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

Haworth, C. (Speaker)

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
Held atMusic and the Moving Image IX
Event typeConference
Location, United States, New York
Degree of RecognitionInternational