Pairing TPRS novels with Movie Talk

e13I have not been blogging lately because I have been teaching Carrie Toth´s and Carol Gaab´s wonderful novel, La hija del sastre, and on alternating days Movie Talking selected parts of Pan´s Labyrinth (i.e. El Laberinto del Fauno). A nice synergy has developed between the two texts; Pan´s Labyrinth has cast such a foreboding shadow over the novel that students are quite on edge as they read… as they should be. I have read La Hija del Sastre in class before, but somehow I could not quite sell it the way I am managing to do it this year. Good pairings draw students in.

With that in mind, have you found a synergistic pairing of film and novel?

I paired the film Sin Nombre with the TPRS novel Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha last year and I thought the effect was pretty good. I have also paired the novel Esperanza with the documentary Which way home?, but what I would really like is to find a book to pair with Almodovar´s Hable con ella. Any ideas?


  1. i haven’t seen the Almodovar film! Good one? I have a new novel coming in March w a bullfighting theme. Pairs w the new black and white Blancanieves!!

    I’d love to hear more about how you’re movie talking Pan w the novel! This is up soon in Spanish 3!

    I use La Calaca Alegre with El Orfanato and Scenes from El Norte with Esperanza! Love pairing!!! So powerful to mix media!

    1. Hable con ella features the choreography and modern dance of an exquisite artist, Pina Bausch. The film centers, in part, on a dancer and so Almodovar takes advantage of the opportunity to place works of art within his film. The score is haunting, and also features one of the most heart-breaking versions of the song Cucurucucu Paloma that I have ever heard (performed live by Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso). Incidentally, that is also a fun scene for Almodovar fans because he reunited actors from many of his films to play as guests gathered in the background. The ballet master in the film is played by Geraldine Chaplin, who I think is an absolute treasure. If you listen to the special features on the DVD, Chaplin and Almodovar got together and made an audio commentary of the entire film which is fascinating to listen to… if nothing else, listen to their commentary during the bullfighting scenes when Almodovar explains the tradition and superstition in the dressing room as the torero prepares for the bullfight. In AP I used to play this film during a unit on gender, explicitly discussing how men understand (or in this film, fail to understand) the women they love. Wonderful film (but of course, PREVIEW! My copy has several sticky notes with lists of timings so I remember to pause and skip scenes that would otherwise get me fired). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fl8tyEIXXI

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