Students working on computers in the Graduate School

Graduate School Seminar Series: 2017/18

"Stasis, Stillness and Immobility in Spanish Crisis Cinema (2008 – 2015)"

Thursday 14th June, 4.30pm - 5.30pm, Room LH 211 a/b

Presenter: Raquel Martinez Martin (PhD Candidate, Spanish)
Chair: Professor Karen Boyle

Since the financial crash in 2008 and during the subsequent recession period, a significant amount of the Spanish population has endured the consequences of the international economic crisis socially, politically and economically. Within the Spanish filmic context, local filmmakers have tackled aspects such as land speculation, home evictions, youth unemployment, political corruption, extreme poverty and other issues onscreen, mirroring (and often denouncing) the disastrous situation which has desolated the country during the last decade. These so-called ‘Spanish crisis films’ portray individuals in positions of precarity and vulnerability, clear symptoms of the current social and economic international paradigm.

As the main focus of my PhD thesis, I analyse Spanish crisis films as ‘glocal’ (global/local) productions, placing special emphasis on the formal aspects chosen by Spanish directors to portray the social, political and economic landscape of stagnation in Spain. The aim is to present how stasis and stillness -- through lack of movement of the camera frame and within the frame itself -- reflect the socioeconomic situation in which the Spanish society has been immersed during the Great Recession period. For that purpose, my research adapts Dimitris Eleftheriotis’ methodology of cinematic movement, based on the axes certainty ↔ uncertainty and activity ↔ passivity. In this session, I will present the film Beautiful Youth (Hermosa Juventud – Jaime Rosales, 2014) as a specific case study of lack of movement in/of the frame.