Jo Evans (UCL): ‘Childhood and Adolescence on Screen: Do We Need to Talk About Buñuel?’

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Here you can listen to the audio of the talk given by Dr Jo Evans (UCL) on childhood and adolescence in Luis Buñuel’s films as part of our Seminar Series.

Abstract: Childhood and adolescence have become an important focus of attention for film and film studies in recent years. Films like We Need to Talk About Kevin (Ramsey 2011), Gone Baby Gone (Affleck 2007), even Boyhood (Linklater, 2014), address the ethical complexity of our parental and/or social responsibility for children, and film scholars now pay serious attention to our relationship with the child on screen.
Major academic studies have emerged. Emma Wilson’s Cinema’s Missing Children(2003) and Sarah Wright’s The Child in Spanish Cinema (2013) provide the theoretical foundations for any serious analysis of the representation of children on screen, while Carolina Rocha’s special issue of Studies in Hispanic Cinemas(2011) on ‘Children in Hispanic Cinema’ testifies the importance of this topic for scholars Spanish-language film. Yet to date, with the exception of studies of Los olvidados, scholars have paid little attention to the representation of childhood in the work of the director who is arguably still the best-known Spanish-language auteur. With a view to addressing this perceived gap, this paper will examine the Spanish-Mexican director Luis Buñuel’s complex, provocative, ambivalent, blackly comic and, at times, frankly disturbing representation of the child on screen.

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