Los jinetes de la pradera roja (Spanish Edition)

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The film's success led him to produce a number of other adaptations of nineteenth-century Romantic plays over the next decade. Perhaps the major work of this localist tendency was the French-Spanish coproduction of Cristobal Colon , an epic re-creation of the life of Christopher Columbus, with an international cast that held special patriotic value for Spanish audiences. Many of those theaters were filled with a steady stream of films based on "national" popular cultural themes. In the period immediately following the end of World War I, for example, Jacinto Benavente, the Nobel prize-winning playwright, started directing films, beginning with an adaptation of his own play, Los intereses creados [The Bonds of Interest] The success of Buchs's adaptation led the way for other filmed zarzuelas, such as La revoltosa [The Rowdy Girl] and Gigantesy cabezudos [Giants and LargeHeaded Figures] , both directed by an aspiring actor-turned-filmmaker, Floridn Rey.

It was quickly followed by Francisco Camacho's adaptation of the Pio Baroja novel, Zalacain, el aventurero [Zalacain, the Adventurer] Also, the highly successful adaptation of Carlos Amiches's popular jEs mi hombre! Amiches's theater became an especially rich source of material forfilmmakersduring the early sound period just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. The particular attraction of Amiches for Spanish popular cinema clearly derivesfromtwo key elements of the playwright's style: his suggestive evocation of the working-class Madrid milieu; and his inventive simulation of an urban, working-class vemacularthat was to be emulated in films unrelated to Amiches's own works during the early sound period Mata Moncho, The industry, now producing over sixty films a year, was soon to be eclipsed by the advent of talking films, which would alter the course of Spanish film production irretrievably.

The film launched Buftuel's career as Spain's most internationally renowned filmmaker. It also crystallized the tradition, for future generations of filmmakers, of an irreverent and mordant practice of filmmaking; this characteristic would remain, at least for foreign audiences, one of the hallmarks of Spanish directors. During the intervening years, new improvements in sound technology were revolutionizing motion picture production in the United States and other parts of Europe.

Yet Spanish filmmakers continued to make films conceived essentially as silent works, then later synchronized for sound. The first sound cinema for Spanish audiences was not made with Spanish technology but rather through the efforts of Hollywood film companies that wanted to maintain their grip on international markets during the early sound period. A plan was devised for "international productions. Though the technical quality of such films was vastly superior to anything that Spanish companies could produce during the same period, they usually lacked Spanish cultural specificity in their story lines or settings Gubern,, By contrast, the domestically produced silent cinema of this period tended to remain strikingly localist, relying very often on aspects of the espanolada tradition, that is, celebrations of regional Spanish customs, myths, and folklore.

Given the near total lack of an industrial infrastructure for a national film industry during the late silent period, it was inevitable that these years would see a dramatic migration of film professionals from Spain to Hollywood or Paris to participate in productions that would not have been possible in their native country. As Caparr6s-Lera points out, by the extensive production of Spanish-language motion pictures produced abroad had essentially monopolized the peninsular market Caparr6s-Lera , Spanish-language films shot in either Hollywood or the Joinville studios probably numbered over fifty by this time.

Some recent studies, such as Manuel Rotellar's Cine espanol de la Republica, suggest that by the number of these international productions may have reached In an effort to remedy this situation, a meeting of interested Spanish and Latin American film professionals was held in Madrid in October of This first ever Congreso Hispanoamericano de Cinematografia [Hispanic American Film Congress] called for government action to establish protection for national film industries.

It advocated efforts to impede Spanish-language productions outside of Hispanic countries, specifically, the United States, and proposed developing a formula to require theater owners to show a specific number of Spanish films yearly. While generally viewed as a landmark in the development of a united effort to defend Spanish-language cinema, the congress, according to various film historians, failed to produce any concrete results beyond the establishment in of Spain's Consejo Nacional de Cinematografia [National Film Board], which was aimed at developing protectionist supports for Spanish cinema.

The 6 Guide to the Cinema of Spain board's functions were redefined the following year but produced no tangible results in defense of Spanish films Gubem , The film's depiction of the poverty, hunger, and social backwardness of the rural Spanish region of Las Hurdes was perceived as offensive to the Spanish nation. Given the shift to the right in the general elections of , there seemed very little chance that the film or its director would receive any support from official Spain.

The establishment of the Orphea Studios in Barcelona, the first sound studios in Spain, also took place in Their first colaboration, Pax , though actually filmed in a French version, marked the beginning of the development of a viable technological infrastructure for sound film production in Spain. While CEA and ECESA produced films of quality comparable in the quality to those turned out in Hollywood or Joinville they could not compete numerically with the foreign Spanish-language film factories.

Following these "majors," some fourteen other studios producing Spanish-language films emerged in Spain over the next two years. Thus, by , it was possible to speak of a boom in national cinema in Spain, spurred in part by the extraordinary support of Spanish films by the general populace. Between and , sound films were produced in Spain. The vast majority of these were escapist fare, reflecting very little effort by producers or directors to connect with contemporary society.

Of the significant production companies formed during this period, however, two broke with this pattern and produced films of distinctive cultural quality as well as popular appeal. CIFESA , which began producing films in and would, within a very brief time, establish itself as the leading film production company of Republican Spain. The company boasted not only some of the most commercially successful films of the day, but the most prominent directors as well.

