A Marvel genius everyone should know about: Victoria Alonso.
Producing a total of 19 Marvel films, including “Doctor Strange,” Alonso talks about what it’s like to be a Latina in the Marvel universe. Check out this video to learn about her work ethic and the powerful advice she has for other Latinas in the workforce.
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.
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If you’ve ever visited Mexico, you know that copyright laws seem pretty lax. There are all kinds of Pokémon, Disney, and Cartoon Network inspired goods from piñatas to costumes in most mercados. The same can be said for tv ads. Takesabroso, a taquería in Veracruz, México, has jumped on the trend and created a stellar ad for their food using Thanos and his unknown twerking skills. Jorge Lajud produced a commercial for the taquería that artfully mashes up a scene of villain Thor from “Avengers: Endgame” and a montage of tacos and other Mexican food. Like any other art form, you have to see it to appreciate it.
The video has gone viral with over 5.5 million views thanks to it being posted on Twitter.
The commercial starts with a scene we’re all familiar with–the moment Thanos thinks he has all the Infinity Stones and offers a build-up to the moment he wipes out all of mankind. Spoiler: he doesn’t. Thanos says, “Yo soy inevitable,” snaps his fingers, and nothing happens.
Then, instead of the scene cutting to superhero Iron Man, we see Takesabroso owner, Luis Vazquez, dramatically saying, “Yo soy Takesabroso.”
He snaps his fingers and saves the day with a montage of Takesabroso’s menu items. In the bottom left-hand corner, supervillain Thanos seems to be happy with how terribly his plan failed and is twerking up against the lechón on screen.
Yup. Thanos is twerking to cumbia.
Fans are here for it. As video rolls on burritos, tacos, and rotating meat, Thanos just keeps on dancing cumbia in the corner. “It’s the twerking thanos that really tied it all together,” commented one fan.
It’s official. Thanos is now Thaños and is clearly invited to every carne asada.
That little tilde on the “n” goes a very long way in making Thanos a true dancing Latino icon.
Some folks are worried that Takesabroso isn’t going to get away with using Marvel footage.
Personally, we think Thaños is far more appealing than his evil twin, Thanos. Mexicans have basically responded to this tweet with pure laughter. “Marvel lawyers trying to stop a Mexican restaurant from stealing intellectual property? Good luck,” tweets one fan.
This has prompted a whole other thread about different ways folks have seen Mexican restaurants “give precisely zero f***s.”
One person seemingly well versed in copyright infringement tweeted their two cents, “Well it’s not illegal the clip used is not long enough to be considered plagiarism and its transformative enough to be fair use but Disney has sued for less and won lol.”
Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” was the final installment of the “Avengers” franchise and is the highest-grossing film of all time. The timing of the video is smart given that Disney released “Avengers: Endgame” on Blu-ray and DVD this week.
The rest of Latin America has also chimed in to share ways their countries don’t care about copyright.
“My fave: Harry Potter y el Orden del Taco,” read one reply. Nope, we’re voting for “Harry Potter y el trompo de pastor” for the win.
“In Mexico City, we have a place named “Tacos Goku” or also there’s “Tacos Megaman” the copyright is like a joke for them,” one Mexicano tweeted. Another said he ” remembered a tortilleria called “El Thor-tillero” on León, near the bus station (central camionera).”
This isn’t the first time Takesabroso has ventured into hilarious advertisements…
Takesabroso’s video editor in resident, Jorge Lajud, recast the restaurant owner in a scene from Venom and then had his form be overlayed by a Ricardo Milos dancing. Note the floating images of tacos and burgers floating around him. It’s pretty clear Vazquez is also absolutely delighted by these commercials.
Takesabroso has welcomed the wide response from folks and even dedicated a Facebook post to its fans. “Takesabroso not only seeks to bring flavor to your life, but it also seeks to bring joy to your heart,” Vazquez posted. “This meme is viral, thanks to all.”
The woman responsible for gifting the video to Twitter, which took it viral, is using her platform to promote non-profit RAICES Texas.
The Refugee Aid Project, commonly known as RAICES, is the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. It’s staffed with 130 attorneys, legal assistants and support staff whose sole job is to offer legal representation to immigrants at risk from America’s current immigration policies. In 2017, they closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client.