Biography of Carlos Saura (1932-VVVV)

Carlos Saura.

Film director and Spanish writer born in Huesca on January 4, 1932. It is, without a doubt, one of the most outstanding figures of Spanish cinematography and one of the greatest international resonance of the Hispanic field directors. His work has been awarded numerous awards, by the most prestigious international institutions of the world of the cinema both Spanish academies. His full name is Carlos Saura Atares.

Younger brother of the great painter Antonio Saura, with whom he/she collaborated on several occasions and who must much of its artistic trends, was also son of a professional pianist, who inherited the interest and taste for music. It was, from his adolescence, a large amateur photography, and used to carry everywhere camera 16 mm with that collected material with which to make reports. After completing high school studies, he/she enrolled at the technical school of engineers of ways, channels and ports of Madrid. But his attraction to photography did to soon abandon his academic career to devote himself to his true vocation, so he/she enrolled in Research Institute and cinematic experiences (IIEC) in 1952, as well as follow, sporadically, the courses of the school of journalism. He/She exhibited his works at the Royal Photographic Society of Madrid, at the headquarters of the Group trends and Bucholz, Clan and abstract art from Santander international galleries. He/She also worked as a photographer at the festivals of music in Granada and the Cantabrian capital.

In 1957 ended the film with director diploma studies (would remain linked to the Institute, then school official of cinematography, as Professor until 1963). From this moment, and after leaving school momentarily by political disagreements, focused fully on the study of cinema. To obtain the diploma of address he/she made the short film late Sunday, although during their stay at the school made, among others, the short films live uncle and Pax.

In 1958 he/she was hired as a Professor of performing practices in the now defunct school official of cinematography (EOC) and, subsequently, as a Professor of management. In 1965 he/she left school to the summoning of oppositions and not obtaining the square. During this time he/she made several short films, in which worked as photographer, co-director and screenwriter, among them La Chunga, Sanabria and Puertollano menu, as well as a medium-length film called basin; He/She also collaborated on the script of the film by Mario Camus dies a woman.

Before his first film, the gulfs, from 1962, he/she collaborated in others as script writer, Assistant Director and even actor. The gulfs, shot in Cuenca, won rave reviews, who encouraged him to continue with his career; Thus, in 1963 rolled weeping for a Bandit, with the screenplay written in collaboration with Camus. This first Saura intended to lay the groundwork for a Spanish neo-realism in the style of the movement that flourished in Italy in the decades of the 1940s and 1950s of the s. XX; not in vain, the literary movement of the time remained the paths of social realism, which was a direct source of inspiration for the first cinema of Saura. To do this, focused on the lives of the disadvantaged districts of the city (Madrid, in this case), with the latent problem of juvenile delinquency. In the case of weeping for a Bandit, enters, criticizing from within the codes of the genre, the picaresque, embodied in the figure of an outlaw s. 19th argument that, despite disputes before cited with author, applauded the official censorship and used for its own benefit, for which mutilated scenes necessary for their purposes. From this time, and until the death of the Generalissimo, Saura had to contend with cunning with the censors so that their films could be released intact in Spain, which resulted in a splendorous symbolic exercise where the allegory won ground to what would have been the storyline to be expected in the career of the director oscense.

The wake of both films was continued with other titles that made it as one of the directors of higher quality from the Spanish of his time cinema and the greater international projection, with permission of Luis Buñuel and, later, by José Luis Garci. The first of them, Hunt (1965), won the silver bear at the Berlin Festival, award that repeated two years later with Peppermint Frapé (1967), which meant the final boost to his career.

Hunting is a clear example of a language which does not prevent that spectacular drama dimensions are achieved. The argument, a few men who, on a torrid day of hunting, take out the irreconcilable differences dragged since the war, was too delicate to be treated unequivocally, Saura making an exercise in juggling, with continuous ellipsis and first flat full of expressive force, in which criticism has come to be baptized as "oneiric realism". In the case of Peppermint Frapé goes into a relationship with nearby Existentialism approaches issues, that connects with the issues that will be a constant in his films immediately after: frustration, and somewhat infantilizing, a society too unaccustomed to the Puritanism and repression and to fight for their ideals, which makes it a society asleep and blurredDespite the fact that individuals who portrays belong to the wealthy bourgeoisie, which is not enough so they can escape (not even them) that reality. Family and children are the only forms of escape from this unhealthy reality.

