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HP319 Journeys and Cityscapes in Latin American Film

Module Code: HP319
Module Name: Journeys and Cityscapes in Latin American Film
Module Coordinator: Dr Tom Whittaker
Running in Term 1 (2022-2023)
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

What can road movies tell us about recent social changes in Latin America? How do cinematic representations of the urban experience shape the way we think about cities?

Journeys and cities have occupied a central location in Latin American cinema in recent years. In drawing on the theme of travel and the urban experience, key film directors such as Alfonso Cuarón, Walter Salles and Lucrecia Martel have used their filmmaking to explore the impact of globalisation and neoliberalism on culture and everyday life in Latin America.

This course explores the relationship between cinema, mobility and the city through the close analysis of films from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay. In encouraging students to think geographically about film, we will consider how cinematic locations – urban, rural and mobile – enable filmmakers to address broader social and cultural issues, such as migration, neo-colonialism, transnationalism and social inequality.

The course is taught through a combination of pre-recorded weekly lectures and face-to-face seminars. The lectures will serve to contextualise the individual films, while the seminars will include close textual analysis. Students will be required to watch each of the seven films before lectures/seminars, as well as carry out background readings on both the films and their geographical contexts.

Films studied:

Amores perros (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2000)

Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)

Central do Brasil (Walter Salles, 1998)

Whisky (Pablo Stoll and Juan Pablo Rebella, 2004)

Elefante blanco (Pablo Trapero, 2012)

La antena (Esteban Sapir, 2007)

La mujer sin cabeza(Lucrecia Martel, 2008)

Assessment Method

2 x 2000-2500 word essays