At Durham we are organising a film series dedicated to the figure of Ventura Pons and the question of masculinities in Catalan cinema. From February 14th to March 14th, Catalan students (Beginners & Advanced) will have access, thanks to the support of Llull, to four of the director’s films – Ocaña, retrat intermitent (1978), El vicari d’Olot (1981) and Amic/amat (1999) – which will allow us to discuss on Catalan cinema history and the construction of masculinity and homosexuality in the Catalan cultural context.
We recommend that students read the following critical works: the study by Dr. Josep Anton Fernández (2004), ‘The authentic queen and the invisible man: Catalan camp and its conditions of possibility in Ventura Pons's Ocaña, retrat intermitent’, and the works of professor Santiago Fouz (2015), ‘La mirada homoerótica en el cine de Ventura Pons’. We also suggest the reading of Martí-Olivella’s (2011) ‘ “Catalan Cinema: An Uncanny Transnational Performance’, published in Dominic Keown, A Companion to Catalan Culture.
Aside from Catalan language students, access to the films is also available to students of the course «Identities in the Spanish-Speaking world», a unit for first-year students of Modern Languages that includes for the first time five sessions dedicated to Catalan culture. In these sessions we will explore the construction of Catalan identity, focusing on the role of language – in relation, for example, to the concept of linguistic vulnerability (Butler, 2016) and intersectionality theory (Rodó de Zárate, 2021). One of the sessions will also be dedicated to the issue of cinema and masculinities, and finally we will address Mercè Rodoreda’s La Plaça del Diamant