The Image of Spain Through Film and Digital Fiction

Universidad de Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Image of Spain Through Film and Digital Fiction

  • Host University

    Universidad de Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, Film Studies, Visual Arts

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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


    This Course provides students with a route-map through those Spanish movies, as well as those from other countries, which deal with the image of Spain from different perspectives. There have been times when that same image has become distorted for reasons which are not, strictly speaking, cinematographic in character. Bringing to the fore the key aspects of that distortion, while analysing a range of discourse types in film, can help to bring into focus the role of Cinema as a generator of cultural stereotypes. Keeping visiting students in mind, this Course spans a wide range of cultural perspectives, thus taking it beyond the confines of the cinematic and the historical sensu stricto.


    Given the amount of accumulated pedagogical experience that exists with regard to this kind of subject matter, as well as taking into account the specific needs of students, the aim of the class sessions is to ensure the fruitful interaction of the theoretical and practical dimensions of the study process, while also potentializing the exploration of those aspects of the Spanish language to which, in terms of comprehension and expression, the filmography being studied draws attention.


    Practical Section: 1. Anthology of sequences taken from key movies and from the work of key directors:

    • Escenas Españolas (Lumiére).
    • Sangre y Arena (Fred Niblo, 1922).
    • Carmen (Cecil B. Demille, 1915).
    • Carmen Burlesque (Charles Chaplin, 1916).
    • Carmen (Ernst Lubistch, 1918).
    • Carmen (Jacques Feyder, 1926).
    • El misterio de la Puerta del Sol (Francisco Elías, 1929).
    • Morena Clara (Florián Rey, 1936).
    • Carmen, la de Triana (Florián Rey, 1938).
    • El barbero de Sevilla (Benito Perojo, 1938).
    • Suspiros de España (Benito Perojo, 1938).
    • La vaquilla (Luis García Berlanga, 1985).
    • El espinazo del diablo (Guillermo del Toro, 2001).
    • Extranjeros de sí mismos (Javier Rioyo y José Luis López Linares, 2000).
    • Tierra y libertad (Ken Loach, 1993).
    •  Por quién doblan las campanas (Sam Word, 1943).
    • Canciones para después de una guerra (Basilio Martín Patino, 1973).
    • Caza de brujas (Irvin Winkler, 1991).
    • La ley del silencio (Elia Kazan, 1954).
    • Perseguido (Seymour Fredman y Peter Graham Scout, 1952).
    • El ángel vestido de rojo (Nunnally Johnson, 1960).
    • El sueño del mono loco (Fernando Trueba, 1989)
    • Two Much (Fernando Trueba, 1996). -
    • Abre los ojos (Alejandro Amenábar, 1997). -
    • Los otros (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001). 
    • Betrayer (Blackpowder Games, 2014).
    • That Dragon Cancer (Numinous Games, 2016).
    • * September 12th (Gonzalo Frasca, 2003).
    • * JFK (Traffic Games, 2004).
    • * The Marriage (Rod Humble, 2007).
    • * The Passage (Jason Rohrer, 2007).
    • * The Graveyard (Tale of Tales, 2008).

    2. Commentary on, and explanation of, the thematic and formal aspects of the following movies:

    • Carmen (Vicente Aranda, 2003).
    • Al sur de Granada (Fernando Colomo, 2003).
    • Carmen (Vicente Aranda, 2003).
    • El laberinto del fauno (Guillermo del Toro, 2006).
    • Eres mi héroe (Antonio Cuadri, 2003).
    • Abre los ojos (Alejandro Amenábar, 1997).
    • Los amantes del Círculo Polar (Julio Médem, 1997).
    • Hable con ella (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002).
    • Átame (Pedro Almodóvar, 1991).
    •  El traje (Alberto Rodríguez, 2002).
    • Sólo mía (Javier Balaguer, 2001).
    • La flaqueza del bolchevique (Manuel Martín Cuenca, 2003).
    • Los lunes al sol (Fernando León de Aranoa, 2002).
    • Días contados (Imanol Uribe, 1994).
    • Nadie conoce a nadie (Mateo Gil, 1999).

    * The Beginner's Guide (Davey Wreden, 2015).

