Gendered figure lighting, artifice, and realism in Rosaura a las diez

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This article examines how, in Rosaura a las diez (Mario Soffici, 1958)—made as the Argentine studio system production model was in a crisis that would prove terminal—the productive tension between classical conventions of genre and gendered figure lighting is used to visually enact a shift in the representation of the title character from a female object of male gazes to a socially situated migrant who inhabits the social margins of a modern, complex Buenos Aires. The film’s plot employs multiple focalizers who retell the story, resulting in events being narrated several times, each of which expresses through its mise-en-scène the intense emotions and desires of each narrator-focalizer toward Rosaura, generating contradictions that are eventually resolved by a final sequence focalized by the title character. In this way, the film takes part in a wider, though partial, shift in Argentine cinema away from the classical conventions that privileged escapist spectacle, to instead propose an epistemological regrounding after the earlier conflicting subjectivities had undermined the usual credibility of the filmic image, and points toward the concerns with the social margins of the more independently produced cinema to come, known as the nuevo cine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-103
Number of pages20
JournalStudies in Latin American Popular Culture
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the University of Texas Press


  • Argentine cinema
  • Cinema lighting
  • Cinema narration
  • Gender
  • Mario Soffici

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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