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Updated bibliography by Carina Meleca 4/10

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Bach, Caleb. "Maria Luis Bemberg Tells the Untold." Americas 46 (Mar/Apr 1994): 20.
Caleb's article tells the story of Maria Luisa Bemberg. Coming from an upper-class Argentinian family, Bemberg felt oppressed by the limitation of propriety imposed on upper-class young women and decided, at 56, to denounce the double standard that exists in society regarding men and women. She began her career as a screenwiter, and then she decided that "no man could understand what was happening with the new awareness of women," so she decided to start directing films herself (2). Her six films propose images of independent women who have the courage to protest and oppose the male-dominated society. Bemberg herself had to fight the oppression of the military regime that had the power in Argentina which curtailed the freedom of expression. Her movie Camila (1984) gained an Oscar nomination for best foreign film.
Bergmann, Emilie. "Abjection and Ambiguity: Lesbian Desire in Bemberg's "Yo, la peor de todas." Hispanisms and Homosexualities. Ed. Sylvia Molloy and Robert McKee Irwin. Durham: Duke UP, 1998.
Bergmann analyzes the homoerotic overtones of the film found in the relationship between Sor Juana and the Vicereine (Marquise de Lara).  The author emphasizes the failure of the film to represent a Juana who has lesbian desires apart from their expression in the poems dedicated to the Vicereine. Bergmann's argument contains valuable scene analyses, with commentary on the lighting and camera angles, as well as the soundtrack.
Burton-Carvajal, Julianne. "Introduction: Changing Gender Perspectives in Latin American Film." Journal of Film and Video 44. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1992-93): 3.
Burton's article is the introduction to a special issue of the Journal on Film and Video dedicated to Latin American cinema, which represents a review of the main names in this field and their increasing influence on international filmmaking. The films reviewed focus on gender as a category of cinematic discourse. Bemberg's name is mentioned in connection with her two movies, Camila and I, the Worst of All, and is included in the context of the discussion of Latin American film.
Carson, Diane, Linda Dittmar, and Janice R. Welsch, eds. Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1994.
The book contains different essays representing perspectives on issues such as feminist film theory, race and gender representations in cinema, the politics of film canons, male and female spectator positions, and different other issues pertaining to the representation of women in film. It is recommended to those who have experience in film and/or literary criticism.
Erens, Patricia, ed. Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1990.
Issues is a collection of critical essays on film that take into account feminist perspectives on movies today. It is recommended to those who already have training in reading and analyzing movies, as it contains "hard core" criticism that comments on different representations of women in cinema (lesbians included), as well as spectator issues.
Esquibel, Catriona Rueda. "Sor Juana and the Search for (Queer) and Cultural Heroes." With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians. Austin: U of Texas P, 2006. 66-90.
Esquibel attempts to define Sor Juana. She has been claimed to be a "literary foremother to the contemporary Mexicana, Chicana, and Latina writer"; however, her role in contemporary literature offers many contradictions. For instance, Esquibel argues that in one aspect, Sor Juana is a frontier feminist for both the Americas and Chicana feminist movements. In another aspect, becoming a nun in seventeenth-century New Spain afforded Sor Juana the luxuries of a privileged racial class and position, thereby downplaying her role in the feminist social revolution. Sor Juana's sexuality is another topic heavily discussed in the article. Esquibel draws from other popular culture mediums in her attempt to define what Sor Juana meant and still means to the literary world. Other works referenced in this chapter are Octavio Paz's biography of Sor Juana (specifically Alicia Gaspar de Alba's "interview" with Sor Juana), Estela Portillo's play Sor Juana (1983), Bemberg's film (1990), and Alicia Gaspar de Alba's short stories and novels about Sor Juana. Most of these works offer differing interpretations of Sor Juana as a historical and literary figure, thus leaving it up to the modern reader to discern her true character.
Gordon, Richard A. "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and the Retooling of a National Icon in Ave Maria (1999)." Cannibalizing the Colony: Cinematic Adaptations of Colonial Literature in Mexico and Brazil. West Lafayette: Purdue UP, 2009. 109-39.
This chapter parallels Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz with her filmic equivalent in Ave Maria, Maria Inez. Gordon claims that Eduardo Rossoff (Ave Maria's director) intentionally creates a "hybrid hero" out of Maria; she exemplifies a characteristic of "Mexicanness" while still alluding to the famous figure's religious writings. After a brief introduction, the chapter begins to construct Rossoff's dialogue in his script side-by-side with the biography of Sor Juana. More specifically, Gordon begins to look at Ave Maria's interaction with Sor Juana in creating the image of Sor Juana as a national icon. He goes on to claim that Rossoff reshapes Sor Juana's image and then explores some of the reasons Rossoff may have done so. The subsequent paragraphs explore "the ways in which the path leading to Maria's iconicity parallels the development of Sor Juana's own iconic status; the nature and complexity of the Mexican icon that Maria becomes; and, finally, some of the problematic implications of Rossoff's iconographic project."
Hart, Stephen M. "Yo, la peor de todas (I, The Worst of All, 1990), Directed by Maria Luisa Bermberg." A Companion to Latin American Film. New York: Tamesis, 2004. 138-44.
Hart presents a very brief article that gives a basic rundown of everything factually and analytically relevant to I, The Worst of All. The article gives a breakdown of the cast, crew, plot, an analytical overview discussing the pertinence of the twentieth-century interpretation of a seventeenth-century Mexican nun, the role of feminism in the film that parallels modern Argentinean struggles for women, and, finally, camera work and setting. Though spanning only four pages, this article could be useful in locating and recording a concise overview of the film, one that does not expand too greatly on critical interpretation but rather focuses on the facts.
