El Rey de Rock 'n' Roll | Chicago Reader

El Rey de Rock 'n' Roll

Elvis impersonators are a dime a dozen, but Mexican-American musician Robert Lopez has found his niche as “El Vez,” whose variations on the King's hits include “You Ain't Nothin' but a Chihuahua.” Marjorie Chodorov's video documentary traces the evolution of the act, which began as a media stunt but developed into a vehicle for Lopez to address issues like imperialism, cultural stereotyping, and immigration policy (“Suspicious Minds” becomes “Immigration Time”). Sincere and self-effacing, Lopez hopes to raise the political consciousness of young people who might be intimidated by such thorny matters, but Chodorov undercuts this with commentary from pretentious academics who inflate the act's importance to absurd levels. Lopez may have noble intentions, but he's still jumping around in an Elvis costume and a Cantinflas mustache—and even he admits that he can't speak Spanish. 65 min.

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