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SPAN2121 - Introduction to Latin American Cinema

Value: 0.5 course units
Dr Deborah Martin
Teaching structure:
one essay (40%); and one unseen two-hour written examination (60%).

Module Description:

This module will introduce students to a broad range of periods and styles in Latin American cinema, and to concepts in film theory. It will explore thematic questions of nationhood, politics, gender and sexuality, as well as questions specific to cinematic and visual representation.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:


  • Los olvidados (Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1950)
  • Chircales (Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva, Colombia, 1965-72)
  • Fresa y chocolate (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cuba 1993)
  • La estrategia del caracol (Sergio Cabrera, Colombia, 1993)
  • ¿Quién diablos es Juliette? (Carlos Marcovich, Cuba, 1997)
  • La ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, 2001)
  • Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico, 2001)
  • La teta asustada (Claudia Llosa, Peru, 2009)

Initial Secondary Bibliography

  • Bordwell, D. and K. Thompson. 2004. Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Hart, S. 2004. A Companion to Latin American Film. Woodbridge: Tamesis.
  • Hayward, S. 2000. Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. London & NY: Routledge.
  • King, J. 1990. Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America. London: Verso.
  • Lapsley, R. and M. Westlake. 1994. Film Theory: An Introduction. Manchester: MUP.
  • Monaco, J. 2000. How to Read a Film. Oxford: OUP.
  • Noriega, C.A. (ed). 2000. Visible Nations: Latin American Cinema and Video. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Shaw, D. 2003. Contemporary Cinema of Latin America: Ten Key Films. New York: Continuum.