Film syllabi in Spanish

I must work out my ideas for a different kind of film course than I have given in the past.

Ideally the course will work at two levels. Some students will be working on grammar and vocabulary through film, and others will be doing senior-type work.

How to choose the films? Are they: the ones we have streaming from the library [we choose that way], supplemented with my favorite films? We could use the streaming ones as viewing outside of class, and supplement in class with other films. For example, Nana is in the library; we could group it with Zona Sur and other films about domestic workers. (This suggests organizing the course by thematic units.)

Another obvious thematic unit is the guerra sucia — I say this because La historia oficial is in the library and it is a film about which there are many pedagogical materials focusing on language and vocabulary.

Perhaps I could have:
1/ An introduction to cinema studies, and one film a week that we see together.
2/ Two films to choose from for homework, one that has pedagogical materials for grammar and vocabulary, and one that does not.
3/ A final paper or project that, depending on the level of the student, either does or does not depend upon films that have subtitles.
4/ Instead of one overarching theme, some thematic units.

Here is one syllabus, an introduction to film as given in Argentina, with bibliography.

Please comment! This post will grow and change.




Filed under Cinearte, Questions, Working

8 responses to “Film syllabi in Spanish

  1. Z

    Las 5 películas en español que más les gusten. Go. Your five favorite films in Spanish. Las primeras que me vienen a la mente (otro día estaré de otro humor) son seis.

    El espinazo del diablo.
    Fresa y chocolate.
    La teta asustada.
    Memorias de la luz.
    Zona sur.

    This list is made by me as I try to figure out what films to teach an undergraduate class that is about film and is not one of those courses that just develop language through film, but may have some students in it who could use work at that level … and other students who need work at another level.

    I am trying to go for the right pitch in terms of level, and to consider a number of other factors having to do with possible course focus. To limber up my mind I am thinking of films I enjoy thinking about and that might be interesting for students at this level.

    ¿Qué películas les gustan a ustedes?
    LikeShow more reactions
    Christopher Matthew Fontenot
    Christopher Matthew Fontenot Y Tu Mama Tambien……muy divertida y interesante!
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 13 hrs
    Leslie Bary
    Leslie Bary Me encanta. Va a la lista
    Like · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs
    John Mraz
    John Mraz Leslie Bary See the article on Tu mamá by Ryan Long and Hester ?
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 47 mins
    Leslie Bary
    Leslie Bary John Mraz Gracias ! ! !
    Like · Reply · Just now
    Leslie Bary
    Write a reply…

    Rei Terada
    Rei Terada I taught *Aventurera” in a melodrama course and people really enjoyed it…
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs
    Greg Schelonka
    Greg Schelonka My students have liked Maluala and Vámonos con Pancho Villa. Not in Spanish, but my students are mixed about the Brazilian film, The Man of the Year (O homem do ano). One student, in class, said it was the best film I showed them (and they also watched…See More
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs
    Evan Klein
    Evan Klein Y tu mamá también , Doña Herlinda y su hijo, Doña Flor y sus dos maridos, any María Félix film, and special mention to any episode of Destinos.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs
    Amélie Desormeaux
    Amélie Desormeaux Compramos la teta asustada en el mercado acá en Ollantaytambo pero no funciona:(((
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs
    Leslie Bary
    Leslie Bary Versión pirata mal hecha, Amélie Desormeaux!
    Like · Reply · Just now
    Leslie Bary
    Write a reply…

    John Mraz
    John Mraz Cubanas: “Memorias del subdesarrollo” (la mejor peli del mundo) y “De cierta manera” (de Sara Gómez). Mexicanas: “El compadre Mendoza” y “¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa!” (las dos ya con muy buenas reproducciones hechas en 2010). ARgentina: “La historia oficial”.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 57 mins
    John Mraz
    John Mraz Also, Jorge Fons, “Rojo amanecer”.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 46 mins
    John Mraz
    John Mraz Show “Rojo amanecer” and link it to reading “Por un cine imperfecto”. It’s the best example of how to make cheap and progressive cinema.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 45 mins
    Leslie Bary
    Leslie Bary Gracias, John Mraz, me estás afirmando los instintos.
    Like · Reply · Just now

  2. Z

    “Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios”

  3. Z

    Best introduction to film in Spanish? How about this?

