Cinema of Spain  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The art of motion-picture making within the Kingdom of Spain or by Spanish filmmakers abroad is collectively known as Spanish Cinema.

In recent years, Spanish cinema has achieved high marks of recognition. In the long history of Spanish cinema, the great filmmaker Luis Buñuel was the first to achieve universal recognition, followed by Pedro Almodóvar in the 1980s. Spanish cinema has also seen international success over the years with films by directors like Segundo de Chomón, Florián Rey, Luis García Berlanga, Juan Antonio Bardem, Carlos Saura, Julio Médem and Alejandro Amenábar. Woody Allen, upon receiving the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in 2002 in Oviedo remarked: "when I left New York, the most exciting film in the city at the time was Spanish, Pedro Almodóvar's one. I hope that Europeans will continue to lead the way in film making because at the moment not much is coming from the United States."

Non-directors have obtained less international notability like the cinematographer Néstor Almendros, the Art director Gil Parrondo, the screenwriter Rafael Azcona, the actresses Maribel Verdú and, especially, Penélope Cruz and the actors Fernando Rey, Francisco Rabal, Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem and Fernando Fernán Gómez have obtained significant recognition outside Spain.

Today, 10 to 20% of box office receipts in Spain are generated by domestic films, a situation that repeats itself in many nations of Europe and the Americas. The Spanish government has therefore implemented various measures aimed at supporting local film production and movie theaters, which include the assurance of funding from the main national television stations. The trend is being reversed with the recent screening of productions such as the €30 million film Alatriste (starring Viggo Mortensen), the Academy Award winning Spanish film Pan's Labyrinth (starring Maribel Verdú), Volver (starring Penélope Cruz and Carmen Maura), and Los Borgia (starring Paz Vega), all of them sold-out blockbusters in Spain.

Another aspect of Spanish cinema mostly unknown to the general public is the appearance of English-language Spanish films such as Agora (directed by Alejandro Amenábar and starring Rachel Weisz), Ché (directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro), The Machinist (starring Christian Bale), The Others (starring Nicole Kidman), and Miloš Forman’s Goya's Ghosts (starring Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman). All of these films were produced by Spanish firms.

Exploitation film

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cinema of Spain" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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