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From Silver Screen to Spanish Stage

From Silver Screen to Spanish Stage: The humorists of the Madrid vanguardia and Hollywood film

Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
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  • Book Info
    From Silver Screen to Spanish Stage
    Book Description:

    This book examines responses in print and on stage of five Spanish humorists to Hollywood cinema from the 1920s to the 1960s. After detailing their viewing habits and film-making experiences in the USA and Spain, I devise and apply a method for the analysis of the influence of screen on stage that draws on the disciplines of film and theatre studies. I argue that these experiments, had they not been curtailed by the culture of Francoism, might have developed into a significant contribution to European theatre.

    eISBN: 978-0-7083-2344-1
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Series Editors’ Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)

    Over recent decades the traditional ‘languages and literatures’ model in Spanish departments in universities in the United Kingdom has been superceded by a contextual, interdisciplinary and ‘area studies’ approach to the study of the culture, history, society and politics of the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds – categories that extend far beyond the confines of the Iberian Peninsula, not only in Latin America but also to Spanish-speaking and Lusophone Africa.

    In response to these dynamic trends in research priorities and curriculum development, this series is designed to present both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research within the general field of Iberian and Latin American...

  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Permissions
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Notes on style
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  8. Introduction: Was there ever a(n Other) Generation of 1927?
    (pp. 1-18)

    The 1920s constituted a decisive period in the development of modern culture in Spain. It was during this decade that the Madridvanguardia(avant-garde) blossomed with the emergence in the capital of a cohort of talented young people eager to learn from more established writers and to experiment with the artistic theories and practices elaborated by avant-garde groups elsewhere in Europe. This new generation was responsible for a proliferation of work in diverse media which consolidated the position of thevanguardiaalongside its continental cousins and brought its innovations to a wider audience. Of particular prominence among these accomplishments are...

  9. Chapter 1 From Madrid to Hollywood and Back Again: Crushed by the Reels of Industry
    (pp. 19-58)

    The humorists’ keen interest in cinema began, as it did for many born at the turn of the twentieth century, during their childhood. In a 1945 interview, López Rubio recounted at great length the films he remembered from his adolescence. The extensive list of titles, stars and genres he provided reveals both the indelible impression that cinema made on him at this time and the variety of films that he saw:

    !Maravillosas películas francesas iluminadas a mano!: ‘Moisés salvado de las aguas’, ‘Viaje a la luna de Cyrano de Bergerac’ y la risa delirante de las películas cómicas, como aquel...

  10. Chapter 2 Transitions from Screen to Stage
    (pp. 59-104)

    Theatrical adaptations of films are often to be seen on the stages of Europe and North America nowadays. Without exception, these are based on well-known titles, presenting audiences with a story that enjoyed great popularity at the time of release and whose emotional resonance has endured since then. Ventures of this kind make excellent financial sense for producers, the proven success of the original plots and characters frequently enabling them to secure the participation of some of the biggest names of stage and screen in order to broaden still further the production’s appeal. Film musicals dominate those titles adapted for...

  11. Chapter 3 The Remediation of Cinema in the Theatre of the Humorists of the Madrid vanguardia: Innovation and Compromise
    (pp. 105-142)

    In Spain, far greater enthusiasm for the cinema was displayed during the medium’s infancy by the working classes than by wealthier sections of society. Consequently, the mediatization of theatre is observed earlier in plays consumed by the former social group. By these means, playwrights were able, if not to transform, at least to enliven the dramaturgical conventions of the time. Initially, this mediatization was technological in kind and took the form of filmed sequences. On the Spanish stage, such projections were first used inEl amigo del alma(‘The Soulmate’), premiered in 1905 at the Teatro Eslava in Madrid, and...

  12. Chapter 4 Make ’em Laugh: The Humorists and Hollywood Comedy
    (pp. 143-166)

    In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Spanish theatre in which the humorists attempted to establish themselves was dominated by plays in which comedy was a fundamental component. Those genres for which humour was the principal source of commercial appeal, such as thejuguete cómico, sought laughter systematically; others made intermittent use of humour.¹ The comic devices employed in these plays and to which theatre audiences were accustomed are on the whole verbal. The most comprehensive analysis of this aspect of stage humour is found in Manuel Seco’s study of dialogue in the theatre of Carlos Arniches. In his...

  13. Conclusion: Remediation and Mediatization in Spain: Then and Now
    (pp. 167-172)

    My analysis of the aesthetic remediation of cinema in the theatre of the humorists of the Madridvanguardiashows the extent to which they drew on their understanding of the Hollywood model of the classical fiction film in an attempt to move away from the dramaturgical conventions of thecomedia, how this endeavour was significantly constrained by industrial and material conditions, and their eventual surrender to the pull of thealta comedia. In his plays of the immediate post-war period, Jardiel was the first dramatist in Spain to undertake to remediate cinema systematically in response to his disheartening experiences in...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 173-194)
  15. References
    (pp. 195-210)
  16. Index
    (pp. 211-216)