utorak, 28. kolovoza 2012.

Pere Portabella - Vampir-Cuadecuc: Svjetlo dolazi iz nekog drugog stoljeća

Pere Portabella 'Vampir Cuadecuc' 1970

Rijetko će ga tko spomenuti kad je riječ o španjolskom filmu, a za galaksiju je veći od Saure i Almodovara. 

Primjerice, snimanje se ne zaustavlja na kraju kadra nego vidimo što glumci rade i nakon što su odigrali ulogu. 

Ako želite platiti streaming, njegove filmove možete gledati ovdje (Mubi), a na YouTubeu možete vidjeti cijeli film Cuadecuc-Vampir.


Pere Portabella Retrospective

For five decades, the Catalan filmmaker Pere Portabella (born 1929) has ranked among the most important protagonists of Spanish cinema. After first producing films by Carlos Saura (Los Golfos, 1959) and Luis Buñuel (Viridiana, 1961), at the end of the 1960s he began making his own films that originated in a both artistically and politically radical context. Artistic avant-garde movements and resistance against the Franco dictatorship are the poles between which he operates. His work focuses on expanding the possibilities of film as a medium: The deconstruction and subversion of aesthetic and narrative conventions, the relation between image and that which is shown, and the critique of representation. He often starts off with existing genres (advertising films, horror movies), the structures of which are then thoroughly examined and newly interpreted. This also includes the complex relationships between image and sound. He makes use of documentary and fictional forms in an equal way, often crossing or blurring genre borders. His atmospherically dense movies take images apart and assembling them anew, constantly evading the audience's expectations. Portabella's first films predominantly dealt with cinematic forms and the related questions of political representation. He then examined politics in a concrete fashion in the clandestinely produced EL SOPAR (1974), a film observing a discussion between a group of former political prisoners about their experiences in jail, on the evening before the execution of the Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich. INFORME GENERAL from 1976 is a filmic stocktaking of the political situation during the phase of radical change in Spain.
After Franco's death and the transition phase to democracy, Portabella went into politics and was a member of the Catalan parliament for more than ten years, before returning to filmmaking. Since then, he has come upon his themes outside of Spain as well.
UMBRACLE (1972, March 11 & 25) is a film about frustration, repression and paranoia, drawing from image and sound strategies of horror movies. A man (Christopher Lee) walks through an unreal Barcelona, aimlessly visiting shops and museums, while a disturbing and nightmarish mood descends upon the filmic images. Other pictures interrupt the fragmentary plot: scenes from the history of film, Christopher Lee reciting a poem, three film critics discussing the conditions of filmmaking in Spain. What remains is a feeling of foreignness and disturbed perception.
VAMPIR – CUADECUC (1970, March 12 & 26) was made during the shooting of Jess Franco's El conde Drácula / The Count Dracula and is a delirious reflection on the conventions of horror movies. Portabella dismantles Franco's film in two ways: One the one hand, he eliminates the color in favor of flickering black-and-white images, on the other, he replaces the audio track with a soundscape by Carles Santos that attacks the images. An analysis of the mechanisms of dominating narrative cinema in Franco's Spain and a radical questioning of it.
EL SOPAR (1974, March 12 & 22) In the night before the execution of the militant anarchist Salvador Puig Antich, five former political prisoners meet for dinner to talk about the conditions of captivity. Portabella is entirely concentrated on the discussion revolving around whether and how it is possible to continue the struggle in prison, to offer resistance, to take on a position and maintain a relation to reality, no matter what it is like.
Portabella's first, almost half-hour film, NO COMPTEU AMB EL DITS (Don't Count With Your Fingers, 1967, March 17 & 22), was created in collaboration with the writer Joan Brossa, whose angry word games determine the tone of the film. In 27 autonomous sequences, he attempts to dismantle the structures and discourses of advertising films.
The title of NOCTURNO 29 (1968, March 17 & 24), Portabella's first full-length movie, refers to Franco's rule of Spain that spanned 20 years. A sequence of scenes, in the words of Pere Portabella, "super-realistic fragments that expose the irrelevance of daily life." Like pieces of a mosaic, motivated neither in a narrative nor psychological way, the film follows the life of a married woman (Lucia Bosé) in her upper middle-class environment and portraits a social class in a specific political situation through her eyes.
INFORME GENERAL SOBRE ALGUNAS CUESTIONES DE INTERÉS PARA UNA PROYECCIÓN PÚBLICA (General Report on Some Questions of Interest for a Public Projection, 1976, March 15 & 21) is a large-scale, three-hour investigation of Spain's political situation after the end of Franquismo. Following Franco's death in 1975, a phase of transition to democracy commenced, leading to the first free elections in 1977.
The film interweaves the atmosphere in the streets with interviews with politicians, labor unionists and activists, all revolving around the question: How can democratic structures be established in a country that was under a dictatorship for 30 years?
In PONT DE VARSÒVIA (Warsaw Bridge, March 16 & 27) from 1989, Portabella examines the new social structures in Europe. He tells the story of three persons whose paths cross: a writer who wins a prize for a novel titled Pont de Varsòvia, his wife and a nameless man roaming Barcelona and nostalgically longing for a revolutionary past. The man dies in a diving accident and his corpse is thrown into a burning forest by a firefighting helicopter. With an extremely precise aesthetic, modeled on contemporary commercial cinema, Portabella casts a view to a fragmented Europe that is shaken by the return of history.
Portabella's latest full-length film, which was presented at the film festival in Venice in 2007, is DIE STILLE VOR BACH (The Silence Before Bach, March 13 & 28), a reflection on Bach stagings and Bach's influence on the world of music. Fragmented, as usual, DIE STILLE VOR BACH vacillates between historical scenes from Bach's life, his reception in the 19th century through the eyes of Felix Mendelssohn and the effect Bach has on the most various people today. An experiment in conveying music in film.
MUDANZA (2008) observes how the former house of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca is emptied of everything inside 70 years after his death. While paintings and furniture are carefully packed up and transported away, the camera gauges the rooms in flowing motions. What remains in the end is a silence and emptiness charged with the past and with memories.
With the support of the Spanish Embassy in Berlin. Thanks to Pere Portabella and Films 59. -www.arsenal-berlin.de

Mudanza (Removal) came to be made after the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist asked for involvement in the Huerta de San Vicente, the home and museum of the García-Lorca family in Granada.
The film records the removal of furniture and objects from the building, leaving visitors able to move freely amongst its empty spaces and a silence charged with feeling and resonance and the take from the experience whatever the y demand from it - thus making poet Federico García Lorca's emotive and historic absence ever more powerful, evident and heartfelt.
With the collaboration of the Fundación Federico García Lorca, the Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales (SECC), appointed to the Ministerio de Cultura, organisers of Everstill/Siempretodavía in Spain.

