The first public screening of the Lumière cinema dates back to Spain on May 15, 1896. It was followed by an intense production activity: many were in fact the pioneers who tried their hand at revealing talent and inventiveness. E. Jimeno Correas is responsible for the first documentary shooting of Spanish cinema, Salida de la misa de doce del Pilar de Zaragoza (1896), while F. Gelabert is credited with the debut of short story cinema with Rina en un café (1897) ). Despite these early and promising debuts, the silent years did not offer works of particular importance, mainly inspired by regional folklore or zarzuelas. The advent of sound had a negative impact, as US companies, thanks to their avant-garde technical apparatus, tried to take over the market by producing films directly in Spanish. Subsequently, a better organization took place with the birth of new companies (to remember the CEA, the Filmofono, the Cifesa) and the construction of many film studios. It was in these years that L. Buñuel (1900-1983), a veteran of the ” scandalous ” Un chien andalou (1928) and L’Age d’or (1930) shot in France, became the symbolic director of Filmofono. The great master is flanked by numerous filmmakers, who, while limiting themselves to directing light comedies and films of a clear populist matrix, help to make the
According to itypejob, the golden period is broken by the civil war (1936-39) which also gave impetus to documentarism and propaganda cinema. The ranks of the opposition front were joined by illustrious intellectuals and filmmakers from every country – such as A. Malraux, J. Ivens, P. Strand – who offered their contribution by shooting reportages war and documentaries; while the Francoists worked to make films exalting national traditions, colonial expeditions and religious values. With the end of the Second World War and the consolidation of Francoism, regime cinema increased its strength. These were dark years, in which cinema was the victim of strong direct and indirect censorship; In fact, there are few filmmakers who dare to go off the rails of comedy, genre films, and the most forbidden calligraphy. Throughout the 1950s, there were very few attempts at ” subversive ” cinema: L. Berlanga (Bienvenido, Mister Marshall!, Benvenuto Mister Marshall, 1952; Plácido, 1961; El verdugo, The executioner’s ballad, 1963), JA Bardem (Esa pareja feliz, This happy couple, and Muerte de un ciclista, The egoists, 1955; Calle Major, 1956), the exiled M. Ferreri (El pisito, The little apartment, 1958; Los chicos, The boys, 1959; El cochecito, La carrozzella, 1960) are in fact the only directors who openly show their opposition to prevailing ideological orientation.
The situation was different in the following decades: starting from the beginning of the 1960s, in fact, alongside the always active Buñuel – frequently forced to film outside his homeland – a series of fierce directors began to operate, mostly from the film schools of Madrid and Barcelona. M. Camus (Volver a vivir, Return to live, 1966), J. Diamante (Tiempo de amor, Time of love, 1964; El arte de vivir, The art of living, 1968), J. Camino (Los felices sesenta, The happy sixty, 1963; Las largas vacaciones del 36, The long holidays of 36, 1975), A. Fons (La busca, La Cerca, 1967), J. Grau (Noche de verano, Sin, 1962) are the major exponents of the rebirth of Spanish cinema; alongside these we must remember V. Aranda (Fata Morgana, 1966) and P. Portabella (founder of the Barcelona School in 1960, producer of Viridiana di Buñuel, among other things, as well as screenwriter and director), who represent the most dreamlike and experimental of movement. A place in itself deserves C. Saura, the country’s greatest filmmaker after Buñuel.
For over twenty years Saura has pursued a personal poetics, mostly aimed at exposing the power relations between individuals and the profound emptiness of the bourgeoisie. His films include: Los golfos (The little delinquents, 1959); Llanto por un bandido (The knights of revenge, 1963); La caza (The Hunt, 1965); Peppermint frappé (1967); El jardin de las delicias (The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1970); Ana y los lobos (Anna and the wolves, 1972); Cria cuervos (1976); Carmen (Carmen Story, 1983); Los zancos (The stilts, 1984); Ay, Carmela! (1989); La noche oscura (The dark night, 1989); Disparate! (Shoot !, 1993).
After Franco’s death, cinematography had a further awakening, which soon turned into a real boom: cinema became the privileged spokesperson for the frenzy following the end of the dictatorship. The most emblematic exponent of the newfound artistic vitality is P. Almodovar, whose cheerful, ironic, extreme films – La Ley del deseo (The law of desire, 1986); Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown, 1988); Átame (Légami, 1990); Tacones lejanos (Stiletto heels, 1991); Kika (1993) – well represent the new course of Spanish cinema. At his side, in international resonance, was J. Bigas Luna, with Las edades de Lulu (The Ages of Lulu, 1990) and with the “ erotic-philosophical ” trilogy formed by Jamón Jamón (Ham, ham, 1993), Huevos de oro (Golden eggs, 1994) and La teta y the moon (La tetta e la luna, 1994). While good professionals are confirmed G. Suarez (Don Juan en los Infiernos, 1991), P. Mirò (Beltenebros, 1992; Tiempo de mariposas, Tempo di farfalle, 1994), P. Olea (El maestro de esgrima, The master of fencing, 1992) and F. Trueba, winner of an Academy Award with Belle époque (1992). An important contribution to the ” black humor ” that characterizes Spanish cinema has been given since 1959 by the screenwriter R. Azcona. The important role played in the cinematography of the Spain by the Catalan production and the international festivals of San Sebastian, Valladolid and Valencia should be noted.