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C LIT 315 B: National Cinemas

Mexican Cinema

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Location: 
DEM 002
SLN: 
11868
Instructor:
Photo of Cynthia Steele
Cynthia Steele

Syllabus Description:

1. Maria C poster.jpgC LIT 315A / JSIS 480G             MEXICAN CINEMA

Autumn 2015, 5 credits

SLN 11868

Prof. Cynthia Steele

Classroom: MGH 248

TTh 1:30-3:20

Office: Padelford C-502 Phone 543-7542

Office hours TTh 3:30-4:20 and by appointment

cynthias@uw.edu

Description:

Following the outline of critic Ignacio Sánchez Prado’s new book Screening Neoliberalism, we will watch and analyze sixteen Mexican films, two from the Golden Age of the 1930s-1950s and fourteen from 1991 to the present. The films from the Golden Age will help us to establish the classical directors’ use of melodrama as national allegory, while the others will serve to exemplify how filmmakers of the past two decades have questioned and transformed this model, in the context of the neoliberal turn in Mexican politics. The international success of icons like Salma Hayek, Gael García Bernal, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu has emerged in the context of four major changes in the Mexican film industry: the decline of nationalism, the new focus on middle-class audiences, the redefinition of political cinema, and the impact of globalization.

On Tuesdays we will watch a film; on Thursdays we will discuss the film and pertinent readings, both from the Sánchez Prado book and several essays posted to our Canvas site. In addition to the ten films that we will screen in class, you should subscribe to Netflix Instant Streaming so you can watch the other six films on your own. You will keep a reading and film viewing journal throughout the quarter, and you will write two 4-6-page analytical essays.

Textbook:

Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado. Screening Neoliberalism: Transforming Mexican Cinema 1988-2012. Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2014.

You are also required to subscribe to Netflix Instant Streaming ($7.99 a month for the duration of the class, in order to watch the six films on your own that we will not have time to screen in class.)

Canvas Site:

https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/987431

Films (to be screened in class; they are also on two-hour reserve in the Suzzallo Media Center):

1) María Candelaria. 1944. Emilio Fernández.

DVD ALTER 009

2) Los Olvidados. 1950. Luis Buñuel.

SOUTHH045

3) Danzón. 1991. María Novaro.

DVD TAC-3238

4) El crimen del padre Amaro / The Crime of Father Amaro. 2002. Carlos Carrera.

DVD CTHV 150

5) Vivir mata / Life Kills. 2002. Nicolás Echevarría.

DVD TCFHE 591

6) Otilia Rauda. 2004. Dana Rotberg.

DVD VENEV 005

7) Todo el poder / All the Power. 2000. Fernando Sariñana.

DVD TCFHE 474

8) Cronos. 1993. Guillermo del Toro.

DVD CRIT 488

9) Amores perros / Love’s a Bitch. 2000. Guillermo González Iñárritu.

DVD STU 003

10) Japón. 2002. Carlos Reygadas.

DVD TART 002

Como agua para chocolate / Like Water for Chocolate. 2000. Alfonso Arau.

DVD BVHE 003

You will also be required to watch the following films during your own time. They are available on Netflix Instant Streaming. See the calendar below for the last date by which you should plan to watch each film.

Sólo con tu pareja / Only with Your Partner. 1991. Luis Humberto Hermosillo.

DVD CRIT 528

Sin dejar huella / Without a Trace. 2003. María Novaro.

DVD TCFHE 096

El infierno / The Inferno. Luis Estrada.

DVD DISTR 003

La dictadura perfecta / The Perfect Dictatorship. Luis Estrada.

DVD SOUTHH 130

Y tu mamá también / And Your Momma Too. Alfonso Cuarón

DVD MGM 084

Articles (Posted on Canvas):

  1. Tierney, Dolores. “Calendar María: Hybridity, Indigenismo and the Discourse of Whitening.” In her Emilio Fernández: Pictures in the Margins. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2012. pp. 73-143.
  1. Begin, Paul. “When Victim Meets Voyeur: An Aesthetic of Confrontation in Hispanic Social Issue Cinema.” Hispanic Research Journal 9.3 (2008): 261-75.

