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The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Blue Beetle bringing Hispanic representation to the screen

A film with surprising connections to Cal State LA
The Blue Beetle movie poster. Photo from Warner Bros. Pictures.

Ditching the stereotypes that Hollywood has exhausted for many years, DC’s latest movie “Blue Beetle,” shows major Chicano representation emphasizing the importance of family and culture. 


Monica Tamayo is a Cal State LA journalism alumna, lecturer and producer of the podcast “Lone Lobos,” hosted by Marideuña and Jacob Bertrand. Tamayo expressed her initial thoughts on the film and the importance of representation. 


“The film pushes the family message for Latinos,” Tamayo said. Family is a big thing.”


The film brings familiarity with the Chicano culture and the significance of family in the Mexican American household. It is a reminder to always remember your roots. It shows the authenticity of the Mexican American home, and viewers can also hear it through the music, with familiar tunes typically heard at carne asadas and parties. 


“A film by Latinos for Latinos,” said Monica Tamayo, Cal State LA Alumni 


The opening scene starts with the tune, “Atrevete-Te-Te,” by Calle 13. Played by Xolo Marideuña, Jaime Reyes is a recent college graduate who finds himself becoming the superhero, “the Blue Beetle.” 


His family is a typical Mexican American family, made of hard workers and dreamers. There is a significant social divide between the rich and the working class. However, it brings on a certain familiarity and cultural pivot for many.  


Despite being unable to promote the film due to ongoing Hollywood strikes, those around Marideuña have celebrated him in support, including his father, Omar G. Ramirez, a Chicano studies professor at Cal State LA. 


Ramirez is a Los Angeles native and has lectured at Cal State LA for about six years. Ramirez dedicates himself to helping others. He has worked with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational (MALDEF), which focuses on youth development and leadership programs in the arts. 


“I’ve worked in the past for many years in state prisons, teaching art, providing practices and facilitating workshops.” Ramirez said.


Ramirez noted how the Blue Beetle provides “a larger scope of experience” and stars a diverse cast of Latinos from different regions. He highlighted the complexity of each character’s experiences. 


“Everybody’s story is very complex and it’s not always what it appears to be,” he said.


Marideuña’s mother, Carmelita Ramirez, has lived in Los Angeles for over 32 years and serves as executive director of the Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory. This nonprofit organization focuses on career development for black and brown communities in the arts, such as film, television, podcasting, and photography. She believes that the Blue Beetle is “a focus on family” that is unlike any other superhero film. 


“Blue Beetle is really about community, a family that comes together in support of their burgeoning superhero,” Carmelita Said. 


The Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory has hosted multiple screenings of the movie for its community, in order to support the film.

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Christiane Rios, Multimedia Reporter
Christiane Rios is a multimedia reporter for the University Times (UT). She has experience with poetry and concert photography. She's also feminist, vegan and musician. When she's not writing for the UT she's either playing her bass or working out. Christiane is also a punk singer and enjoys singing against the patriarchy.

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