- Tercera vía
- Cine de la Tercera vía, or "Third-way cinema" was a shrewd attempt, devised by producer José Luis Dibildos in the early 1970s, to make films that were commercially viable, acceptable to the regime and which, at the same time, engaged with social change brought on by increased openness. It was a difficult balancing act, particularly as censorship evolved, and its dictates were unreliable. At the time, cheap, unambitious, and politically reactionary desarrollismo comedies had the lion's share of the industry and box office. The mid-1960s were dominated by José Luis López Vázquez-Gracita Morales parodies and sentimental Paco Martínez Soria comedies, appreciated only by the working classes. Intellectuals and the middle classes, which tended to reject this brand of cinema, felt excluded as target audiences of Spanish cinema. As well, authorities were reluctant to allow unlimited freedom of expression to directors who wished to comment on society, fearing to open the floodgates of even greater social unrest.By using a conservative format, Tercera Vía films dealt timidly with social issues such as extramarital relations and abortion, remaining poised between crass commercial projects and the difficult and minority-bound auteur films of the, by then almost defunct, Nuevo cine español. The conclusion of these films tended to be conservative and the tone comedic, but they still engaged with reality before the Transition made them obsolete.An emblematic Tercera Via film was Españolas en París (Spanish Women in Paris, Roberto Bodegas, 1971), about a group of Spanish emigrant women living in France. Director Roberto Bodegas was the originator of the trend and remained the key Tercera Vía filmmaker.Further films by him include Los nuevos españoles (The New Spaniards, 1974) and Vida conyugal sana (Healthy Marital Life, 1974). Other important figures were José Luis Garci (largely a writer until the mid-1970s), Manuel Summers (whose post-Nuevo cine español films can be considered as instances of the trend), Antonio Drove, and Jesús Yagüe. The end of the Tercera Via came naturally when the political Transition ended government censorship, allowing more freedom in the representation of sexuality and politics, and also set a different agenda for the "New Spaniards." In this sense, Garci's Asignatura pendiente (Pending Subject, 1977) and Solos en la madrugada (Alone in the Small Hours, 1978) could be considered the last films within this trend.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.