The ending to the original (dubbed) Spanish version of Vittorio de Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948) included a voice of hope that was meant to counterbalance the grimness of the original. This not only underlines the problems neorealism encountered under Francisco Franco's regime, but also shows the very real difficulties of any kind of approach that did not follow the official government version of Spain as a nation with no major problems. It was not easy for Spanish cultural authorities to explain their reluctance to allow neorealism to be introduced into Spanish cinema. Of course, some of the movement's leading creators were communist or at the very least Left-wing, but there was also a Catholic and conservative trend apparent in the movement.
   The earliest attempts to assimilate the lessons of neorealism into Spanish cinema was Surcos (Burrows, 1951), directed by José Antonio Nieves Conde, a film not dissimilar in plot to Luchino Visconti's later Rocco and His Brothers (1960): in both, a family from the country comes to a tenement house in the big city and find their hopes dashed against the inhumanity of urban life. The realist impulse was loaded with warning against progress, and ideologically it was closer to Falangism than to a working-class perspective, but at last Spanish film had dared to deal with social reality. The same year, Edgar Neville similarly used a realist approach to bemoan the disappearance of traditional lifestyles in El último caballo (The Last Horse, 1950).
   The neorealist model was too influential to be ignored, and although its basic honesty was frowned upon by the authorities, some of its social awareness could be felt in films by Juan Antonio Bardem, particularly Cómicos (Comedians, 1954) and Calle mayor (Main Street, 1956). Rather than De Sicca or Visconti, he chose to be influenced by Federico Fellini: the latter is very close in atmosphere to I vitelloni (1953). Some other films used ideas of neorealism, although social critique was almost absent. Ladislao Vajda's Mi tío Jacinto (Uncle Jacinto, 1956) is among the best examples of a balance between social concerns and sentimentality.
   One of the adaptations of a neorealist cinema in Spain would be to infuse it with black humor. Disguised as comedy, and pushed to absurdity, realism could be better assimilated. One of the master practitioners of this trend was Marco Ferreri, who did a few satiric comedies in the late 1950s: Los chicos (The Kids, 1959), El pisito (The Little Flat, 1959), and El cochecito (The Motorized Wheelchair, 1960). This is the kind of approach Luis G. Berlanga would also follow in his two masterpieces: Plácido (1962) and El verdugo (The Executioner, 1964). Although both remain comedies, he learned from neorealism an awareness of reality as a social construct. Neorealist inspiration was also used effectively by Carlos Saura in 1960 in a film entitled Los Golfos (The Lazy Guys, 1960). The realist impulse continued strong in Spanish cinema after the main neorealist period had ended.

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Neorealism — may refer to: Neorealism (art) Italian neorealism (film) Indian neorealism Neorealism (international relations) New realism (philosophy) Structural realism (philosophy of science) This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same… …   Wikipedia

  • neorealism — NEOREALÍSM s.n. 1. Curent filozofic contemporan care identifică conştiinţa cu existenţa, redusă la un complex de senzaţii independente. 2. Curent în literatura, artele plastice şi cinematografia italiană contemporană, care se manifestă printr o… …   Dicționar Român

  • neorealism — [nē΄ō rē′ə liz΄əm] n. Film a style or movement, esp. in Italy in the 1940s and early 1950s, in which the everyday lives of ordinary, usually poor, people are shown in harshly realistic settings in actual locations neorealist adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Neorealism —    The ending to the original (dubbed) Spanish version of Vittorio de Sica s Bicycle Thieves (1948) included a voice of hope that was meant to counterbalance the grimness of the original. This not only underlines the problems neorealism… …   Guide to cinema

  • Neorealism —    The most celebrated movement in the history of Italian cinema, neorealism was in fact always more of a common socially committed approach to filmmaking embraced by a number of directors in the immediate postwar period than a structured… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • neorealism — neorealist, n., adj. /nee oh ree euh liz euhm/, n. 1. (sometimes cap.) any of various movements in literature, art, etc., that are considered as a return to a more realistic style. 2. a philosophy developed chiefly by 20th century American… …   Universalium

  • Neorealism —    The goal of neorealist writers and artists was to represent ordinary working class life faithfully and find poetry in the lives of the poor and oppressed. This emphasis on working class experience was influenced by the theories of the… …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • neorealism — neorealizmas statusas T sritis Politika apibrėžtis Šiuolaikinė realistinės tarptautinių santykių teorijos kryptis, teigianti, kad valstybių siekį stiprinti savo galią skatina anarchiška tarptautinė aplinka. Kryptis, kaip ir jos pirmtakas… …   Politikos mokslų enciklopedinis žodynas

  • neorealism — “+ noun Etymology: ne + realism 1. : new realism 2. : a revived realism like the postwar Italian movies of consequence, the novels have turned to neorealism, with truth taking the place of a happier ending New Yorker * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • neorealism — noun Date: 1950 a movement especially in Italian filmmaking characterized by the simple direct depiction of lower class life • neorealist adjective or noun • neorealistic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”