From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Surprisingly, many radical filmmakers cast their works in a conventional, often dated mold, unaware of the far more profound impact of artists attempting to fuse new content with new form (Resnais, Marker, Solanas, Franju, Rocha, Herzog, Godard, et al)." --Film as a Subversive Art
He also directed Tangos: el exilio de Gardel (1985), Sur (1988), El viaje (1992), La nube (1998) and Memoria del saqueo (2004), among many others. He was National Senator representing the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires for six years, from 2013 to 2019.
Solanas studied theatre, music and law. In 1962, he directed his first short feature Seguir andando and in 1968 he covertly produced and directed his first long feature film La Hora de los Hornos, a documentary on neo-colonialism and violence in Latin America. The film won several international awards and was screened around the world. Solanas won the Grand Jury Prize and the Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival and the Prix de la mise en scène at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1999 he was the President of the Jury at the 21st Moscow International Film Festival. He was awarded a special Honorary Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival. He collaborated with tango composer and musician Ástor Piazzolla on the soundtracks for various movies.
Solanas was at the forefront of the Grupo Cine Liberación that shook Argentine cinema in the 1970s, developing its social conscience and political voice. He was active in the campaign to support Perón. Threatened by right-wing forces in the 1970s, one of his actors was assassinated and he himself was almost kidnapped.
Together with Octavio Getino, Solanas wrote the manifesto "Toward a Third Cinema". The idea of a political Third Cinema, opposed to Hollywood cinema and European auteur cinema, inspired film makers in many so-called developing countries.
He continued to make political films and was an outspoken critic of Carlos Menem, the Argentine President. Three days after such a public criticism, on 21 May 1991, Solanas was shot six times in his legs. Despite dealing with the attack and disability, Solanas became even more involved in politics and stood to be a Senator for Buenos Aires, receiving 7% of the vote in 1992. A year later he was elected a National Deputy for the Frente Grande list, although he left the party after a year.
Solanas continued to write and direct, including the 2005 film La Dignidad de los Nadies and the recent 2008 film La última estación. His son, Juan Solanas, is also a noted film director.
In 2009, Solanas was elected as National Deputy for the city of Buenos Aires on the June 28th parliamentary elections, as his party Proyecto Sur became the 2nd force in the city by collecting 24.2% of the votes. In 2013, Solanas was elected National Senator, representing Buenos Aires City in the 2013-2019 period.
- Seguir andando (1962) (short)
- Reflexión ciudadana (1963) (short)
- La hora de los hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces) (1968)
- Argentina, Mayo de 1969: los caminos de la liberación (1969)
- Perón, la revolución justicialista (1971)
- Perón: actualización política y doctrinaria para la toma del poder (1971)
- Los hijos de fierro (1972)
- La mirada de los otros (1980) Filmed in Paris, France
- El exilio de Gardel (Tangos) (1985)
- Sur (1988)
- El viaje (1992)
- La nube (1998)
- Afrodita, el sabor del amor (2001)
- Memoria del saqueo (2004)
- La dignidad de los nadies (2005)
- Argentina latente (2007)
- La próxima estación (2008)
- La tierra sublevada (2009)
"The possibility of making a new cinema completely outside the system depends on whether or not filmmakers can transform themselves from 'directors' into total filmmakers. And no one can become a total filmmaker without being a film technician, without being capable of handling the production."