Fall 2024

Almodóvar on the Verge

Listed in: Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-328  |  Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-347  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-357  |  Spanish, as SPAN-347


Sara J. Brenneis (Section 01)


(Offered as SPAN-347, FAMS-328, & SWAG-357) Emerging from the ashes of the Franco dictatorship, director Pedro Almodóvar lit up Spain's movie screens beginning in the 1980s with his unconventional takes on gender, sexuality, religion, and family. Now a globally-recognized and award-winning filmmaker, Almodóvar has matured from his raunchy and risqué beginnings in the Madrid punk scene to become a director sensitive to marginalized people and human rights. In this course, we will consider a panorama of Almodóvar films from the 1980s to the 2020s in the context of Spanish society during a period of political transition, social transformation and collective trauma. Particular emphasis will be placed on how the director has represented gender identity and sexuality in his films. Through streaming films, course readings, short writing assignments and a visual essay project, we will work through Almodóvar’s thematic interests, characteristic film techniques, and ongoing dialogue with Spain’s culture. This course is conducted in Spanish, with some readings in English; prior exposure to film studies is not required. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor.  Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on visual analysis, group work, critical analysis of readings and written work. Instruction and films in Spanish; readings in Spanish and English. Discussion format in which active listening and participation in Spanish is crucial. Assessments include short written and oral responses and a final edited video essay project.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2024