Biography of Luis Buñuel Portolés (1900-1983)

Director and writer of Spanish Cinema born in Calanda (Teruel) on February 22, 1900, and died on July 29, 1983 in the city of Mexico (Mexico). Author of an extensive filmography, is considered one of the great filmmakers of all time, as attested by the distinction granted by the UNESCO memory of the world to his film the forgotten, 1950.

Born in the bosom of a wealthy family, he studied first in Zaragoza, under cover of the corazonistas and Jesuits. He moved to Madrid to pursue a career of agronomist. It happens to be one of the tenants of the Residencia de Estudiantes, where he begins to discover the other side of reality. Practice all kinds of sports, develops their creative and performing skills and contact with the intelligentsia of the time that passes by that residence. This is how you choose to pursue studies of philosophy and letters at the time who strikes up a friendship with Federico García Lorca, Salvador Dalí, Pepín Bello, Rafael Alberti, María Teresa León, Ricardo Urgoiti and many others (all members of which Buñuel called "Order of Toledo"). They are unforgettable years that will influence their personal and artistic history.

In the mid-1920s, after the death of his father, he moved to Paris, where done some theatrical productions and comes in contact with French directors of the moment (Epstein, Feyder, etc.), with which it collaborates in several of his films. It develops a series of projects left unfinished and meet Jeanne Rucar (that will marry in 1934). Cinematic concerns are going to realize a work related to the surrealist movement in which bet visually by a cluster of images in 1929, year in which collaborates with Dali Un Chien Andalou, of cause, without cracks, attraction or rejection of the public of the time. two antagonistic situations that marked his style of life. The following year, both direct a new work, the golden age, a real ideological and creative manifesto in which emerge the obsessions of a practicing Catholic already "atheist, thank God" - according to his words, which could not miss the religion, sex, repression and, especially, the desire. With these premises it is no surprise that you it's one of the most talked-about scandals of Paris.

This situation takes you to engage the dubbing both in Paris (for Paramount) and in Madrid (for Warner). Between stockings, he directed the documentary Las Hurdes (1932), an interesting approach to one of the most depressed areas of Spain. It is not a friendly documentary; rather it loaded the inks on the precariousness of a land and the misery of its people, hence it was banned by the Republican government by the look of his approach. Two years later, the reunion with Urgoiti takes you to take care of the production and supervision of several films of producer Filmofono (Don Quintin the amargao and the daughter of Juan Simon, 1935; who wants me to me? and Sentinel, alert!, 1936).

The start of the Civil war takes you to wander through New York and Hollywood, working on dubbing for Latin American versions from the Museum of modern art and in Warner productions, and this stage is extended until the end of the second world war. It is then when decided to move to Mexico, where he meets the producer Oscar Dancigers and begins to integrate into the cinema in the country, although Gran Casino (1947), with Libertad Lamarque and Jorge Negrete, ended in failure. His next step (the great MADCAP, 1949) is more elaborate and attends to a conventional story in which reframes the moral values of a social class, with an interesting role of Fernando Soler as the main axis of the decline and rebirth of a family. After these experiences leads a more assertive when it comes to forget about certain issues which lost its effectiveness to be treated in the film to focus squarely on the drama, the tragedy. Thus, in Los olvidados (1950) portrays in a realistic manner the despair of a few characters who live on the street and drown in the most brutal misery, situation posed an internal stress in each of these leading them to violence in the chain that flourishes at every moment, and that leads to them - in the figure of Jaibo (Roberto Cobo) - to that black hole which already cannot be. The Crusoe(1954) look is universal, because the message also transcends the limits of the periphery of the city of Mexico, because the social conditions are similar for those who have to rely on themselves. Without saying that the film was very controversial at the national level, not precluding that it reached the prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Director. [UNESCO awarded in 2004 the memory of the world distinction, an award that up to that date only got another film, Metropolis by Fritz Lang, and other works that share as the score of the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven or the Declaration of the rights of man.]

Also in 1950 directed Susana (1950), which examines the mask of a society that at the first hint of transgression is able to break with conservative traditions. Here religion, morality and sex intermingle and show the weakness of the human being.

Buñuel then directs a series of works smaller in which, however, remain isolated references to a universe in which death, sex, virginity and a dreamlike world emerge and remain as the House brand (especially, if possible, in ascent to heaven, 1952). In the (1953) speaks to us, inevitably--and through a character who built their own environment as indicated by her paranoid state that leads you-, inexplicable roads that lead East to love and love to hate. It is the fetish universe of Buñuel which speaks of ankles, legs, of infidelity; ultimately, eroticism, although always situated in a context of black shadows that dominate the life of a character in which events interpreted and executed his obsessions (see, as an example, a crime trial, 1956).

