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Title: Interior castles : spaces of women's enclosure in Spanish cinema and television since the transition to democracy
Author: Farrelly, Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 7293
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis will shed light on the mechanics of women's enclosure in Spanish cinema and television since the transition to democracy, particularly convent and prison spaces. The study aims to make an original contribution to the field of Spanish cultural studies by highlighting the tension between these spaces as sites of control and sites of community, a tension which both problematizes and enriches the negotiation of the abject, the excessive, and the inassimilable within Spain. Following some contextual scene-setting laid out in the Introduction, the first two chapters explore how the convent was recuperated in the popular imagination after the end of the dictatorship. The first chapter will examine convent space in three post-transition biopics of the sixteenth century Spanish mystic, Teresa de Jesús: Josefina Molina's 1984 TVE television series, Teresa de Jesús, Ray Loriga's 2007 film Teresa, el cuerpo de Cristo, and Jorge Dorado's recent TV movie, Teresa (2015). This analysis will unravel the concrete and historical forces which have shaped representations of the saint's space, particularly how Teresa's mysticism has imbued the convent with authority as a political tool in defining national identity and gender roles. Equally, it will examine how the ineffable experience of the mystic ultimately makes the space unassimilable to any overarching power structure. The impossibility of assimilating convent space will then be the focus of the second chapter which explores the use of different aesthetic registers to render the convent socially intelligible in two mid-eighties convent films, Entre tinieblas (Almodóvar 1983) and Extramuros (Picazo 1985). The next two chapters focus on the construction and management of Otherness in representations of female homosocial enclosure during the mid-nineties. The third chapter looks at two adaptions of the stage play, Canción de cuna - José María Elorrieta's 1961 version and José Luis Garci's 1994 remake - to examine how the radical Otherness of convent enclosure has been mitigated on screen in order to ease anxieties around unmarried, childless women, and to reclaim the space as part of the national landscape. Chapter 4's analysis of Libertarias (Aranda 1995) and Entre rojas (Rodriguez 1996) will contrast this with a study of how the Otherness inherent to homosocial enclosure has also been exploited as a path towards new imaginings of community and intimacy. The final section will examine gender, memory, and martyrdom in women's prison films since 2000: Las trece rosas (Martínez-Lázaro 2007), La voz dormida (Zambrano 2011), and Estrellas que alcanzar (Rueda 2010). This chapter will consider how enclosed environments have been used to frame martyrdom narratives, problematically situating them at the intersection of traditional Catholic iconography and more contemporary depictions of imprisoned and confined women. While the study focuses primarily on cultural production since the transition to democracy, emphasis is placed throughout on tracing the roots of these representations to earlier hagiography, missionary films, and the cine religioso of the 1950s. These connections not only demonstrate the endurance of the convent and prison as significant sites in the Spanish popular imagination but also their versatility as a signifying force and the need for more nuanced readings of them in cultural studies.
Supervisor: Perriam, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: mysticism ; convent ; Spanish cinema ; Spanish television ; prison