Course Description

Course Name

Contemporary Spanish Cinema

Session: VSVF2221

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level


  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of four semesters (or six quarters) at the college level.


Keeping visiting students in mind, this Course spans a wide range of cultural perspectives, thus
taking it beyond the limits of the cinematic and the historical strictly speaking. Movies are perceived as
audiovisual works, approachable as texts, as the artistic expression of an author and, at the same time,
determined by circumstances involving their social, historical, linguistic, and literary contextualization.

Given the amount of accumulated pedagogical experience that exists with regard to this kind of subject
matter, as well as keeping in mind the specific needs of students, the aim of the class sessions is to
ensure the fruitful interaction of the theoretical and practical dimensions of the study process, while
also potentializing the exploration of those aspects of the Spanish language to which, in terms of
comprehension and expression, the filmography being studied draws attention.
3. An anthology of significant sequences from key movies and from the work of prominent
4. Full-length Movies. The commentary and critical appreciation of the thematic and stylistic
features of the following titles: Sevillanas, by Saura, El otro lado de la cama, by Martínez Lázaro,
Belle epoque, by Trueba, La lengua de las mariposas, by Cuerda, La niña de tus ojos, by Trueba,
Los años bárbaros, by Colomo, ¡Bienvenido Mister Marshall!, by García Berlanga, Los desafíos, by
Erice, Guerín and Egea, Los nuevos españoles, by Bodegas, Ana y los lobos, by Saura, Tristana, by
Buñuel, Carmen, by Saura, Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, by Almodóvar, and Tesis, by

5. Spain: Social and Political Contexts (from the Republic to the Civil War). Their Impingement upon
Movie-making. Postwar Cinema. Raza, General Franco’s Vision. The “No-Do” Newsreels and
their Ideological Basis. Censorship.
6. Franco-ite Policy and Spanish Cinema. A Muzzled Movie Industry. Literary Genres as Models for
Movies. From a Thwarted Neo-realism to Social Realism. The Cinema of Bardem and Berlanga.
7. The “New Spanish Cinema”. New Directors and Producers. Critical Trends in Postwar Cinema.
Auteur Movies: Buñuel and Saura. Popular Genres. The Influence of Spanish Literature on
National Cinema.
8. Spanish Cinema and the Era of Democracy. A Congress in which to Debate Spanish Cinema. The
Socialist Party’s Policy for Spain’s Movie Industry. Themes and Styles in Present-day Spanish
Movies. The Case of Almodóvar. Spain’s Movie-Industry and the European Union.

*Course content subject to change