Entertainment

Patricia Cardoso’s Status As the First Latina in the National Film Registry Is a Bittersweet Achievement for the Entertainment Industry

Many young girls, especially Latinas, have a vivid memory of where they were and what they were doing the first time they saw the film “Real Women Have Curves” on their television screens. The 2002 dramedy film centers around Ana García, an 18-year-old Mexican-American girl living in East Los Angeles who struggles to follow her dreams in the face of the economic uncertainty.

The film touches on hot-button issues like body image, discrimination, mother-daughter relationships, emotional abuse, and sexual liberation. For many Latinas who grew up watching a predominantly white media landscape, seeing America Ferrera in “Real Women Have Curves” was the first time they saw a character like themselves being reflected back to them on their TV screens.

In December, the Library of Congress announced that the movie was being added to the United States National Film Registry for its status as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” motion picture. 

The movie’s addition is notable because it marks the first time a Latina director, Patricia Cardoso, has been added to the archive since its creation in 1988. “The film is a remarkable snapshot of the community and working toward getting ahead as part of the American Dream,” said Steve Leggett, liaison specialist and program coordinator with the Library of Congress. “Plus, the talent and personality of America Ferrera in this film is irresistible and impossible to resist.”

At the Library of Congress’ announcement, Cardoso spoke on the bittersweet nature of her addition to this exclusive group of filmmakers. “I am thankful, it’s an honor and I don’t take it for granted. For me, being one of the first Latinx woman directors is very important,” Cardoso said. “But I would wish I wasn’t the first one. I wish there were many, many more before me and certainly hope there are many more coming behind me.” 

“Curves” has long garnered both popular and critical acclaim, winning the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award when it premiered in 2002 and subsequently being voted “one of the most influential movies of the 2000s” by Entertainment Weekly.

The movie was notable for how it broke many of the traditional Hollywood conventions that the industry had, for years, relied on to tell stories. The film’s protagonist was not a white man, she wasn’t conventionally beautiful by societal standards, and she didn’t live a glamorous or exciting life. 

“Curves” was celebrated for its accurate illustration of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships–especially involving teenage girls. It’s layered and affectionate depiction of East Los Angeles–and especially the Chicano community–was a spectacle audiences had never seen before.

In an industry in which women make up only 4 percent of directors are women, less than 1 percent of which are Latinas, Cardoso remains one of the few Latina filmmakers that have been recognized by mainstream critics. 

America Ferrera took to Instagram to explain the impact of the movie not only on her life, but the lives of countless other Latinos.  “I was 17 years old when this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came. This movie gave me a chance and gave me a career,” she said in an emotional Instagram post. “Because Latinos in this industry are busting their asses to create opportunity for one another, things are beginning to improve slowly, but there are still far too few opportunities for the talent in our community to shine.”

 “Our people deserve opportunities more often than once-in-a-lifetime,” Ferrera continued. “My deepest gratitude to every Latinx creative & executive in this industry busting down doors, and to our allies who understand the value of our stories. Thank you @librarycongress for this acknowledgment of a beautiful film.”

Naturally, fans of the film (many of which are Latina) took to Twitter to express their love of the movie and their gratitude for its recognition.

It’s true that important art doesn’t have to be acknowledged by large institutions to be culturally significant, but nonetheless, it is always satisfying to have one’s work recognized by others.

This Latina explained perfectly why the movie was important to her:

Not only was this movie ground-breaking in its day, but it continues to be today.

This fan couldn’t help but quote one of the movie’s most memorable scenes:

God, we love this part. We’ve all been there before.

This observant movie-goer had an interesting point about the movie’s impact on future filmmakers. 

We can definitely see the similarities between “Curves” and “Lady Bird”, another coming-of-age movie.

This person got candid about how this movie changed her life:

The power of on-screen representation can’t be overstated.

Jimmy Fallon Apologizes For Wearing Blackface In 2000 ‘SNL’ Sketch

Entertainment

Jimmy Fallon Apologizes For Wearing Blackface In 2000 ‘SNL’ Sketch

jimmyfallon / Instagram

Jimmy Fallon is the latest celebrity to face consequences from blackface clips resurfacing. The talk show host and comedian is facing backlash after a clip of him on “Saturday Night Live” impersonating Chris Rock in blackface resurfaced.

