Spanish Cinema under the Franco Regime, Pacific Film Archive Starts March 29

The UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives (BFA/PFA) in Berkeley will present the series The Spanish Mirth: the Comedic Films of Luis Garcia Berlanga from March 29 through April.  Visit the BAM/PFA website for the series details.

Luis Garcia Berlanga (1921-2010) was a Spanish filmmaker who wrote and directed some of Spain’s most important films during the Francisco Franco dictatorship. Using satire and irony, Berlanga evaded censors to deliver his barbs against the regimeand a style of film that helped shape Spanish cinema thereafter.  Berlanga received many honors and accolades from the most prestigious film festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Karlovy, and Montreal; served as the head of the jury at Berlin;  was nominated for an Oscar for Placido ; won a Goya Award for Everyone to Jail!  in 1980.

Here are notes about three of the seven films:

Friday, March 29, 2013
7:00 p.m. ¡Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall!
Luis García Berlanga (Spain, 1953). A tiny Spanish backwater pulls out all the stops to reinvent itself as a postcard-perfect Andalusian village—complete with flamenco dancing, bullfights, and more—in order to impress delegates doling out financial rewards in Berlanga’s satirical jab at Spanish national values. (86 mins)

Thursday, April 4, 2013
7:00 p.m. Plácido
Luis García Berlanga (Spain, 1961).  A charity campaign suggests “Sit a Poor Person at Your Table” in Berlanga’s frantic, gag-riddled romp. Filled with hilarious barbs, impious prattle, and high society comeuppance, you’ll revel in a surplus of black humor. (85 mins)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
7:00 p.m. La escopeta nacional
Luis García Berlanga (Spain, 1978). Archival print! An oily manufacturer sponsors a hunt on the estate of a nobleman who has fallen on hard times. Berlanga’s madcap Escopeta (Shotgun) stays on target with a load of high-impact and hilarious shot. (95 mins)