- S Classification
- The "S" classification, which labeled films with erotic or extremely violent content, was introduced in 1977 immediately following the demise of government censorship. The first film exhibited with the new label was Una loca extravagancia sexy (A Mad Sexy Extravagance, Enrique Guevara), spearheading a wave of predominantly soft-core porn that dominated Spanish screens for six years. Each "S" film carried a warning that it could hurt the audience's sensitivity, but given the cultural situation of a country just out of a severely repressive period, the rating rapidly became a publicity tool.The public who attended "S" films were indiscriminate with regard to content, plot, or acting, as long as they could see images previously forbidden. However, the classification did not include hard porn, the logical next step, and cinemas for explicitly pornographic films, labelled "X," were only regulated in 1984 as one of the consequences of the legislation introduced by Pilar Miró. Very few films were classified "S" for their violent content, Mad Max (George Miller, 1979) being one instance of this, along with some horror films.The "S" classification was applied to both Spanish and foreign films, and in many cases casts and personnel were international. The ratings publicity value had an impact on the Spanish film industry of the Transition, which had been hit by a funding crisis, by becoming an important way of producing cheap films and employing many film workers. Given the small investment required, these films became good business. Some of the old Francoist directors, like Ignacio F. Iquino and Carlos Aured, were kept employed making "S" films, as well as others like Jesús Franco who had worked in other popular genres. When Pilar Miró became General Director for Cinematography, she introduced legislation designed to reinforce quality, and the category became financially less viable, particularly when X cinemas were authorized.The 2008 feature Los años desnudos (The Naked Years, Dunia Ayaso and Félix Sabroso), starring Candela Peña and Goya Toledo is set in the murky world of "S" cinema and brought about the first substantial renaissance of what once was a well-established genre.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.