Monday, January 6, 2014

The Curse

Hispanic Cinema: what a lie. That class needs a new name.

So before the semester started, I dropped the online class because I knew with two literature classes, I was going to be incredibly swamped with readings. It was a little worrying, because I dropped Russian Fairy Tales last semester and I didn't want to do something like that again. I want to pick my classes and stick to them. If not, I might as well be setting a curse on myself to drop a class every start of the semester.

Despite that wish, I figured it was better not to push it. I went to the first day of Medieval Lit in translation and Japanese Cinema today, and was pretty happy with what the courses have to offer. I'm not in any fear of my American literature class tomorrow, so it all seemed pretty good. That said, I'd already read a lot of negative things about the professor who teaches Hispanic Cinema. He's apparently terribly arrogant and insults students--and that's not the usual complains people give about professors. It's usually, "he's such a tough grader," "she never teaches anything," "he doesn't listen!" Those are easier to ignore, as they're often never true and just written by bitter students. But in two different websites people were calling him arrogant. I was skeptical, but I wanted to stick with the class. It's my culture, after all, and I wanted to have two cinema classes.

And then I got the syllabus.

It is literally a class dedicated to one guy. One. Guy.

I know because of my infinite ignorance that I have no right to judge the importance of Pedro Almodovar when I know next to nothing about his films. I'm sure he represents a lot of great importance to the cinema of Spain.

But the fucking class is called Hispanic cinema. As in, all those little countries in South and Central America plus Spain. It's bad enough that often my own personal culture seems to get put in a blender with other nations--to the point where my birth nation is almost never mentioned--but now we can't even focus on all those directors and actors? This shit wasn't listed as Spanish film and only now I'm seeing it listed under Almodovar's name. When I signed up for it, the system said Hispanic Cinema, and now it's saying a completely different thing.

I got so mad I dropped the class.

Yeah, yeah, I'm down to 12 credits. I wouldn't be if French Cinema was still open--which was at the same time as Almodovar Cinema--but I didn't get very lucky in that search. This would technically mean I'd have to take wayyy too many classes too catch up and graduate when I want to, but I have a new plan. I'll graduate in Summer 2015. It'll really only be two last classes needed, and then I'm done.

The weird thing is, I'm not actually ever really attached to my culture. I don't care about my costumes, cultural expectations, food and music, etc. The language is nice, but not my favorite in the world, and it really does often feel like the umbrella term for Hispanic usually excludes a lot of countries rather than truly unite them. But I'm starting to realize how important cinema is to me, and to just have this school shove it all to one man rather than the collective individuals who contributed to it is a little unnerving. It'd be different if there was a specific class for him and another for general Hispanic cinema. But there wasn't. There isn't a choice.

Sucks >_>

EDIT: I had to add this in because it was just so perfect.

I told my dad that the class consisted of pretty much one director, and he guessed Luis Buñuel, adding "there's no one else." From his wikipedia page, this guy looks a hell of a lot more interesting than Almodovar, particularly because he worked with a) different countries, b) different genres, and c) the surrealist movement of the 20s and continued to make films till the 70s. (The syllabus for the class said we'd only be watching films from the 80's and beyond, which is not enough when studying a culture's cinema).

So I told him who it was and he said: "Carajo...pura sexualidad y amor decadente. No es tan malo, pero no es Buñuel...how disappointing."
Which means, "Fuck...all sexuality and decadent love. He's not too bad, but he's not Buñuel..."

I laughed. I should have known my dad would know.

I'll watch some Buñuel movies chronologically to make up for it. Maybe I'll find an anthology...
~Becky

P.S: I may or may not have freaked out my Medieval Lit professor. She handed out little index cards and said to write our names and a fun fact. I told her a little bit about Garavito and Pedro Lopez. I hope she doesn't think it too weird.

P.P.S: I barely even bothered to try and translate carajo. Apparently it can be anything from shit, damn, fuck, dick, bloke, and dude.
So yeah. Wat.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:37 PM

    I didn't know it was such a... versatile cussword. I guess it's like that one French word that stands for every insult imaginable.

    ReplyDelete

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