 “The first word in the title of Pere Portabella’s ravishing 1970 underground masterpiece, made in Spain while General Francisco Franco was still in power and shown clandestinely, means both “worm’s tail” and the unexposed footage at the end of film reels. The film is a silent black-and-white documentary about the shooting of Jesus Franco’s Count Dracula, with Christopher Lee, that becomes much more: the lush, high-contrast cinematography evokes deteriorating prints of Nosferatu and Vampyr, and the extraordinary sound track by composer Carles Santos intersperses the sounds of jet planes, drills, syrupy Muzak, and sinister electronic music, all of which ingeniously locate Dracula and our perceptions of him in the contemporary world. Moving back and forth between Franco’s film (with Dracula as an implicit stand-in for the generalissimo) and poetic production details, Portabella offers witty reflections on the powerful monopolies of both dictators and commercial cinema. The only words heard are in English, spoken by Lee and written by Bram Stoker.”

Warsaw Bridge, Catalan underground filmmaker Pere Portabella’s opulent 1990 post-Franco color film threads its own dazzling anthology of attractions (including operas, concerts, a lecture, a novel, a swank party, a forest fire, and sex) into something resembling though never quite arriving at a single narrative. It’s one of his most exciting films to date.” - Jonathan Rosenbaum 

Cuadecuc/Vampir, dir. Pere Portabella


I didn’t know anything about this film before watching, except that Portabella is noted for being avant-garde (I’d not even heard of Portabella, until a few days ago), and not knowing anything, this changed the way I watched it. This is how I understood it:
The film is a retelling of Dracula, based on the Hammer Horror version. It is shot in black and white, without sound – which is to say, a soundtrack is put in, largely consisting on odd noises, but you hear no dialogue. It is a silent film then: characters speak; you hear nothing; you derive instead what is going on from the images, from your knowledge of having watched Dracula in your youth. It stars Christopher Lee, as Dracula, who is only proper. Herbert Lom is in it too, and Klaus Kinski.
The filming itself is quite extraordinary and beautiful. Often the film-maker seems to use too much brightness and contrast, which creates a strangely pleasing effect; sometimes things seem to be out of focus. The camera every now and then picks up images of people on set, but in an entirely casual way. Sometimes Portabella films the scenes as they are being prepared: forests being laced with dry ice, for instance, or crypts being covered with cobwebs. The filming sometimes doesn’t stop at the end of takes but continues to watch the actors as they relax and drop out of character. None of this is particularly disconcerting to the viewer; nor does it, as it would with a novelist, particularly seem to want to draw attention to itself. You wonder, in fact, why film-makers are always so bothered about hiding cameras and pretending what they’re shooting is real. In the final scene, Christopher Lee reads to camera (this is the only dialogue in the film) the ending of Bram Stoker’s book.
That is how I saw the film: as a remarkable rendition of the Dracula story – the best version of all, perhaps. But I learn that this isn’t really so; that in reality Portabella was making a sort of documentary, that in fact he was filming the filming of Jess Franco’s version of Dracula. And yet, this is not a Making Of as anyone would understand it: it says almost nothing about the process of film-making or the film-making; in truth, it just seems a far, far better film of Dracula made by someone who’s merely turned up on the set of someone else’s film and determined, from a slight distance, to shoot it is a work of art rather than a B-movie.
It is suggested there is a parallel to be found between the director Franco and the dictator Franco.

Piano prepares to walk on water in The Silence Before Bach.

The Gospel According to Pere Portabella

To the 78-year-old director, music is religion—and there is only Before Bach and After

Until his Museum of Modern Art retrospective last fall, the 78-year-old Catalan—at various times a commercial producer, anti-Franco activist, and avant-garde film artist—was known here mainly, if at all, for having facilitated Luis Buñuel's blasphemous Viridiana (1962) and for making Vampir Cuadecuc (1971), a ghostly documentary shot on the set of a Christopher Lee cheapster, The Nights of Dracula. The Silence Before Bach is not quite as jocular as Viridiana (although sometimes as surreal) and less obviously ethereal than Vampir; it's a high-toned experimental feature that eschews narrative and ponders the social history of music, creating a dialectic between sound and image, as well as between a costumed 18th-century and a contemporary post-national Europe.
Not that Portabella is a pedant. Immediately playful, he literalizes his title by opening The Silence Before Bach in an empty white-box gallery. The protagonist, or rather his music, arrives in the form of a robot player-piano that rolls, pivots, and pirouettes through the space—the first of the live recordings used throughout the movie. The next act is an understated intellectual vaudeville: a blind piano tuner. For the most part, however, Portabella is droll and less programmatically raw in his audio-visual conundrums than a North American avant-gardist like Michael Snow, maker of not unrelated meditations on the nature of sound cinema.
The Silence Before Bach is not only very civilized—this cool, deliberate film suggests that Bach's music is the quintessence of European civilization. The structure is anecdotal: A Spanish trucker (who is also an amateur bassoonist) has a Renaissance mural painted on his rig and talks music as he rolls through the characterless Euro-countryside. Meanwhile, down in the subway, serious young cellists occupy every seat, embracing their instruments in an unexpectedly erotic image. The past inhabits the present. The picture lapses briefly into biopic, almost as a joke: A historic Leipzig church is filled with Bach's music . . . and Bach himself (Christian Brembeck), the church's cantor, at the organ. Later, Bach plays his latest composition for a wealthy patron.
The drama of Herr Goldberg first hearing the Variations that will be named for him segues into a scene in which an elderly fellow fastidiously dresses up in 18th-century drag, plants his wig on his head, and then walks out into contemporary Leipzig—he's a tour guide. Portabella next cuts to a "real" 18th-century interior wherein a bratty little boy is spying on big sister's toilette—it's the Bach family at home. Dad firmly sits his son down at the piano to practice. (Later in the movie, the kid will turn up in a showroom full of pianists that the truck driver happens to visit.)
Portabella shows Bach working at the keyboard, ignoring his wife as she bustles about performing household tasks. For all this imagined naturalism, The Silence Before Bach is neither as exalted nor as austere as its most obvious precursor, The Chronicle of Anna Magdelena Bach, the 1968 Jean Marie Straub–Danièle Huillet film which posited itself as an impossible 18th-century documentary of the Bach household. Portabella rather plunges into the clamor of what turns out to be a mid-19th-century marketplace, where the legend that Felix Mendelssohn's servant purchased a roast wrapped in the sheet music for St. Matthew's Passion is first dramatized—and then sung about.
At various points, Portabella amuses himself by dropping a piano into a body of water or showing how music can make a horse dance. But his sense of music is best illustrated when a player-piano score is presented in close-up—the screen filled with the abstract organization of sound—and most directly expressed when the current cantor of St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig observes that Bach's compositions have the power to convert secular musicians to religion. At these moments, The Silence Before Bach has intimations of Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game, a novel written during World War II and set in a future Europe where mathematics, music, and philosophy—the whole shebang—are subsumed in the recondite patterns of the hyper-abstract game.
Hesse's narrator compares the mysterious game to St. Matthew's Passion: Less at the time of its composition than after its rediscovery, Bach's piece became "a true religious ceremony and consecration" for some listeners and performers, and a "religious substitute" for others. This is the meaning of The Silence Before Bach— although as clean, tasteful, and tidy as the movie is, you might feel that it unfolds in Hesse's neverland. (Or maybe not: Bach does make an enigmatic reference to Simon Laks, the Polish-Jewish "glass-bead game" player who survived World War II as the conductor of the Auschwitz orchestra.)
Before Bach, Portabella infers, Europe was essentially primitive. Indeed, Bach effectively redeemed this earlier stage of creation. The movie's title may then be interpreted as an expression of awe. Bach's music is "the only thing that reminds us the world is not a failure," someone says—and not as a joke.


