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Film and Visual Arts module - film still

Key Issues and Texts: Cinema and the Politics of Representation in Latin America

Primary texts (films, books or catalogues) are listed for each weekly seminar. You will be expected to have viewed or studied all of the texts set for each seminar, together with some of the secondary reading suggested in each of the bibliographies.

Some suggestions for general reading on Film Theory, Visual Culture and Latin American cinema are available here and you are advised to dip into as many of the books suggested here as possible, in order to gain familiarity with the terminology and concepts associated with the analysis of film.

Some ‘key issues’ relating to each seminar are identified – you may wish to focus on one or more of these in a seminar paper or an essay.

Lent 2020

Seminar 1: Mimicry and Modernity in early Latin American Cinema (MC/RO)

Key issues

  • Mimicry and the translations of cinematic form
  • The fetishism of commodities and the visualization of Labour
  • The country and the city in early C20 film
  • “The Cinema of attractions”
  • Modernization, class and race

Key texts

Bibliography

 

Seminar 2: Reproductive, Immaterial and Domestic Labour in Contemporary Latin American Film (MC)

Films
(* indicates films to be screened and discussed in the seminar)

  • *Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
  • La nana (The Maid, Sebastian Silva, 2009)
  • *Que horas ela volta? (The Second Mother, Anna Muylaert, 2015)
  • Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2016)
  • O soma ao redor (Neighboring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
  • Casa grande (Felipe Barbosa, 2014)
  • Babá (Nannies, Consuelo Lins, 2016)

Key issues

  • Immaterial Labour
  • Reproductive Labour
  • Representation of Space
  • Public/ Private Space
  • Cordiality and Intimacy
  • Race and Gender

Bibliography 

 

Seminar 3: Waste Not Want Not: Film and Garbage (GK)

This seminar looks at some key documentary films from Brazil (and optionally one from Mexico) dealing with the representation of waste, pollution and garbage.

Primary texts

  • Jorge Furtado et al. Ilha das Flores (Brazil, 1989) (short)
  • Eduardo Coutinho, Boca de Lixo (Brazil, 1992)
  • Marcos Prado, Estamira (Brazil, 2004)
  • Lucy Walker et al., Lixo Extraordinário (Waste Land, Brazil and UK, 2010)
  • Eugenio Polgovsky, Resurrección (Mexico, 2016) - optional extra

Key issues

  • Ethics of waste, garbage and “refuse”
  • The “aesthetics” of garbage and representational economy
  • The relationship between commodities and garbage
  • The waste cycle: what leaks out?
  • The human-waste interface: people as garbage
  • Can garbage speak?
  • Recycling garbage into art / film
  • Garbage and space

Bibliography

 

Seminar 4: Necropolitics and Biopoetics: War, Capital and the Body in Contemporary Colombian Film (RO) 

Primary texts

  • País de los pueblos sin dueños (Mauricio Acosta, 2009 - documentary)
  • Porfirio (Alejandro Landes, 2011 - fiction) 
  • Requiem N.N. (Juan Manuel Echavarría, 2013 - documentary) ​

Key issues

  • Approaches to violence in Colombian cinema
  • Violence, extractive economics and the production/destruction of space 
  • Bodily impairment and its intersections with ‘race’
  • Biopolitics as ‘necropolitics’ in the global south 
  • Death and the production of capital

Bibliography
 

Seminar 5: The Transnational Queer: Sexuality, Cinema and the Body (GM)

Films

  • XXY (dir. Lucía Puenzo, Argentina, 2007)
  • Praia do Futuro (dir. Karim Aïnouz, Brazil, 2014)
  • Taekwondo (dir. Marco Berger, 2016)

Key Issues

  • Queer corporeality in Latin American film;
  • Filmic embodiment and the haptic;
  • Representations of sex, sexuality and nature;
  • Cinematic sexualities and masculinities;
  • Transnational queer cinema and the ‘global gaze’;
  • Queer art, politics and activism.

Key texts

  • Altman, Dennis. ‘Global Gaze / Global Gays’, GLQ, vol. 3, no. 4 (1997), pp.417-436.
  • Marks, Laura. The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000).
  • Martin, Deborah. ‘Growing sideways in Argentine cinema: Lucía Puenzo’s XXY and Julia Solomonoff’s El último verano de la boyita, Journal of Romance Studies, vol. 13, no. 1 (2013), pp. 34-48.
  • Povinelli, Elizabeth, and George Chauncey (eds.). ‘Thinking Sexuality Transnationally’, GLQ, vol. 5, no. 4 (2001), pp. 439-450.
  • Schoonover, Karl, and Rosalind Galt. Queer Cinema in the World (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016).
  • Venkatesh, Vinodh. New Maricón Cinema: Outing Latin American Film (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2016).

Bibliography

 

Seminar 6: The Politics of Memory in Post-Dictatorship Argentine Cinema (JP)

Primary texts

  • Lita Stantic – Un muro de silencio (1993)
  • Albertina Carri – Los rubios (2003)
  • Benjamín Ávila – Infancia clandestina (2012)

Key issues

  • Representing political violence
  • Complicity, voyeurism and the role of the spectator
  • Reflexivity and genre
  • The politics and ethics of 'truth-telling' in the post-dictatorship era
  • Second-generation memory and post-memory
  • Militancy and the family

Bibliography