Scene from the Movie Giant

Overview

A 14 year-old boy sits in the darkness of the Holiday Theater watching a scene of anti-Mexican racism in a Rock Hudson / Elizabeth Taylore movie. This scene, this memory, is at the heart of Scene from the Movie GIANT, a remarkable book-length poem in five parts by Tino Villanueva. Villanueva excavates the meaning of this scene and in doing so grapples with urgent questions of cultural identity.

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Overview

A 14 year-old boy sits in the darkness of the Holiday Theater watching a scene of anti-Mexican racism in a Rock Hudson / Elizabeth Taylore movie. This scene, this memory, is at the heart of Scene from the Movie GIANT, a remarkable book-length poem in five parts by Tino Villanueva. Villanueva excavates the meaning of this scene and in doing so grapples with urgent questions of cultural identity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Tino's poetry reclaims the identity of every Chicano who has ever sat in the back row. The most moving poetry I've read in years!" --Rudolfo Anaya

"With beauty and wisdom, he restores that sense of place within each of us, that territory within the soul so often stolen by acts of racism and hatred." --Ana Baca

"All poems declare one thing: my heart aches...Villanueva's exceptional poems are evidence of poetry's redemptive powers of forgiveness and the solace people achieve through the word." --Harvard Review

Library Journal
At first, the movie Giant 1956 might seem like a strange symbol on which to base an entire book of poetry. But Giant is a pop culture landmark, mainly because of the larger-than-life status of stars Rock Hudson, James Dean, and Elizabeth Taylor. For Latino poet Villanueva, Giant also serves as an archetype of Anglo treatment of Mexican Americans. The scene that obsesses him, from his 14th year onward, involves the expulsion of a Mexican American family from a hamburger joint owned by a crude racist. For Villanueva, the scene is replayed ``up and down the wide screen/ Of memory,'' revealing every ugly facet of racism and intolerance. Villanueva is a rare talent, able to combine art and politics into one powerful document where he is caught ``like a still photograph.'' Recommended for large collections.-- Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880684122
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 55
  • Sales rank: 1,333,713
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tino Villanueva (born December 11, 1941, San Marcos, Texas) is an American poet and writer.

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Table of Contents

Scene from the Movie Giant 11
The 8:00 O'Clock Movie 15
The Benedicts Up-Close 17
The Serving of Water 18
Claiming the Air 20
Text for a Vaquero: Flashback 21
The Existence of Sarge 25
On the Subject of Staying Whole 27
Stop-Action: Impression 28
Fallingrief of Unpleasure 29
Without a Prayer at the Holiday Theater 30
Fight Scene Beginning 33
Fight Scene, Part II 35
Fight Scene: Final Frames 37
Journey Home 41
Observer and Observed 43
Dusk with Dreaming 44
That Autumn 49
Fade-Out-Fade-In 50
The Slow Weight of Time 51
The Telling 52
Notes 55
About the author 57
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