- The Festival joins in the celebration of Berlanga’s Year with the premiere on October 26 of Rafael Maluenda’s film, which brings us close to the professional and human gaze of the Valencia-born filmmaker.
The Valladolid International Film Festival will join in the Berlanga Year celebrations with the premiere on October 26 of Berlanga!!, the feature film that recreates the professional and personal career of the filmmaker through testimonies, archival footage, photographs and postproduction materials. Coinciding with the Berlanga Year, which celebrates the centenary of this absolutely unique filmmaker, the 66th edition of Seminci will, within the framework of the day dedicated to Spanish cinema, schedule a special session to premiere this film, written and directed by Rafael Maluenda, a close friend of the director who collaborated with him in his last three movies, with the support of the García-Berlanga family.
Shot in Madrid, New York, Nebraska, Valencia, Denia, Alicante, Castellón, Benicàssim, Vall d’Uixó, Peñíscola and Pozuelo de Alarcón, the documentary carries out an investigation into the currency of Berlanga’s thought and cinematic ouput through a series of interviews with several prestigious figures from the world of cinema. Filmmakers from different generations and Berlanga’s own family members build up a story that will bring today’s audiences closer to one of the most important film directors of all time: Alexander Payne, Fernando Trueba, Gonzalo Suárez, Gracia Querejeta, Enrique Urbizu, Jaime Chávarri, Borja Cobeaga, Miguel Albadalejo, Paco Plaza, Daniel Monzón or José Mota, among others, will bring us closer to Berlanga’s cinematic gaze.
In turn, the film’s fictional part will be performed by Antonio Resines, Luisa Martín, Guillermo Montesinos, Silvia Marsó, Elena Navarro and Joaquín Climent, who will provide a close-up of Berlanga in a documentary that deliberately eschews the notion of a documentary for movie buffs and experts. The man who signed Welcome, Mister Marshall!, The Executioner or The National Shotgun became Spain’s most popular filmmaker, as was clearly known by his closest environment who witnessed the countless shows of affection that he received every day when he went out on the street. Indeed, this film is very much like Berlanga himself: colloquial in tone and , needless to say, humourous.
The film also addresses the most intimate side of Luis García Berlanga, including his father’s death sentence, his enlistment in the Blue Division or the tensions with Francoist censorship and institutions. Berlanga!! also aims to unravel issues like what is it about his films that connects so well with the spirit of Spain: why do we laugh at the mirror image that he holds up to us? Why are we willingly accept his revealing portrait of our miseries, great and small? Berlanga!! seeks to answer these and other questions that help us understand why the filmmaker and his movies have already become a part of our collective imagination.
The documentary has been produced by La Nit Productions (Regina Enguídanos Coronel) with the collaboration of the Generalitat Valenciana, À Punt, Valencia’s Provincial Council (Tourist Board), Castellón’s Provincial Council (Tourist Board), the Valencia City Council, the Pozuelo de Alarcón City Council , the Peñíscola City Council, RENFE and Crea SGR.