The other company that produced important films, Film6fono, was founded by Ricardo Urgoiti, scion of the liberal newspaper family, who was involved in sound engineering for motion pictures. When the company shifted from importation of foreign films and domestic motion picture distribution to actual production, Urgoiti hired Luis Buftuel as his executive producer. Though Film6fono's productions were few, the significance of its popular productions, as well as Bufluel's participation in all aspects of the company's activities Introduction 7 including directing films under the guise of other directors' names, would place Film6fono, along with the expanding CIFES A enterprise, among the most serious efforts at the development of a national cinema in Spain.

Torres , All production was confined to two cities, Barcelona and Madrid, and, as Gubem points out, the cultural models of such a cinema were essentially the same as those of the silent period: folkloric films that fed off conservative cultural models; and works of escapist tendencies, now refined through the medium of sound Gubem , The aesthetic models of such a cinema reflected the essential conservativism of the investors in the motion picture industry, who proved ultimately far less daring than their counterparts in theater and serious literature.

Yet, on the surface, Spanish cinema appeared to have achieved in a brief period of no more than three years a very wide popular audience. If these popular successes can be taken as an indication, what pleased Spanish audiences most were films in the popular cultural vein, specifically regional, folkloric works; musicals, especially those with zarzuela roots; films with working-class characters; and films that played off the familiar, urban milieu and vernacular speech. To be sure, some social criticism was evident in Spanish cinema, although in considerably smaller measure than in Spanish literature or theater of the same period.

The earliest example of a film with a purely social theme was the Fermin Galan, directed by Fernando Galdn, which was clearly aimed at justifying the advent of the Second Republic Garcia Fernandez, Prior to the actual Civil War period, however, social thematics were consciously directed away from the immediate political issues of the day.


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These films only confronted certain contemporary social themes, such as divorce and gender relations. In light of the period that followed, this golden age of Spanish cinema, that is, the years of film production immediately preceding the Civil War, were striking for the general appeal that popular cinema held for national audiences. All of this was done, notably, without any governmental subsidies to help shape or protect the emerging film industry. In the early s, she developed a vivacious screen persona built around her spunky screen characters and lilting singing voice.

There were also a few highly visible directors, each with his own strong celebrity persona. Perojo's cosmopolitan film style led him to develop some of the most technically sophisticated films of the thirties, such as Paloma Fair , which, though based on a popular zarzuela, was also an urban, working-class musical comedy of manners that both imitated and rivaled the treatment of the urban milieu in certain French films of the period.

Less daring and ultimately more ideologically conservative than Perojo, Rey became the master of a regional folkloric cinema in films like Rustic Gallantry and The Light-Skinned Gypsy , which captured the very spirit of Spanish traditional cultural values and stereotypes. This progress first would be halted, then nearly collapse entirely, under the weight of the prolonged struggle that gripped the country over the next three years. A number of films already in production had to be either delayed or abandoned. In order to complete his film, Delgado had to use doubles to replace the lead actors who had been Republican sympathizers.

The advent of the war was problematic on all sides. Barcelona and Madrid, the principal centers for commercial production as well as the location of film laboratories, were in Republican hands throughout the war. Producers sympathetic to the Republican cause, while having an obvious technological advantage, were nonetheless hampered by the exigencies of the war effort and the loss of a considerable portion of their audience.

Filmmakers and producers who supported the Nationalist uprising were simply cut off from the production centers. They did, however, have the friendship and collaboration of Franco's fascist allies in Germany and Italy. Perojo went on to shoot Los hijos de la noche [Children of the Night] in Rome. Although domestic production was curtailed, first by the war effort, then by the destmction of production centers, films already completed by the summer of Introduction 9 continued to be shown with great commercial success.

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This was strikingly the case of Rey's The Light-Skinned Gypsy, which remained immensely popular and commercially successful with both Republican and Nationalist audiences right up to the end of the war. The real core of film production during the war, however, was not commercial, escapist fare, regardless of how appealing individual films might have been; it was documentary and newsreel, a type of film that required very little of the technological infrastructure or support staff of the elaborate, studio-produced commercial narrative films.

Both sides made an enormous number of documentary and newsreel shorts laden, understandably, with the ideological content of their respective cause. To these must be added the endless series of sympathetic documentaries shot by British, French, Soviet, and Mexican filmmakers whose work chronicled not only the battles but also the human struggle of the war. Though historically interesting for the sheer quantity of documentaries produced on both sides, film production of this period would achieve note only later, as these materials were reworked in artistic documentaries.

Members of the film industry who had sided with the Republicans were in exile or had been killed and a considerable portion of the infrastructure that made production possible had been destroyed. There were also a series of ideological forces that contributed to the end of the flowering of a popular Spanish film tradition. These included the establishment of a rigid censorial apparatus, the banishment of languages other than Spanish from Spanish movie screens, and the coercive strategies of governmental subsidies and classifications aimed at intimidating the renascent film industry into producing the type of films that would coincide with or even enhance the cultural and ideological pretensions of the state.