With these premises carried out Stress is three, three, followed by the Burrow (1969), the garden of earthly delights (1970; has the curious brand of being the first Spanish film to treat the Civil War), Ana and the wolves (1972; portrait of the power of the army and the Church, as well as the rejection of sex in society at the time) and cousin Angelica (1973; he/she is the subject of war from the point of view) of the expired). The latter won the special jury prize at Cannes, as well as the highest award for his leadership. This magnificent success had its continuation with the new special prize of the jury at the same festival the following year by Cría Cuervos (1975; where addresses the theme of childhood and his difficult relationship with the adult world). Elisa vida mía (1977), his next film, the critics have been his best work, the more "finished" until that time. In short, the Saura film before Franco's death has a unique character: without fanfare technical or narrative (does not use the flash-backs, or resources as the cast), with only the game that gives the camera, mixing the real with the imaginary, Saura made scenes verses and poems films. Ellipsis, used, as already mentioned, to avoid political problems, is also a deliberate resource of aesthetic innovation. Their productions should also much to their regular contributors, contributing in a decisive way to create your own personal universe; Thus, Elías Querejetaproduction, the Director of photography of Luis Cuadrado, Rafael Azcona scripts and interpretation of the actress Geraldine Chaplin (who played nine of his films) were crucial in this period.

The death of Franco, with the consequent change of regime and the apparent freedom to tell realities rigidly forbidden until then, changed the Saura film schemes. With the blindfold (1978), very theatrical, gives way to Mama turns 100 (1979), nominated for the Oscar as best foreign film, milestone that very rarely had gotten with a Spanish film; to this must be added the award special of the jury of the Festival of San Sebastián. Mama turns 100 Saura will leave the family as a means to describe the society. In Deprisa, deprisa, made in 1980, Saura takes a turn his career story about characters, marginalized and immersed in the world of drug addiction, i.e. again topics close to that original social realism, history that earned him the gold bear of the Berlin Festival of the next year. Sweet hours (1981) and Antoinette (1982) were the following titles before his trilogy comprised of blood (1981) wedding, Carmen (1983) and the Witcher love (1986), starring Antonio Gades , flamenco and that it reaped a large number of awards world-wide. This might be the most important of his career moment, since his work was rewarded with the highest award of the Spanish cinema before the creation of the Goya Awards, the national award for cinematography for the whole of his work. As for Carmen, he/she received the special prize of the jury of the Cannes Festival to the film's artistic quality; the Grand Prize of the Commission top technique of French cinema for its technical quality at the service of artistic expression; and the award for best foreign film that was awarded in Tokyo, in December 1983, by the Japanese Ministry of education. In February 1984, Carmen was also nominated for the Oscar to the best foreign language film. Also, the Witcher love was described by the Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald as one of the ten best films in the world in 1987, opinion that, though particular, gives an idea of the international impact of the director oscense had reached. All Saura moved the argument of the works of Lorca, Bizet and failure to the history of their characters, with what mixture of great works of fiction with particular fiction living characters in his films.

This career was definitely endorsed in July, 1986, when the Academy of Arts and cinematographic Sciences in Hollywood and the University of California paid him a tribute at the teatro Samuel Goldwyn in recognition of his extraordinary "cinematographic work". Currently Saura was one of the directors of fashion around the world, which meant that you counted with the budget higher that had never had a Spanish production, 1,000 million pesetas, for his new film, El Dorado, dramatic epic of the conquest of America and of the search of the mythical El Dorado. However, without being a failure, it was received quietly, and did not continue with the trail of awards of its predecessors; as an example, did not receive any of the nine newly created Goya Awards (was the third edition), awarded by the Academy of Arts and cinematographic Sciences of Spain, for which it was nominated. Saura had ceased to be an innovator, but he/she continued showing his talent to the present day.

In 1988 Saura joined the Board of the newly established Academy of European cinema (EFA), which granted the Felix awards. In 1989 made the dark night movie that chronicles the life of San Juan de la Cruz, biography to which Saura wanted to give a treatment so austere as the very life of the Mystic. After this experience "dark" wanted to give a new twist of light his career with Ay Carmela!, comedy premiered in 1990 and based on the eponymous play by José Sanchís Sinesterra, who was played by Carmen Maura and Andrés Pajares. Again critics endorsed it, and the film was chosen to represent Spain in the next edition of the Oscars as best foreign film; the following year, in addition, it would wipe at the Goya Awards, since it won thirteen of the twenty-one statuettes.

