The Sound of Silence: The corrido as Counterculture in Felipe Cazals’ Canoa

Leen, Catherine (2014) The Sound of Silence: The corrido as Counterculture in Felipe Cazals’ Canoa. Modern Languages Open, 1 (2). pp. 1-16. ISSN 2052-5397

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As a national film industry emerged at the turn of the twentieth century in Mexico, filmmakers were quick to capitalise on the huge popularity of traditional music.1 Decades later, the soundtrack to the tumultuous events in Mexico in the late 1960s and 1970s continued to reference traditional music, but it also increasingly looked to global youth culture. Songs by U.S. or local rock musicians became a notable feature of films produced in Mexico at this time, with rock music often functioning as a shorthand that differentiated a hip, younger generation from their conservative elders. This article is concerned with Felipe Cazals’ Canoa (1975), which centres on the clash between the youth of the 1960s and an older, repressive, generation, yet it uses traditional Mexican music, particularly the ballad known as the corrido, rather than a more contemporary rock or pop soundtrack. Cazals’ formal experiments in this film have attracted much critical commentary, as will be discussed later, but his use of music to critique a repressive government and call into question an idyllic representation of the nation has received little attention. This article will consider Cazals’ unconventional use of music in this and other films to provide a radical alternative to the formulaic use of music in earlier Mexican films and to suggest how music can be much more than an accompaniment to images and dialogue.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Corrido; Counterculture; Felipe Cazals; Canoa; Music; Mexico;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > Spanish
Item ID: 6025
Depositing User: Catherine Leen
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2015 15:37
Journal or Publication Title: Modern Languages Open
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Refereed: Yes

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