SPAN 63: Hispanic Film Studies
Film and the visual arts in Spain, Latin America, and/or the US will be studied under different approaches in order to: understand the historical evolution of film making within these contexts; examine the different film genres (surrealism, neorealism, melodrama, film noir, Hollywood realism, animation, documentary, etc.) in their Hispanic contexts; study the body of work of renowned Latino, Spanish, and Latin American filmmakers and visual artists; analyze important cultural or historical events through their visual representations (the Mexican Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the Cuban Revolution, end of Francoism, etc.); etc. Students will become familiar with relevant concepts in film analysis, film theory, and cultural studies and learn how issues of representation in the visual arts are linked to their literary counterparts. Spanish courses numbered 40 and above may be repeated for credit when offered as different topics. Prerequisite: SPAN 20.
In Summer 2020 - Spanish 63.09: Beyond Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll: Radical Latinxs in the 60's (taught in English).
The 1960s and 70s were a time of tremendous political and creative turmoil in the US in general and for Latinos in particular. Joining in the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Vietnam mobilization, Latinos also fought for their rights founding important political organizations such as the Raza Unida Party; MeCHA, the United Farm Workers, the Brown Berets, the Nuyorican Young Lords Party, among many others. Beyond traditional stereotypes of the 60s as the period of drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll, protesters and political activists were inordinately adept at creating and mobilizing artistic symbols, music, and literature to promote their agenda. We will study the creation of Aztlán as an imaginary Chicano homeland in the Southwest; works of individual Latino artists and writers; important journals (Con Safos, Chismearte, Arte del Varrio); organizations such as the Royal Chicano Air Force, Asco, Galería de la Raza, the Teatro Campesino, the Nuyorican Poets’ Café; national monuments such as Chicano Park; and exhibitions such as Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA; held at UCLA). Course to be conducted entirely in English. Dist. WCult: . Professor: Silvia Spitta.
In Fall 2020, Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 - Spanish 63.08: The Many Faces of Brazilian Cinema.
This course, directed to Spanish language students, aims to give a comprehensive vision of the richness and diversity of Brazil by introducing its culture and society through the study of Brazilian contemporary cinematic productions. Topics include: The Other’s gaze in Brazil, redefinition of national identity and history, reassessment of African and indigenous roots, concepts of good and evil, rural and urban violence, popular culture, and representations of race and gender. Class discussion also focuses on documentaries, reviews, and critical articles. The course is conducted in Spanish. All movies are shown in Portuguese with Spanish or English subtitles. This is the only Spanish/Portuguese cross-language course offered within the Department. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Professor: Rodolfo Franconi.
In Winter 2021
Spanish 63.07: Radical Women of Latin American Cinema (taught in English).
This course proposes to revise Latin American film historiography by foregrounding contributions by women filmmakers that challenge their audiences to radically rethink categories of politics, gender, race, body, sexuality, aesthetics, and spectatorship. In dialogue with narrative and documentary films, readings will question established definitions of feminist film theory by including a majority of voices from Latin American and Chicana, as well as third- and fourth-wave feminisms. Course to be conducted entirely in English. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Professor: Thomas Matusiak.
Spanish 63.11: Blood Cinema. Spanish Movies from 1926 to 2019.
In this course, we will watch and discuss some canonical Spanish movies that deal with the literal and metaphorical topic of blood. In fact, blood will work in this class as a constelation of intertwined themes: war, sacrifice, redeption, punishment, revange, family bonds, vitalist excess, (destructive) passion, sexual desire, Catholic rituals, birth, martyrhood, biopolitics and national identity. Through the lens of the symbol of blood, we will tackle some of the most important political events and cultural problems that have conditioned modern Spanish history. We will also analyse the aesthetic keys and genre characteristics of this heterogenous geneology of films. One important and constant paradox students will confront in these movies is the vacillation between experimental, inovative and looking-forward formal strategies, and regressive subject matters and primitive taboos. Brief essays and excerpts from books will be weekly assigned in order to help student properly contextualize the audivisual works listed in this syllabus, as well as their directors and historical significance. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Professor: Antonio Gómez.
In Spring 2021 - Spanish 63.01: Latin American Film.
In this survey of Latin American film we will study the Mexican Golden Age of film (1936-1969), Cuba’s revolutionary film (Lucia) as well as other radical films of the 60s (Sangre del condor), and women’s films. We will end looking at the most important production coming out of Latin America today such as the films of Francisco Lombardi, Claudia Llosa, Lucrecia Martel and others. We will also study important film manifestos. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Professor: Silvia Spitta.
In Winter 2022 - Spanish 63.10: Family Matters: Pedro Almodóvar, Gender Reversals, and New Communities.
Pedro Almodóvar Caballero, Spain's most internationally acclaimed and prize-winning filmmaker will be studied in this course for offering a rich counter-cultural filmography that is in deep dialogue with notions of freedom, creativity, contestation, and justice. Almodóvar's filmmaking, both in aesthetic and cultural terms, addresses issues which will appeal to students interested in understanding how culture, politics, and aesthetics get entangled in ways that “queer” gender identity, family structures, notions of community and the societal expectations and limitations surrounding them. The course will also compare his work with other contemporary filmmakers that have reconfigured in their films the boundaries of “family.” Dist.: ART; WCult: CI. Professor Annabel Martín.