As in Vampir-Cuadecuc, this film turns on two basic axes: the inquiry into ways of cinematographic representation and a critical image of official Spain at the time of the Franco dictatorship. “Montage of attractions” and Brechtianism in strong doses. Umbracle is made up of fragments (some are archive footage) that resound rather than progress by unusual links, with dejá vu scenes that promise us more but remaintensely unfinished. Jonathan Rosembaun said: “few directors since Resnais have played so ruthlessly with the unconscious narrative expectations to bug us”. Learning from the feeling of strangeness caused by Rossellini as he threw well known actors into savage scenery in southern Europe.
Portabella makes Christopher Lee wander around a dream-like Barcelona. Without a doubt Portabella’s most structurally complex and most profoundly political film, that is ferociously poetic. —pereportabella.com
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