On November 2, , while the war was still raging, the Ministry of Interior of the Nationalist government in Burgos issued a decree establishing film censorship boards throughout the reconquered territories. At the war's end, this censorial apparatus was expanded to include censorship review prior to actual production of scripts for all films.

Interestingly, the orders establishing these censorial controls were clear about the composition of censorship boards, but said nothing about the criteria to be used to judge the appropriateness of various films. This arrangement had the effect of transferring the censorial activity from the government to the production teams—scriptwriters, directors, and producers—who were understandably chastened by the possibility of a total prohibition of their works.

A second government order in April of , this time from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, established Spanish as the only language to be spoken in films shown on Spanish territory. As Augusto M. Torres points out, the edict is consistent with the spirit of the immediate postwar period as a general effort to hispanize all aspects of culture and commerce took hold Torres , Thus, in a short time these better-made and more sophisticated foreign films gained a strong foothold in the Spanish market.

But the measure had at least one major point of attractiveness to the new regime: The dubbing of foreign films, even the altering of dialogues, served the objectives of the censorship boards. Spanish audiences would eventually become so adjusted to viewing dubbed films that the practice would remain for the low-cost production of Spanish films long after the actual edict had been abandoned. Third and perhaps most debilitating of the bureaucratic interventions into the film industry of the postwar period was the effort to induce producers to make the kind of films the government wanted through a system of official subsidies for production, based on film classifications begun in Tied for a time to the granting of lucrative import licenses, the subsidy strategy would endure in various forms right up to the present and enfeeble Spanish film production by making it continually dependent upon government subsidies.

Post-Civil War cinema is characterized, in part, by the continuation of some of the film genres and of the notable filmmakers of the s. Rey's remake of his silent masterpiece, The Cursed Village; Perojo's adaptation of the zarzuela, Goyescas ; and Sdenz de Heredia's inventive comedy, El destino se disculpa [Destiny Apologizes] , are examples of post-Civil War productions that clearly follow the model of prewar popular genres. It continued with the eternal themes: the zarzuela, the gypsies, mdfolletin melodramas" Despite efforts to provide audiences escape from the squalor and depravation that resulted from nearly three years of continuous fighting, the Spanish film industry was forced to make some acknowledgment of the radical social and ideological changes that the Nationalist victory had brought.

Relatively few films, though, addressed the theme of the war in the immediate postwar period. Rom4n Gubem, who has studied the period extensively Gubem , , points to only a few films of the genre he calls the cmsade, the term euphemistically applied by those associated with the military uprising against the constitutionally elected Republic in Introduction 11 There was an understandable tendency toward the aggrandizement of the heroic, militant values of The New Era even in films unrelated to the theme of the war.

Indeed, as Gubem notes, a related subgenre emerged during the early postwar years that did not deal explicitly with the war but connected with it by exalting the army and militarism generally. Race seemed less the embodiment of a coherent set of values than what John Hopewell has called "an unconscious but consuming and structuring neurosis" Largely sketched from distortions of details of Franco's own biography, the film emphasized Franco's obsession with heroic death, his vision of the ideal Spanish family as the ideological apparatus that produced "good" Spaniards, and finally, the weight of Spain's bellicose history as it defined Spanish cultural identity.

Akin to the excesses of the heroic genre was the emergence of a chain of films loosely based on historical themes, events, or merely icons, rooted in the regime's obsessive penchant for the past. Because of their sources in the lives of saints and martyrs, many of these were also historical costume films. A more perverse expression of the historical costume drama were adaptations of nineteenth-century Spanish novels triggered by the resounding commercial success of two adaptations of Pedro Antonio de Alarc6n novels, Jos6 Luis Sdenz de Heredia's El escdndalo [The Scandal] and Rafael Gil's El clavo [The Nail] Superficially, these films and their imitators followed the fairly popular tradition of adapted novels, such as Benito Perojo's version of Gald6s's Marianela , but their melodramatic eroticism tapped into Spanish audiences' desire for a prurient kind of escapism.

These enormously popular 12 Guide to the Cinema of Spain films, were, in fact, closer in temperament to the contemporary novela rosa than to the realist classics of the previous century. The genre held its audience throughout the s with a combination of adaptations of literary works and costumed biographies, with films such as Antonio Romdn's biopic, Lola Montes , Rafael Gil's La prodiga [The Prodigal Daughter] , Antonio del Amo's El huespedde las tinieblas [The Guest from the Shadows] , and Edgar Neville's biographical film, El marques de Salamanca [The Marquis of Salamanca] Two areas in which strong vestiges of pre-Civil War film tradition remained were in the folkloric musical comedies and in popular comedic vehicles that, like some of the most popular comedies of the mids, showed their clear indebtedness to Spanish theatrical forms: Perojo's Goyescas , and Juan de Ordufla's La Lola se va a los puertos [Lola Goes Down to the Ports] Clearly imitating the patterns of the Hollywood film industry, Spanish cinema generated its own star system as a pattern of inducement for audiences to return to the theater Garcia Ferndndez, This reputation was based not only on the favoritism the company had gained from the state Font, but on its development of films that reflected the narrative and thematic preferences of the Franco government.

