Wallowing in Latin Glamor: Inter-American Politics, Hollywood Film Music, and the 1940s Femme Fatale

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The cross-generic thriller The Leopard Man (d. Tourneur, 1943) exemplifies this complex relationship between cultural politics and musical representation through its repeated focus on Clo-Clo, a castanet dancer working the New Mexico nightclub circuit. The film’s appropriation of 'Latin' musical signifiers articulates its conflicting depictions of gendered, sexual, and ethnic identity, highlighted in Clo-Clo's virtuosic musicality and her dual positioning as seductive temptress and carefree Latina. Diegetic performance not only demonstrates Clo-Clo’s charismatic appeal, but is also used to justify her victimization at the hands of an emasculated and culturally imperialist murderer – an intensification of narrative tensions between ‘local’ and ‘tourist’ cultures that violently neutralizes the threat of the femme fatale.
Period31 May 2014
Event titleMusic and the Moving Image IX: Scoring for Film and Multi-Media
Event typeConference
LocationNew York City, United States, New YorkShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational