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A Czech glance at Spanish cinema

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(Votes count 519)

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carteles checos
Gijon International Film Festival, in the framework of the events celebrating its 50th anniversary and together with the Czech Centre, presents at the Centro Cultural Antiguo Instituto the exhibit Czech Film Posters consisting of thirty posters, those devoted to Spanish films.
Czech movie posters are considered to be one of the most important artistic events of applied arts in Europe. A unique sensibility that has challenged for three decades the conventions prevailing in the rest of Europe. Czech artists used their own resources when creating the posters advertising the releases in local movie theatres.

Posters were usually made using the traditional expression tools (pictures of the cast, big titles, illustrative or descriptive art, frames from the film, etc) coming from Hollywood. For over thirty years (1959-1989) in Czechoslovakia renowned graphic artists created works where they did not hesitate to experiment and work with modern expression tools. Creators used such techniques as collage, photomontage, extractions, assembling. They were inspired by informal art, pop art and modern photography. They were also quite inventive when using typography in titles. They glued and set in different layers, one atop the other, the letters and pictures cut from books, magazines, anatomy atlas or maps. In their works they took advantage and used their experience in graphic arts and book illustration.

For many, working on movie posters was the only way to make a living. There was no art market, it was difficult to set up an exhibit and movie posters became gradually the main way of presenting their works to the audience. Creators had no limitation as to what the poster could be like, so, to a certain extent, they had great freedom to create it.

The situation became certainly more complicated in the 70's and 80's, but censorship intervened only in ideological aspects. Posters could not include, for example, flags of the Western countries or skulls, but censors were not interested in the expressive elements. Plastic artists had, hence and except for some small restrictions, their hands free when creating the posters. Often graphic sheets comparable to the authors' free creation came to light. That's how this unique trend in plastic arts in the world and called Czechoslovak movie poster came to be.

Some of the films whose posters are exhibited are The Exterminating Angel (1963) by Luis Buñuel, Carmen (1985) de Carlos Saura, El abuelo tiene un plan (1975) de Pedro Lazaga, La regenta (1976) by Gonzalo Suárez and The Power of Desire (1977) by Juan Antonio Bardem, among others.