office, 2004.

Bruce-Novoa. "From Paragonia to Parador: Hollywood's Strategy for Saving Latin

America," Gestos, 6, 11 (Abril 1991); 175‑85.

_________. "The Hollywood Americano in Mexico," Mexico and the United States:

Intercultural Relations in the Humanities. San Antonio:  S.A.C., 1984; 18‑39.

de los Reyes, Aurelio.  Con Villa en México, Testimonios de Camarógrafos Norte

Americanos en la Revolución 1911-1916.  Mexico City:  Universidad Nacional

Autónoma de México, 1985.

_________.  El Cine y Sociedad en México, 1896-1930.  Mexico City:  Cinoteca

Nacional, 1981.    

Gelbart, Larry.  "Commentary on And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself," DVD edition,


Katz, Friedrich. The Life and Times of Pancho Villa.  Stanford:  Stanford University

Press, 1998.

_________.  The secret war in Mexico: Europe, the United States, and the Mexican

Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Orellana, Margarita de. La mirada circular: el cine norteamericano de la revolución

Mexicana 1911-1917.  México, D.F.: Joaquín Mortiz, 1991.

_________. Villa y Zapata: la Revolución Mexicana.  Madrid:  Sociedad Estatal para la

Ejecución de Programas del Quinto Centenario: Anaya, 1988.

Pettit. Arthur G.   Images of the Mexican American in fiction and film  College Station:  Texas

A & M U. Press, 1980

Viva Villa. Ben Hecht, screenplay; Jack Conway, director; David O Selznick, producer. 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1934.

Woll, Allen L.  The Latin Image in American film.  Los Angeles:  UCLA, 1977.

Žižek, Slavoj. Enjoy Your Symptom!: Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out. New York:

Routledge, 2001 (51)











an international and interdisciplinary journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image

Volume 2, March 2005, ISSN 1552-5112