    Zavala, L. (2015). Posibilidades del Análisis
    cinematográfico. México: Editorial FOEM.
    LikeShow more reactions
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado Too semiotic
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 14 hrs
    Leslie Bary
    Leslie Bary Any ideas, Ignacio Sanchez Prado? There are many advanced and specialized books in Spanish and English, and a couple of textbooks for language development through film, but I am looking for something to support an introduction to film studies in Spanish.
    Like · Reply · 14 hrs
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado They are actually no good options in Spanish. Probably the better one is Ismail Xavier’s “El discurso cinematográfico” for theory and Roman Gubern’s Historia del cine for history.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado With the caveat that nothing available in Spanish speaks of the film studies field as understood in the US because such film does not exist as such in Spanish-language countries
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs
    Leslie Bary
    Leslie Bary Ignacio Sanchez Prado How is film studies understood in US, what should I be looking at? I am out of field here, have only taken a couple of film courses in French, and beyond that just run film series in Spanish and taught one course once on cinema novo / nuevo cine. All I know, I feel, is some early Soviet theory on the camera eye — !
    Like · Reply · 41 mins
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado In the United States it has evolved into a series of interdisciplinary programs at the intersection of various fields, but identified as a field unto itself, that uses the various methodologies. In Latin America, it still is spread out across disciplines such as communication, literary studies and history, and those approaches do not dialogue much with each other.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 39 mins
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado
    Ignacio Sanchez Prado AS a result, in English you will find many introductory books on film studies geared to students and scholars in that identifiable interdisciplinary field while in Latin America you will find either books by filmmakers themselves which in my view are historical documents about cinema at a given point in time, and not what you are looking for (I am thinking people like Getino or García Espinosa or Sanjinés), or books by scholars that are very much within the confines of their discipline (like zavala) which are also summarily dismissed by people in other disciplines.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 37 mins
    Leslie Bary
    Leslie Bary Ignacio Sanchez Prado Yes, I see what you mean. And actually, it means I could just use one of the books in English, if I really feel I need to make that bow toward the idea of teaching film as such. Or the textbook for English speakers Rebecca Haidt mentions below. Your points are very helpful
    Like · Reply · Just now
    Leslie Bary
    Write a reply…

    Rebecca Haidt
    Rebecca Haidt Then you want this:…/dp/0340807458
    Spanish Cinema: A Student’s Guide (Hodder Arnold Publication)
    Unlike · Reply · Remove Preview · 1 · 4 hrs
    Rebecca Haidt
    Rebecca Haidt Also: Textos y manifiestos del cine for source texts
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs
    Leslie Bary
    Write a reply…

    John Mraz
    John Mraz Lauro Zavala is a moron. I would certainly not use his book. Mucho mejor, “Dialéctica del espectador” de Tomás Gutiérrez Alea o “Una imagen recorre el mundo” de Julio García Espinosa, which has the key reading “Por un cine imperfecto”.

  4. Z

    Someone recommended Viva Cuba (2005)

  5. Z

    I have also been tempted to develop a course inspired in this article.

    The Screenplay in the Archive: Screenwriting, New Cinemas, and the Latin American Boom
    Jerónimo Arellano
    Revista Hispánica Moderna
    Volume 69, Number 2, December 2016
    pp. 113-132 | 10.1353/rhm.2016.0010


    Widely known for their novels and short fiction, the writers of the Latin American Boom were also prolific screenwriters. This aspect of the Boom has been largely neglected in literary criticism, and in fact many unproduced and unpublished screenplays written by these authors remain virtually unread. Focusing on two unproduced screenplays that are part of this vast corpus, this article proposes a systematic and comparative analysis of “the screenplay of the Boom,” a textual form grounded in a transmedia poetics that reworks central concerns developed in the terrain of literary fiction within the realm of screenwriting. An analysis of these screenplays prompts us to consider that the Boom may represent a significant moment in the cultural history of Latin American screenwriting and invites us to reconsider this term in relation to alternative notions of authorship and textuality.

  6. Z

    Oh, and “Una noche” (about escape from Cuba — Brittany)

    Amores Perros
    La Ley De Herodes
    El Abrazo De La Serpiente
    Relatos Salvajes

  7. Z


    “La Cienaga” (Lucrecia Martel)
    “La pared de las palabras” (Fernando Perez)
    “Luz silenciosa” o “Post Tenebras Lux” (Carlos Reygadas)
    “Asi es la vida” (Arturo Ripstein)
    “El premio” (Paula Markovitch)

  8. Z

    Guillermo: Buuu a “Relatos Salvajes”, pesar de estar profesionalmente hecha, es un film eticamente peligroso (la apologia a la violencia y la idiosincracia de la clase media acomodada de Buenos Aires terminan siendo denostables…)

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