Throughout its history, however, until the company's demise in the s, the thematic focus of the films it produced was intimately connected with and at times indistinguishable from state propaganda Font, The essential contradiction for film culture of this period is described by Diego Galdn as an effort by the government to harmonize the maintenance of its old ideological Introduction 13 schemes and biases with the demands of a modernized and democratized Europe within which Spain needed to find a place Galdn , For the first time since the war, government controls led to dissension among filmmakers, some of whom were in prominent positions and supported changes in cultural direction.

Film, of course, was only one avenue through which that resistance developed. In truth, the implacable nature of repression maintained by the regime during the second decade of its triumphant new era led to the emergence of a cultura de disidencia, a culture of dissidence Heredero, 36 , which found its expression in literary magazines such as Insula, Indice, El Ciervo, and Revista.

There was also an effort to "Europeanize" Spanish literary culture by embracing French and American novelistic tendencies. This produced a broad realist generation in fiction that found its cinematic cognates in the Madridfilmjournal, Objetivo, and its Salamanca counterpart, Cinema Universitario, both of which advocated stronger engagement with everyday social reality for Spanish films.

Official historians of Spanish cinema might look at the s, from one perspective, as a continuation and embellishment of movie traditions from the previous decade, especially in the area of popular, folkloric cinema. Yet, more recent film historians have emphasized the series of problems that arose within the development of Spanish film during the s, many of which derived from the government's own misguided policies, which served to spawn conflicts. In , a government reorganization of ministries placed the general responsibility for film under the Ministry of Information and Tourism, with Jos6 Maria Garcia Escudero named to head the new film office.

Garcia Escudero had hoped to modernize Spanish cinema by bringing into focus a more socially contemporary and liberal view of Spain and Spaniards, but he almost immediately fell out with various groups. Garcia Escudero was no match for the forces of traditionalist power, and his departure from office only foreshadowed the conflicts that would mark much of the decade.

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Paralleling those in official positions who supported Ordufla's historical genre films, popular Spanish audiences were largely wed to the formula films they had become accustomed to in the previous decade. Of these, the most conspicuous were a newly emerging genre of religious and pseudo-religious cinema, obviously inspired by the lingering ideological fetish of Catholic Spain. The film owes its popularity as much to its narration of religiosity and faith as to the presence of the child actor, Pablito Calvo, in the title role. Calvo not only managed to forge a career from his performance, but also seems to have founded another popular genre of the period, the child-star film.

The folkloric comedy, a highly refined escapist genre, was also abundantly represented on Spanish screens of the decade. Like the pre-Civil War films to which this genre owes its origins, these were stylized traditional comedies, conveniently punctuated by songs at various points. Based on a nineteenth-century Palacio Valdes novel, it was first adapted for the screen in a silent version by Floridn Rey in , then remade by the same director with the same star, Imperio Argentina, as a sound film in Rey's remake was an important commercial success, as was Lucia's remake of , which was followed by yet another version, again directed by Lucia in The obvious popularity of such remakes, similar to the Hollywood approach to sequels, was clearly based on their appeal to the audience's familiarity with the characters, story, and most importantly, the popular spirit embodied in these.

Sdenz de Heredia, whose film career goes back to before the Civil War, was by now a master at presenting such views in ways that were familiar and yet notably nonjudgmental, a formula that other mainstream filmmakers of the period would attempt to emulate. Indeed, the attraction of folkloric films was their appeal to the static values of the familiar as portrayed usually in rural settings involving stereotyped figures.

Although Berlanga mocked these tendencies, the familiar stereotypes and cliched plots he derided remained an irresistible formula for commercial success for movie producers as well as an emotional attraction for Spanish audiences. The former film catapulted Sara Montiel, a popular romantic starlet of the s and early s, into the status of superstar and film legend Heredero, The appeal of this backstage musical melodrama, the last major CIFESA production before the company's demise, derived from two possible sources, as Diego Galdn argues: The first was simply the recuperation of an alternative, popular musical tradition to the Andalusian folkloric trend that had been a staple on Spanish screen since the s; the other was the attraction of the kind of eroticism, embodied both in the person of Sara Montiel and in her fictional story, that Spanish censors had shielded Spanish audiences from for the better part of two decades.

Galdn, Amadori's fairytale melodrama, based on details of the ill-fated love between the late nineteenthcentury Spanish king and his Sevillana bride, starred the popular heartthrob, Vicente Parra, in the title role. Between the popular adulation of the actor and the audience's embrace of the most pedestrian of romantic melodramatic plots, the film became one of the biggest box-office hits of the decade. Despite fleeting impressions to the contrary, these commercial successes confirm that much of the dominant Spanish cinema of the s remained static as it reflected a view held by Spaniards of their own world.

The prestige of the prize suggested to Spaniards that the outside world both ackowledged and praised the traditional culture the regime had so long espoused. This status quo cinema served, however, to fire a younger generation of filmmakers and critics to formulate a cinema of mild opposition during the s. Ironically, some of that opposition came into focus through a governmentsponsored institution, the National Film School Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematogrdficas: IIEC , founded in Though its curriculum was largely negligible during its early years, the school's chief accomplishment was to have brought together a group of precocious young men intrigued by film and politically opposed to the regressive nature of the Franco regime.

