Presentation on theme: "Teaching film in modern languages University of Bristol 19 th June 2009 Dr. Miriam Haddu Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico."— Presentation transcript:
Teaching film in modern languages University of Bristol 19 th June 2009 Dr. Miriam Haddu Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico
Mexican Filmmaking Research: Books, articles and papers Teaching: Hispanic Studies Modern Languages (co-taught courses running within the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures) New teaching subject – documentary filmmaking: coincides with new research project.
Mexican Visual Arts and Film Second year course – half devoted to analysing the still image (photography, murals) and other half to Mexican film. Film component is introductory exploring: key moments in Mexican filmmaking history filmic movements formulas from Golden Age Stylistics and social concerns from Golden Age, Generation of ’68 to the Contemporary period (1990s and beyond). Prepares students for the final year option, and develops their analytical skills in relation to a variety of visual texts.
Contemporary Mexican Cinema Contemporary Mexican Cinema: History, Space and Identity Final Year Course ‘Contemporary Mexican Cinema’ Course content: Mixture of filmic material (some written on, others not). Each year new material added – keeps novelty value, allows progression through film history. At times films being worked on are taught (En la mente del asesino / In the Mind of a Killer) Subjects covered: Characteristics of filmmaking Women filmmakers Genres Seminar room becomes a forum for learning, interpreting filmic texts, discussion and the investigation of new ideas.
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico Modern Languages co-taught course Second year level: Spanish studies students Film studies with a modern language Aims and Objectives: Introduce students to a selection of documentaries from the region Expand analytical skills acquired elsewhere on the course Contextualise and interpret visual constructs Address the issue of genre when applied to documentary.
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico Teaching in Practice: Teaching of some principles of documentary filmmaking: Basic principles: Distinction between ‘fiction’ and ‘reality’ filmmaking. Some myths addressed. Issues of representing ‘reality’ Theoretical framework for reading these outputs Types of documentary: observational, reflexive, interactive, etc. Primary text to exemplify generic definition: En el hoyo / In the Pit.
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico Teaching Practice: Theoretical framework for reading these texts Documentary modes of representation: Expository Mode Observational Mode Interactive Mode Reflexive Mode Primary text to exemplify generic definition: En el hoyo/In the Pit
Juan Carlos Rulfo’s En el hoyo / In the Pit (2007) Example of ‘observational mode’ documentary Tagline: Starting point for exploring issues of reality in documentary Methods of documentary filmmaking Role of the director.
En el hoyo
Documentary filmmaking from Mexico Pedagogical challenges: Knowledge of cultural context (theoretical tools not sufficient) ‘Re-training of the eye’ – build upon skills developed from other courses/modules New discipline for modern languages students.
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico Methodological issues / Teaching in Practice: Accessibility: 1. Distribution within the film industry 2. Language (target language) 3. Secondary sources (reference material)
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico 1. Distribution: Documentaries shown at film festivals: Access and Delivery of teaching material Limitations on student viewing Resolution: Contact filmmakers directly Film Institutes
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico 2. Language: Effect from poor distribution is limited subtitled material – excludes non- Spanish speakers. Lack of subtitles limits the audience to a certain level of Spanish speakers only. Local problem – accent – Mexico City’s chilango presents problems of reception.
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico 3. Secondary Sources: New films – little publication available Most written form of criticism in the target language Possible solution: Newspaper reviews from archives in Mexico City Study packs for students (internet resources and reviews)
Documentary Filmmaking from Mexico Pedagogical benefits of research- informed teaching: Cutting Edge teaching Expert knowledge Forum for discussion and exploring of new ideas – works both for the researcher and the student.