Spanish cinema under Franco

André Malraux – Espoir aka Days of hope (1945)

1937, the Spanish civil war. Republicans fight against Franco’s army and need to bomb a bridge… in Teruel.
Turned on location… and almost in situation. Read More »

Pere Portabella – Nocturno 29 AKA Nocturne 29 (1968)

Synopsis
Portabella’s first feature, co-scripted by poet Joan Brossa, became one of the most influential works of the Barcelona avant-garde, although like all his early films, it circulated only in an underground fashion. Eschewing dialogue, the director constructs a non-narrative story in fragments that reveal the daily lives of an adulterous couple interspersed with a cryptic stream of unrelated imagery. The title of this homage to directors including Eisenstein, Antonioni, Bergman, and Buñuel refers to the 29 “black years” of the Franco dictatorship. Read More »

Gonzalo Suárez – El Extraño caso del doctor Fausto aka The Strange Case of Dr. Fausto (1969)

This film is loosely based on Goethe’s Dr. Faustus. It’s the second feature that Gonzalo Suárez made, when he still was a member of the Barcelona School (Escuela de Barcelona). The Barcelona School was a 1960s group of Catalan filmmakers, concerned with the disruption of daily life by the unexpected, whose stylistic affinities lie with the pop art movement of the same years and with the French Nouvelle Vague. Among their members: Joaquin Jordà, Jacinto Esteva, José María Nunes, and also, at the begining of their career, Vicente Aranda and Gonzalo Suárez. Read More »

Juan Antonio Bardem – La corrupción de Chris Miller AKA The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973)

Quote:

In a mansion out in the middle of the country, Ruth lives with her strange stepdaughter Chris. They have a somewhat unusual, codependent relationship, and are waiting for the return of Chris’s father, who abruptly abandoned them some time ago. Chris has additional problems – she was raped while in the shower at school and has violent flashbacks whenever it rains, during which she blacks out and stabs anything in front of her. A handsome drifter comes to stay with them and at first seduces Ruth, but then begins to fall for Chris. Meanwhile, a killer is roaming the countryside and slaughters a retired dancer and an entire family. Could the drifter be responsible? Read More »

Edgar Neville – Domingo de carnaval AKA Carnival Sunday (1945)

The same morning that carnival begins, a serene finds in Madrid the corpse of a rich and greedy lender who has been murdered. The main suspect is a seller of watches that owed much money ​​to the old woman, but her daughter, not content with the arrest of his father, begins to investigate on their own … Read More »

Eloy de la Iglesia – La semana del asesino AKA The Cannibal Man (1972)

A young man, Marco, working as a butcher, accidentally kills a taxi driver. His girlfriend Paula wants to go to the police so he has to kill her too. He then has to kill his brother, his brother’s fiancée and his father, who have become suspicious. He gets rid of the bodies by taking them to a slaughterhouse. Read More »

Juan Antonio Bardem – Muerte de un ciclista AKA Death of a Cyclist (1955)

Synopsis:
A couple traveling through the countryside strike a man on a bicycle. When they get out of their car to examine him, they find that he is injured but not dead. But instead of helping the man, Juan (Alberto Closas) and Maria Jose (Lucia Bosé) do the unthinkable. They flee – rather than reveal that they have been carrying on a long-term affair.

When they return to Madrid, the couple pay a terrible price for their deception. Guilt begins to gnaw away at them, especially at Juan, who is also experiencing conflict with his young students over an ethical issue at the university where he teaches… Read More »