Friday, February 3

Carlos Saura will receive the Goya of honor


The filmmaker Carlos Saura. / Eph

The veteran director, who is still active at the age of 90, will collect the award on February 11 in Seville

Oskar Belategui

Veteran director Carlos Saura (Huesca, 1932) will receive the Goya of Honor on February 11 at the Spanish Film Academy Awards gala, to be held in Seville. Author of fundamental titles in Spanish cinema, such as ‘La Caza’, ‘Deprisa, deprisa’, ‘Peppermint Frappé’ and ‘¡Ay, Carmela!’, Saura is still active at the age of 90 and at the recent San Sebastian Festival he He presented his latest documentary, ‘The walls speak’, although a fall at his home in the Madrid mountains prevented him from traveling to the Zinemaldia.

At the age of seven, he stole his father’s camera to photograph a girl with whom he was in love. At 90, after more than forty films and with seven children by four different women, Carlos Saura continues to take photos and string together artistic, cinematographic and theatrical projects at a rate that would exhaust a director in his twenties. «My only legacy is my children, they have to have some of my DNA… Everything else is blown away. I don’t like to watch my films, I make them and I never see them again”, he told this journalist at the last Malaga Film Festival, where he premiered an experimental short based on his drawings and photographs on a subject that obsesses him: the Civil War. .

“Unfortunately I still think that it is not such a distant possibility if things continue as they are,” he lamented. “There is a confrontation and an absurd violence that is being exacerbated. We should not reach these limits. There is a ferment of Civil War, it would be very far from being a similar thing, but that ferment of violence should be avoided ».

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Carlos Saura and his partner Geraldine Chaplin in 1974.

The Film Academy awards him the Goya of honor for a career spanning six decades, “an extensive and very personal creative contribution to the history of Spanish cinema from the end of the 1950s until today.” His daughter Anna Saura, accompanied by the director’s brother, producer Antonio Saura, read a letter from the honoree at the Academy headquarters. «I have been lucky in life doing what most attracted me: I have directed cinema, theater, opera and I have drawn, photographed and painted all my life, and I hope to continue doing so. I receive with great joy and gratitude this award given to me by the Academy, which I also want to thank for the great work it does promoting and protecting our cinema and our culture, which is one of the most important things we have.”

Author of more than 50 films, winner of the Goya for Best Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay for ‘¡Ay, Carmela!’ and the Academy Gold Medal in 1992, Saura has played all genres and shot in all kinds of formats. After making his debut in 1960 with ‘Los golfos’, a hopeless drama that captured the reality of the suburbs, in 1965 he signed his masterpiece, ‘La Caza’, which changed the face of Spanish cinema. The director and producer Elías Querejeta signed one of the harshest x-rays ever shot on the mentality of the sociological base addicted to Francoism. They did it in a film with a fascinating formal finish that, more than half a century later, maintains its disturbing power intact. Without ‘The Hunt’, ‘Furtivos’, ‘The Holy Innocents’, ‘The National Shotgun’ or ‘Tasio’ would not be understood. A group of friends on a hunting day in the torrid Castilian landscape. Three ex-Francoist combatants accompanied by the young nephew of one of them: the ‘new Spain’ that contemplates perplexed how their elders end up killing each other.

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With ‘The Hunt’ the symbolism in the filmography of the Aragonese director is inaugurated, who would continue to be linked to Querejeta in titles such as ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’, ‘Ana and the Wolves’, ‘La cousin Angélica’, ‘Cría Cuervos’, ‘Elisa, vida mía’ and ‘Mamá turns one hundred years old’, necessary to understand the Transition in this country. Back in the 1980s, the filmmaker from Huesca teamed up with the dancer Antonio Gades and the producer Emiliano Piedra to unleash his passion for music, especially flamenco, in the trilogy made up of ‘Bodas de sangre’, ‘Carmen’ and ‘El amor brujo’, sophisticated staging exercises with the help of photography magician Vittorio Storaro that allowed him to maintain his prestige abroad.


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