- Herralde, Gonzalo
- (1949- )Gonzalo Herralde was born in Barcelona. His debut feature was La muerte del escorpión (The Scorpion's Death, 1976), a thriller with certain links to the work of la Escuela de Barcelona, particularly in terms of actors and sources of inspiration. His best-received film was a reworking, with film critic and historian Román Gubern, of Raza (Race, José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, 1942), the film inspired by Francisco Franco's imagination and experiences. Raza, el espíritu de Franco (Raza, Franco's Spirit, 1977), as the new version came to be titled, went back to the original writings of the dictator, before they were adapted by José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, which alternated with an interview with Franco's sister, Pilar. Her comments contributed to a fascinating mise en abime, putting the film in a historical perspective and highlighting the fantasies woven into the plot.After this, Herralde continued his career with a Barcelona-inspired thriller based on a real-life murder case, El asesino de Pedralbes (Murderer of Pedralbes, 1978), which was followed by an adaptation of one of the key novels on the Catalán bourgeoisie during the Franco years, Últimas tardes con Teresa (Last Afternoons with Teresa, 1984). This melancholy, rueful story shows the cruel barriers and class difficulties between a wealthy young woman and an attractive and ambitious working-class man. Laura, del cielo llega la noche (Laura, Night Comes from the Sky, 1987), in a similar vein, was another adaptation, this time from Catalan author Miquel Llor. La Febre d'Or (Gold Fever, 1993), his last project, was a family saga (this time based on the novel by Narcís Oller) conceived as a five-hour miniseries for television and released as a two-and-a-half-hour version in cinemas. The film focused on a Catalan family of industrialists in the late 19th century. It boasted a firstrate cast and extraordinary production values, but was only a relative success.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.