Performing the nation
Mannerism and mourning in Spanish heritage cinema
in Performance and Spanish film
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This chapter explores the relationship between performance and identity in ‘Spanish heritage films’, a type of national cinema that operates from within intermedial, intertextual, and transnational networks. It discusses the particular cases of El perro del hortelano/ The Dog in the Manger (Pilar Miró, 1997) and Alatriste/ Captain Alatriste: The Spanish Musketeer (Agustín Díaz Yanes, 2006), and describes their domestic popularity and international failure. It argues that these successes and failures ultimately produce a national cultural discourse that (despite the adoption of foreign cinematic aesthetics) fails to be legible to foreign audiences familiar with those very aesthetics. In studying the foreign-influenced performance style of the actors of these two films, the chapter tracks their attempts to reach local and foreign audiences. The history of these particular acting styles—and in spite of the transnational aesthetics that guide these films—are haunted by earlier performances and roles that ultimately provide a national opportunity for Spanish audiences to experience history, cinema, and mourning.

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