A 20-year-old clip of Jimmy Fallon in blackface on “SNL” impersonating Chris Rock.

The clip is circulating on social media and has sparked a debate over cancel culture and blackface in our society. The comedian is the latest in a line of prominent people that have had to apologize for offensive images of them in blackface resurfacing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and fellow comedian Sarah Silverman have also apologized publicly for moments of blackface in their past.

Fallon owned up to the incident and tweeted an apology.

People have come to Fallon’s defense since the video has resurfaced. One of those people is Jaime Foxx.

“He was doing an impression of Chris Rock. It wasn’t black face [sic],” Foxx commented on an E! News Instagram post. “We comedians, I know it’s a tough time right now. But this one is a stretch. On a show called ‘In Living Color’ we played every race. Let this one go. We got bigger fish to fry … #changecourse.”

The revelation of Fallon in blackface brought a clip of Jimmy Kimmel in blackface to light.

Fallon fans are calling on social media to give Kimmel a similar treatment because of his own example of blackface for comedic appeal. Kimmel’s blackface incident hasn’t caused as big of a reaction as Fallon’s.

Social media users are in a fierce debate over what Fallon’s fate should be in the time of cancel culture.

Blackface has a long and documented history of oppression in the United States. The practice of blackface dates back to the 1830s in the U.S. and it later caught on in Britain. Blackface was usually used in minstrel shows that would play on stereotypes of Black people and helped in the proliferation of racism and prejudice.

Some people are trying to make whiteface a thing but Twitter users are not having it.

Critics are quick to differentiate blackface from whiteface because of their historical context. While blackface has a direct link to racism, slavery, and Jim Crow, whiteface is different according to critics. Whiteface does not build itself on racism, oppression, and racial segregation.

What do you think about the Jimmy Fallon blackface clip?

READ: Bad Bunny Honored A Murdered Trans Woman During Jimmy Fallon In Simple And Powerful Way

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

gentefied / Instagram

Any and all news is welcomed right now and Netflix came through this week. “Gentefied” is coming back for a second season and this is absolutely not a drill. Soon we will be back in Boyle Heights with Ana, Chris, Erik, and the rest of the cast we have come to love so much.

Netflix has confirmed “Gentefied” for a second season.

The show is a fan favorite for Netflix with praise and love pouring in for the groundbreaking show. “Gentefied” is set in Boyle Heights and it is all about the fight against gentrification. The show premiered this year to big fanfare and excitement from Latino Netflix users. The show, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, was picked up for an eight-episode run of the 30-minute show.

The show is one of the most relevant portrayals of the Latino experience in the 21st century.

The show highlights the plight of gentrification on communities across the U.S. Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has been the center of growing tension as the neighborhood slowly gentrifies. Rising rents have forced some residents and businesses to close and leave because of the changing demographic in the neighborhood.

Hearts are full as everyone celebrates the news of a whole new season.

The show originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a digital series. Lemus and Chávez debuted the show and it was an instant hit with festival-goers. After three years of waiting, the show was released by Netflix and became a national hit. The show has shone a light on the cost of gentrification for more Americans than knew about it before the show aired.

Low key, it has made for perfect binge-watching during this quarantine.

There isn’t a whole lot any of us can do at the moment. Most of us are at home because of self-isolation and social distancing guidelines designed to save lives during the pandemic. Might as well us some of your time to watch and support and very important moment in our community. This kind of representation is something that Latinos have been asking for.

While excited, some fans want more, like a cross-over with Starz’s “Vida.”

Now, just to be clear, we are not concerned with what it takes to make this happen. Netflix and Starz can come up with the actual plan. We are just going to be here waiting to be heard so we can all have the kind of cross-over the world deserves. Just imagine a chance for those two shows to collide in Latino excellence.

Now we wait for an air date.

We are patient. We will be here when you are ready. All you have to do is let us know when to tune in and you know we are coming through.

READ: I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts