Portabella’s first feature, co-scripted by poet Joan Brossa, became one of the most influential works of the Barcelona avant-garde, although like all his early films, it circulated only in an underground fashion. Eschewing dialogue, the director constructs a non-narrative story in fragments that reveal the daily lives of an adulterous couple interspersed with a cryptic stream of unrelated imagery. The title of this homage to directors including Eisenstein, Antonioni, Bergman, and Buñuel refers to the 29 “black years” of the Franco dictatorship. —chicago.cervantes.es
Since the 1960s, Portabella always maintained a political commitment with all those movements against the Franco dictatorship that supported individual and collective democratic liberties.
In 1977, he was elected Senator in the first democratic elections and he participated in the writing of the present day Spanish Constitution. In 1999, was honoured with the Creu de Sant Jordi, the highest recognition that a person can receive from the institutions of the Generalitat de Catalunya. He has presided over the Fundación Alternativas since 2001.
As a filmmaker Pere Portabella has been a relevant presence in the Spanish film world for the last fifty years. With Films 59, his production company, he fostered some of the most emblematic films in the history of Spanish cinema. Los Golfos by Carlos Saura (1959), El Cochecito by Marco Ferreri (1960) and Viridiana by Luis Buñuel (1961). He directs his own creations combining a heritage of avant-garde culture with breakaway forms of… read more
I can appreciate non-narrative film & the experimental, but this particular film is so swamped in pretension that to apply meaning to the any of the images in this completely pointless excuse of a movie would give it's director more credit than deserved. If it stopped after the beautiful opening scene with the two lovers in the desert it could have been an ok short, but what follows is duller than watching paint dry
Quite amazing debut feature from Portabella that has little need for dialogue concentrating instead on the power of imagery, everyday moments and fleeting glimpses of society. Images are mostly b&w and are bold with a mix of the everyday, the avant garde and the surreal. Brossa and Portabella's script may seem disjointed or experimental but stay the course and one is well rewarded.