In the full-length treatment of the child in Spanish cinema, this book explores the ways that the cinematic child comes to represent 'prosthetic memory'. The cinematic children in the book retain traces of their mechanical origins: thus they are dolls, ventriloquists' dummies, cyborgs or automata. Moreover, by developing the monstrous undertones evoked by these mechanical traces (cinema such as 'Frankensteinian dream'), these films, in different ways, return repeatedly to a central motif. The central motif is the child's confrontation with a monster and, derivatively, the theme of the monstrous child. Through their obsessive recreation over time, the themes of the child and the monster and the monstrous child come to stand in metonymically for the confrontation of the self with the horrors of Spain's recent past. The book focuses on the cine religioso (religious cinema), in particular, Marcelino, pan y vino. The children of cine religioso appear like automata, programmed to love unconditionally an absent mother. The book then examines the Marisol's films from the 1960s and the way she was groomed by her creators to respond and engineer the economic and cultural changes of the consumerist Spain of the 1960s. It further deals with Victor Erice's El espiritu de la colmena and works through cinematic memories of this film in later works such as El laberinto del fauno, El orfanato and El espinazo del diablo. The films are seen to gesture towards the imaginary creation of a missing child.
child but the cut-out black and white
photo of Temple’s head, reminiscent of the cuttings collected by fans, whilst
the scarlet body of a sphinx is the undisguisable manifestation of the monstrous desire of Temple’s male admirers.
In an article on Marisol, the blonde, blue-eyed singing child sensation
of the 1960s, Peter Evans muses that ‘had Greene seen any of the earliest Marisolfilms he might have written a piece about her of the sort that
landed him in the law courts’ (Evans, 2004: 133).1 Film producer Manuel
Goyanes saw the young Josefa (‘Pepa’) Flores González
miraculous coming to life of
a life-size crucifix I will explore the ways that the film explores in parallel the animation of the child on screen. The children of the cine religioso
appear like automata, programmed to love unconditionally an absent
mother. I extend this discussion into the dubbing of the child and the ways
we might see this practice as a form of ventriloquism. Chapter 2 examines
the Marisolfilms from the 1960s and the way that she was groomed by
her creators to respond to and engineer the economic and cultural changes
of the consumerist Spain of the 1960s