A feminist revision of Spanish cinema 90

Review the Spanish cinema of the 90s with a gender perspective is the main objective of ‘More frames gender’, the historian and film critic Maria Castejon Leorza. This is the continuation of ‘Stills gender. Representation of femininity and masculinity in the Spanish cinema (1977-1989) ‘, about which I spoke in this interview. Both books make up an ambitious publishing project that analyzes the film from the Spanish Transition to 2000 and as reflected in the changes that occur in society.

All films are analyzed from feminisms, and some are more than others no doubt, “says Maria Castejon, who adds:” The films of the 90 included in the book are very strong female characters. Young depend on romantic love but build portraits of women who have economic independence, empowerment, create new references, use new strategies …

The 17 films selected for his work are well known titles like romantic comedies Manuel Gómez Pereira and Emilio Martinez Lazaro, the commercial success of Ana Belen, ‘How to be woman and not die trying’ with Carmen Maura protagonist, or iconic films that portray Generation X as ‘Kronen Stories’ Moncho Armendariz, the early work of Daniel Calparsoro, or ‘Hello, are you alone’ first feature film director Iciar Bollaín. “I am not sure what a feminist film, is a complex issue. A movie does not have to be a feminist intent but the public or criticism can be considered as such. It is undeniable that the debut of Iciar Bollaín has a female role all, talking about life and dreams of a young girls as had been done before, “qualifies respect to the film of the Madrid filmmaker:” Trini and La Niña (protaginistas history) renew the imaginary with portrait two young people struggling to find their place in a society that does not understand at all. ”

They, performed by Candela Peña and Silke, are two of the favorite characters from Castejon at this stage with Carmen (Carmen Maura in How to be a woman and not die trying) “it represents the disappointment of women who have entered the market work, and see that is full of machismo, same as seen in their male partners, a model of woman who will not surrender “. Beside them, also chooses the characters of the first four films Daniel Calparsoro: ‘Jump vacuum’ (1995), ‘Flights’ (1996), ‘Blindly’ (1997) and ‘Asphalt’ (2000). “They are women who are doomed to exclusion and marginalization, main characters struggling to survive more than questionable but always come out winning strategies, and this aspect is very disruptive,” he says.

Comparing the stories, narrative and thematic forms 90 with Spanish cinema of the 80, to Maria Castejon “there are developments but also involutions” regarding the treatment of women. Both in reality and in fiction, many Spanish of this decade who were young during the fall of Franco now work outside and inside the house, facing double and triple tasks and demanding more choice and freedom as men continue to perpetuate a male model.

“More frames gender ‘starts with the analysis of the sentimental comedy of the 90s, which is the same generation as comedies starring Fernando Colomo and Fernando Trueba on 80. The friendly tone of’ Men Seeking Women ‘is not so 90. clear in the picture is black as we see in ‘How to be woman and not die trying’ or films Gómez Pereira ( ‘Salsa rosa’, 1991 ‘Why call it love when they mean sex? ‘1993, and’ All men you are equal ‘, 1994). women are very disenchanted and men do not assume the changes that they have carried out. the consequences of divorce are also shown with virulence and war sex is brutal, “says Castejon Leorza.

Generation X or Generation Nutella, twentysomethings 90, between euphoria of overqualification and a premonitory vital disenchantment, also had its mirror in Spanish cinema. In the 90 films aimed at young audiences, he tells Maria Castejon, “yes there is a greater range of records and models” in the above.

Some comedies like ‘I love your rich bed’ (1991) and ‘The Worst Years of Our Lives’ (1994), of Emilio Martinez Lazaro, “are films in which the roost the lead male characters and girls are secondary and They are the beloved of those (not) heroes, “but at the same time another generation of filmmakers led by Alfonso Albacete, David Menkes, Salvador Garcia Ruiz and Miguel Bardem who draw characters emerges” that you no longer have apparently nothing to do with the models that could take their mothers and grandmothers. ” In this group of films, Castejon highlights ‘all lies’ (1994) Alvaro Fernandez Armero; Historias del Kronen ‘(1995) of Montxo Armendariz, Mensaka’ (Salvador García Ruiz, 1997) and ‘More than love, frenzy’ (1996) and ‘Atomic (1997), of Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes (the latter also directed by Miguel Bardem).

In them, the girls “are independent, and hardly remember all the limitations that women had just twenty years ago to be citizens, but the structures that move are still very patriarchal. We see a mirage of equality that no they are able to overcome all because masculinities remain the same in the background “.

This first generation of women in Transition, born around the year 1976 “s on very modern, are situated in society differently, dress differently but are not fully aware that society is still very inegalitarian. But that we see it now, then had another feeling … “concludes Castejon.

The book ‘More frames gender. Representation of femininity and masculinity in the Spanish cinema of the 90’s, Editorial SinIndice, is one of our recommended for this summer since it implies an approach to the audiovisual culture from history and feminism to remember the characters that we grew readings and the roles they have given us. Already in the XXI century, film criticism with gender perspective remains an exception but starts to become hollow in the digital press and, to a lesser extent in conventional. And it is essential for fiction connect with new generations of women, who no longer believe in equality or we live a simple step to reach it.

(You can read Maria Castejon Leorza in pikara Magazine or your blog ‘The princesses also scrub’).