By Juan F. Egea
In Dark Laughter, Juan F. Egea offers a extraordinary in-depth research of the darkish comedy movie style in Spain, in addition to a provocative serious engagement with the belief of nationwide cinema, the visible measurement of cultural specificity, and the ethics of darkish humor.
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Extra info for Dark Laughter: Spanish Film, Comedy, and the Nation
I should hasten to emphasize here that 22 Fa m i l i a r Qu e s t i ons this opposition proposes a rigid view of how “modern” films can or must be made in Spain at the time. 39 In András Bálint Kovács’s thorough study of European modern art cinema, the only Spanish movies that qualify as modern are La caza (Carlos Saura, 1966), Nueve cartas a Berta (Basilio Martín Patino, 1966), El jardín de las delicias (Carlos Saura, 1970), Ana y los lobos (Carlos Saura, 1973), El espíritu de la colmena (Víctor Erice, 1973), and Cría cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976).
This had not happened before in Spain, at least not at this rate nor with this pervasiveness. Openness (apertura) becomes the overall metaphor, and, along with this openness, the familiar trope of how to be seen by, or how to perform for, a foreign gaze retakes center stage. Markets and frontiers are now supposed to be open in a literal and symbolic way. The latter are open for tourists to enter and for emigrants to leave. Capital and commodities now move with more freedom than the previous two decades have seen combined.
In other words, we do not know what an esperpento looks like, except in the interpretation of a stage director. ”45 Moreover, one could argue convincingly that, even in this unique and paradigmatic esperpento, the possibility exists that theory and practice match only in an incomplete or limited way. The statements in the play that have been taken as the most succinct and forceful definitions of esperpento appear in the famous scene 12. They are both uttered by the main character in the play, Max Estrella, who is drunk at that moment.
Dark Laughter: Spanish Film, Comedy, and the Nation by Juan F. Egea
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