Social realism, transnationalism and (neo)colonialism
In Tambien la lluvia/Even the Rain Iciar Bollain refashions the discourse of a social realist aesthetic in order to interrogate her country's imperial past and complicity with neocolonial practices in the present. In the simplest of terms, Even the Rain is as much a transnational film about Spain as it is a Spanish film about transnationalism. This chapter first provides a discussion of its depiction of imperialism in relation to Christopher Columbus and his 'discovery' of the New World, which makes reference both to the historical record and previous screen representations. This is followed by an examination of the political significance of the water war in Cochabamba, and how the subject matter relates to the traditional preoccupations of social-realist cinema. Finally, the chapter looks at how these two historical moments collide on screen, and question to what extent the film interrogates ostensibly realist modes of representation.
Revindicating Spanish actors and acting in and through Cine de barrio
This chapter considers the impact of the Spanish television programme Cine de barrio on popular discourses surrounding national film and performance styles. First airing in 1995, Cine de barrio pairs the viewing of a classic national film (generally made sometime between 1950 and the late 70s, after the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco) with a talk show segment between a host and an invited guest. By linking discourses on cultural and historical memory with the subsequent revival of classic national cinema brought about by Cine de barrio, the chapter explores the relationship between actors, their films and their audiences; the affective response produced in this encounter, it argues, generates a nostalgia for classic national cinema that also influences contemporary Spanish film. The chapter also addresses the links between the seemingly disparate Spanish films of the 70s and the comedic box office blowouts of the 2010s, as well as arguing for a sustained reflection on nostalgia, memory, and their connections to acting and performance.