Spanish cinema under Franco

Basilio Martín Patino – Nueve cartas a Berta AKA Nine Letters to Berta (1966)

Quote:
Lorenzo, a student at Salamanca in the late 1950s, has just spent a summer in England where he has discovered new ways of life and other horizons as well as meeting and falling in love Berta, the daughter of an exile who has never seen Spain. Upon his return, the traditional atmosphere of his family, routine relations with his friends and his girlfriend, and the tedium of life in the city become more and more overwhelming. He writes to his idealized Berta, still living in England, in a series of letters to try to convey to her what life is like in Spain and his desire to leave his provincial family behind and discover life on his own. Although the lure to break free is foremost on his mind, he decides to marry a young woman from a similar background to live the life of a country squire. However, a trip to Madrid opens up other possibilities. Read More »

León Klimovsky – La noche de Walpurgis AKA The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman AKA Werewolf Shadow (1971)

Synopsis:
Elvira is travelling through the French countryside with her friend Genevieve, searching for the lost tomb of a medieval murderess and possible vampire, Countess Wandessa. They find a likely site in the castle of Waldemar Daninsky, who invites the women to stay as long as they like. As Waldemar shows Elvira the tomb that supposedly houses the countess, she accidentally causes the vampire to come back to life, hungrier than ever. Daninsky has a hidden secret of his own, but will it be enough to save the two girls from becoming Wandessa’s next victims? Read More »

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 »