- Muerte de un ciclista
- Death of a cyclist (1955).Exactly contemporary to the Salamanca Conversations, Muerte de un ciclista boldly expressed the restlessness of young Spanish intellectuals, who felt smothered by the older generation and unable to act. Influenced by Marxist ideas on bourgeois bad faith and, more specifically, by Michelangelo Antonioni's Story of a Love Affair (1950), also starring Lucia Bosé, it brought a sense of modernity and philosophical substance to Spanish cinema beyond reactionary historical recreations, earnest rural dramas, and ironic costumbrismo comedies.The film's focus is on ethical choice, a dangerous topic in Spain at a time when any sense of ethics was dominated by facile versions of Christian doctrine. An adulterous couple, Juan and Maria José (played by Alberto Closas and Bosé) run over a cyclist in the middle of an empty road, and they decide not to say anything for fear of being discovered. The event affects their lives differently. María José is the bored wife of a wealthy and powerful man, and she distances herself from her lover. But for Juan, this is the start of a series of crises in which he comes to reconsider his life, his choices, and the society he inhabits. When a strange man gives hints that he knows their secret, Juan must make a decision.Released in the year of the Salamanca Conversations, it was practically a manifesto for a new generation of filmmakers that also included Berlanga, Saura, and Martín Patino. It was also shown out of competition at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the International Critics' Award.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.