Summer Film Course | Topics in World Cinema: Mexico

FILM S2290
3 points
Instructor: Breixo Viejo
This course counts towards fulfillment of Columbia's Global Core requirement.
For course schedule and location, please visit the School of Professional Studies summer site here.
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The global success of film directors Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro has attracted much attention to the New Mexican Cinema. Yet this «Nuevo cine mexicano» cannot be understood without knowing the traditions of Mexico’s intricate film history. This course explores the numerous tendencies of Mexican cinema through the analysis of its most representative genres, features, and directors since its so called Golden Age (1938-1957). An in-depth analysis of films such as Emilio Fernández’s María Candelaria (1943), Luis Buñuel’s Los olvidados (1950), Jomi García Ascot’s On the Empty Balcony (1962), Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Mole (1970), and Arturo Ripstein's Deep Crimson (1996) will contribute to define the characteristics of the most relevant «national» genres – from 1940s melodramas to 1970s acid Westerns and 1990s crime films. The study of the New Mexican Cinema of Iñárritu (Amores perros, 2000), Cuarón (Y tu mamá también, 2001), and del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, 2006) will also comprise an examination of the complex relationship between the US and Mexican film industries, as well as a critique of the very notion of «national identity» in today’s globalized world. We will also analyze new tendencies in commercial, experimental, and documentary Mexican films – including Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light (2007) and Pedro González Rubio's Alamar (2009).

Tuition & Fees
Current Columbia students can review tuition and fees here.

Visiting students can review tuition and fees here.

Materials Fee: $TBD
For questions about School of the Arts summer courses, including those concerning admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Professional Studies summer team at or 212-854-9666. With questions about specific course content, please contact Film Departmental Representative Robert King at

About the Instructor
Breixo Viejo is a Senior Research Associate at the School of European Languages, Culture and Society in University College London. He holds an MA degree in Media Studies at the New School for Social Research, and a PhD in Film History (Cum Laude) at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He has been a visiting scholar at University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Freie Universität zu Berlin, Columbia University in New York, and Casa Buñuel in Mexico City. He has received awards from the DAAD, the UK Arts Council, and the Leverhulme Trust, and, from 2004 to 2008, he worked as an archivist for the Filmoteca Española in Madrid. Viejo is the author of the books Música moderna para un nuevo cine: Eisler, Adorno y el Film Music Project (Madrid: Akal, 2008), an in-depth analysis of the intersection of critical theory and film, and Film Books (New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 2016), a visual history of cinema literature from 1895 to present day. more
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.