The ferment of the group was clearly abetted by the fortuitous organization of an Italian Cinema Week in Madrid in , to which the Italian consulate invited students from the film school. This introduction to the classics of Italian Neorealist cinema exposed these young men for the first time to the political and social potential of certain filmmaking strategies that were clearly within their own grasp. This impulse was already apparent in the works of an older generation of directors familiar with American gangster films, and who emphasized working-class milieus in police films such as Julio Salvador's 16 Guide to the Cinema of Spain Apartado de correos [Mailbox ] and Ignacio Iquino's Brigada criminal [Criminal Division] These latter films, however, were fairly tentative explorations of Neorealism.

It was the works of the National Film School's younger filmmakers that would combine Neorealism's strategies of on-location shooting and proletarian characters with a series of pointed social critiques. But the film's narrative emphasized urban exterior locations as an implicit critique of life in drab working-class Madrid; the film was a gentle prelude to Bardem's later films where the Neorealist treatment of mise-en-sc6ne was more biting and pointed.

Given the spirit of discontent of the period, it is not surprising that a more focused effort was made for a public airing of the grievances of this younger generation of filmmakers. In the spring of the film magazine, Objetivo in conjunction with the University of Salamanca Cine-club organized a series of "national conversations" about the state of Spanish cinema.

Professionals and students of all political persuasions were invited to attend. Although much fiery rhetoric was voiced, including Bardem's scathing denunciation of the state of the film industry, the meeting concluded with only a mild set of demands, the principal one of which was a plea for the government to rationalize its censorship practices.

What motivated many of those who participated in the Salamanca "conversations" was not a political agenda, although some of the prominent spokesmen at the meeting, such as Bardem and Ricardo Muftoz Suay, were members of the clandestine Communist party. It was the desire to connect in meaningful ways with a popular Spanish audience. Bardem's complaint about the state of Spanish film, for instance, was that it did not connect in any meaningful way with the reality of Spanish life.

Symptomatic of the spirit of intransigence of the period, the government's response to these efforts was to dismantle the film magazine and to blacklist a number of the more prominent participants of the meeting. In the ensuing years, however, the demand of this younger generation for that vital connection with a popular cultural base would persist.


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These were, in fact, the kind of films that showed the everyday struggles and aspirations of ordinary Spaniards characteristically living the contradiction between official cultural views of Spanish life and the reality of poverty, social marginalization, housing shortages, and the like. The apparent Neorealism of Saura's and Ferreri'sfilmsat the decade's end contrasts pointedly with the benign images of folkloric and pious Spain that had dominated film screens through most of the s.

On a less politically charged plane, another chain of events was transpiring in terms of the industrial structure of Spanish film production that was to have far-reaching impact on the complexion of Spanish film production during the s. These events were set in motion by the arrival of the U. Bronston was not the first to see the financial benefits of lower production costs in Spain. In the s he was developing a series of superproductions, beginning with Nicholas Ray's King of Kings , and including El Cid and 55 Days at Peking , and concluding with the massive commercial failure, The Fall of the Roman Empire before the Bronston studios finally closed down.

As Peter Besas argues, the importance of this venture was that Bronston's studio gavefirsthandtraining and influenced the professional course of a generation of Spanish film technicians who continued to work on international as well as Spanish productions over the coming years Among the newly important ministries was that of Information and Tourism, which held the reigns on the official film administration. As one of those forward-looking new ministers, Manuel Fraga Iribame sought to change the publicity image of Spain by liberalizing press and literary censorship that had kept tight control over mass information in Spain since the end of the Civil War.

Fraga believed that Spain could effect an evolution towards modernity in small, incremental steps. One of his first actions was to return Garcia Escudero to the leadership of the film office.

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Fraga encouraged him to take action to loosen film censorship policies in ways that would be consistent with his own view of liberalized press censorship. This Garcia Escudero did in by issuing the first 18 Guide to the Cinema of Spain published statement of norms for film censorship. This was a simple measure but it allowed filmmakers to carve out a more reasonable series of narrative and thematic elements for a modem Spanish cinema. Garcia Escudero's tenure as the head of the film division lasted some four years and came to an end in after a series of reversals of Fraga's policies.

The Minister of Information was himself removed from his position and his liberal policies were repudiated in The s in film and popular media was known as the era of destape or opening up, owing principally to Fraga's liberalizing moves. Yet despite the loosening up of censorship norms popular Spanish cinema was generally impervious to substantive changes; it simply continued earlier and easy patterns of no resistance in presenting popular, folkloric comedies and musicals, albeit with more sexually explicit scenes and situations as well as never-before-seen scenes of nudity.

Indeed, Landa had achieved such universal popularity throughout the s and s that his comic style and the genre of comedies in which he appeared became known as Landismo. Other popular comic films of the decade included Pedro Lazaga's Nuevo en esta plaza [New in This Place] and the debut film of the popular teenage heartthrob singer, Raphael, Cuando tu no estds [When You 're Not Here] , directed by Mario Camus.

When the resulting film, as the official Spanish entry to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in , won the Gold Palm, it was summarily condemned by L'Osservatore Romano, thereby provoking an international scandal in which Spanish government officials were made to look like dupes to the cunning Surrealist, Buftuel.

