Four Latinx film critics: Claudia Puig, Vanessa Erazo, Monica Castillo, and Manuel Betancourt sat down with Latino USA to talk about what it means to be a film critic, what they see their role should be as Hollywood aims to embrace more diversity, and the politics of popular film rating system, Rotten Tomatoes.
The film "Roma" has been groundbreaking in many ways—it's one of the rare foreign language films to be nominated for Best Picture and its star Yalitza Aparicio is the first indigenous, Latina woman to be nominated for Best Actress. But Roma, which was produced by Netflix, is just the latest in a long legacy of Hollywood films which were made in Mexico. Former publicist Luis Reyes traces that history in his book "Made in Mexico: Hollywood South of the Border." Reyes goes all the way back to when Hollywood sent a camera to film Pancho Villa out on the battlefield during the Mexican Revolution and up until films like "Titanic" and "Shape of Water."
In recent weeks, Venezuela has been in the spotlight as two men, Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó, assert their claims to the presidency amidst political and economic crisis. Many are watching the situation with growing anxiety, including a Venezuelan father and son. José Eduardo Vargas is a 28 year-old journalist living in Venezuela. His father, Ernesto Solo, is a filmmaker and art director who currently lives in New York City. He's also getting ready for a trip home to see his family. In this episode of Latino USA, father and son speak by phone about their memories, fears, and hopes for Venezuela.
Latino USA kicks off our coverage of the 2020 presidential elections with a conversation with Julián Castro, one of the first to declare candidacy. The Texas Democrat was the former mayor of San Antonio, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama and in 2016, he was on the short list of possible vice-presidential candidates for Hillary Clinton. Now, he believes that his time has come. Maria Hinojosa talks to Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro about his vision for the country and how he plans to stand out in a crowded Democratic field.
It's almost Valentine's Day, and we couldn't help ourselves. Latino USA is bringing you a love story of student activism. We're taking you back to 1968, when thousands of students participated in a series of protests that helped spark the Chicano Movement, historically known as the East L.A. Walkouts. It's also when high school sweethearts and student organizers Bobby Verdugo and Yoli Ríos danced to a Thee Midniters song and fell in love.
If there is a Ranchera Royal family, that is the Aguilar family. And Angela Aguilar is the youngest heir. Her father, Pepe Aguilar, has sold over 12 million albums worldwide and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And her grandfather, Antonio Aguilar, recorded more than 150 albums which sold more than 25 million copies. Now it's Angela's time. She is nominated for a Grammy for best regional Mexican album with her album "Primero Soy Mexicana". Angela talks to Maria Hinojosa about being 15, singing on stage for the first time at the age of 3, and how she uses social media.