The Cinema of Latin America

The Cinema Of Latin America

Thursdays 7 to 9.00 for 6 weeks from May 25th. 2017
Lecturer Adam Feinstein

This six-week course will examine Latin America’s key cinematic movements and most influential directors with close consideration for the social, political and institutional contexts in which they emerged.

The course will be led by acclaimed author, translator and journalist Adam Feinstein. Adam is the author of the first biography of Pablo Neruda in English and played an advisory role in the making of the film Neruda.

Week 1: The Latin American film pioneers:

The Nuevo cine Latin Americano (New Latin American Cinema) was an attempt to counter the dominance of Hollywood, taking inspiration from Italian neo-realism and the French New Wave. This week will focus on Cuban Cinema after the 1959 revolution and the establishment of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC), which from very early on proved willing and able to free itself from the shackles of ideological dogma. Particular focus will be given to Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (Titón) and Julio García Espinosa.

Week 2: The pivotal late-1960s and early-1970s

This week will focus on explicit attempts to create a revolutionary socialist cinema both in theory and practice. We will consider two key concepts by filmmakers grappling with this question in different political realities:

1. El tercer cine (The Third Cinema) – a term coined by Argentinians Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, designed to counter both the ‘bourgeois’ Hollywood productions and the European emphasis on the ‘auteur’.

2. Imperfect cinema, a concept introduced by Julio García Espinosa, which contrasted the gritty cinema emerging from Cuba with the slick, commercially effective but ideologically barren films coming out of Hollywood.

Week 3: The 1980s

The 1980s witnessed the return to democracy in many countries in Latin America. Attempts were made in this decade to unify Latin American cinema as power group that could occupy its ‘natural’ place in the Latin American market and also enter the international circuits. We will look at key films to emerge from this decade, including Héctor Babenco’s Pixote (1980) in Brazil; Francisco Lombardi’s powerful La Boca Del Lobo (1988) in Peru; and in Argentina María Luisa Bemberg’s Camila (1984) and Luis Puenzo’s La Historia Official (1985), which became the first Latin American film to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

Week 4: Trauma and memory in the Chilean cinema

The 1960s saw the birth of the vibrant Nuevo Cine Chileno, which produced young directors such as Raúl Ruiz, Patricio Guzmán, Aldo Francia and Miguel Littín. There was a huge burst of cultural enthusiasm during the years of President Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government (1970-1973) but this was somewhat stymied by inter-party feuding. Film production within Chile was effectively destroyed during the years of the Pinochet Dictatorship and filmmakers were among the tens of thousands killed or disappeared. We will look at clips from films by Patricio Guzmán, Ricardo Larraín, Andrés Wood, Sebastián Lelio, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pablo Larraín.

Week 5: How Argentina cinema has emerged from the shadows

A look at the growth of New Argentinian Cinema after the slackening of the military dictatorship. This will be followed by an exploration of the newer and more anti-naturalist films of Pablo Giorgelli, Milagros Mumenthaler, Laura Citarella and Santiago Mitre.

Week 6: The new ‘golden age’ of Mexican cinema

Mexico, perhaps more than any other Latin American country, boasts a long history of cinematic tradition and success. Its golden age lasted from the 1930s to the 1950s, and spawned indelible figures such as María Felíx, Dolores Del Río and Pedro Infante. The second golden age could probably be said to have begun in the 1990s. We will look at key films such as Alfonso Arau’s Como Agua Para Chocolate, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros (2000), Alfonso Cuarón’s taboo-shattering Y Tu Mamá También (2001), as well as the success of lesser-known ‘art-house’ filmmakers such as Carlos Reygadas and Amat Escalante.

Tickets are £70 for the full six week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).

Club and Group screenings

Thu 25th May 19.00 Film Course.

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