Re-making Frida Kahlo through music in Frida

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    The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that the film attempts to refashion both an "authentic" and an accessible Frida Kahlo for international consumption, and it will analyse the role of original compositions and pre-existing songs (with a focus on the latter) in this endeavour. It will consider the way that forms of representation in Frida have important implications for the on-going reconfiguration of U.S. identity, with a particular focus on the sizeable Latino population of the United States. This chapter will also explore the film's use of well known "Mexican" singers Chavela Vargas and Lila Downs, and analyse their specific function within the narrative. In addition, it will develop the idea of "altered listening", derived from Michael Chion's notion of "reduced listening" (1994: 24-30) in order to shed light on the ways that the film uses traditional Mexican songs and inserts them into specific fictional and, in many cases, misleading representations of Kahlo. The chapter will argue that music plays a key role in transforming a biographical Kahlo into Hayek's Frida, a character construct which downplays her political militancy, enhances her sexual allure, and parades while simultaneously erasing her lesbian identity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationScreening songs in Hispanic and Lusophone cinema
    EditorsL. Shaw, R. Stone
    Place of PublicationManchester
    PublisherManchester University Press
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)9780719083808
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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