‘Mirrors in the Fog’, in homage to Martín Patino

The tribute to the Salamancan filmmaker will feature the screening of  ‘Una película de Basilio Martín Patino’ (‘A film by Basilio Martín Patino’), by Sánchez Borox, and will conclude the events of Castilla León Film Day


05/10/2017.- The Castilla Leon Film Day will culminate with a tribute to filmmaker Basilio Martín Patino, who passed away on August 13th at the age of 87, with the screening of his documentary Espejos en la niebla [Mirrors in the Fog] (2008), as well as Una película de Basilio Martín Patino [A film by Basilio Martín Patino] (2015), by Juan Sánchez Borox.

Espejos en la niebla [Mirrors in the Fog] is divided into eight chapters and made to illustrate the exhibition of the same name organized by the Círculo de Bellas Artes [the Fine Arts Circle]. It uses numerous archival materials – Patino’s productions and archives, such as those of the Castilla León Film Library- to organize an expository essay in which the director tried to question certainties, to investigate the unknown, and, once again, to trust in interaction with the viewer. Through the story of Inés Luna Terrero, who was part of a landowning family from the Abadengo region of Salamanca, and farmers who were expelled from their lands, this documentary proposes an approach to understanding   early twentieth century Salamanca, and ultimately offers a reflection on the social and economic tensions that afflict the whole country.

‘Espejos en la niebla’ (Mirrors in the Fog)

In his documentary Una película de Basilio Martín Patino [A film by Basilio Martín Patino], director Juan Sánchez Borox carries out a biographical and cinematographic journey to observe how Patino’s films have managed to capture the imprint of his life trajectory during a difficult cultural period in Spain. Basilio Martín Patino should be considered as one of the undisputed Spanish pioneers in terms of his use of genres such as mockumentary and essay-film, emphasizing his masterful editing over the other facets of his work. Through the testimony of an entire generation of the Salamancan director’s contemporaries, as well as the majority of the performers who worked with him, Sánchez Borox presents us with a Patino unknown to the general public, revealing that beyond his artistic side was a timid family man who dedicated his life to explaining the reality in which he lived.

Basilio Martín Patino represents a fundamental exemplar within Spanish cinematography from the second half of the twentieth century until today. He graduated as a film director in 1960. This was a few years after he’d organized the 1955 Conversaciones de Salamanca [the Conversations of Salamanca], a  collective reflection by professionals and critics on Spanish cinema that would mark the path forward for many in the industry. He made his debut in cinema  with an undoubtable declaration of his intentions: Nueve cartas a Berta [Nine letters to Berta] (1965). This piece was key in what was called the New Spanish Cinema, and won the Silver Shell for the Best Debut in the San Sebastián Film Festival. Nevertheless, the film would not open commercially until three years later.

‘Una película de Martín Patino’ (A film by Basilio Martín Patino)

In 1969 Patino filmed Del amor y otras soledades [Love and Other Solitudes], which was mutilated by censorship. Equally, his 1971 film Canciones para después de una guerra [Songs for After a War], a singular, exciting, and critical in-depth analysis of the postwar period, also underwent censorship for five years. In response to this censorship, Patino secretly filmed Queridísimos verdugos [Dearest Executioners]  (1973) and Caudillo [Commander] (1974).

With the arrival of democracy in Spain, the filmmaker founded his own production company, “La linterna mágica” [“The magic lantern”], from which he alternated fiction and documentary work. These pieces include Los paraísos perdidos [The Lost Paradise] (1985), Madrid (1987), and Octavia (2002), his last fictional feature film.

The 47th Week, celebrated in 2002, dedicated a complete retrospective to Patino, which included all of his short films, full-length films, and works for television, as well as a book written by Juan Antonio Pérez Millán and a round table discussion. The 57th Week premiered his latest work in History Time, Libre te quiero [I Want You To Be Free] (2012), a 60 minute long documentary shot without a script. It aims to document the indignation behind the 15M demonstrations and the Acampada Sol, the campouts in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol Square in 2011.

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