  3. Lindsay, Claire. “Mobility and Modernity in María Novaro’s Sin dejar  huella.” Framework2 (Fall 2008): 86-105.

  4. Roberts-Camps, Tracy. “The Female Body as Spectacle: Angel de fuego and La mujer del pueblo: Otilia Rauda.” TransModernity 2013.

http://escholarship.org/uc/item/23q8q8dj

  1. Price, Brian L. “Heterotemporal Mise-en-scene in the Films of Luis Estrada.” Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies 16 (2012): 259-76.
  1. Baer, Hester and Ryan Long. “Transnational Cinema and the Mexican State in Alfonso Cuarón’s Y tu mamá también.” South Central Review3 (Fall 2004): 150-68.

Reading and Viewing Journal:

You should keep a journal of your reactions to and analysis of each of the films and reading assignments for the class, entering at least one page on each film or reading assignment. Please include all of the entries on the list in the order given and number them accordingly. The list of required entries is posted on our Canvas site. The entire journal should be uploaded to the Canvas drop box as a single Word file by 7 pm on Friday, December 11. Please title your file YourlastnameJournal.docx (for instance, Garza.Journal.docx).

Analytical Essay One:

Please select two or three of the first seven films we have watched (Como agua para chocolate, María Candelaria, Los Olvidados, Sólo con tu pareja, Danzón, Sin dejar huella, and El crimen del padre Amaro), and write a 4-6-page comparison of one particular theme in the films. For instance, you might compare the representation (presentation) of provincial Mexico in Danzón and El crimen del padre Amaro or compare the representation of gender in the two films by María Novaro. For more specific guidelines, see the instructions posted to our Canvas site. You should upload your comparison to our Canvas site as a single Word file by 7 pm on Thursday, November 5. Please title your file Yourlastname.Essay1.docx (for instance, Baez.Essay1.docx).

Analytical Essay Two:

Please write a 4-6-page analytical essay comparing the treatment of a theme in two or three of the last nine films that we have studied in class this quarter (Vivir mata, Otilia Rauda, El infierno, Todo el poder, La dictadura perfecta, Cronos, Amores perros, Y tu mamá también and Japón). For more specific guidelines, see the instructions posted to our Canvas site. The essay should be uploaded to the Canvas drop box by 7 pm on Friday, December 11. Please title your file YourlastnameEssay2.docx (for instance, Jones.Essay2.docx).

Determination of Grades:

Reading and Viewing Journal                                                             20%

Analytical Essay One                                                                          30%

Analytical Essay Two                                                                          30%

Class Participation                                                                              20%

Internet Resources:

Mediático:

http://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/mediatico/

Más de Cien Años del Cine Mexicano:

http://cinemexicano.mty.itesm.mx/front.html

The Mexican Film Resource Page:

http://www.wam.umd.edu/~dwilt/mfb.html

Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía:

http://www.imcine.gob.mx/

Metacritic Film Reviews and Trailers:

http://www.metacritic.com

Internet Movie Data Base:

http://www.imdb.com/

UW Libraries Guide to Cinema Studies:

http://guides.lib.washington.edu/cinemaStudies

Plagiarism:

Please be aware that, through Canvas, your written work will be submitted to turnitin.com.You are responsible for understanding and observing the UW guidelines regarding plagiarism:

http://depts.washington.edu/grading/issue1/honesty.htm

It is not acceptable under any circumstances to use a for-pay paper web site as a source of information. Incidents of plagiarism may be reported to the Provost’s Committee on Academic Conduct. A second incident could result in your suspension from the University. Please let me know if you have any questions about these guidelines or about the UW policy on plagiarism.

Students with Disabilities:

To request accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 ((V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so we can discuss such accommodations.

