Latin American Global Cinema

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HISP 192

Latin American Global Cinema

T-F 12:30-2pm

Professor Fernando J. Rosenberg

Office hours T-F 2-3pm, or by appointment

Shiffman 109
Course Description
Part of the very active film production of Latin America has gone global. While certain films do not appear to aim at international audience, certain others purposefully pursue a ‘global’ market—although often limited to distribution in Europe and the United States. Former nationally-based industries have found a new life through international financing, and nationally-identified films are shot with an international cast, in different languages, and simultaneously geared to various local audiences. Additionally, Latin American film directors and performers have been incorporated into the powerful American cultural industry, in which they translate their experience and their cinematic language for a broader audience. ‘Traditional’ topics like cultural identity are refashioned for international consumption, and local issues are dramatized as already crisscrossed by global flows of which the films themselves partake. These new forms of circulation (at the level of financing, production, and final product) inform both the experience of making and the experience of watching films. We will look at films with these problems in mind. In addition, we will make reference to previous ways in which Latin American film production acquired international transcendence or scope (the so-called Golden Age of Mexican cinema, the 1960s ‘new cinema’ movement, etc).
Three short papers (take home exams), 40% of the final grade (4-5 pages long). Students will answer analytical questions about assigned essays, films, and class discussion.

One term (research) paper 30% (7-8 pages long). Deadline May 7

Oral Presentation 10% (5 minutes presentation of a critical article of a particular film, summary and analysis of suggested films not watched by the whole class; or analysis of one segment of the film discussed in class)

Class participation, quizzes, Latte pre-class forum discussions or homework 20%
98 -100 = A+ 78 - 79 = C+ 59 and bellow = F

94 - 97 = A 74 - 77 = C

90 - 93 = A- 70 - 73 = C-

88 - 89 = B+ 68 - 69 = D+

84 - 87 = B 64 - 67 = D

80 - 83 = B- 60 - 63 = D-

Class objectives

-To understand how images travel across borders and how the image of Latin America is constructed through film and what kind of global projections are at stake

-We will study the visual market of film production and circulation (national film industries, transnational co-productions, festival and commercial exhibition, etc.) and understand how films are commercially packaged, in order to critically open up the film’s self-containment

-Student will be introduced to different film genres and styles (documentary, historical period pieces, melodrama, musical, animation, biopic, road-movie, science fiction, pscyhcological thriller, etc) and inquire in every case how is this genre or style mobilized for telling stories about Latin America

-Students will become familiar with film criticism by reading articles and discussing these perspectives in class (oral presentations, pre-class forums)

-The class will introduce basic film techniques and vocabulary, while training students in a form of historically and culturally aware visual literacy (through the intensive study of particular film scenes)

-The class will inevitably touch upon different moments of Latin American history (such as the Mexican Revolution, the Cuban revolution, dictatorship, democratic transition, etc.) with which students will get acquainted in preparation for class discussions
Participation in class

This course is a seminar—it assumes your active involvement at different levels. Classes are organized around discussions and exercises that presuppose that the student has read all of the assigned material. Participation in class is not only expected, it constitutes a substantial part of the final grade. In case of absence, the student is entirely responsible for all of the material covered in class.

We will discuss films and some essays. The films are available to you on reserve and through Latte. Needless to say, it is your responsibility to watch the film before class. I recommend that students see each film at least twice. It is a good idea to take notes while watching: from plot summaries and names of the characters, to different elements such as compelling dialogues, observations about scenery, viewpoint of the camera, etc. That material might be useful in thinking about the film, writing about it, discussing it in class.
Writing assignments
Papers are due at the beginning of the class. Late papers are not accepted, unless there is a documented hardship. Electronic submission is accepted only with my previous authorization.

The format for the writing assignments should be double spaced, 1” margins, font 12 Times New Roman.

Absence Policy

Unexcused absences will affect your grade. For every 2 absences your grade will be diminished by one step (for example, from B to B-), until a maximum of 5 absences, for which you will receive a failing grade in the class. Three tardies equal one absence. Only documented hardships (such as a medical condition) count as excusable absences.

Tardiness will count as half an absence each.
Recommended readings and very important websites

Film Art. An Introduction. David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson. McGraw-Hill, various editions.