After two studies carried out in France, the Aragonese director returns with force managing Nazarín (1958), the adaptation of the work of Benito Pérez Galdós, which reflects how more diverse human problems cannot to be solved with a message full of spirituality; the events that mark the route of the priest more than their own faith - how you can save the man?-, causing a spiritual crisis in the father Nazario (excellent work of Francisco Rabal) situation. With more visceral he revisits the issue years later, when he moved to Spain to film Viridiana (1961), a story in which a young novice is advised to "know" the world before profess. Here religion, faith, passions, collide head-on with reality, situation that Viridiana attempts to solve since a posture based on charity, on helping the weakest (sequences of the dog tied to the cart or the beggars dinner confirmed the difficulty of redeeming the impossible), or in the refusal to assume its own body; does not realize that society or don Jaime (Fernando Rey) can not change because she try it. On Earth, most is to serve, to bow to the mandate he has the power; you only need your reward when you finish your life, after death. Passion unleashes the death and the joyful meeting delivery (a surprising game of tute trialogue as finishing). The presentation of the film at the Cannes Film Festival and the obtaining of the Palme d'Or among other awards, cause one of the most - sadly - remembered international scandals in the history of cinema. (The film could not be seen in Spain until the month of April 1977 and was considered a Mexican production for international distribution).

In the early sixties, Buñuel continues to progress in his images on the bourgeois conventionalism (the exterminating angel, 1962), his philias class (diary of a Chambermaid, 1964) and the emotional instability arising from the play of masks (Belle de jour, 1967), to reach the goal - following the Gospels - through a heterodox pilgrimage in which the dogma check a pulse to the heresy (the milky way1969).

None of the stories filmed so far leave the existential conflict that has always dominated Buñuel. Why ankle of glory (Delia Garcés on it), passes to the leg that exposed of Viridiana (Silvia Pinal) to focus on orthopedic leg Tristana (Catherine Deneuve). Tristana (1970), which represents the reencounter of Buñuel with his country, is precisely the adaptation of another novel by Pérez Galdós which the director takes advantage of all the springs that offer Tristana and Don Lope, this live example of well applied middle-class conservatism: it is religious but only respect certain rules (the crucifix is pure superstition?); It is socially liberal but only outwardly (saves the thief of the police, but her maid Saturna is to serve); it becomes engaged to his niece but he humiliates her with your routine.

The final stage of his career is French, and she analyzes the bourgeoisie from different angles that give a more complete picture of the destruction, deception and false appearance. The fascination with everything a wide repertoire of symbols focuses on three films that Serge Silberman produces (the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, 1972 - Oscar Hollywood-;) The Phantom of liberty, 1974; That obscure object of desire, 1977), coming to the conclusion that the universe bunueliano - radical, controversial and destructive - basically focuses on a single object of reflection: the faces of desire, questioning this perspective to the world, man, society, values, attitudes, death, eroticism, sin...

After the work of Luis Buñuel - it should be remembered always — they were a series of partners of great worth, among which should be mentioned Luis Alcoriza and Julio Alejandro as screenwriters, Gabriel Figueroa in photography, and Carlos Savage and Jorge Bustos in the Assembly, among others.


As director and co-writer (of almost all his films): 1929: Un Chien Andalou (Co-Director) (short film). 1930: the age of Oro.1932: the Hurdes (short documentary). 1947: great Casino.1949: the great calavera.1950: the forgotten; Susana.1951: The daughter of deceit; A woman without love; Ascent to the cielo.1952: the gross; Robinson Crusoe; El.1953: Wuthering Heights; The illusion travels by tranvia.1954: the river and the muerte.1955: essay of a crime; Cela s'appelle l'Aurore/so the aurora.1956: La mort CE garden / death in the jardin.1958: nazarin.1959: the fievre monte a Pao / the ambiciosos.1960: The Young One.1961: Viridiana.1962: angel exterminador.1963: the diary of a camarera.1966: Belle de jour/Bella de dia.1969: La Via lactea.1970: Tristana.1972: the discreet charm of the burguesia.1974: the Phantom of the libertad.1977: that obscure object of desire.

Other colaboracion:1926: Mauprat (Ay. address and entertainer). 1927: La sirène des tropiques (Ay. address). 1928: chute de maison Usher (Ay. address). 1935: Don Quintin amargao (prod. Executive, supervisor and co-writer); Juan Simón (production Executive, supervisor and actor) daughter. 1936: who wants me to me? (Production Executive, supervisor and co-writer); Sentry alert! (Production Executive, supervisor and co-writer). 1937: loyal Spain in arms (comontaje and reviews). 1950: If you can't, I Yes (co-writer). 1964: weeping for a Bandit (actor); In this village there are no thieves (actor). 1972: Le moine (co-writer).


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