The Spanish company that had coproduced the film, UNINCI, was dissolved; the film was banned commercially and even mention of Buftuel or Viridiana in the Spanish press was prohibited; those involved in government supervision of the film were removed from their positions. The only way the regime knew to respond to criticism or opposition was to reaffirm its own power in the eyes of would-be dissidents.

This was accomplished through harsh censorial cuts in films or, in some instances, by denying licenses to directors to shoot certain projects. Because of Buftuel's cameo appearance in Carlos Saura's second film, Llanto por un bandido [Lament for a Bandit] , that film suffered important censorial cuts as well as a low Introduction 19 distribution classification, thus making it unattractive to domestic distributors.

As Fraga and Garcia Escudero well understood, such repressive moves might make conservative members of the Franco regime feel good, but they also confirmed the outside world's notion of cultural tyranny under the dictatorship. Garcia Escudero's mission as he assessed it was to advance Fraga's goal of promoting a new image of Spain in the international media by addressing what he saw as the two implacable forces that seemed to be provoking conflict: the censorship apparatus, and the clamor by aspiring young directors for a chance to make films Rodero, His strategy evolved on a variety of fronts that would shape filmmaking in Spain over the next decade.

The scheme called for establishing a new subsidy category for films designated as being of "Special Interest," to replace the old "National Interest" subsidy category. This mechanism, it was hoped, would recognize serious artistic work, as opposed to merely politically correct works. As well, the government established special subsidies for younger filmmakers, particularly the younger generation coming out of the recently reorganized National Film School, renamed Escuela Oficial de Cine EOC.

Also, by establishing a series of published censorship norms, Garcia Escudero was able to cultivate an impressive number of talented young and innovative filmmakers while sponsoring some of the most original and powerful Spanish films of recent decades. This promotion of a distinct kind of Spanish cinema also called for a different pattern of domestic distribution that the government provided through the establishment of a separate category of movie house: small art-house cinemas called solas de arte y ensayo.

By , these new strategies for support had shown dramatic results in film production, with an all-time record of films produced that year Rodero, From through , roughly the years that encompass the promotion of New Spanish Cinema, Spain saw the emergence of some of the most talented and original works since the pre-Civil War period. After a certain initial euphoria about the enlightened transformation of the film climate, the harsh reality set in that though censorship had somehow been "rationalized," the censorial sword of Damocles remained as a form of implacable intimidation on youngfilmmakers.

Preproduction censorship of scripts persisted, and, in many cases, excessive cuts ordered by the censors for completed films severely marred the finished product. Then, in , as the censors 20 Guide to the Cinema of Spain appeared to gain increasing power, Garcia Escudero's office was eliminated, and government supervision over domestic film production was transferred to a new organism, the Direccion General de Cultura Popular y Espectdculos.

Following this move, the subsidies for films of Special Interest were eliminated, prominent film journals began to disappear, and even the National Film School was transferred to the University of Madrid's Faculty of Information Sciences in an effort to reduce its personality Rodero, While some later critics dismiss the New Spanish Cinema as merely the regime's short-lived window-dressing for its own propagandistic aims that seldom connected with the popular Spanish audience, it is clear that the kind of support given younger filmmakers, as well as the modifications made in the censorial system, contributed to the rich and innovative film style of young directors who over the coming decade radically altered the complexion of Spanish cinema.

It is perhaps no coincidence that most of these men who developed elaborate, allegorical styles in their films of the s had already learned to cope with the censorship boards during the heyday of New Spanish Cinema. As Peter Besas notes: "The trick was to expand upon the nebulous fringe of the permissible, which might also greatly enhance the commercial returns of the film, provided it got past the censors at all" This was certainly the case with some of the s films by the men who had benefited from Garcia Escudero's plan.

Much of the drama of Spanish cinema's attempt to modernize itself through this politicization of narratives took place in Madrid, which, after the Civil War, was the center of film production as well as national politics. In direct response to the emergence of New Spanish Cinema, a brief but important counter movement, the Barcelona School, took form in Spain's second city. By the mids, and clearly as a result of the modernization policies that had transformed Spain over the past decade, a group of young filmmakers now took aim at not only Castilian-based culture but also the presumably conventional films being promoted as New Spanish Cinema.

These films sought to express through images and story an alternative to the often drab and traditional views of a Castilianized Spain. Their directors emphasized a sleek Introduction 21 and cosmopolitan culture like the very city of Barcelona with whose cultural style their work implicitly identified. John Hopewell sees the use of genre style in the two films—espionage in Sudrez's film and science fiction in Aranda's—as strategies to express covert political themes in seemingly vanguardist experimental films Despite such efforts, the Barcelona School members generally ignored the emerging efforts of a Catalan national movement of the period and instead focused their attention on a cultural struggle against los de Madrid, the Madrid gang Rodriguez Lafuente, By the end of the decade, the group had disbanded and only Sudrez and Aranda went on to establish careers as filmmakers.

The last five years of Franco's life, , often characterized by social and political historians as the final stage of the forty-year Franco dictatorship, has been read in more recent years as the beginning of the transition from dictatorship to democracy Monterde, 7. Many of the filmmakers who sought a frontal attack on Francoism were tempered by expediency to conform to some degree to censorial pressures.