His following work walked you in some sense of the film; in 1991 he/she made a montage of Carmen for the Opera of Stuttgart, besides being in charge of an episode for an audiovisual encyclopedia on the figure of Goya, project that also signed such illustrious names from the film as John Boorman , Peter Greenawayand Alain Resnais. Both projects led them out with the collaboration of his brother Antonio.Tras make an adaptation of the tale of Jorge Luis Borges El Sur, a series produced by Andrés Vicente Gómez and Televisión Española, Saura returned to one of his favorite themes, the surrounding world to flamenco, to roll Sevillanas, film which premiered at the Universal Exposition in Seville in 1992. Not just decoration, the film is virtually a story that tries that the real protagonists are the artists, which fills the screen with only his art. Among them were the most representative figures of flamenco of the moment, such as the Miss Camarón de la Isla (a few months before his death), the guitarist Manolo Sanlúcar and Paco de Lucía and characters of both might and Lola Flores and Rocío Jurado.

To the annals of the 92 not only was Saura so he/she premiered his film, but that he/she was commissioned to direct the official film of the Olympic Games of Barcelona 92, following the resignation of the British Hug Hudson; the result was Marathon: flames of peace, promoted by the COOB (official organizer of the Barcelona Olympics) and the IOC, which had a budget of 900 million pesetas. All this should add that 1992 was a very special year for the director, was given the Gold Medal of the Academy of Sciences and the cinematic arts of Spain in recognition of "his brilliant career". Months later, already in 1993, they were granted several awards, including the prize Gerald Brenan 93 to the Andalusians values, the order of Arts and letters of France and the title of doctor "honoris causa" by the University of Zaragoza.

After the shooting, in 1993, of shoot!, starring Antonio Banderas and Francesca Neri, continued with the trail started in Seville with the Flemish film, again with a very close to the documentary format and in which there is virtually no decorative elements, except a set of lights which enhances the performance of the artists. The film was entirely shot in the former railway station Plaza de Armas of Seville, almost always with direct sound; It involved nearly a hundred of artists of all ages specializing in the genres of dance and sing flamenco, with name as Enrique Morente, Paco Toronjo, Paco Lucía, Lola Flores, José Mercé, Manolo Sanlúcar, Joaquín Cortés and Fernanda de Utrera, among others. No doubt a result of this effort was the tribute that he/she and the flamenco dancer Antonio Gades was made by the society film of the Lincoln Center of New York, during the second edition of masters of dance and cinema in the framework of the third cycle of contemporary Spanish cinema.

With cab, 1996, returns to his recurring theme of social problems of the man in the street, this time with the night and xenophobia as a backdrop. In 1997 shot at Buenos Aires Tango (soprano co-production, with photograph of Vittorio Storaro and Lalo Schifrin music), a musical which, under the pretext of a plot about an unhappy love affair, it returns to its previous close to documentary work premises; tango and its protagonists, and the choreography arrabalero environment dances performed by the best Argentine professionals, including the famous dancer Julio Bocca, are the protagonists of the tape. On the tape, they hear and dance in spectacular fashion famous tangos such as "Complaints of bandoneon", "El choclo", "Caminito", "Bitter Arrabal". "A fuego lento", "Nostalgias", "Grey fox" and "La cumparsita". The film was presented out of competition in Cannes and San Sebastián, although it was later selected to represent Argentina at the 1999 Oscars Edition.

Pajarico, based on the autobiographical novel of the own Saura Pajarico and shot in 1997, won the award for Best Director at the Montreal World Film Festival, award shared by Juni Ichikawa Japanese Tokyo Yakyoku ('The Ballad of Tokyo') work. Moreover, 1999 was the year of Goya in Bordeaux, which chronicles the last years of the great painter, now elderly, in exile in France. Dedicated to his brother Antonio and starring Francisco Rabal, José Coronado and Maribel Verdú, took five statuettes at the Goya Awards, though not that of best film, that was superseded by all about my mother by Pedro Almodóvar.

In 2001 he/she released Buñuel and the table of King Solomon, a film which dramatizes way very personal figure of the genius Aragonese director. Then recovered the genus greater success has given his career, musical, to film Salomé, a film with documentary overtones that blends flamenco, symphonic music and sounds from the East, and that starred the dancer Aida Gómez. Tape achieved the award for best artistic contribution at the Montreal Festival. The Aragonese filmmaker also directed the stage version of the legendary biblical tragedy.

Occasional artist, has also received awards for his work with brushes, including the prize for the plastic creation of the community of Madrid.

