The emergence of a new major actor in the European arena
Felipe Basabe Lloréns
Felipe Basabe Lloréns
Spain: the emergence of a new major
actor in the European arena
Introduction: the EU as a major step and catalyst in Spain’s ‘return to
Spain’s accession to the EC in 19861 was the result of a long political
process and the fulfilment of a historical aspiration for Spanish society.
For most internal and external observers, Spain’s entry into the
Community constituted the final step of the transition process to democracy.2 Accession to the Community was supported at that time almost
Tomorrow we approve the reform of the labour market and you will see that it’s going to be extremely, extremely aggressive. (Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos to Olli Rehn, European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro. Brussels, February 2012)
Spain is a country on the periphery of the Eurozone. After the introduction of the euro, Spanish unions concluded inter-sectoral agreements which attempted
Spain as an entity and Spanish cultural identity are no less difficult to pin
down as the concept of the nation state is simultaneously assailed by political,
economic and cultural globalisation and the fragmentation of the state by the
demands of its autonomous communities. This book presents a coherent picture of
the main narrative, thematic, stylistic and representational trends which have
characterised the recent cinema produced in Spain. It seeks to explore the
obsession of Spanish cinema with the past and its role as part of a wider
recuperation industry. The book examines the varied forms of historical cinema
ranging from literary adaptation and period drama to retro thriller and musical.
It offers an analysis of other main forms of genre cinema which have dominated
the commercial industry and the popular imagination in Spain since the 1970s.
The book explores constructions of gender and sexuality across a wide range of
examples taken from a variety of contemporary movies. It also focuses on cinema
in the autonomous communities, mainly Catalonia and the Basque Country. The
period 1993 to 1994 was perhaps one of the most difficult for the film industry
in post-Franco Spain, particularly in relation to production totals and audience
figures. The setting Institut de Cinema Catalá offered a new forum for
debate and inaugurated the first of a number of attempts to define what Catalan
film and a Catalan film industry ought to be doing and how Catalan professionals
should develop their sector.
This book is a collection of essays that offers a new lens through which to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The films analysed span a period of some 40 years that have been crucial in the development of Spain, Spanish democracy and Spanish cinema. The book offers a new lens to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The figure of the auteur jostles for attention alongside other features of film, ranging from genre, intertexuality and ethics, to filmic language and aesthetics. At the heart of this project lies an examination of the ways in which established auteurs and younger generations of filmmakers have harnessed cinematic language towards a commentary on the nation-state and the politics of historical and cultural memory. The films discussed in the book encompass different genres, both popular and more select arthouse fare, and are made in different languages: English, Basque, Castilian, Catalan, and French. Regarded universally as a classic of Spanish arthouse cinema, El espíritu de la colmena/The Spirit of the Beehive has attracted a wealth of critical attention which has focused on political, historical, psychological and formal aspects of Víctor Erice's co-authored film-text. Luis Bunuel's Cet obscur objet du désir/That Obscure Object of Desire, Catalan filmmaker Ventura Pons' Ocana. Retrat Intermitent/Ocana. An Intermittent Portrait, Francisco Franco's El Dorado, Víctor Erice's El sol del membrillo/The Quince Tree Sun, and Julio Medem's Vacas/Cows are some films that are discussed.
This book considers the most electorally successful political party in Spain, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) which was in government for two of the three decades since it won office under Felipe González in 1982. Providing rich historical background, the book's main focus is on the period since General Franco's death in 1975 and charts Spain's modernisation under the PSOE, with a particular focus on the role played by European integration in this process. Covering events including the 2011 general election, the book is one of the most up-to-date works available in English and will be of great interest to academics, undergraduate and postgraduate students in the field of Spanish and European studies.
Over the past quarter of a century, the study of nineteenth-century Hispanic culture and society has undergone two major shifts. The first was a rejection of 'the myth of backwardness', a notion that these cultures and societies were exceptions that trailed behind the wider West.. The second trend was a critical focus on a core triad of nation, gender and representation. This volume of essays provides a strong focus for the exploration and stimulation of substantial new areas of inquiry. The shared concern is with how members of the cultural and intellectual elite in the nineteenth century conceived or undertook major activities that shaped their lives. The volume looks at how people did things without necessarily framing questions of motive or incentive in terms that would bring the debate back to a master system of gender, racial, ethnographic, or national proportions. It reviews some key temporal dilemmas faced by a range of nineteenth-century Spanish writers. The volume explores how they employed a series of narrative and rhetorical techniques to articulate the consequent complexities. It also looks at how a number of religious figures negotiated the relationship between politics and religion in nineteenth-century Spain. The volume concentrates on a spectrum of writings and practices within popular literature that reflect on good and bad conduct in Spain through the nineteenth century. Among other topics, it provides information on how to be a man, be a writer for the press, a cultural entrepreneur, an intellectual, and a colonial soldier.
Matador ( 1986 ) is the most symbolic of Almodóvar’s films. After the ugly aesthetics of ¿Qué he hecho yo? Almodóvar surprised his audience again with a highly stylised film. The visual excesses of the film point to what at first seems a return to the colourful zaniness of the early films with a murder mystery plot and tale of sexual perversion closely linked to Spanish cultural symbols, particularly bullfighting. Matador , however, continues Almodóvar’s attacks on complacent attitudes towards democratic Spain and his ambivalent use of cinematic and other
First published in Spanish in 2001, this book is a study of the development of Spanish national identity (‘the idea of Spain’) from the end of the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. It breaks away from an academic obsession with the sub-nationalism of Catalonia and the Basque Country to examine the predominant form of national consciousness, against which they reacted. The book traces the emergence and evolution of an initial collective identity within the Iberian Peninsula from the Middle Ages to the end of the ancien regime based on the Catholic religion, loyalty to the Crown and Empire. The adaptation of this identity to the modern era, beginning with the Napoleonic Wars and the liberal revolutions, forms the crux of this study. None the less, the book also embraces the highly contested evolution of the national identity in the twentieth century, including both the Civil War and the Franco Dictatorship. It ranges widely over diverse subjects such as representations of the past in Spain, the role of the arts and sciences in creating national consciousness, the impact of religion and Catholic ideas, the use of cultural symbolism, and the significance of contemporary events and political movements.
Dynastic policy and colonial expansion in revenge tragedy
The Spanish Tragedy seems at
times a play more about Italian city-states and their scheming, vengeful
dukes than about Habsburg Spain. Frank Ardolino, who in Apocalypse
and Armada has read it as an Armada play depicting Spain as both
Babel and Babylon, has voiced the common feeling that Italy lurks behind
the Spanish court of Kyd’s tragedy: ‘In The Spanish
While several critical works on Spanish cinema have centred on the cultural, social and industrial significance of stars, there has been relatively little critical scholarship on what stars are paid to do: act. Bringing together a range of scholars that attend carefully to the performances, acting styles, and historical influences of Spanish film, Performance and Spanish Film is the first book to place the process of Spanish acting centre stage. Comprising fifteen original essays, the book casts light on the manifold meanings, methods and influences of Spanish screen performance, from the silent era to the present day. It situates the development of Spanish screen acting in both its national and global contexts, tracing acting techniques that are largely indigenous to Spain, as well as unpicking the ways in which Spanish performance has frequently been shaped by international influences and forces. As the volume ultimately demonstrates, acting can serve as a powerful site of meaning through which broader questions around Spanish film practices, culture and society can be explored.