This week we discussed cinematic trends between 1992 and the present time, paying particular attention to the re-articulation of the “national” in Spanish cultural production. The film by Julio Medem we watched today, Wednesday, entitled Los amantes del círculo polar / Lovers of the Arctic Circle and the novella When a Snake Stares at a Bird / Sugeak txoriari begiratzen dionean by Bernardo Atxaga (pseudonym of Jose Irazu) both address this rearticulation from the point of view of two Basque artists.
By Saturday November 18 at 5pm please post a comment on how you see these two text represent the rearticulation of the Spanish national. This is the last blogpost of this semester. Kudos, all those of you who have contributed to our Scholarblogs page have done a terrific job posting.
This week we discussed the web of Gothic, Gothic Cinema, Goth, Bromance, demons, ghosts, and other figures returned to life. Today, we performed the comparative exercise in which we read together a point / scene / character / theme from Alex de la Iglesia’s Día de la bestia / Day of the Beast and poetry by Rafael Alberti, León Felipe, José Hierro, Pedro Salinas, Gabriel Celaya, Luis Cernuda, Blas de Otero, and Jaime Gil de Biedma.
As I said in class today, the exercise was quite moving for me, for you all brought up imagery, sentences, words, rhyme and rhythm that mobilized some of the most lyrical parts of what otherwise can be quite a dreary film. Thank you. Hence, I am not going to require that you post a blog this week; this and OPTIONAL blog. You do NOT have to post unless you feel like commenting further what we discussed in class today.
This week we discussed the advent of globalization in post-Franco Spain, and how ‘democracy’ played a significant part in that period. For your blogpost, compose a brief commentary about how you see these issues represented in ONE of the three literary pieces we are going to discuss on Thursday (by Carmé Riera, Paloma Díaz-Más and Juan Goytisolo) and Pedro Almodóvar’s film What Have I Done to Deserve This?
Please, note that for these blogposts you MUST address the literary text AND the film text in comparative fashion. Some of you did not respect this part of the prompter last week, and that weakens your contribution and your grade. No need to rewrite the past blogpost, but please, make sure you provide comparative readings when asked in the prompter. Blogpost are due on Saturday November 4 at 5pm at the latest.
This week we discussed the meaning of The Transition in post-Franco Spain, and how disenchantment played a significant part in that period. For your blogpost, compose a brief commentary about how you see these issues represented in Luis Martín Santos‘s novel Time of Silence and Víctor Erice’s film The Spirit of the Beehive.
Blogpost are due on Saturday October 28 at 5pm at the latest.
This week we have discussed issues of liberalism and its taking place within the frame of the last 15 years of the Francoist fascist regime. In this paradoxical frame, we have engaged questions of humor, noir film, masculinity and femininity, gender bending and representation, voiceover, poetic voices, stream of consciousness, and that “she” remembering the future. To trace these cultural happenings, we have engaged primary evidence (Berlanga’s The Executioner, Zambrano’s essay “Remembering the Future,” and the three poems by González, Guillén, and Hernández), and secondary evidence by Pavlovic, Marsh, and Duprat de Montero.
Given our class and screening discussions, I trust that most of you have grasped the importance and meaning of these matters. Given, also, that you have to turn in your second short paper (this one on the topic of “Manipulation of Historical Memory”), I am hereby establishing a moratorium on blogposting for this week. Please, note that, as I said many of you in the first paper, this thematic axis is NOT your title for this paper. You must assign your paper a title that announces what is YOUR argument about the manipulation of historical memory in Spanish literature and cinema that we have read and discussed until now.
You do NOT have to post a blog on the above-stated matters this week. IMPORTANT NOTE: if posting on these matters can help you contribute to your second short paper, please do not hesitate to do so, and I will give you feedback on that posting.
During this short week we are going to read two chapters of the book on Spanish cinema, local genres, global films: Jordan, “Spanish Cinema and the ‘National / Transnational’ Debate” and Oliete-Aldea, “Questions of Transnationalism and Genre.” On Wednesday we are going to watch the film by Isabel Coixet, Cosas que nunca te dije (Things that I Never Told You) (1996).
On Thursday, we are going to hear three presentations: one, the Databases and resources orientation (Mandatory attendance, Woodruff 312) by Phil MacLeod; and then we are going to hear the presentations of the studies by Besas, on “The Financial Structure of Spanish Cinema” and Loyo, “Local Responses to Universal Sufferings in Isabel Coixet’s Transnational Melodramas.” I ask that you pay close attention to the relationship between finances, suffering, and melodrama.
These readings and presentations will help you begin to develop an understanding of an important link for the rest of the semester, which I present to you as a tripartite question that I want you to try to consider in order to write your blogposts for this week: what is the relationship between finances and transnational melodrama? Is transnational melodrama, in other words, a result of the financial structure of Spanish Cinema? Or, conversely, did the financial structure of Spanish Cinema depended on the emergence of the genre of melodrama as a transnational event? The blogpost comments and questions are due on Saturday October 15 at 5PM at the very latest.
