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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2004

E 322 • Latin American Literature into Film

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32785 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
BEN 1.104

Course Description

Adaptation, always a recognizable undercurrent in film, seems to have grabbed center stage on the international scene with Spike Jonze's 2002 Academy award-winning feature. The newly-found interest in this approach to filmmaking, and especially in the complexities inherent in the transition from word to image, is reflected in the marked resurgence of the trend in Brazil.

In this course we will study six novels and two short stories by Brazilian and Spanish American authors and their film adaptations. The texts will be considered in autonomous, literary terms first, and then vis-à-vis their cinematic renditions, which include Latin American as well as European and Hollywood productions ranging from independent to commercial. Narrative approach, theories and strategies of adaptation as well as literary and film movements relevant to the works in question will be discussed. Thematic leitmotivs will be the issues of gender, race, class, violence, and changing values in agrarian and urban societies in Latin America.

The course will be conducted as a seminar and will be taught in English. There will be out-of-class screenings, followed by in-class discussions of the text and comparative analysis of text and film.

Grading Policy

Three 6-7 page papers 60%
One exam 20%
Quizzes and class participation 20%


Barren Lives, Brazil 1963 (Graciliano Ramos/Nelson Pereirados Santos)
Blow-up, UK 1966 (Julio Cortázar/Michelangelo Antonioni)
Place without limits, Mexico 1978 (José Donoso/Arturo Ripstein)
Performance / "The South," UK 1970 (J.L. Borges/N. Roeg & D. Cammell)
The Hour of the Star, Brazil 1985 (Clarice Lispector/Suzana Amaral)
The Kiss of The Spider Woman, USA 1985 (Manuel Puig/Hector Babenco)
Like Water for Chocolate, Mexico 1992 (Laura Esquivel/Alfonso Arau)
Our Lady of the Assassins, France/Spain/Colombia 2000 (Fernando Vallejo/Barbet Schroeder)


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