Spanish Film Studies at the BFI

Last Friday the Lower and Upper Sixth Spanish students attended a fascinating study day at the British Film Institute on London’s Southbank. We started the day with lectures by university professors, discussing the relationship between film and the Spanish Civil War. During the sessions we explored two of the most renowned and highly acclaimed films on this subject: ‘Las Trece Rosas’ and ‘El Laberinto del Fauno’. The workshops included analysing the various cinematic techniques used by the directors, such as camera angles, music and costume. We were then encouraged to look at how the films link to the social and political context of the time, which was helpful in giving us a new outlook on this historical period.

The fact that the lectures were entirely in Spanish was daunting at first, but really useful because it helped us to grasp some of the more complex language used for analysing a film. In the afternoon we greatly enjoyed watching Del Toro’s harrowing masterpiece ‘El Laberinto del Fauno’ and discussed some of the most striking scenes and motifs that we had noticed throughout. I thought that it was especially beneficial to listen to different interpretations by the other students as well as the university professors. Overall, the trip was extremely eye-opening and exposed us to new material outside our A Level specification. It was fascinating to analyse different interpretations of the Civil War, and it especially sparked my interest in the effectiveness of film in interpreting and presenting the events of the past.

Taisie Lewis, Upper Sixth

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