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Picturing Argentina: Myths, Movies, and the Peronist Vision By Currie K. Thompson ...

Chapter 1:  Making Movies in Perón’s Argentina
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Picturing Argentina:

Chapter 1

Making Movies in
Perón’s Argentina

Studying social change through the optic of genre films is counterintuitive because it is their consistency that defines such movies as generic, and the degree to which they change has been the subject of debate. Linked to this paradox is the question of who determines movies’ content. As Rick Altman has explained, some scholars assert that “audiences are manipulated by … business and political interests,” whereas others “attribut[e] ultimate authorship to the audience,” whose interests the studios serve for a price (218). Typically, representatives of the first group consider film genres static, and those for whom audiences determine content believe they evolve.

Illustrative of the former position are Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, whose essay published toward the end of World War II compares mass culture to a concentration camp with invisible fences (120). For these authors, movie genres are stagnant: “Every film is a preview of the next, which promises yet again to unite the same heroic couple under the same exotic sun: anyone arriving late cannot tell whether he is watching the trailer or the real thing” (132). Although they recognize that previous