ReFocus: The Films of Pablo Larraín

Laura Hatry's picture
Call for Publications
November 30, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies

One of the central figures in contemporary Chilean film, director Pablo Larraín (b. 1976), presents a harsh portrait of his country’s current reality and of its tortured history in a direct, sometimes surprising, and often controversial oeuvre, never demurring in the face of violence or painful truths about the past. His first feature film, Fuga (2006), which was poorly received by critics, focuses on a composer’s mental health issues; his striking trilogy about Chile’s recent history covers the Pinochet dictatorship in Tony Manero (2008), the last days of the Allende presidency in Post mortem (2010), and the democratic downfall of Pinochet in 1988 in NO (2012). In 2015, he released The Club, a film about a beach house where priests with dark pasts have been sequestered; and in 2016, Neruda and Jackie, biopics about the Chilean Nobel-prize-winning poet and the American icon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, finally got him media and critical attention beyond Latin America.


In only ten years, Larraín has managed to forge himself a very important niche in Chilean, and even international film, created his own cinematic language, and established a critical dialogue about Chile’s recent past; nevertheless, in-depth academic analysis of his work is scant. For this book-length anthology of scholarly research we are accepting submissions on any aspect of his oeuvre. Essays may focus on the following topics, although they are illustrative and we are very happy to consider others of your own suggestions:


• Larraín’s professional development

• Larraín’s role within Chile’s national cinema, and the local reception of his films

• the international reception of Larraín’s films (and the shift in the international reception from his early films to the latest)

• any of the above-mentioned films by themselves, but also his trilogy as a whole

• historical memory

• social taboos (such as child abuse by priests or mental health issues)

• trauma

• the use of documentary/historical material

• his work as a director in the biopic genre (particularly considering that his “biopics” are not customary biopics)

• discussion of his work as a producer of feature films and of the HBO Latin America series Fugitives

• interviews with the director and/or his collaborators


The Films of Pablo Larraín will be one of the scholarly editions to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press in the ReFocus series on international directors. Series editors are Robert Singer, PhD and Gary D. Rhodes, PhD.



We invite proposals of approximately 300 words, and a 100-word author biography. The deadline for abstract submissions is November 30, 2017. Please send your proposals to

We welcome initial email enquiries to discuss possible proposals.


Essays included in the refereed anthology will be approximately 6000-8,000 words including endnotes, in English, referenced in Chicago style. The incorporation of grabs/stills/shots (TIFF or JPG; 300+ dpi) is encouraged. Accepted contributors are expected to submit their full chapters by May 1, 2018.

Contact Email: