Pedro Olea: «Professionally speaking, Valladolid is my birthplace»

Pedro Olea

22/10/2019.- Teatro Zorrilla hosted on Tuesday 22 October a special screening of Pedro Olea’s film  ‘The Ancines Woods’ in commemoration of the  50th anniversary of the movie’s shot. The movie was awarded the Film Week’s 1970 edition the then called San Gregorio Prize (the festival had a focus on religious values in those days).

The Basque attended this year’s special screening and told the audience that he had to fight against censorship, since Carrero Blanco wanted to ban the film. «When news of the film reached his ears, he asked for a print so as to censor it», said the director. The success obtained at the Valladolid  Festival was instrumental in preventing Carrero from banning a film that indeed reflected a «dark Spain» where religion and superstition were inextricably mixed.  The movie was based on the novel “El bosque de Ancines” and told a story inspired by real events.  José Luis López Vázquez played the lead character in the story, Benito Freire. López Vázquez, who would go on to play in some other four films by Olea, was described by the latter as «one of the best actors that have existed worldwide».

A regular presence in the Valladolid International Film Festival, thee filmmaker stars in a documentary film by Pablo Malo dedicated to his figure and screening in the current edition of Seminci: «Olea… ¡Más alto!» In reference to his own professional career, he claimed that that he  «wanted to be an actor and did not even know that directors existed».

Pedro Olea began his film career with several titles which  he defines as «quite slack». Over the years, however, he became one of the key pieces in the development of Spanish cinema with successful movies like  No es bueno que el hombre esté solo (1973), Pim, Pam, Pum … Fire! (1975) and A man called Autumn Flower (1978). «Those films were successful because that kind of cinema was not made 40 years ago», concluded the director.


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