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A Night Downtown

by Veronica Paredes

The splendid neon of Broadway in the 1950s is on display here. However, as Yvonne travels into a movie theater on her own, the flashing lights take on a melancholic tone. This street may seem to a celebration of the opulence of American consumerism, but it also acts as backdrop to experience the disappointment, alienation and loneliness of migration. The scenes from Main Street, ruled by masculine order, also show alienation, though manifested in a different way.

A Night Downtown in The Exiles

In this scene from The Exiles, divisions between feminine and masculine spaces are clearly demarcated. While Yvonne is dropped off on Broadway, to watch a movie and window shop, her husband and his male friends venture to Cafe Ritz, a bar on Third and Main.

from The Exiles (1961)
Creator: Kent Mackenzie
Distributor: The Criterion Collection
Posted by Veronica Paredes