What comes to mind when you think about Spanish-language cinema? The vibrant colors of Pedro Almodóvar? Guillermo del Toro’s intricate, gothic fantasies? Or the fast-paced, violent world of Amores Perros? Spanish and Latino cinema has a long and diverse history which has been somewhat overlooked by the Anglophone world, but it is well worth exploring.Some big names have been a driving force in Spanish-language cinema. Spanish director Luis Buñuel was the first director to make international waves, combining his motherland’s strong culture of surrealism with an avant-garde sensibility throughout the 20th century.The repressive Franco regime, which gripped Spain from 1939 to 1975, put a damper on Spanish cinema for much of the 20th century; Buñuel spent many of those years in Mexico. To avoid censorship, movies from that period tend to allude to the fascist dictatorship through metaphor. The gentle 1973 movie The Spirit of the Beehive uses the psyche of a young girl to explore the isolation and anxiety of life under Franco.Spanish cinema exploded back into life after Franco’s death. Leading the new wave of sensual, gender-bending cinema was Pedro Almodóvar, who drew international praise for films like Talk to Her and Volver. His work helped make a… Read full this story
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