Contemporary Latin American Film

Elective Courses

CINE 294 - Contemporary Latin American Film

LALS 296 | ROML 296
401 |Rachel Ellis |TR 3-4:30pm |WILL 5

This course will focus on select works from the rich and varied cinematic traditions of Cuba, Mexico and Argentina. Memorias del subdesarrollo[Memories of Underdevelopment] (1968), Mauvaise conduite [Improper Conduct] (1984), and Fresa y chocolate [Strawberry and Chocolate] (1994) will compose the Cuban section of the course. Los Olvidados [The Young and the Damned] (1950), Amores Perros [Love’s a Bitch] (2000), and Los Tres Entierros de Melquiades Estrada [The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada] (2005) will compose the Mexican section. And Bolivia (2001),GlueXXY (2007) will compose the Argentine section. The following themes will be discussed throughout the course: the tension of the image and language on the screen; the Cuban Revolution’s Janus-faced quality as a celebrated and resented historical event; the force and consequences of U.S. American military interventions in Latin America; the detritus alongside the forms of employment that come with globalization and global capital; the manifestation of the “megacity,” particularly as a description of Mexico City today; the strength of informal economies and especially narcotraffic; the absurdity and the vigilant violence of the U.S.-Mexico border; the precariousness for migrants moving throughout Latin America given internal incongruities and differences; the ongoing reflux of memories of the dictatorship in Argentina; the relation between rural and urban national communities; sexuality, the state and violence – heteronormative and hetero-national – against gender performances that prove difficult to read and to place. In considering the relationship between filmic representation and the political, we will also be mindful of a relevant question today: What does it mean to live in a world that appears post-political? Philosophy and criticism on film by Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Jacques Rancière, Deborah Shaw, and criticism on stated themes by Néstor García Canclini, José Quiroga, Antonio Negri, among others, will be read. Students will have several short writing assignments throughout the semester, and a final paper. Films have English subtitles, so while knowledge of Spanish would enrich one’s experience it is not required.

last updated 06/24/2014 - 9:54am

Cinema Studies Program
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