This is a great searchable magazine for film reviews and articles

A dictionary of film studies, by Annette Kuhn (online access through library)
From the Yale Film Studies film analysis website

Film glossaries
You will inevitably bump into the following site when you search the internet. This encyclopedia is useful for basic information about particular films

12 de enero

Primera parte: Performing ‘Latin’ and the Hollywood consensus. Heroínas héroes, e íconos latinoamericanos en el mercado global.

Bananas is my business de Helena Soldberg

16 Realismo mágico y proyecciones nacionales

Como agua para el chocolate de Alfonso Arau

19 Héroes latinoamericanos globales (nostalgia y revolución)

Frida, de Julie Taymor

23 Iconos latinoamericanos globales (nostalgia y revolución).

Ver Neruda, de Pablo Larraín

[Films sugeridos: Evita, de Alan Parker; Diarios de motocicleta, de Walter Salles]

26 seguimos discutiendo….y

presentaciones orales

30 Amores en tránsito

ver Chico y Rita, de Fernando Trueba

[sugeridos: Buena Vista Social Club, de Win Wenders; Fresa y Chocolate, de Tomás Gutierrez Aléa]
2 de febrero

Amores en tránsito. Ver Y tu mama también, de Alfonso Cuarón

6 Seguimos discutiendo. Presentaciones orales

9 Ciudad global: Mercado y caída (boom and bust)

Nueve reinas, de Fabián Bielinsky

13 Ciudad global: violencia, vulnerabilidad. Ver 7 cajas de Juan Carlos Maneglia

[sugerido: Cidade de Deus, de Fernando Meirelles; Amores Perros de González Iñarritu]
16 Ciudad global: violencia y vigilancia. Ver Tropa de Elite, de José Padilha


27 seguimos discutiendo….

Presentaciones orales.

Leer “Planet of the Slums,” de Mike Davis
2 de marzo

Postcolonialismo, pos-occidentalismo, otras epistemes

Ver El abrazo de la serpiente, de Ciro Guerra

[sugerido: At play in the field of the lords, de Hector Babenco; Aguirre, the Wrath of God, de Werner Herzog; También la lluvia, de Iciar Bollain]

6 Ver Alamar, de Pedro González Rubio

9 Seguimos discutiendo y….

Presentaciones orales

13 Migraciones, bordes, y sujetos en tránsito

Ver Terra estrangeira, de Walter Salles

16 Otros bordes. Martín Hache de Adolfo Aristarain

20 Babel. Directed by Alfonso Gonzalez Iñarritu

[sugeridas: 21 grams, de Alfonso Gonzalez Iñarritu]

23 Señorita Extraviada de Lourdes Portillo, o Quién es Dayani Cristal? de Mark Silver

27 Cruzando bordes. Trabajo-cuerpo y vidas desechables

Ver María Full of Grace de Joshua Marston


10 de abril

Directoras emergentes: Lucrecia Martel. Ver La ciénaga [otras películas: La niña santa; Una mujer sin cabeza]

13 Directoras emergentes: Lucrecia Martel. Ver La niña santa o Una mujer sin cabeza

17 Directoras emergentes: Claudia Llosa. Ver La teta asustada [otras películas: Madeinusa]

20 Cine y derechos humanos. Ver El secreto de sus ojos, de José Campanella

24 Cine y derechos humanos. Ver El botón de nácar, de Patricio Guzmán

25 (Brandeis Friday) Conclusiones, trabajos finales

Evita de Alan Parker

Babel. Directed by Alfonso Gonzalez Iñarritu

Diarios de Motocicleta de Walter Salles

Martín Hache de Adolfo Aristarain

Maria Full of Grace, de Joshua Marston

Terra estrangeira, de Walter Salles

Sleep Dealer, de Alex Rivera

Nueve reinas de Damian Bielinsky

El secreto de sus ojos, de José Campanella

Fresa y chocolate de Tomás Gutierrez Aléa

Chico y Rita, de Fernando Trueba

Amores Perros de Alejandro González Iñárritu

Cidade de Deus, de Fernando Meirelles

Cronicas, by Sebastián Cordero

Favela Rising, by Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary

Buena Vista Social Club, directed by Wim Wenders

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