Spanish Cinema and Literature (SPRING ONLY)

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Spanish Cinema and Literature (SPRING ONLY)

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies, Literature, Radio - Television - Film

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The main goal of this course is to study the close relationship between Spanish literature and cinema during the 20th century. The first half of the course, “From cinema to literature”, will cover the use of movie techniques in literary works, mainly in the works of the writers of the Generation of 27th. In the second half, “From literature to cinema”, the course will focus on the movie adaptations of some of the most  important 20th century literary works. The main goals of this course are: To recognize and analyze the main literary procedures used in movies and the main movie procedures used in the literature. To acquire a basic knowledge of the history of Spanish cinema and literature. To analyze the influence of Spanish literature on Spanish cinema: Transfer modes (recreations, adaptations...). To get to know the most relevant movie adaptations in the Spanish literature. To be able to analyze the movie adaptation procedures of different literary works.

    The student must be registered for Spanish 301 or have an equivalent level.

    A) From Cinema to Literature
    1. The beginnings. First movie projectors in Spain. The pioneers. Cinema vs. traditional shows.
    2. Men of arts versus the seventh art.
    2.1. The generation of ’98: Unamuno and Azorín
    2.2. Ramón Gómez de la Serna: Cinelandia.
    2.3. The Generation of ‘27.
    2.3.1. Poetry: Guillermo de Torre, César M. Arconada, Rafael Alberti, Pedro Salinas, Federico García Lorca, Concha Méndez
    2.3.2. Fiction: Francisco Ayala, Benjamín Jarnés, César M. Arconada
    2.3.3. Movie essay: Antonio Espina, César M. Arconada, Benjamín Jarnés
    2.4 Luis Buñuel: Un Chien andalou (1929) y L’Age d’or (1930).

    B) From Literature to Cinema
    1. Introduction. Recreation of a text on the screen. Transfer modes from literature to cinema: Movie translation. Movie adaptation. Inspiration movie. Homage movies.
    2. Movie adaptations of literary works.
    2.1. Drama. Federico García Lorca: La casa de Bernarda Alba*(1936). Movie adaptation by Mario Camus (1987).
    2.2. Post-war fiction. Camilo José Cela: La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942). Movie adaptation by Ricardo Franco (1975)
    2.3. Social realism in the 50s. Ignacio Aldecoa: “Young Sänchez” (1957). Movie adaptation by Mario Camus (1963)
    2.4. Fiction in the democratic transition period. Adelaida García Morales: El sur (1985). Movie adaptation by Víctor Erice (1983)
    2.5. Spanish drama at the end of the 20th century. Fernando Fernán Gómez: Las bicicletas son para el verano. Adaptación de Jaime Chavarri (1983)

    Students will need to read and prepare the texts to be commented on in class beforehand at home, as they are expected to actively participate in the classes

    Students will need to read the following books:

    • Federico García Lorca: La casa de Bernarda Alba
    • Camilo José Cela: La familia de Pascual Duarte
    • Adelaida García Morales: El sur
    • Fernando Fernán Gómez: Las bicicletas son para el verano VV. AA. Cuentos de cine

    and will need to write four 2-3-page-long essays on those books based on topics suggested by the instructor. The deadlines to hand in the essays will be announced well in advance.

    Students will work on two types of materials:

    • A reader with texts to work on in classs and at home.
    • The five books mentioned above.


    The final grade will be calculated according to the following percentages:
    - Participation: 10%
    - Class assignments: 10%
    - Written assignments: 40%
    - Final exam: 40%



    • ARCONADA, César M, Tres cómicos del cine, Edición de Francisco Soguero y Nigel Dennis, Sevilla: Renacimiento, 2007.
    • BORAU, José Luis et alii, Diccionario del cine español, Madrid: Alianza, 1998.
    • CAPARRÓS LERA, José Mª, Historia crítica del cine español (desde 1897 hasta hoy), Barcelona: Ariel, 1999.
    • GUBERN, Román, Proyector de luna. La Generación del 27 y el cine, Barcelona: Anagrama, 1999. GUBERN, R. et alia, Historia del cine español, Madrid: Cátedra, 1995.
    • GUTIÉRREZ CARBAJO, Francisco, Literatura y cine, Madrid: UNED, 1993.
    • JAIME, Antoine, Literatura y cine en España (1975-1995), Madrid: Cátedra (Signo e Imagen), 2000.
    • PEÑA-ARDID, Carmen, Literatura y cine: una aproximación comparativa, Madrid: Cátedra, 1992.
    • SÁNCHEZ NORIEGA, José Luis, De la literatura al cine. Teoría y análisis de la adaptación, Barcelona: Paidós, 2000.
    • URRUTIA, Jorge, Imago litterae. Cine. Literatura, Sevilla: Alfar, 1984.
    • UTRERA, Rafael, Escritores y cinema en España: Un acercamiento histórico, Madrid: Ed. JC, 1985. —, Literatura cinematográfica. Cinematografía literaria, Sevilla: Alfar, 1987.
    • VV. AA. Cuentos de cine, Madrid: Castalia, 2003
    • ZUNZUNEGUI, Santos, El cine en el País Vasco, Bilbao: Diputación Foral de Vizcaya, 1985.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.