TABLE OF CONTENTS

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: THE CINEMA OF PERE PORTABELLA

Still from Pere Portabella’s Vampir-Cuadecuc, 1970, 16 mm, black-and-white, sound, 75 minutes. Christopher Lee. Maria Rohm. Christopher Lee.

PERE PORTABELLA made his first film in Barcelona in 1967, a time marked by intense repression in Francoist Spain and a worldwide proliferation of cinematic new waves that were challenging the parameters of filmic language. The eight features and countless shorts he brought to fruition in the subsequent half century would seem to thwart the typical auteurist search for unity in which the critic catalogues repeated motifs and notes trademark gestures recurring across a body of work. One can’t simply periodize his films, either. It is tempting to divide up the various productions and say that there are two Portabellas: At times, the Catalan director seems an heir to the Surrealism of Luis Buñuel, at work in an art-cinema idiom of dark, irreverent humor and social critique; at others, his name could be fairly uttered in the same breath as that of Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2016 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.