This led them to the strategies of double readings, elliptical narration, and cryptic allusions through which they hoped to bypass the literal-minded censors and address sympathetic audiences. In the process of these conceptual rewritings, Saura's political trilogy and Borau's Hay que matar a B [B Must Die] and Poachers being excellent examples, audiences were brought to witness more than mere attacks on Francoist actions and policies; they were led to ponder the ideological weight of decades of postwar coercion. In the Armiftdn-Borau collaboration, My Dearest Senorita , as in Victor Erice's haunting Spirit of the Beehive , the vision of repressive provincial life in the immediate post-Civil War period as it shaped social, especially female identity, was vividly portrayed.

Based on a nineteenth-century Gald6s novel, the film's success led to an increased interest by otherfilmmakersin adapting literary classics to the screen. Augusto M. Torres notes a growing rift between the Church and the regime that made it possible for more popular filmmakers to treat the hitherto untouchable narrative theme of ecclesiastic indiscretions, essentially through the filmed adaptations of certain novelistic masterpieces Torres , These were followed by more contemporary representations of the critique of ecclesiastic mores. The Third Route cinema was aimed at a middle-brow, socially and politically progressive, usually urban audience bom in the immediate post-Civil War period and now coming to maturity and beginning to raise their own families.

What thus emerged was a gradual but persistent critique of the social legacy of the dictatorship that broached the truly profound problems of identity and cultural ideology that would shape the direction of the cinema of transition. When Franco died in , two of the pivotal films of the transition had already been completed: Saura's Cria cuervos [Raise Ravens] and Jos6 Luis Borau's Poachers Saura's film dramatizes the wake for a military officer as a symbolic image of Franco's death; even more violently, Borau portrays a matricide that is clearly aligned to the killing off of the ideology of the past.

The only real alteration in these films was the increase in scenes of nudity and softcore pornography. But a cluster of serious films continued to be made during these years as well, principally by members of the generation of filmmakers who had been able to sustain their careers after the demise of New Spanish Cinema. Pedro Olea's Pirn, pam, pum. You 're Dead! As diverse as was the surface subject matter of such films, the common thread of the persistence of historical memory brought these works together.

In Sondmbulos [Sleepwalkers] , Gutierrez Arag6n presented a stunning dreamlike reenactment of scenes of urban violence clearly related to the recent experience of the dictatorship. In the process of retrospection, Chdvarri provides a cathartic view of the burden of the dictatorship and its ideology on the members of a presumably exemplary Spanish family.

Chdvarri's next film, A un dios desconocido [To an Unknown God] , posed a fictional equivalent of a similar process of recollection, this time from the point of view of a middleaged gay magician remembering his childhood contacts with the poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. The situation provoked a governmental crisis since the Guard claimed historical jurisdiction that predated the constitution. If the Civil Guard's decision were allowed to stand, then not only Mir6 but the entire 24 Guide to the Cinema of Spain Spanish film industry would remain at the mercy of the old forms of political coercion and censorship.

The crisis was eventually resolved when the Guard was persuaded to let the charges be shifted to a civil court where they were finally dropped. When The Crime at Cuenca eventually did achieve normal distribution, the film became a popular commercial success, in part due to the scandal, in part due to the rumors of sensationalist depictions of the torturing of the two innocent men. While such films found a receptive audience at home as well as abroad, the vast majority of Spaniards tired quickly of such brooding introspection and historical revisions of the recent, bloody past.

Thus, as in every decade since the war's end, many of the most commercially successful films turned out to be lighter fare. Of particular note, however, is the work of more serious filmmakers in comic genres in an effort to address more mainstream commercial audiences. This time the object of Berlanga's scathing criticism was the interplay between nouveau riche businessmen and enterprising politicians on the take, with the action set against a backdrop of the decadent and impoverished Spanish nobility.

Also, Saura's Mama cumple anos [Mama Turns ] , broke the mold of the Aragonese director's introspective symbolic narratives.

Tania Libertad - El Jinete (En Vivo)

Here he created a comic sequel to his earlier Ana and the Wolves , in order to chart the course of a new generation's abandonment of Francoist traditions. While both films were enormous commercial successes in Spain, and Saura's film even garnered an Oscar nomination, the field for Spanish comedy had already ceded to a younger generation.

The Nueva Comedia Madrilena or New Madrid Comedy, usually but not always set in the Spanish capital, played off the ironic and often confused attitudes of a younger, progressive generation of Spaniards caught in the foibles of achieving social status and a perspective on their own lives. At the same time, Colomo, Garci, and Trueba appealed to an audience quite distinct from that of other directors.

They were addressing Spaniards who, like the Woody Allen heroes, were aware of styles and trends, but were not as politically engaged as the audiences of the late Francoist cinema were presumed to be. Political themes, such as the general elections of , entered these films, but usually only as the backdrop for plot. Introduction 25 Against such moves toward a less pronounced Spanishness in Spanish cinema and a desire to embrace more international contemporary trends, a decided counterforce is noted in the advent of strong regional cinema.