Pere Portabella: from Buñuel to Lorca

Pere Portabella
Portabella on set of The Silence Before Bach. Photo by Helena Gomà, Films 59
Mar Diestro-Dópido talks to an elusive Catalan film legend
Artist, activist, politician and above all a brilliantly intuitive experimental filmmaker, Pere Portabella is an iconic figure in Spanish cinema, having produced and directed some of the most politically engaged and aesthetically challenging films of the last 50 years. Yet few people outside Spain have heard of him, thanks in part to the country’s isolation during the long years of the Franco dictatorship (1939-75).
Portabella began his career in cinema as the producer of Carlos Saura’s groundbreaking debut feature Los golfos (The Hooligans, 1959), and followed it with Luis Buñuel’s controversial Viridiana (1961), which was promptly banned by the Spanish authorities.
Portabella’s films are obsessed with the inner workings of cinema, constantly exploring narrative forms and the political context in which films are made. They range from a fistful of daring studies of artist Joan Miró to fiercely political films such as El sopar (The Supper, 1974), clandestinely filmed a year before Franco’s death on the night anarchist Salvador Puig Antich was executed; and from Cuadecuc Vampir (1970) and Umbracle (1971), a pair of films which challenge and undermine our expectations of Christopher Lee and the horror genre, to the poetic The Silence Before Bach (2007). His most recent work was Mudanza (2009), a mesmerising short that conjures the presence of Lorca through the silence and emptiness of his former house. All are executed with grace and a sense of humour.
A piercingly articulate 83-year-old, Portabella is the subject of a welcome retrospective at Tate Modern this month.
Mar Diestro-Dópido: With such varied interests, how did you end up in cinema?
Pere Portabella: I’d been hanging out with people from the new art avant-gardes in Spain. One day the painter Antonio Saura, a very close friend, told me about his brother Carlos, who’d made a short and had written a script that no one wanted to produce. I’m not a cinephile, I don’t go to cinematheques, but at that time we used to watch 8mm and 16mm films at Antoni Tàpies’s house. And as soon as I saw the possibility, I was attracted to getting involved in cinema. That was when I became a producer.
I moved to Madrid and produced Saura’s Los golfos. In 1960 I met Buñuel at Cannes, soon after his return from Mexico, and proposed making a film with him; the next year we went back to the festival with Viridiana, which turned into a monumental scandal and finished my career as producer, but which paradoxically has been one of my greatest successes. So after working in Italy for a while, I started making my own films.
Cuadecuc Vampir
Could you talk about your relationship with Buñuel?
For me there are two aspects to Buñuel. First is the man of history: he was one of the great figures of contemporary art, and exiles from the dictatorship after the civil war in Spain.
Second, he was a very solid artisan, very firm about everything he did. Even if he’d made nothing but Un chien andalou (1928) and L’âge d’or (1930), he’d have made it into history as part of the Surrealist movement. But when he left for Mexico he adapted perfectly to their ways of production – 15 days of filming, ten to edit and a screening a month later. Disposable films! He had that tremendous capacity of saying everything between the lines. And he had an amazing sense of humour. I was very close to Luis during the making of Viridiana; we developed a father-son relationship.
How did you end up working with Joan Miró?
Like Buñuel, Miró was an exile, although he returned to Spain in 1950. We were moving in the same circle of artists and developed a close relationship.
In 1968 the dictatorship organised an exhibition of his work. And in 1969 the Barcelona School of Architects organised an exhibition in response. They invited Miró to paint on the windows of the ground floor of their building, and Miró wanted me to film it. So I came up with a very classic idea of conceptual art. If I film what he paints, it’ll be on condition that when the exhibition finishes he will erase the painting.
When I mentioned this to the board and my friends there was a small scandal. But Miró immediately thought it was a magnificent idea. Because, contrary to general belief, Miró was a very violent person; he’d burn and break his paintings. He’s written about this in his text about the assassination of painting. He was like a tremendous beast. Even the soundtrack of our film was created to forestall any audience attachment to him, and to make the whole process seem a bit unbearable.
We also made Tapiz (1974), about a tapestry he made which ended up inside the Twin Towers in New York – later to be destroyed on the infamous 11 September 2001. So the only testimonies to both these works are my films. [They’re included in the Tate Modern’s current Miró exhibition.]
Pere Portabella
Miró L’Altre
You’ve also been very involved in politics. How do politics and cinema interrelate for you?
Politics is inseparable from cinema, in a very obvious way. Even Doris Day comedy has an ideological charge to do with morals, ethics, behaviour… Rather than lock myself in an ivory tower and peek out only rarely, I jumped into the street right from the start. That’s what you need to do if you really want to get involved and question social codes in a context of change like the 1960s. Codes affect everything.
So without agitating on behalf of any party, I was an activist; I presided over political meetings, and was chosen to be a senator and a member of parliament. I was part of the institutional commission of the Senate, and of the Spanish constitution, and I have battled like mad for civil rights, the universalisation of health service and education. All this was an important part of my life.
Do you follow the likes of José Luis Guerín, José Luis de Orbe, Albert Serra and Javier Rebollo, who are considered in the vanguard of current Spanish independent cinema?
Yes, these are the most interesting. But they need a bit more courage; they need to be more radical. A period of crisis is also the only moment in which positions are radicalised and changes can be established. Being radical now is very logical.
Are new technologies having a positive influence on cinema?
New technologies have absolutely changed the way cultural products circulate. Traditional industries are in crisis: film production companies are closing, distribution companies don’t know what to do anymore and cinemas are screening fashion and sports.
So new things can be suggested now. Why? Not because they’ve changed opinions, but because new technologies have socialised the means of production and democratised information. Today you can access any fount or circuit of knowledge. You no longer need to take a book to read on a journey – you can take a million on a memory card. Buying a CD is a waste of time – you can download it, and not all the songs, just the ones you like.
The same goes for a DVD. You already have the possibility of watching everything without junk mounting up. In my opinion there’s been a fundamental change in the ascription of value. We have shifted from valuing the possession of objects – a book, a DVD, a painting – to their usage, and I think it is very good news.

Tate Modern’s Pere Portabella season runs until 31 July. His films are available to view online at Mubi. Portabella’s official website is www.pereportabella.com. See Jonathan Rosenbaum’s introduction to Portabella in the June 2011 issue of Sight & Sound.

Crossing the Pont de Varsòvia: The Critical Resilience of Pere Portabella’s Warsaw Bridge

The corpse of a scuba diver is found in the midst of a burnt forest. How did he get there?  That is the question.  And it has a practical, if highly unlikely answer.   But alas, it did happen:  in real life too.  The end of the film assures us of this.  It is about the only thing that we can be sure of.
Pere Portabella’s 1990 puzzle of a film (does it form an object?) presents the deceased forest-found scuba diver as the hedge pin to this otherwise narrative-resistant cinema. Of the films eighty-five minutes, there are only two scenes devoted to this concept:  the first scene appears after the opening credits (20 minutes in, or thereabouts) where the body is discovered and examined; and the second being the last scene, where the mystery is answered.  In between, the viewer is left dealing with…well, interchangeable pompous writer types.
Or more specifically, probably three:  a conductor, a writer, and a professor of marine biology; a group of intellectuals (think capital “I”) that make Woody Allen’s Manhattan-ites seem like blue collar working men, lunch pail in hand.
Warsaw Bridge is about a love triangle between these three stiffs: the passionate, pop lit hating, sometimes (or one time) composer; the successful writer of said pop lit; and the alluring female professor who is depressed because she feels she fails to seduce.
Warsaw Bridge is about the mystery of the corpse of a scuba diver found in a burning forest, with a mashed up face.
Warsaw Bridge is about a writer who is just about to accept a prestigious award for his latest novel, “Warsaw Bridge.”
Warsaw Bridge is concerned with none of these things.
So what the hell is the film about?
Well, the film is about a lot…and nothing.  And says a lot in defense of what it is, without actually being what it’s defending.  It is symphonic cinema, albeit in a minor key.
Okay…this seems deep.  Maybe.
Warsaw Bridge, Pere Portabella’s 1990 film (his first since the 70’s and the last film he’d make until 2003) is an enigma wrapped up in an apology fronting a defense that is all in support of Portabella’s (love of?) dissection of the arts.  Music and literature stand in for the cinema; but surely they could stand in on their own as well.  Divided into three parts, the whole may be greater than its parts, but the parts do not equal the whole.
The Prologue (Pre-credits) THE PROLOGUE/PRE-CREDITS
We open on some “Baraka” or Godfrey Reggio inspired montage of modern civilization in beautiful gliding camera aerial shots accompanied by disconcerting, haunting music.  There are no credits to speak of.  In the print I watched, I believe there was a certificate not recommending the movie for those under thirteen (given the copious amounts of nudity, sex, and occasional language outbursts, if this is true the Spanish are very liberal).  The lights drop, the music pops, and we immediately know that we don’t know what we are in for.
Portabella is trying to suck us in, to entrance the viewer in a world of mood, musing, and beautiful cinematography.  The viewer glides through the city somberly, while the camera happens upon the wall of a sleek, stylish, building—all glossy, shiny windows, and New York City metropolitan.  And, through the magic of film editing, the image is melded from the methodic exterior, to a peaceful, interior of… Abruptly cut the music; cue the guy tying the tie.  And we meet our first character.
He is, well, we don’t know.  He doesn’t seem to appreciate the ceremony he is about to participate in.  And he seems a bit rusty with the tie.  His woman dresses in the bathroom.  She is a little slower to the ready than he, which allows the camera enough time to gaze over its first naked body.
The naked body belongs to Carme Elias, credited appropriately as Professora.  She appears to be the lover of both the writer, currently doing up his tie, and the composer, whom the viewer has not yet met.
The sequence is in and of itself one of elegant beauty.  Confidently composed still shots merge and submerge with absolutely sublime tracking camera movements, as the quiet conversation is interrupted by the telephone call.  The call?  No matter, but it is interesting to note that the caller is ringing from one of three phones at his desk.  He must be an important person.   Now back to that quiet conversation:  the writer mentions talking with somebody (perhaps the as-yet-unknown composer?), a literary type discussion.  He doesn’t seem too fond of this conversation: all self-righteous pointlessness.  He snidely remarks that she would feel at home in such talk; herself a marine biologist lecturer.  Him, he seems more interested in the structure of the thing.  That is the beauty:  three swift movements to construct the perfect knot for the tie.
An elegant, over the top sequence is next: a swank party thrown by the governor celebrating the writer’s latest work, “Warsaw Bridge.”  But what is it we are watching?  What is Portabella telling his viewers with his almost Fellini-esque portrayal of the characters at the party?  Are we to laugh at them?  Are we to take them seriously?  We are watching farce, parody, commentary.  The viewer is M. Hulot and goddammit if we don’t feel odd in this sort of playtime.  But I didn’t know the characters yet.  Perhaps I didn’t know Portabella yet.  The serious sense of the characters and the dry, purposeful pace and mood of the entire film make farce sound out of tune with the rest of the number Portabella is orchestrating.  So, who are these people and how is the viewer to handle them?  Although, to Portabella’s credit, he doesn’t telegraph his points, these folks all fall into a group: the critics, those that are doing the saying rather than the doing.  Love me or hate me, you are all the same—doing a big song and dance while I am actually creating the music.
Which begs the question:  does the prologue in it’s entirely serve as a defense, an apology, an explanation?  I think the conversation the writer has with the critics answers this rather well. After dodging and diffusing several queries, he is asked to sum up his novel…to, in a sense, tell the story in but a few words, to sum it up. He replies that if it were a movie, he would be able to summarize it in thirty seconds, but it would take all two hundred some pages of the book in this case.  She replies, “So it’s a book you have to read?” To which he replies, “Or try to.”
And, oh, pay close attention to this whole sequence.  Even the waiters are critics (everyone’s a critic).  Portabella lets this first third of his flick play lighter and more pointedly comic than the rest.  Portabella has no time for such people as these.  What is it they are questioning and reviewing, and criticizing? Why, the writer’s book, which shares the film’s title, Warsaw Bridge.  The film like the book, in order to get, you have to see.  Or try to.
This works on two levels. Portabella’s refusal of the home video format made his films increasingly difficult to see (though a recent resurgence of his work has allowed a few select opportunities at theatres throughout the States, and his films can now currently be found online).  But, for our intents and purposes, we mean simply watching and comprehending what is on the screen for eighty-five minutes, if one can.