This week we have explored the myriad ways in which the aesthetic and political characteristic of Italian Neorealism appears in the cinema and literature of twentieth-century Spain. The chapter by Pavlović we discussed reviewed some of the tenets that Steven Marsh’s article presented about this matter last week, and prepared us to grapple with the reading of both Buñuel’s film Viridiana and Antonio Machado’s poem “Una España joven / A Young Spain.” The articles by Bonaddio on hibridity, politics, and entertainment, and by Tarancón on realism, social conflict, crime drama and film noir also provided us with language and concepts to further understand this national / transnational exchange.
By Saturday at 5PM at the latest, please post your comments, questions, or doubts you have regarding what you understood by the role of Italian Neorealism, its ‘translation’ to Spain’s cinema and literature, and its relation with Spanish traditions of Realism, esperpento, the grotesque, historical memory, and nostalgia.
This week we are going to explore the dyad national/transnational, and how it works in the cinema and literature of twentieth-century Spain. This week we do NOT have a reading by Pavlović; instead, on Tuesday we will discuss three articles that will help us understand this critical matter for our seminar. The articles are Steven Marsh’s on National-Popular and García Berlanga’s ¡Bienvenido Mister Marshall!, Kathleen Vernon’s on Hollywood, trade wars, and transculturation, and Daniel Mourenza’s on Bardem and Hollywood Melodrama.
With Luis García Berlanga and Juan Antonio Bardem, ¡Bienvenido Mister Marshall (Welcome, Mr. Marshall!) (1953) on Wednesday we will see a representation of the national/transnational dynamics of economic independence after the good times of the Republic, another turn of the screw on the by then familiar españoladas, and the way in which cinematic development plays with these dynamics.
On Thursday, we will read a segment of Mercé Rodoreda’s La plaça del diamant (In Diamond Square), and we will hear . On Thursday, we will hear Ms. Tate present the article by Benet, “Historical Films During the First Years of the Franco Regime and their Transnational Models” (31-41)
By Saturday at 5PM at the latest, please post comments, questions, or doubts you have regarding this dyad of national/transnational, and how you see it represented in the cinema and literature we are going to discuss.
This week we are going to explore the correspondences between nostalgia and economic independence, and how historical memory begins to appear as cinematic pastiche in Spain. The reading by Pavlović on Autarky and Papier- Mâché Cinema between 1939 and 1950, alongside the poem by Gloria Fuertes, “Off the Map” and the story by Rosa Chacel, “Chinina-Migone” will help us see how economics, independence, pastiche, and historical memory play critical roles in the development of the literature and cinema in the repressive frame of fascism.
By Saturday at 5PM at the latest, please post comments, questions, or doubts you have regarding this correspondence between economics, nostalgia, and historical memory, and how you see it represented in the cinema and literature we are going to discuss.
With Fernando Trueba’s Belle Époque (1992) we will see a post-Francoist representation of the first glimpses of economic independence during the good times of the Republic, the nostalgia that characterized historical memory of españoladas, and the way in which cinematic pastiche points to the disasters of fascism to come after 1939.
. On Thursday, we will hear Ms. Tate present the article by Benet, “Historical Films During the First Years of the Franco Regime and their Transnational Models” (31-41)
. Recommended examples of historical memory as cinematic pastiche from the the 1940s: Juan de Orduña, Locura de amor (1948) and José Luis Sáenz de Heredia and Francisco Franco (aka Jaime de Andrade), Raza (aka Espíritu de una raza) [No English subtitles; Spanish audio]
. PLEASE, NOTE: The deadline for paper 1: Engagement and propaganda of fascism and resistance to it has been moved to Monday the 25 at 10AM. Print version (NOT by email), in my mailbox at the Department of Spanish during business hours, or under the door of my office (515 South Callaway) after hours.
This week we are going to explore the correspondences between film, literature, and the explosion of a three-year civil war (The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939), and how that short-and-long span of time resonates as other wars (both civil and international) in which Spain participated. The reading by Pavlovic on cinema and the Spanish Civil War, alongside the poems by Federico García Lorca and Miguel de Unamuno, and the essay by Unamuno entitled “My Religion” will help us see how quarreling, division, censorship, control, and remembrance play critical roles in such development.
By Saturday at 5PM at the latest, please post comments, questions, or doubts you have regarding the topic of this endless war, and how you see it represented in the cinema and literature we are going to discuss.
With Basilio Martín Patino’s Canciones para después de una guerra/Song for After a War we will see these demons of war, nationalism, sociocultural splintering, bad memories, and surveillance that originated long before 1936, and lasted long thereafter, as Martín Patino’s 1971 film and the memory of the execution of García Lorca, as well as Unamuno’s philosophical resistance, demonstrate.