The History of Mexican Cinema
This class will provide an overview of the history of Mexican cinema, beginning with the influence of Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein and Russian immigrant director Arcady Boytler in the early 1930s, through the films of the Mexican Revolution of the mid 1930s, exemplified by Fernando de Fuentes; to the culmination of national allegory and melodrama in the Golden Age of the 1940s, epitomized by the works of Emilio El Indio Fernandez. Fernandez窶冱 films, often starring Pedro Armendariz, Maria Feliz and Dolores del Rio, constructed a mythology of revolutionary nationalism linked to essentialized notions of class, gender and race, very unlike the disenchanted view of de Fuentes. Since the 1950s, diverse critical perspectives of national culture have emerged, including the gritty, surrealist urban vision of Luis Bunuel and, in recent decades, the work of various women directors. Readings will be in English; the films will be in Spanish with English subtitles. Students will keep a reading and viewing journal and write two short analytical essays, based on research and original interpretation. If you are enrolled for the Spanish portion of the course, you should write and conduct at least half of your research in Spanish.