Panel discussion:
'From Buñuel to González Iñárritu: The Pitfalls of the National Cinema Debate'

Thursday, February 17, 7pm
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue (at 68th Street) 


The concept of 'national cinema' has been key in the emergence and development of film studies. Yet for all the talk and discussion around this concept, more often than not, it has failed to understand the intercultural and international nature of cinema. In the case of Mexican and Spanish cinema, the debate on what constitutes national cinema has been circulating the same unresolved concerns at least since Buñuel worked in Mexico decades ago.

Taking the case that this year's Mexico's submission to the Academy Awards is Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful (starring Spanish actor Javier Bardem and shot entirely in Barcelona), whilst Spain submitted Icíar Bollaín's También la lluvia / Even the Rain (shot in Bolivia and starring Mexican actor Gael García Bernal), this panel will bring to the forefront the limitations on the debate of the 'national cinema' focusing in particular on the interrelation between Spanish and Mexican cinema.



Gerard Dapena is a scholar of Hispanic Cinemas and Visual Culture. He has published and lectured on different aspects of Spanish and Latin American film and art history and taught at a number of colleges in the U.S.

Daniel Loría. Daniel Loría's writing on cinema and the film industry has appeared in indieWIRE and Not Coming to a Theater Near You. He holds an M.A. in cinema studies from New York University and a B.A. in the same field from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Paul Julian Smith is Distinguished Professor in the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Program at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author of fifteen books including: Amores Perros (BFI 2003), Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (Verso, 2001) and Spanish Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television (Liverpool UP, 2009). He is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound andFilm Quarterly.

Moderated by Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Director of Cinema Tropical.