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.
aesthetic answers to this question’ (Kinder, 1993: 151–152).
If this has been a tale, to some extent at least, of Hollywood clones and
ideological drones, from the 1950s the cine con niño comes into its own. In
the 1950s the angelic faces of Pepito Moratalla, Pablito Calvo, Miguelito
Gil and Marco Paoletti endorsed the values of National Catholicism in the
cine religioso (religiouscinema). Surcos (Furrows, Nieves Conde, 1951) was
promoted by García Escudero, who would later promote the New Spanish
Cinema. In its neo-realist depiction of poverty and Spanish slums, it
Revindicating Spanish actors and acting in and through Cine de barrio
vehicles for Joselito –a child star and singing sensation of
the 1950s and 1960s, whose ‘films negotiated the passage between the
moral tones of cine religioso [religiouscinema] and the colour and light
ushered in by Marisol’s films later that decade’ (cited in Wright 2013:
10–11) –premiered in major Madrid cinemas, but would find their main
audience in rural or local cinemas.
Following contractual and personal arguments between José Parada
and TVE, he was replaced at the end of 2003 by Carmen Sevilla (b.
1930), the actress formerly known as ‘la novia de España
activate the desires of female cinema goers and their children.
In the second part of this chapter I will develop the idea of the child of the
cine religioso as automaton by focusing on the dubbing practices which saw
the child voiced by an adult female actress. The mysterious blend of the
eerie in the familiar ushered in by voice is seen to corroborate recent subversive readings of Marcelino, pan y vino which view its aesthetics as more in
keeping with the horror genre than with religiouscinema – indeed this may
account for the immense popularity of the film for a
Embodiment and adolescence in recent Spanish films
1914) might be included in this collection (see page 5 of the Introduction).
6 In her discussion of the trauma and sense memory of child sexual abuse, Bennett
is in fact citing Charlotte Delbo’s memories of Auschwitz (Bennett, 2005: 25).
7 In this sense, the film returns to the double-voicedness of Francoist religiouscinema which aimed to harness the secular for sacred aims (Wright, 2007).
8 A boy is employed by a florist to delivery flowers and wreaths but he gets distracted by street-life and arrives late to all of his appointments. Speech is kept