3 items from 2010
Updated through 11/14.
Via Catherine Grant and, here in the Forum, Angel, comes news of the death, after years of suffering from Alzheimer's disease, of Luis García Berlanga at the age of 89. Primarily known for Welcome, Mister Marshall (1952), Plácido (1961, nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar) and The Executioner (1963), Berlanga was an honorary president of the Spanish Film Academy and received the Prince of Asturias Award for Arts in 1986, a Goya for Best Director for Everyone to Jail! in 1993 and several other illustrious awards throughout his long career. »
Spanish film-maker best known for his satire Bienvenido, Mister Marshall!
During the Franco years, the survival of independent cinema in Spain was thanks to the "Three Bs" — Luis Buñuel, Juan Antonio Bardem and Luis García Berlanga. The last of these irreverent, original film-makers, who has died aged 89, Berlanga was pivotal in reviving the Spanish film industry after the end of the civil war, despite his many tussles with Franco's censors.
In 1953 he established himself with ¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! (Welcome, Mr Marshall!), a masterful comedy about the hopes of Spanish villagers that the Marshall Plan will make them rich. In 1961 Plácido, a satire about a poor man invited to dinner in a wealthy household on Christmas Eve, was nominated for the Oscar for best foreign-language film. But his caustic brand of comedy probably reached its apogee in 1963's El Verdugo (The Executioner) about a young man desperate to get a job »
While the stylish and ever-charming Spanish actor Antonio Banderas may be running off to promote to his latest Hollywood excursion, Shrek Forever After -- again voicing the hilarious re-invention of Puss in Boots: "I have to do my duty," he says -- his real passion recently has been curating a new, free film series, "Realism in Spanish Cinema 1951 - 1963" at Manhattan's Spanish culture center, The Cervantes Institute (211 East 49th Street). Spanning the post-wwii fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco, the 10-movie set is comprised of classic works selected for their artistic and historical merit. Screening from May 10th to the 19th, Banderas, who serves on the Cervantes advisory board, conceived the program's concept and was on hand for the first two nights -- at the screenings of José Antonio Nieves Conde's Furrows/Surcos and Luis García Berlanga's Welcome Mr. Marshall!/Bienvenido »
- Brad Balfour
3 items from 2010
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