Film Studies


SPANG001 - Spanish Film

Value: 30 credits
Dr Jo Evans
Assessment: One 6,000 word essay

Module Description:

With the exception of its most infamous exile, Luis Buñuel, Spanish film was generally ignored until Almodóvar seduced the international market with his idiosyncratic brand of post-Regime licence. The phenomenal success of his films and production company, El deseo, attracted the attention of Hollywood stars and producers, and helped spark an interest in all things ‘made in Spain’ (particularly Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz). In this module we will look at the stereotypes, and trace the development of this late twentieth century phenomenon.

The films screened for close analysis will be available with English subtitles, but there will be in an introductory session with clips from those that are not, so that we can look at the origins of the stereotypes as well as the topics and motifs that recur: Surrealism and the Spanish esperpento; the ‘Black Legend’ and the ‘Two Spains’; the traditions of the Spanish Honour Code and sacrificial femininity; the mythologies of the Franco Regime (military crusade, censorship and the españolada), and the metaphors of opposition film. We will also look at the major political changes and their effects on the film industry, concentrating (according to the availability of films) on the period just prior to the death of Franco and beyond, and looking at the end of the Dictatorship; the Transition to democracy, and the increasing globalisation of the industry.