25 November, 2010
18 November, 2010
13 November, 2010
The renowned, influential Spanish filmmaker Luis Garcia Berlanga died today at the age of 89 in Madrid, Spain. He became, along with Luis Bunuel, Spain's most noted director during a 50 year career of films which often subtly satirized the long dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, including WELCOME MR. MARSHALL (1953), made in association with the notorious Juan Antonio Bardem and EL VERDUGO [THE EXECUTIONER] (1963), voted the 2nd best Spanish film of all time by Spanish film critics in 1996.
His work seems generally unavailable, to my knowledge, on US video. Hopefully, that will now change.
Jess Franco has proclaimed Berlanga's influence on his own work. Here is an excerpt from TASCHEN--Letter From Madrid:
In the afternoon I had the honor of being invited to lunch with Luis Garcia Berlanga, Spain's most prolific elder filmmaker and builder of Ciudad De La Luz, the "world's most advanced film studio". Luis had another friend for lunch, Jess Franco, the Spanish filmmaker of The Torture Chamber of Fu Manchu, The Awful Dr. Orloff, and Vampire Lesbos among 150 films. Later, I learned he is in the class of Russ Meyer and Hershell Gordon Lewis. Jess' companion was actress Lina Romay whom I got to watch on video walk as a naked mute vampire. Delicious food, delicious company.
07 November, 2010
The 1970s saw a return of the peplum, with erotic elements featured...
A primitive, sexy medieval adventure starring "Wal Davis" as Maciste, Robert Woods as Pygar and Lina Romay, who plays Yuka. Alice Arno [Marie-France Broquet] is Arminda, the queen of the Amazons.
Produced by Robert De Nesle. Directed by Clifford Brown. Screenplay and adaptation by Jesus Franco Manera. Goofy music by Robert Viger. You have to appreciate the obsessive use of the telezoom in this.
06 November, 2010
Bofill's cubist designs must have appealed to Franco who is always aware of odd, interesting shapes and weird environments. He set several films in Bofill constructs including LA COMTESSE PERVERSE (1973), SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (1970) and EUGENIE/EROTISMO(1980).