BA Latin and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Hispanic Cinemas

Unit code SPLA20841
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course unit introduces students to a thematically led selection of films from Spain and Latin America from the 1970s to 2010. Exploring the reasons why in some cases we think about Hispanic Cinemas as being aesthetically and thematically linked, it offers a contextualisation and textual analysis of films in relation to a specific set of themes (e.g. history, memory, national identity, transnational filmmaking) and to the social contexts in which they were made. It pays attention to the specificities involved in studying screen cultures, approaches and productions from both Spain and Latin America .

Aims

  • Engage with core cultural, social and political issues in relation to moving images.
  • Develop knowledge of films from Spain and Latin America and their importance as cultural artefacts from the countries studied.
  • Develop an awareness of the intercultural issues and their representation in cultural production, in this case cinema. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

 

Syllabus

 

This is an indicative list of films and topics that might be covered on the course.

 

Week 1: Introduction

Weeks 2-4: History, memory and generations in Spain.

El espíritu de la colmena/The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973)

El espinazo del diablo/ The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001)

Vacas/Cows (Julio Medem, 1992)

 

Weeks 5-7: History, Memory and National Identities in Latin America

Fresa y chocolate/Strawberry and Chocolate (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea & Juan Carlos Tabío, 1993)

Y tu mamá también/And Your Mother Too (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)

No (Pablo Larraín, 2012) 

 

Weeks 8-10: Transnational Auteurs & Producers

Todo sobre mi madre/All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)

 

La niña santa/The Holy Girl (Lucrecia Martel, 2004)

También la lluvia/Even the Rain (Iciar Bollain, 2010)

 

Week 11: Revision Lecture

 

Teaching and learning methods

The core lectures will present the main themes and issues that relate to each section covered by the course and will introduce some of the key terms of filmic analysis. There will be an introductory lecture and then weekly lectures on each film. In seminars students will extend these discussions using focused readings and viewings to deepen their knowledge of individual texts and themes. Group analysis of scenes will form a large part of seminar activities and there will also be group presentations as part of the summative assessments presented in one of the seminars.  Seminar readings and activities will be posted on Blackboard in advance. All of the materials are available with English subtitles and the language of instruction is English.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand key themes approached by contemporary films from Spain and Latin America with a particular emphasis on national identities and their filmic representation.
  • Gain knowledge of the historical and cultural context of production. 
  • Comment on the social and political context of the films’ production.

Intellectual skills

  • Carry out formal analysis of film and understand technical terms involved in this analysis and the theoretical debates that relate to this analysis.
  • Relate the social context of films to their content and comment on key theoretical arguments involved in this analysis.
  • Synthesise diverse arguments and interpretations of the films studied.

Practical skills

  • Read, understand and discuss complex materials.
  • Develop an awareness of cultural difference and creative responses to this.
  • Work in groups.
  • Present ideas effectively in written and oral forms.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • To use teamwork skills.
  • To participate in groups discussions.
  • To demonstrate independent thinking and research.

In addition to the skills listed above students will also gain a familiarity with cultural and social issues relevant to Spain and Latin America which will are important for students who might work in these countries. Students will also develop an important awareness of intercultural issues, which are desirable to many employers. Students who take this course will be expected to produce written work and presentations of a high standard, skills which are considered essential by many employers including but not limited to:

Employability skills

Other
JOURNALISM AND MEDIA (familiarity with Spanish and Latin American social and historical contexts; greater command of Spanish and written English) TRANSLATION AND PUBLISHING (enhanced knowledge of the language; greater cultural awareness) BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (group work; organisation skills; critical thinking and problem-solving) ADVERTISING AND DESIGN (visual analysis) TOURISM AND TRAVEL (intercultural communication, historical knowledge, and cultural understanding) POLITICS AND POLICY-MAKING (awareness of history of political unrest; role of culture in our understanding of politics)

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative

Length

Weighting within unit (if summative)

Group presentation

Summative

10 minutes

10%

Assessed course work. Close analysis of selected scenes with contextualisation

Summative

2,000 words

40%

Exam

Summative

2 hours

50%

 

RE-SIT ASSESSMENT

Exam

2.5 hours

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Oral and written feedback on presentations.

formative and summative

Written feedback on assessed coursework.

summative

Individual consultations with teaching staff during office hours or by appointment.

formative

 

Recommended reading

Triana-Toribio, Nuria. 2003. Spanish National Cinema. Edited by Susan Hayward, National Cinemas. London: Routledge.

Stone, Rob. 2002. Spanish Cinema, Inside Film. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Dennison, Stephanie. 2013. Contemporary Hispanic Cinema: Interrogating the Transnational in Spanish and Latin American film.  London. Tamesis.

Elena, Alberto and Marina Díaz López. 2003. The Cinema of Latin America. London: Wallflower.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Christopher Perriam Unit coordinator

Additional notes

EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS 

In addition to the skills listed above students will also gain a familiarity with cultural and social issues relevant to Spain and Latin America which will are important for students who might work in these countries. Students will also develop an important awareness of intercultural issues, which are desirable to many employers. Students who take this course will be expected to produce written work and presentations of a high standard, skills which are considered essential by many employers including but not limited to:

 

JOURNALISM AND MEDIA (familiarity with Spanish and Latin American social and historical contexts; greater command of Spanish and written English)

 

TRANSLATION AND PUBLISHING (enhanced knowledge of the language; greater cultural awareness)

 

BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (group work; organisation skills; critical thinking and problem-solving)

 

ADVERTISING AND DESIGN (visual analysis)

 

TOURISM AND TRAVEL (intercultural communication, historical knowledge, and cultural understanding)

 

POLITICS AND POLICY-MAKING (awareness of history of political unrest; role of culture in our understanding of politics)

 

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