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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Cynthia Steele
SPAN 334
Seattle Campus

Latin American Film

Overview of the history of Latin American cinema, including the new Latin American cinema of the 1960s; the development of strong film industries in Mexico, Cuba, and Brazil; and recent developments in the context of globalization and democratization. Prerequisite: either SPAN 301, SPAN 302, SPAN 303, SPAN 310, SPAN 314, SPAN 315, SPAN 316, or SPAN 330, any of which may be taken concurrently.

Class description

C LIT 315A / JSIS 480A / SPAN 334A The History of Mexican Cinema MTWTh 1:10-3:20 pm

The History of Mexican Cinema

Overview of the history of Mexican cinema, beginning with the influence of Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein and Russian immigrant director Arcady Boytler in the early 1930s, through the films of the Mexican Revolution of the mid 1930s, epitomized by Fernando de Fuentes; the culmination of national allegory and melodrama in the Golden Age of the 1940s, as epitomized by the films of Emilio El Indio Fernandez; Bunuel’s surrealist and documentary cinema of the 1950s, the New Cinema of the 1970s, women’s cinema in the 1980s, and the New Wave of the 1990s and beyond. While most Mexican directors of the Golden Age, including Fernando de Fuentes and Emilio Fernandez, construct a mythology of revolutionary nationalism, linked to essentialized gender and ethnicity, Luis Buñuel deconstructs these myths through the lens of modernization as underdevelopment. The best Mexican directors of the 1970s, including Arturo Ripstein, and those of the latest boom, including Alfonso Cuaron and Maria Novaro, interrogate changing definitions of gender, ethnicity, national and global citizenship. Students will do an oral presentation (in pairs), write one three- to four-page analytical essay, and take four quizzes. Those enrolled in the Spanish portion of the course should write and do at least half of their research in Spanish.

We will watch films on Instant Streaming on Mondays and Wednesdays and meet as a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Textbook: Andrea Noble, Mexican National Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-415-23010-1. Additional readings will be posted to our Catalyst web site. Films: Que Viva Mexico, La mujer del puerto/The Woman from the Port, Vamonos con Pancho Villa Let’s Go with Pancho Villa, Maria Candelaria, Salon Mexico, Los Olvidados, El lugar sin limites/Hell Has No Limits, Y tu mama tambien/And Your Momma Too, and Sin dejar huella/Without a Trace. The films are in Spanish with English subtitles and will be available on Instant Streaming.

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Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Cynthia Steele
Date: 04/17/2013