1 post tagged no exile
Some people protest totalitarianism, others take up arms against dictatorships, but Elías Querejeta used financing and film to turn fascism in upon itself. And the results were as sublime as they were breathtaking.
In film studies, producers tend to get footnoted. They are the money guys/gals, known more for spreadsheets and massaging investors’ egos than for their artistic impulses. Yet what Querejeta did as a producer shows jawdropping moxie and filmmaking savvy that was as cunning as it was creative.
Using false scripts and subtle metaphors to confuse the censors, Querejeta used public subventions from the Franco dictatorship to fund the most virulently anti-Franco yet artistically transcendent films of the 1960s and 1970s, including La caza (1966), Peppermint frappé (1967), El espíritu de la colmena (1973), La prima angélica (1974), and Cría Cuervos (1976).
Think of it this way: Imagine using financing from the Third Reich itself to produce films that ridiculed Adolf Hitler.
And that’s what Elías Querejeta did, thumbing his nose at Francisco Franco’s Spain and subverting the regime with its own money. Granted, his international connections were aces up his sleeve—namely a friendship with Sam Peckinpah and inroads at the Cannes Film Festival—that drew attention to the repression of Franco’s dictatorship while the rest of Europe rebelled and partied through the late 60s.
Querejeta was not just a producer. He was a filmmaker. And he still is (his 53rd film, 33 días is now in preproduction). Querejeta shows that filmmaking is a team sport, and one the can be decisively won with crafty rear guards that outmaneuver their ideological opponents to create art with vitality and passion.
Shamefully, I knew absolutely nothing about Querejeta and his ways. Many thanks to klodt for this post.