The Credits Roll
We are twenty-something minutes into the film, when the opening credits begin.  They appear quite rightly after the writer’s little retort about the book vs. the film (quite comically mocking the art form Portabella actually uses to tell the story).
Perhaps while these credits slowly appear over a beautifully muted aerial shot travelling over a large body of water (does Warsaw Bridge traverse across said waters?) we should discuss Portabella and the cinema. While the first bit of the movie gave way for critics and poseurs, the rest of the piece will allow the creators their say.
Pere Portabella came into being in Barcelona during the year 1929, born into a family of wealthy industrialists.  His career in film began in 1960 in the role of producer on Carlos Saura’s feature debut.  He also worked with Marco Ferreri before embarking with Luis Bunuel on the classic Viridiana in 1961 (the film caused a huge stink after being denounced by the Vatican, and the Franco government seized the film in an attempt to remove its identity as a Spanish film, and confiscated Portabella’s passport for several years).
His first feature as director wasn’t until 1968, when he made the experimental art flick Nocturno 29 starring Lucia Bose.  Even at this early stage in the game, Portabella clearly showed his true subject to be the contemplation, criticism, and perhaps refusal of the traditional narrative structure of film and its audience’s complacency with it.  Nocturno 29 utilizes and exploits the connotation of the title, which refers to the Franco dictatorship’s twenty-nine “black years,” while telling the tale of an adulterous pair. Shot in a black and white of deep contrast which jars and unsettles; the film’s content jars as well, as the already jagged narrative of the story is interspersed with imagery that both contrasts and complements the narrative. With nearly no dialogue this film is an ode to the image, the visual, and the feelings associated with them.
Ah, the credits have ended.
Perhaps we are going about this all wrong.  We know the three main characters.  We know there is a dead scuba diving fool in a burnt forest.  But to trace either thread would not inform one of what Warsaw Bridge is about.  Surely, the rest of the film will half-heartedly deal with both issues and even, sort of connect the two stories, thereby perhaps making the writer’s novel more personal than pop after all (I am taking on faith that the book is about the scuba diver—as Lauren Possee of New York Cool magazine describes the book as being about such; I didn’t have such a clear concept of the writer’s subject matter).
The two male characters, both vying for the affection of the professor of marine biology are a writer and a conductor.  Two artist types.  Two creators.  If you are wondering why a professor of marine biology is mixed in with these creators, you should note that marine biology is “the scientific study of living organisms in the ocean or other marine of brackish bodies of water.” Given the end of the flick, this choice of occupation could be some devilish horseplay from Portabella. All have strong opinions about creativity.
“Some take risks when they write; some write to make a living,” harps the sometimes conductor, sometimes passionate spokesperson for the arts, making a coy attack at the writer.  When the writer describes how he writes for a public, a public he must please, the conductor replies, “Fuck your public.”  And he might mean us!
Or at least those of us who want to piss on the film simply for not taking the A to B stratagem of story telling:  Introduce the character, introduce the problem, solve the problem, and exit the film.  Portabella appears not to be interested in this.  He is more interested in the medium, the technological aspect; expanding what the cinema means and the kinds of ideas that it can explore. His love for the look and visual of film in and of itself causes him to immediately stand apart from much of typical experimental filmmaking.  Where these projects often roll on 8mm or 16mm, Portabella appears committed to laying down his enigmatic cinematic essays on gorgeous 35mm film stock.  And, this, his first colour feature, fully explores the colour palette in glorious shots of architecture, nature, etc.  Beyond that, Portabella wields his camera like a conductor; he is making cinematic symphonies; expressing ideas, and hopes, and feelings, and passions with celluloid rather than utilizing cellos. The storytelling is the least of his concerns.
Portabella is not concerned with the narrative flow or even the linear linkage (?) of his story.  It need not exist in any “world” other than the world of “Warsaw Bridge, a film by Pere Portabella.”  Witness the scene where the conductor, after a scene of extended sex over an unrelated voiceover narrative, reclines, spent; and watches the television.  The camera tracks in on the image on the screen…and then, WHAM!  The film’s image becomes the image of the television; that is, the movie and therefore, the audience, now take these images and scenes to be the film’s reality, rather than a television program.  Portabella must leave the story as it has so far existed for the next part of the movement.
The film works in this transportable reality throughout its entirety.  One can even speculate that we have entered the novel from the prologue once the credits have rolled.  The autopsy sequence we take as the film’s reality becomes quickly reduced to a primitive 1980’s computer-programming screen, and as soon as the audience begins to take this in, Portabella’s camera zooms in on another screen of cryptic programming which then dissolves into a building, and again back into the reality of the film that we think we “know.”   Portabella is knocking cinema about, forcing the audience to be accountable for what it is watching.  This isn’t the world.  There are no rules.  He even segues into a few surreal operatic sequences with hefty naked women, commenting both on cinematic score vs. emotion as well as a simple comment on what we take in our systems as seductive versus what the eye finds as such.  Even more than this, the great whole of the thing, the emotional wallop of the number Portabella is orchestrating calls for this.  The great Warsaw Bridge symphony needs a bathhouse crescendo, and Portabella will be damned if he doesn’t supply one or two.
