Gutiérrez Aragón, Manuel


Gutiérrez Aragón, Manuel
(1942- )
   Demons in the Garden, the English translation of the title to Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón's fourth feature as director, released in 1982, could also be used to summarize in one phrase the thematic core of his most personal projects, all produced before the mid-1980s. For the director, there was always something unacknowledged, sinister, even threatening underlying everyday reality. In films like Sonámbulos (Sleepwalkers, 1978) and El corazón del bosque (Heart of the Forest, 1979), those evil forces had to do with historical conflicts that had remained unresolved as open wounds. This idea pushed his films toward metaphor expressed through fantasy (he was one of the central filmmakers in the tradition of metaphorical cinema during the Transition) and came to constitute a mark of artistic identity.
   Gutiérrez Aragón was born in Torrelavega, Cantabria, a city in the north of Spain, which constitutes the landscape for a substantial part of his filmography. He studied at the Escuela Oficial de Cine (EOC), becoming a protegee of José Luis Borau, who worked largely as a scriptwriter. Habla mudita (Speak, Little Mute Girl, 1973) was his first feature. The metaphorical impulse of his future works is already fully present in the story of a mute girl. This was a film produced by Elías Querejeta, emblematic of the attempts of Spanish filmmakers of the time to work on artistic projects that engaged with political reality. He wrote the first version of Borau's Furtivos (Poachers, 1975) in 1974: with its imagery of deep forests teeming with dark secrets, this was as much Gutiérrez Aragón's film as the director's. He continued to alternate scripts by other filmmakers with others for himself.
   Gutiérrez Aragón came into his own as a director in the years surrounding the Transition. El corazón del bosque is the story of an anti-Francoist rebel hiding in the depths of a forest after the Civil War, and Sonámbulos is an experimental narrative that shifts seamlessly between dreams and harsh reality. It tells the story of a narcoleptic actress (Ana Belén) involved in an August Strindberg play; the company putting on the play are also anti-Francoist fighters, and the film plays on the confusion between fantasy and a violent reality. Maravillas (Wonders, 1991) is among his most personal films, and he returned to fantasy in telling the story of a girl from the margins of society who befriends a magician.
   By the mid-1980s, his films were becoming more conventional, as if he was beginning to distance himself from personal obsessions. La noche más hermosa (The Most Beautiful Night, 1984), a marital comedy, and Feroz (Ferocious, 1984) a symbol-heavy plot about education centered on a boy who turns into a bear, still contained fantastic elements. La otra mitad del cielo (The Other Half of the Sky, 1986), a family saga that took in the Republic and the Civil War, was very much within the guidelines of historical adaptations that became popular at the time. It starred Ángela Molina as a woman who survives the period's upheavals. The critics stopped finding an original voice at that time, and after the failure of Malaventura (Bad Luck, 1988), he decided to seek alternatives to filmmaking.
   By then, Gutiérrez Aragón had become the president of the Spanish Association of Authors (Sociedad General de Autores de España, SGAE) and held a number of institutional jobs. He continued to write scripts throughout the 1990s, but only directed two features: El rey del río (King of the River, 1995) and Cosas que dejé en la Habana (Things I Left in Havana, 1997). From 2001, his work as director became regular again: he worked on five films, most notably El Caballero Don Quijote (The Knight Don Quixote, 2002), an accomplished adaptation of Don Quijote, starring Juan Luis Galiardo, and his most recent film, Todos estamos invitados (We Are All Invited, 2008), a very personal story on the everyday side of people living under the shadow of terrorism in the Basque country.

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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  • Gutiérrez Aragón, Manuel — (1942 )    Demons in the Garden, the English translation of the title to Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón s fourth feature as director, released in 1982, could also be used to summarize in one phrase the thematic core of his most personal projects, all… …   Guide to cinema

  • Gutiérrez Aragón, Manuel — b. 1942, Torrelavega (Santander)    Filmmaker    After graduating from the Escuela Oficial de Cinematografía (Official Film School) in 1970 Gutiérrez Aragon collaborated on the scripts of films such as Borau s Furtivos (Poachers) (1975), Camino s …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • Gutiérrez Aragón, Manuel — ► (n. 1942) Director de cine español. Películas: Habla, mudita (1973), Sonámbulos (1978), La noche más hermosa (1984), El rey del río (1994) y Cosas que dejé en La Habana (1998), entre otras …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gutiérrez Aragón — Gutiérrez Aragón, Manuel …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón — en la Seminci 2011. Nombre real José Manuel Gutiérrez Sánchez Nacimiento 2 de ener …   Wikipedia Español

  • Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón — Born 2 January 1940 (1940 01 02) (age 71) Cantabria, Spain …   Wikipedia

  • Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón — (2011). Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón (* 2. Januar 1942 in Torrelavega, Spanien) ist ein spanischer Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gutiérrez — ist ein Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Der Name ist insbesondere im spanischen Sprachraum verbreitet. Bekannte Namensträger Aarón Padilla Gutiérrez (* 1942), mexikanischer Fußballspieler Agustín Gutiérrez Lizaurzábal (1763–1843), Staatschef …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Manuel Gutiérrez — ist der Name folgender Personen: Manuel Gutiérrez (Fußballspieler) (* 1920), mexikanischer Fußballspieler und trainer Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón (* 1942), spanischer Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor Manuel Gutiérrez de la Concha (1808–1874),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Manuel Manquiña — Nombre real Manuel Juan Francisco del Cristo de la Victoria Prieto Comesaña Nacimiento 2 de agosto de 1953 (58 años) Vigo, Galicia, España …   Wikipedia Español