King, John. Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America. London & New York: Verso, 1990.
King attempts the difficult task of reconstructing a history of Latin American cinema, analyzing its different currents, from the silent era until the present. He undertakes this in the hope to prove wrong the English-speaking film critics who consider worthy of discussion only the period after the 1950s in Latin American cinema, known as the "New Cinema." Proving that this cinema cannot be stereotyped and filed under the label "Third World Cinema," King analyzes unfolding and overlapping histories of film on the South American continent. As for the title, "the phrase 'magical reels' refers to two arguments that permeate the book. The first attempts to cut through the myths of utopia and distopia which have surrounded the continent since it was originally 'named' by conquistadores and chroniclers in the sixteenth century. If this study seeks to demystify, it also hopes to underscore the continual fascination with the medium that drove the film-makers to produce work against the odds" (5).
Pick, Zuzana M. "An Interview with Maria Luisa Bemberg." Journal of Film and Video 44. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1992-93): 76.
Bemberg asserts in this interview her desire to make films about women and to change the "uninteresting" representations of women in Latin American cinema (78). Generally presented as lacking agency and original thought, women are restricted to the erotic and the romantic realms in film. Bemberg intends to break the stereotype in Camila and I, the Worst of All, and concentrates on the energetic, dynamic side of these women, emphasizing their agency and their courage in opposing opression and denouncing abuse of authority. She recognizes in Juana "the first modern feminist writer" (78).
Ramirez, Susan E. "I, the Worst of All: The Literary Life of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz." Based on a True Story: Latin American History at the Movies. Ed. Donald F. Stevens. Wilmington: SR Books, 1997. 47-62.
The article summarizes the film, emphasizing how Bemberg follows Octavio Paz's book in depicting life in convent and the convent itself as the center of culture and learning, not only because it was a school for young girls, but because of the presence of Juana, who had veritable literary "salons," entertaining her friends in the locutory. Ramirez discusses how the film focuses on the fight for power between the church and the state, and how Juana was unknowingly caught in its web. She also comments on the issues that the film poses, such as homoeroticism, the reason why Juana entered the convent, and Juana's feminism.
Shaw, Deborah. "Representing Inequalities: The Voyage by Fernando Solanas and I, the Worst of All by Maria Luisa Bemberg." Contemporary Cinema of Latin America: Ten Key Films. New York: Continuum, 2003. 105-41.
Solanas and Bemberg both utilize their films to highlight specific political injustices, though each film has its own approach and focus. I, The Worst of All deals with gender roles and the historical role of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in the feminist movements, whereas The Voyage focuses on political and economic failures in Latin America. Though The Voyage is briefly annotated and contrasted with I, The Worst of All, the real focus of the article is the latter film. The chapter goes on to give a brief introduction to Sor Juana's life, followed by an even briefer contrast between the careers of Maria Luisa Bemberg and Sor Juana (both as struggling female artists attempting to gain creative control and legitimacy in a male-dominated medium). The film's motives and perspectives are then annotated; it is obvious that the film concentrates on Sor Juana's rebellion against the Catholic Church, though the historical evidence suggests that she also eventually conformed to the Catholic hierarchy. The article boils down the thesis to the film as follows: "to recognize and fight against misogyny and totalitarianism, and thus defend women's rights to have a central position with culture." In this sense, The Voyage's strength is I, The Worst of All's weakness and vice versa: Bemberg directs a feminist biography, representing inequalities in gender, and Solanas shows an economic struggle in Latin America, representing inequalities in gender and class.
Turner, Graeme. Film as Social Practice. New York: Routledge, 1988.
Turner's book is destined to familiarize the reader with the way movies are made and analyzed by critics. It is a useful book for those who are not used to "reading" film in a critical way, and it contains comments on film language, film narrative, audiences, and the impact of film on culture and ideology.
Williams, Bruce. "The Reflection of a Blind Gaze: Maria Luisa Bemberg, Filmmaker." A Woman's Gaze: Latin American Women Artists. Ed. Marjorie Agosin. New York; White Pine Press, 1998. 171-90.
The book details the contribution of Latin American women artists to the construction of female subjectivity and explores the traditions they all share. This is a group of artists who remained largely ignored and who create outside of the confines of consumerism. The essay dedicated to Maria Luisa Bemberg dwells on Bemberg's articulation of her own views on women, on her way of making women (and their inner lives) the protagonists of her films. Williams comments on how her movies are autobiographical to some extent, and most of them reflect the loneliness and alienation that a woman has to face when she tries to break free from the confines of patriarchy. The article also contains a short biography of Bemberg, along with an analysis of Camila.

See Also

Higginbotham, Virginia. "Fast Frames: Insights into Mexican, Latin American, and Brazilian Cinema." Latin American Research Review 40.3 (2005): 273-82.

Rollins, Peter C. The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past. New York: Columbia UP, 2003.

Online Resources

Cook, Samantha (updated by Rob Edelman). "Maria Luisa Bemberg." Film Reference. http://www.filmreference.com/Directors-Be-Bu/Bemberg-Maria-Luisa.html
Facts and brief analysis of Bemberg's career.
Latin America, Spain, and Portugal: Internet Resources http://www.lib.duke.edu/ias/latamer/internet.htm
From Duke University, this is a website that contains Latin American and Iberian links pertaining to cultural studies.
Latin American Film Page http://www.igc.org/jhess/LACHOME.html [Archived]
The Latin American Cinema Page was conceived to facilitate the search for information about Latin American cinema and other related topics. It also contains links to websites about Latin American cinema, film clubs, and magazines. These sites are in both Spanish and English.