    As far as this selection of movies is concerned, some of them will be screened in the Audiovisual Lecture Room, while students elsewhere will view others, according to the criteria set down by the Lecturer in terms of the evolution of the theoretical dimension of the Course plan.


    1. The romantic image of Spain.
    2. The image of Spain in the Ancient Regime.
    3. The image of Spain under Franco.
    4. The post modernity in the Spanish Cinema.
    5. The Shy Realism in the Spanish Cinema.
    6. Serious Games. The representation of the Image of Spain in Video Games.


    Selected Bibliography based on Historical Subject-Matter:

    • AA.VV. (1974): Cine español, cine de subgéneros. Equipo Cartelera Turia. Fernando Torres editor. Valencia.
    • AA.VV. (1975): Siete trabajos de base sobre el cine español. Fernando Torres editor. Valencia.
    •  AAA.VV. (1995): Historia del cine español. Cátedra. Signo e Imagen. Madrid.
    • AARSETH, E. J. (1997). Cybertext: Perspectives on ergodic literature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    • ALTMAN, Rick: (2000): Los géneros cinematográficos. Paidós. Barcelona. 
    • ARANDA, J. Francisco (1975): Luis Buñuel, biografía crítica. Lumen. Barcelona.
    • AUSTIN, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. London: Oxford University Press.
    • BARANOWSKI, T., Buday, R., Thompson, D. I. & Baranowski, J. (2008). Playing for real: Video games and stories for health-related behavior change. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 34(1), 74-82. https://doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2007.09.027
    • BARREIRA, D.F. (1968): Biografía de Florián Rey. ASDREC. Madrid.
    • BAUDRY, J. L. (1975). Le dispositif. Communications 23(1), 56-72.
    • BAZIN, A. (1966) ¿Qué es el cine? Madrid: Rialp.
    • BOGOST, I. (2017, 25 de abril). Video Games Are Better Without Stories. Film, television, and literature all tell them better. So why are games still obsessed with narrative? The Atlantic. Recuperado de:
    • BORAU, José Luis (dir.) (1998): Diccionario del cine español. Alianza. Madrid.
    • BREUER, J. S., & Bente, G. (2010). Why so serious? On the relation of serious games and learning. Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture 4(1), 7-24.
    • BURCH, Noel (1985): Praxis del cine. Fundamentos. Madrid.
    • C. ALLEN, Robert y GOMERY, Douglas (1995): Teoría y práctica de la historia del cine. Paidós Comunicación. Barcelona.
    • CAMPORESI, Valeria (1994): Cine para grandes y chicos. Turfan. Madrid.


    The final grade will be based on the scores obtained from two exams:


    Subject-matter: Two syllabus-unit subjects, from amongst those covered thus far, will be included, while students will be expected to deal with one out of the two. Length: One side of an A4 sheet. This exam, corrected and graded, will act as proof of commitment vis-à-vis home institutions.


    Subject-matter: Two syllabus-unit subjects, from amongst those covered throughout the Course, will be included, while students will be expected to deal with one out of the two. Length: One side of an A4 sheet. This exam, corrected and graded, will be kept by lecturers as written proof of students’ commitment.

    Students’ Final-Grade Scores will be the result of the following distribution of percentages: 50% in terms of the Mid-Semester Exam and 50% in terms of the End-of-Semester Exam.

    Students who are linked to the Course at Advanced Level will be expected to write two critical reviews of two movies that will be selected by the Lecturer. These critical commentaries will not alter the assessment percentages while, nevertheless, being a compulsory requirement prior to the final assessment process.

    A FAIL GRADE WILL BE GIVEN TO ANY STUDENT WHO DOES NOT SIT BOTH EXAMS. The final grade is based on the average score obtained from both exams. Exam-session dates cannot be put forward or back unless exceptional circumstances prevail and which would require justification in writing from Program Directors or Tutors.


    •  The adequate assimilation of fundamental syllabus content.
    •  A working knowledge of the orthographic rules, the correct forms of expression, and the vocabulary content of the Spanish language.
    • A capacity to set areas of subject-matter in relation to others.
    •  The understanding of, and the explicative capacity to analyse, any of the key aspects of a cinematographic text which may require comment.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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