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The Auteurist Tradition in Spanish Cinema


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor and tutor: Dr Mari Paz Balibrea Enriquez
  • Assessment: a 10-minute presentation (20%) and 3500-word essay (80%)

Module description

In this module we explore 'auteurist cinema' as a particular critical approach to the study of film, while focusing on one Spanish film director. Auteurs may vary throughout the years when the module is offered, and will include, amongst others:

  • Luis Buñuel
  • Carlos Saura
  • Pedro Almodóvar
  • Juan Antonio Bardem
  • Víctor Erice
  • Pilar Miró
  • Julio Medem
  • Isabel Coixet
  • Icíar Bollaín.

Indicative syllabus

  • Defining the auteurist tradition: theory and politics
  • The auteurist tradition in the history of Spanish cinema
  • The main Spanish examples
  • Case study of one Spanish filmmaker:
    • The available criticism on the filmmaker
    • The filmmaker/author’s films

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have:

  • in-depth knowledge of auteurist cinema as an analytical approach to the study of film
  • familiarity with current debates and approaches to the subject, particularly as it refers to Spain
  • awareness of critical approaches to the study of Spanish film, and how critics condition their object of study and interpretation and placement within film history
  • analysed and critically assessed dominant themes, salient directors and films within the auteurist Spanish tradition
  • gained skills in close visual analysis
  • awareness of the functions of film criticism, film authorship and particular films within the social and cultural contexts of their production and reception
  • understanding of complex audio-visual material.