CALENDAR

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

WEEK

ONE

28

 

 

 

29

30

SEPT

 

OCT

1

Setting Scenes: Golden Age Cinema

 

2

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

TWO

5

 

6

Melodrama and National Allegory

Film 1:

María Candelaria

 

7

NF Watch Like Water for Chocolate 

 

8

Reading:

Sánchez Prado Introduction, pp 1-14; Tierney essay 1A

Discuss María Candelaria and Like Water for Chocolate

9

 

 

THREE

12

 

 

13

Nationalism Eroded

Film 2: Los Olvidados

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

15

Reading: Sánchez Prado pp 15-37; Begin essay 2A

Discuss Los Olvidados

16

 

 

FOUR

19

 

20

Feminism and the Return to Provincia

Film 3: Danzón

21

NF Watch Sin dejar huella 

22

 

Reading: Sánchez Prado pp 37-61 & Lindsay article 3A

Discuss Danzón and Sin dejar huella

 

23

 

FIVE

26

 

 

 

27

Publicists in Love

Film 4: El crimen del padre Amaro

28

 NF Watch Sólo con tu pareja

29

 

Reading: Sánchez Prado pp 62-88

 Discuss El crimen and Sólo con tu pareja

 

30

 

 

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

SIX

NOV

2

 

 

 

3

Film 5: Vivir mata

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

Reading: Sánchez Prado pp 88-104

Essay One due to Canvas by 7 pm

 

 

6

 

 

SEVEN

NOV

9

 

 

 

10

The Feminist Anti-Romance

Film 6: Otilia Rauda

 

11

Veteran’s Day Holiday

NF Watch El infierno 

 

12

 

Reading: Sánchez Prado pp 105-133 & Roberts-Camps article 4A

Discuss Otilia Rauda

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

EIGHT

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

The Neoliberal Gaze

 

Film 7: Todo el poder

 

18

NF: Watch La dictadura perfecta

 

 

 

19

Reading:

Sánchez Prado pp 133-154

& Price article 5A

 

Discuss Todo el poder, El infierno and La dictadura perfecta

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

NINE

23

 

 

24

The Three Amigos and the Lone Ranger

Film 8: Cronos

Reading: Sánchez Prado pp 155-171

Discuss Cronos

 25

 

 

 

 26

THANKS-GIVING

 

 27

 

 

TEN

30

 

 

1

DEC

Film 9: Amores perros Parts 1 & 2

Discuss

Amores perros

2

 

NF Watch Y tu mamá también

 

 

 

3

 Film 9: Amores perros Part 3

Reading: Sánchez Prado pp 171-208 & Baer & Long article 6A

Discuss Amores perros and Y tu mamá también

4

 

 

 

ELEVEN

7

 

8 Film 10: Japón

9

 

 

10

Reading:

Sánchez Prado pp 209-226

 

Discuss Japón

Conclusions

 

 

11

Journal & Essay Two Due to Canvas, 7 pm

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Details:

Focusing on film as national allegory, we will trace several major genres in Mexican cinema, beginning with the ‘Golden Age’ films of Emilio Fernández (Salón México) and Luis Buñuel (Los Olvidados) and continuing through the recent boom in Mexican cinema, including road films (Y tu mamá también, Rudo y cursi, Sin dejar huella/Without a Trace), those about drug trafficking and urban violence (Amores perros, Traspatio/Backyard, El infierno), and those about changing gender roles in contemporary Mexican society (El laberinto del fauno/Pan’s Labyrinth, Otilia Rauda). On Tuesdays we will watch a film; on Thursdays we will discuss the film and pertinent readings, from our textbook about the history of Mexico and from essays in film analysis posted to our Canvas site. Students will keep a reading and film viewing journal, write two films reviews, take four quizzes, and write a 5-7-page analytical essay. Textbook: Jürgen Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic: A Brief History of Mexico. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, 164 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0882952635

Offered w/ JSIS 480A

Catalog Description: 
Examines the cinema of a particular national, ethnic or cultural group, with films typically shown in the original language with subtitles. Topics reflect themes and trends in the national cinema being studied.
Department Requirements Met: 
Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:21am
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