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The Auteurist Tradition in Spanish Cinema


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

Module description

This module explores the category of '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 and Icíar Bollaín.

Indicative module 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:

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