Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Spanish Cinema under Franco

MOMA is organizing a retrospective of Spanish films made under the dictatorship of Franco. Details here. I have seen two of the films selected, Luis Bunuel's Viridiana and The Spirit of the Beehive by Victor Erice, both of which are masterpieces and my personal favourites. It is also A brief article in village voice has more details. Seeing these films with their proper historical and political context is even more important than usual. Otherwise Viridiana will look like a work of bilious and scattershot misanthropy, while it is actually an attack on the false pieties on which Franco's dictatorship was based. Similarly you will miss the way Spirit deals with the larger historical trauma and mourning in post-war Spain.

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