This is sometimes referred to as cine de autonomias [Cinema of the Autonomous Communities], so called in recognition of the constitution that organized Spain as a federation of seventeen "autonomous regions. Two of them, however, Catalonia and the Basque Country, were, in fact, traditional historical communities that had long claimed autonomy from the Castilian hegemony of the peninsula. In an effort to reassert their regional identity, each community developed local governmental plans to promote regional cinema.

Ironically, the strategy in many ways coincided with the old Francoist plan to create a "national" cinema through subsidies and other supports. In the first decade of the post-Franco era, both the Basque and Catalonian regional governments supported production of some of the most important contemporary Spanish films. While filmmakers such as Ribas sought to affirm a totally autonomous Catalonian identity in film as in culture, Camino and Pons seemed to rely on a more balanced tradition that saw Catalonia as distinct in terms of language and customs but still part of a larger Spain.

Unlike Catalonia, which had a long historical tradition of filmmaking dating back to the start of the century, Basquefilmmakershad no equivalent industrial infrastructure on which to rely, nor a regional film tradition from which to draw inspiration. Yet, oddly enough, Basque films achieved a greater circulation than their Catalonian counterparts.

In , with the Socialist electoral victory, Pilar Mir6, the most prominent Spanish woman filmmaker, was named director of the film section of the 26 Guide to the Cinema of Spain Ministry of Culture. As one of the rare examples of a professional trained in the industry who achieved such authority in Spain, Mir6 set out to support Spanish cinema in a way that, it was believed, would enable Spanish cinema to flourish on its own.

The Ley Miro or Mir6 Law, as it was known, called for a series of subsidies to producers against box-office receipts. The plan was an effort by the Socialist government to influence the kinds of films that were to be made. In truth, most of the films that received such support simply could not have been made without the government's backing. Left unchecked for decades, Hollywood cinema had so encroached into the Spanish distribution market that by it represented over seventy percent of all box-office receipts in Spain.

Such official support, however, was itself part of an agenda to help undo the legacy of the Franco years by supporting those artistic efforts that might contribute both within Spain and abroad to the climate of greater toleration of cultural and social diversity. Even before Law of Desire, his sixth film, Almod6var was considered by Spaniards as well as international audiences to be the most prominent embodiment of countercultural and antitraditionalist sentiments in Spanish film.

Here, however, was a truly popular and populist cinema whose characters and audiences were an exuberant generation who mocked restraint and reveled in illicit drugs, sex, and scatological humor Smith, Each successive Almod6var film suggested a gradual evolution in technical mastery of film form. Thus, five years after the technically flawed Pepi, Luci, Bom, Almod6var's iQue he hechoyopara mereceresto?

With each new film, Almod6var's reputation and commercial success grew. Given Almod6var's status as afilmmakerwho developed outside of the semiofficial channels of a national film school or the film industry, it is difficult to extrapolate from his meteoric rise any general sense regarding the Spanish film industry in general.

Yet, his evocation of a new, young Spain, his treatment of exuberant sexuality, and his efforts to move beyond the traditional images of Spain to address an international audience are all hallmarks of new directions of Introduction 27 Spanish cinema of the post period.

aaicxvn.tk Ebooks and Manuals

Some of that movement to an international context is to be noted earlier in the s. It too was nominated for an Oscar. By all standards, the Oscar remains the highest accolade of international recognition for a motion picture, a filmmaker, and a national cinema. Denver: Arden Press, Caparr6s-Lera, JosS Maria. El cine politico visto despues del franquismo. Barcelona: Dopesa, Arte y politico en el cine de la Republica Del azul al verde: el cine espahol durante elfranquismo. Barcelona: Editorial Avance, Galdn, Diego. Torres, Madrid: Filmoteca Espaftola, Garcia Femdndez, Emilio C.

Historia ilustrada del cine espanol. Barcelona: Planeta, Graham, Helen, and Jo Labanyi. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Gubem, Romdn. El cine sonoro de la II Repiiblica: Barcelona: Editorial Lumen, Madrid: FilmotecaEspaftola, Madrid: Universidad Complutense, Heredero, Carlos F. Las huellas del tiempo: cine espanol Valencia: Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana, Hopewell, John. Out of the Past: Spanish Cinema after Franco. London: BFI Books, Kinder, Marsha. Berkeley: University of California Press, Mata Moncho, Juan de.

Rios Caratald. M6ndez-Leite von Haffe, Fernando. Historia del cine espanol. Madrid: Ediciones Rialp, Monterde, Jos6 Enrique.

Spanish columnists

Rodero, Jos6 Angel. Aquel "nuevo cine espanol" de los ' Valladolid: 26 Semana Intemacional del Cine de Valladolid, Rodriguez Lafiiente, Fernando. Madrid: Cdtedra, Rotellar, Manuel. Cine espanol de la Repiiblica. San Sebastidn: 25 Festival Intemacional del Cine, Smith, Paul Julian. London: Verso, Torres, Augusto M. Cine espanol Diccionario del cine espanol. Madrid: Espasa Calpe, Vizcaino Casas, Fernando.

Historia y anecdota del cine espanol. Films IA mi la legidn! As more than one Spanish film historian has pointed out, not far beneath the surface of this, the most popular of Spanish legionnairefilms,lurks the spirit of the martial culture of the early post-Civil War period. The story revolves around two legionnaires of different social and cultural backgrounds.

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