Topics in World Cinema: Mexico

FILM S2290
Summer 2017
Breixo Viejo


This course counts towards fulfillment of Columbia's Global Core requirement.


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).


For course schedule and location, please visit the School of Professional Studies summer site here.



Current Columbia students can review tuition and fees here.
Visiting students can review tuition and fees here.




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