One could argue that Portabella is guiding us through concepts rather than a narrative; the semblance of narrative being simply the vehicle (or orchestra to nail the point dead) for Portabella to drive (or conduct, re: dead point).  Portabella’s job therefore is to simply guide us from one sequence to the next, allowing and sometimes forcing, one sequence to turn over efficiently and seamlessly to the next.  In this sense, he is very much a conductor of the story’s concepts and ideas.  No wonder then that one of his characters is a conductor, or at least plays at being one.  Notice one of the set pieces of the film:  a portly conductor (not one of our triad, but another, whose only appearance is in this sequence) hoists his way atop a ladder in an outdoor shopping mall. He proceeds to flutter his arms about in the magical way that conductors do—and music starts.  Real, live, beautiful stuff.   But where is the orchestra?  Why they are scattered about, each sitting in the comfort of his own balcony along the length of the mall.  The conductor joins each member via a television which airs his swaying and bopping-about live via some sort of real-time broadcast.  Aside from the obvious humour of this visual, one must pause to look at its implications.  We have already discussed Portabella as conductor, and we all know that the television is a nice substitute for the giant screen his film is being projected against.  Perhaps he is conducting us, his viewer, as we take his wild ride, and if we don’t want to take it, then, well, “Fuck you.”  Otherwise, let’s build up your curiosity here, let’s let it drop there, let’s mystify you here—all to the tune of Warsaw Bridge.  The moving image has a funny way of moving the viewer, and who leads such movement, but the conductor, the director?  And he is totally playing at it, because, there is no real emotional investment.  He sucks you in, flutters you about, giving you nothing in terms of personal contact, and then dispenses you with a both satisfying and bewildering conclusion…to which, the viewer feels nothing; no involvement; no release; no empathy, sympathy, or anything other than mystery.
There is another interesting note to this sequence.  We follow the conductor of our trio through the mall.   He first sees the musicians, and watches them with a passing interest.  He walks throughout the centre until he stops upon the portly mall conductor.  Here he comes to a full stop and ponders and wonders.  It is only after this sequence that we discover he is a composer at all.  He reflects on the conductor, takes an interest, and next thing we know—he becomes one.  Much like a writer, who must embody his characters if he wishes to write about them.   In fact, a writer can be deemed a conductor of sorts:  the image his symphony, the words his orchestra, his pen his conducting wand.
And all the while the film’s title: Warsaw Bridge.   And what is the meaning of this; what is the relevance?  Does it refer to said bridge in Poland?For an answer, Portabella gives us an extended sex scene, shot beautifully by his cinematographer Tomas Pladevall.  Amidst close up, exquisitely (colour) saturated shots of copulation, the composer relates a tale to us, in a voiceover which doesn’t correspond to the montage of lovemaking.
The composer relates a tale—a dream, or childhood memory—of the Warsaw Bridge and the awe and possibility that it struck in his youthful heart.  One day he was going to travel all of Warsaw Bridge; explore everywhere it went.  He never did.
All this while making love to the writer’s wife.  This sequence continues the director’s theme of the audio track sometimes betraying the visual track.  The sequence is almost trance inducing, slow and steady; he explores her body, getting lost in it amidst extreme close ups, much like he gets lost in the illusion of his childhood “Warsaw Bridge.”
This is as much set-up or backstory as Portabella will allow for any of his characters.  Later on, in a discussion the triad is having amidst projecting a reel of film onto a screen (again a dissection, or dissolution of film into film) the conductor is called out by his two peers:  “You’re stifled by rather precarious aesthetics.”  He is then called out for falling upon his idealized “Warsaw Bridge story.”  This is as much context as the viewer gets of the Warsaw Bridge and what it means to the conductor.  Lost hope, ideals, youth.  In any event, he failed to live up to it.  And it is just an illusion.  It is the conductor’s illusion.
And so what are we left with?  And how does a scuba diver wind up dead in a burnt forest?  Well, that one is easy enough:  there is a plane designed to scoop down and fill up its bottom with ocean water, which it then uses to diffuse a fire by dumping the water over it as it flies by. The scuba diver dives, the plane scoops, one thing equals another, and before you know it…one dead scuba diver in one dead forest (marine biology, get it?).   What can’t be explained is why the corpse discovered in the beginning of the film isn’t the same person as that who gets scooped up at the end, but, hey, Portabella can’t give away the ghost can he?
Warsaw Bridge is a dream of a message wrapped up in a narrative, and as all dreams do, they can not fully add up.  Portabella is clearly exploring his love of the art, and clearly expounding on just what narrative cinema can be, turning it into a symphony of images.  And he does so with wicked abound, chastising and cursing an audience that won’t accept such things in the project proper.  But, the message seems to be the structure, the format; and that is where the film lags, where it ceases to contain passion and fury, and just becomes beautiful and enigmatic. We like the puzzle because it puzzles, not because it stirs anything within us. The interchangeable characters can be Portabella, or the mall conductor, or you or me at times, and not at others. Warsaw Bridge seems to be a case of style over substance, what with picturesque images and sweeping grandiose camera movements, methodic, hypnotic, and manipulative; all set out to serve as commentary for the fact that cinema, or art, should exist as Warsaw Bridge does.  It is almost an anecdote, commentary, or companion to a more meaningful film shot using the same methodology and structure:  an apology and a war statement in one.  To be sure, the reoccurring theme of the conductor image—pacing, swaying, controlling—is not lost on Portabella’s audience, this is a game of follow the leader, or as the writer would expound, a game of trying to.  Portabella seems to be at ease with this, with the films shortcomings as well as its high water marks.  During a particularly interesting sequence of the film, the trio cooks each other dinner and has an involved discussion about the building of myth: a villager lays claim to some such fact before experimental science does, and a village myth is discovered.  The writer finds this interesting; the conductor finds it a necessary falsehood that the villagers tell themselves to differentiate and define their populous. Portabella is defining himself in cinema as its orchestrator, and anecdotes, narrative, misleading steps, and pure nonsense is all well and good as long as the final product is unforgettable cinema. There is a reason he has resisted home video.  His is a cinema to play in the memory; long after the projector bulbs have dimmed; when scenes merge and coagulate until the memory has made its own Warsaw Bridge, and a myth is born.  And it is all business.  Portabella is serious about his art, and there is no time for levity, other than a quick bit at the critic’s expense.  Laugh at them, not at art.
NOTE: A viewer at the screening I was at:  a balding middle-aged male, all ear rings, paunch, and loneliness, said to another viewer in what I hope is a fake accent: “It’s not like watching a movie; it is like dreaming it.”  Jean Cocteau often discussed how he hated the time between dreams…waking life.  Cocteau made me want to dream and breathe and explore.  But Cocteau was filled with magic, and imagination, and hope, and despair, and joy.  If Portabella is this serious and sardonic in his dreams…who needs his nightmares?  Or his realities?  Warsaw Bridge is not like dreaming a movie:  it is like dreaming a movie’s interpretation of a dream, when you’re fully aware that you are awake. And the band played on.