A passionate Director waiting could be a love life full of ups and downs. Its name is linked to four women, two of them linked with the world of cinema: Adela Medrano, that he/she divorced; Mercedes Pérez, with whom he/she has three children; Geraldine Chaplin, with whom he/she has a son. and the also actress Eulalia Ramon, which in 1994 had a daughter, Anna, who dedicated his film Pajarico.

In 2004 presented the 7th day, a film which tells the crimes that took place in Puerto Hurraco in 1990, one of the most terrible episodes of Spanish black chronic. For this work he/she received the award for best director at the 28th Festival of Montreal.

His passion for flamenco has not only been proven in his films, especially Sevillanas and Flamenco, but that has also been the protagonist of hundreds of photographs of the director, such as those outlined in the Flamenco book, published in May 2004, with texts by the Saura own. Also in December of that same year he/she presented a novel that revisits the plot of one of his best movies, Elisa, vida mía, twenty-six years after he/she released it.

In 2000 began in the novel with the title that light!, about the Spanish civil war, whose argument has the schism in the life of a couple young, he/she left-wing journalist, her sensitive female. In the book, Saura made a plea against the forces that carried out the military uprising, instigated it or supported. In 2004 he/she would return to the world of the narrative to the return to one of its most emblematic films, Elisa, vida mine, to turn it into a novel that, in the words of the author himself, "goes beyond the film". In December of the same year was awarded the prize "to an entire career" which gives the European Film Academy.

In April 2005 he/she received the tribute to a career of the Malaga Film Festival, in a ceremony attended by figures of cinema, music and dance. In October of that same year, on the other hand, presented a new film, Iberia, in which participated Manolo Sanlúcar, Enrique Morente and Aída Gómez, Estrella Morente, Rosa Torres-Pardo, among others, and is a film interpretation of the famous suite of Albéniz. In 2007 he/she presented the musical film Fados, a co-production with Portugal, about fado, Portuguese par excellence, winning musical expression of the Goya Award for best original song.

In 2008 he/she made the documentary short Symphony of Aragon for the Zaragoza 2008 International exhibition.

His latest works include especially Io, Don Giovanni (2009), a Spanish blockbuster which tells the life of Lorenzo da Ponte te, lyricist of Mozart. A dramatic and passionate story about the man who worked with Mozart and several composers more in Vienna, after tras ser be banished from Italy by the Inquisition for his "life full of excesses and licentious"; that after the death of Emperor José II was forced to leave Vienna and that after living in London, he/she moved finally to New York. The film received a nomination for the production design at the European film awards 2010.

Carlos Saura has been honored with numerous prizes and awards. Among the most recent are: Shell gold Honorable of the Festival international de Cinema of San Sebastián (2007) throughout his career; Prize International Festival of cinema of Barcelona (2007); Spike of gold honorary of the Valladolid international week of cinema (2009) throughout his career; Eye critic 2010 special award; 2010 silver frame; III award UIMP to cinematography, awarded by the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (2011) "for her performance in the Spanish cinema and his professional career; Medal international arts of the CAM (2011) and Doctor honoris cause from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2011).


As a director, screenwriter and producer

1958: Cuenca (medium). 1975: Cría cuervos.

As director and screenwriter

1956: The small river Manzanares (short film). 1957: late on Sunday (short film). 1962: the golfos.1964: lament for a bandido.1965: the caza.1968: Stress, is three, tres.1977: Elisa life mia.1978: vendados.1979 eyes: Mama meets one hundred anos.1980-81: fast deprisa.1981: sangre.1982 wedding: sweet hours; Antonieta.1983: Carmen.1984: the zancos.1986: love brujo.1988: the Dorado.1989: oscura.1992 night: Sevillanas; Marathon.1993: shoot! 1995: Flamenco.1998: Pajarico; Tango.1999: Goya in Burdeos.2001: Buñuel and the table of King salomon.2004: 7 dia.2005: Iberia. 2007: Fados. 2008: Symphony of Aragon. 2009: Io, Don Giovanni. 2010: flamenco, Flamenco.

As a director

1967: Peppermint frape.1969: the madriguera.1970: the garden of the delicias.1973: Ana and the lobos.1974: La prima angelica.1990: Ay, Carmela! 1996: Taxi.1998: that light! 2002: Salome.

As screenwriter

1965: Death of a woman.

As an actor

1959: The pisito.1995: Kulonbozo Rendkívüli.