The 2014 Norman MacColl Symposium, organised by the Spanish and Portuguese Department of Cambridge University and convened by Prof. Brad Epps, was held on the 1st of November at Clare College under the title “Canon, contra-canon y cinefilia: Historias del cine español en un contexto internacional.”
The symposium encouraged debate around key trends and issues of Spanish cinema. The distinctive style of Spanish cinema, deeply rooted in the Spanish tradition of the sainete and the esperpento (the farce and the absurd), gradually evolved to become an open space where popular cinema grew alongside sophisticated styles inspired by Hollywood or Paris. Although Spain’s political isolation under Franco prevented film makers from fully absorbing European new waves, the death of Franco in 1975 saw a burst of creativity and experimentation that placed Spanish cinema back on the international arena.
This year’s MacColl lecturer was Roman Gubern Garriga-Nogués, Emeritus Professor of Audiovisual communication at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Prof. Gubern has been President of the Spanish Association of Film Historians (Asociación Española de Historiadores del Cine). He is also a member of a long list of bodies in the Arts and the Sciences, including the French Association for Research on the History of Cinema (Association Française pour la Recherche sur l´Histoire du Cinéma). Professor Gubern’s work articulates around three different strands: the historiography of cinema, with special emphasis on Spanish cinema; the language of comics, and the theory of image. He has written over 50 books and more than 200 journal articles. The University Library holds several books by him – a list can be seen here – and several more are currently on order. Full-text access to many of his journal articles and reviews are available to Cambridge users via LibrarySearch+.
The University Library holds several leading journals on cinema with good coverage of Spanish film studies. Access to hundreds of scholarly articles is also available online through the Cambridge Libraries Gateway. Here are some of the most representative titles:
Studies in Hispanic cinemas (Vol. 1, no. 1 (2004)-v.9:no.2 (2012)) continued by Studies in Spanish & Latin American cinemas (Volume 10, number 1 (2013)-), is available at L415:6.c.391 (latest issues at [p/hole: O.468])
Studies in European cinema (Vol. 1, no. 1 (2004)-) is available at L415:6.c.394 (latest issues at [p/hole: O.6]. Also available electronically via Taylor & Francis NESLI2 (2004-to present).
New cinemas (Vol. 1, no. 1 (2002)-) is available at L415:6.c.433 (latest issues at [p/hole: O.504])
New review of film and television studies (Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 2003)-) is available at L415:6.b.481 (latest issues at [p/hole: 5749]). Also available electronically via Taylor & Francis NESLI2 (2003-to present)
The singularities, vibrancy and diversity of Spanish cinema have attracted interest from researchers worldwide. Spanish cinema has helped broaden the understanding of Spanish social issues and culture. The following journals are a good starting point for researchers of Spanish cinema and popular culture:
Hispanic Research Journal: Iberian and Latin American Studies (2000- ) is available at P744.c.183 (latest issues available at [p/hole: W.100])
Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Vol. 26, no. 101 (Jan. /Mar. 1949)-) is available at P744.c.6 (latest issues available at [p/hole: W.404]). Also available electronically to Cambridge users via Project Muse, LION and Taylor & Francis NESLI2
If you are an e-books fan, DIGITALIA Hispánica should be on your list of top resources at Cambridge. The platform of Spanish e-books is available to Cambridge users on and off campus (with a Raven password). The cinema collection contains over 300 e-books about film and more than 5,000 full text articles, critical essays and reviews from the prestigious journals Archivos de la Filmoteca and Secuencias.
The Glynne Parker film history collection contains a small selection of books on Spanish cinema, particularly on Luís Buñuel. For further information, see our blog post on Buñuel here.
The Library’s collections on film are extensive and growing. A large number of books on Spanish cinema are available in print in English and Spanish. For a sample list of titles in English click here. For a selection of titles in Spanish, click here.