SPAN20200 The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar

Academic Year 2020/2021

This module will introduce students to one of Spain’s most prolific directors: Pedro Almodóvar. Famed for his subversive and sensational works, Almodóvar has created a unique vision of Spain that is equally dark and vibrant, brimming with possibilities for aspiring film critics. Structured around Almodóvar’s depictions of gender identities, the module will investigate strong female characters, ambiguous depictions of masculinity, and, finally, his portrayals of homosexuality and the transsexual body. Students will learn a holistic approach to film analysis, incorporating not only main themes and plotlines but also the importance of framing, soundtrack, recurring visual motifs, and different storytelling devices such as flashbacks and intertextual references. In studying Almodóvar’s critique of modern Spanish society, students will become aware of the wider social context of his cinema, thus gaining an insight into the culture of twentieth and twenty-first century Spain.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
o Identify the various cinematic genres
o Identify and discuss the use of different cinematic techniques
o Analyse and interpret an individual scene, and an entire film, using appropriate vocabulary and critical skills
o Discuss a work of cinema within its wider historical and social context
o Understand the key concept of gender identities

Indicative Module Content:

Works Studied

¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? (1984)
Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1987)
Carne trémula (1997)
Hable con ella (2002)
Todo sobre mi madre (1999)
La piel que habito (2011)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module combines lecture and tutorial activities. Students will carry out individual and group activities, answering questions on the films and critically analysing particular scenes. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

An interest in cinema.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Class Test: Open-book end-of-trimester test. End of trimester MCQ n/a Graded No


Essay: 1,500-2000 word essay Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will carry out in-class activities on which they will receive peer feedback before the first summative assessment. They will receive individual written feedback on the first assessment which will help them for the final assessment.

Name Role
Dr Diana Battaglia Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Mary Farrelly Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Tara Plunkett Lecturer / Co-Lecturer