Pere Portabella Spotlight
I had never heard of Pere Portabella until I came across Jonathan Rosenbaum’s wonderful book Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia in which Rosenbaum has two essays discussing Portabella’s films. In the first essay, published in 2006, Rosenbaum talks about the joy of discovering Portabella’s film Cuadecuc, Vampir at Cannes in 1971. Jonathan also talks about the lack of availability of Portabella’s films on DVD which is a reason why his films never got much attention in North America. Thankfully, a DVD set was available by 2009 for which Jonathan wrote his second essay. Pere Portabella’s films are even more accessible now thanks to mubi.com who have almost all the director’s shorts and films available for online viewing. Certainly, all the films that Jonathan talks about in his essays are available on mubi.com. So Jonathan’s essays are a direct reason for selecting films as part of this spotlight:

Nocturne 29 (1968)
Aidez l'Espagne (1969, short 5 min)
Miró l'altre (1969, short 15 min)
Vampir (1970)
Umbracle (1972)
Informe general (1976)
Warsaw Bridge (1989)
The Silence Before Bach (2007)

Starting point

It is always a pleasure to dive into a director’s work without having read much about their films. This allows a person to navigate through the work on their own terms without any context or history getting in the way. Of course, there is always the danger that one can go off course in interpreting the films but the pure unfiltered joy in discovering the films surely overrides the risk. Although when it came to Pere Portabella, it was hard to approach his work without any filters. He is a Catalan filmmaker and my first instinct was to wonder whether his Catalan identity would have any political attachments associated. The only reason I would consider that is because my first introduction to Catalan identity was via FC Barcelona, Catalunya’s most visible global symbol. Barcelona are one of the best footballing teams in the world but the roots of their bitter rivalry with Real Madrid is dipped in political fire. Francisco Franco did his utmost to suppress Catalan identity which included Barcelona football club. The Barca fans could not criticize Franco without suffering any backlash but they could direct their hatred towards the team that Franco supported, which was Real Madrid. In fact, Franco used to attend matches between the two teams in Barcelona’s stadium, Nou Camp, where Barca’s fans could openly shout at Real Madrid without any consequences. The origin of Barcelona's rivalry does not mean that all Catalan film directors depict political topics. For example, no political trace exists in director José Luis Guerín’s In the City of Sylvia or Guest. As it turns out, in the case of Pere Portabella the political tag sticks not only because Portabella made films that were brave enough to deal with nationalistic questions head-on but because he was selected as a Senator in 1977. From his official website, 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.”

Informe General is an almost three hour documentary that looks at events after Franco’s death. The opening five minutes contain ominous music as the camera hovers around the structure that contains Franco’s tomb. The music ends when the camera focuses on his tomb and the name "Francisco Franco". Immediately after that shot, the music is upbeat and positive as if a cloud of darkness has finally been lifted. However, that music quickly gives way to tones emphasizing urgency before police sirens are added to the mix. The scenes that follow show violent clashes between police and protesters, scenes which in recent months have been all over the news, ranging from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and other Middle-East countries. In the film, the scenes emphasize the clashes that took place between the state, Franco loyalists and citizens aching for freedom.

The film then does something remarkable which is hardly ever seen in political films. It gives all the relevant parties a voice. So we hear from heads of political parties, unions and ordinary citizens whose lives were altered under Franco. In a remarkable sequence, near the end of the film, the heads of all five political parties discuss what the future holds for Spain.

The five parties, liberals, social-democrats, socialists, communists and christian-democrats, were never united prior to Franco’s death but they were all able to put aside their differences after his death. Their discussions helped usher in a new democratic phase in Spanish life.

A trio of black and white films, with a pinch of color

Cuadacuc, Vampir is a black and white documentary about the making of Jesus Franco’s Count Dracula. Portabella’s feature provides a fascinating look into the filmmaking process in general as we get to see various challenges and hurdles involved in making a feature film. The rich photography gives the work a 1930’s feel even though the documentary is about a modern day color feature. Reading in between the lines, it feels like the fake vampire in the film is a loose representation of Francisco Franco & his brutal blood sucking dictatorship.

Jonanthan Rosenbaum explains the film’s name change and the underground nature of the film:

It’s worth adding that the name of the filmmaker and the title of his film were both slightly different from the way we know them today, for reasons that are historically significant. The name of this Barcelona-based filmmaker was listed as Pedro Portabella and his film was called simply Vampir. Why? Because he was Catalan, a language forbidden in Franco’s Spain, making both the name “Pere” and the word "Cuadacuc" (which I’m told is an obscure Catalan term meaning both a worm’s tail and the end of a reel of unexposed film stock) equally impermissible. Furthermore, Portabella wasn’t present at the screening because, as I later discovered, he was one of the two Spanish producers of Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana one decade earlier, and the Franco government was punishing him for having helped to engineer this subterfuge by confiscating his passport, making it impossible for him to travel outside of Spain. And for those like myself who wondered how a film as unorthodox as this could play in Franco Spain at all, it eventually became clear that it survived, like the Catalan language itself (not to mention Dracula), clandestinely, via secret nourishment.

Umbracle highlights the kidnappings, torture and censorship that existed in Franco’s regime. The film starts off harmlessly with a man looking around in a shop. The ominous music indicates something is wrong but the images show nothing out of the ordinary. A phone starts ringing but no one picks it up nor can we see where the phone is located. Instead, the man walks out of the shop and stands at a corner, trying to light his cigar.

The street is empty except for one passerby. Suddenly a car comes around the corner and a few men jump out and grab the passerby and put him in the car. The phone continues ringing in the background. The man with the shades looks on. The same pattern is repeated on another day leading to another kidnapping. The phone assists in the flow of information while the ringing phone that is never picked up represents the citizen who has disappeared without a trace. By imposing a kidnapping with the sound of a ringing phone, Portabella is able to convey the ruthless and spy like nature of a cruel regime without using any dialogues.

The first words that are spoken in the film are around the fourteen minute mark when the rules of censorship in Spanish Cinema under Franco are outlined. The extensive rules were applied not only to a finished film but also to a film script in progress. As the commentator notes that such strict rules meant that some filmmakers started to self censor themselves in order to ensure their film was made. It is eye-opening to see such revelations about cinematic censorship in 1970’s Spanish society as one would not normally associate such strict rules with a Western European nation. When a government prevents freedom of expression and identity, then making a film can be an act of revolution and a film camera becomes a great political weapon.

Nocturno 29 is the most experimental of the three black and white Portabella films but it also manages to command the most visual attention due to the presence of Italian actress Lucia Bosé who is a pleasure to look at. The fragmented manner of presenting a love affair recalls Antonioni’s L'Eclisse.

The camera keeps a close watch on Bosé’s character and lovingly follows her, allowing the audience to observe her getting dressed, undressing, walking around gardens and smiling.

Lucia Bosé Pere Portabelloa Film
Lucia Bosé

When her character goes to take a shower, the glass door disperses her image into a lovely mosaic which gives a sense of her figure but manages to hide her body.

A little bit of color makes its way near the end of the film.

The film does not contain any political elements but the title does not hide its implications as it refers to 29 “black years” of the Franco dictatorship.

Musical connections

Warsaw Bridge and The Silence Before Bach are joined by a love of classical music and manage to portray their stories with plenty of enjoyable musical pieces.

"What’s wrong with music?

No great composer has appeared in years and why is that?

Because silence no longer exists."

The following exchange at a party in Warsaw Bridge can also be used to highlight the importance of silence in films. Modern day commercial cinema is afraid to use silence and it seems that many directors are afraid of even having few seconds pass by without a dialogue, explosion or background music. Maybe it has something to do with the disappearance of silence from most major cities around the world? Whatever the case, silence is a key component of a film. It used to be and it should always be. Pere Portabella understood this which is why silence is present in most of his films.

The story of Warsaw Bridge is inspired from a real life incident when a scuba diver’s body was discovered in a burning forest. The rest of the film manages to put forth a possible theory about how the diver ended up meeting his death in that manner by incorporating loosely tied segments of a love triangle, engaging conversations about art, musical segments and intriguing visuals. One worthy visual sequence takes place in a fish market and manages to make a trio of dead sharks look terrifying and captivating at the same time. Another pleasing segment features a conductor who is standing in the middle of a market, with his orchestra located on individual apartment balconies and building roofs around him. His instructions are conveyed to the orchestra via television sets.

The Silence Before Bach appropriately starts off in silence as a camera moves around empty halls of a gallery. Suddenly music fills the screen and we quickly encounter the source -- a mechanical piano.

Then more music is played in the form of slow notes as a man fine tunes a piano while his dog quietly sits on the floor, absorbed in the music as well. There are multiple stories in The Silence Before Bach which take place in between various musical sessions. The stories range from the past to the present and tackle a variety of topics such as observations about Germans and their love for soccer and music, truckers talking about their lives and an enthusiastic butcher expressing delight about adding rosemary when cooking meat. As soon as one story ends, music comes on in the form of an unrelated segment, followed by another tale without music. This pattern of alternating dialogue and music makes for an absorbing experience. If there was ever a film to lose one self in, this would be it.


Pere Portabella’s films do not follow a conventional narrative but if one lets the images wash over them, then there is a chance to derive a pleasure from his films. Overall, a truly worthy discovery, all thanks to Jonathan Rosenbaum who is an amazing critic and a pure cinephile. Unlike most critics who are busy reviewing the latest Hollywood blockbuster, Rosenbaum uses his writing to talk about discovering new foreign/independent films and hunting down older films.

As a major aside: I am probably the only person to think this but I might as well say it. The camera angles which capture Lucia Bosé’s smile and beauty in Nocturno 29 made her look like Aishwarya Rai. Just saying...
Lucia Bosé




The work of Pere Portabella (Figueras, 1927) stands at the crossroads of art, film and politics. Close to the surrealist sensibility and conceptualism (he produced Viridiana by Luis Buñuel in 1962, among his colleagues are Brossa and Carles Santos), he has created since the late sixties one of the most unique filmographies of Spanish cinema, alternating with his political activity as a parliamentarian and senator. In his films, Portabella uses strategies of estrangement and dislocation that both formally bypass censorship as to enhance the expressive range of works, leading to fascinating symbolizations
Intermedio presents the international Castilian-English-French edition of the complete works of one of the key authors of contemporary Spanish cinema, unpublished to date on DVD.
- No Compteu Amb Els Dits ·1967. Color Y B/N. 26 Min.
- Nocturno 29. 1968. Color Y B/N. 83 Min.
- Lectura Brossa. 2003. Color. 38 Min.
- Vampir – Cuadecuc. 1970. B/N. 75 Min.
- Play Back. 1970. B/N. 8 Min.
- Acció Santos. 1973. Color. 12 Min.
- Umbracle. 1972. Color. 85 Min
- El Sopar. 1974. Color. 50 Min
- Poetes Catalans. 1970. B/N. 30 Min
- Aidez L’Espagne. 1969. B/N Y Color. 5 Min
- Miró L’Altre. 1969. B/N Y Color. 15 Min
- Miró La Forja. 1973. Color. 24 Min
- Miró Tapís. 1973. Color. 22 Min
- Premios Nacionales. 1969. Color. 4 Min
- Informe General Sobre Algunas Cuestiones De Interés Para Una Proyección Pública. 1976. Color. 173 Min
- Puente De Varsovia. 1989. Color. 85 Min
- La Tempesta. 2003. B/N. 6 Min
- No Al No. 2006. Color. 3 Min
- Plan Hidrológico. 2004. Color. 3 Min
- Die Stille Vor Bach. 2007. Color. 102 Min
- Mudanza. 2008. Color. 20 Min
- Uno De Aquéllos. 2010. Color. 3 Min

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