Borau, José Luis


Borau, José Luis
(1929- )
   After finishing his law degree, Borau decided to pursue his real vocation and concentrate on film. He began as a critic and completed the directing course at the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas (IIEC). His career as a filmmaker began with two commercial projects: the conventional spaghetti Western Brandy (1964) and the thriller Crimen de doble filo (Double edged murder, 1965), both heavily influenced by American cinema (at the time, ambitious directors preferred showing their allegiance to European film). Later, he would claim these were only training exercises. Disappointed by the results, he turned to teaching, and he supported work by some of his brightest students, including Pilar Miró, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Antonio Drove, Iván Zulueta, and Jaime Chávarri, who would all go on to have solid careers as scriptwriters and directors.
   In 1966, Borau founded El Imán, a production company that would specialize in advertising and also produce offbeat projects like Iván Zulueta's wacky pop musical Un dos tres... al escondite inglés (One Two, Three... Gotcha!, 1970), and, especially, Jaime de Armiñán's Mi querida señorita (My Dear Miss, 1972). For the latter, he had to fight censors in order to preserve the integrity of the story.
   Hay que matar a B. (B. Must Be Killed, 1975) was his first film as director in 10 years, a sparse, clockwork plot about a group of losers that was intended as a tribute to Hollywood noir. Furtivos (Poachers, 1975), co-scripted with Gutiérrez Aragón, a box-office sensation in terms of Spanish film and one of the undisputed critical successes of the 1970s, is representative of his early work, not just in terms of thematic concerns, but, particularly for the effort it took to get it released on Borau's own terms. Its opening at the San Sebastian Film Festival and its international success, as well as its themes (incest, repression, and a metaphor of Spanish life under the shadow of Franco) created an aura of scandal which guaranteed enormous box-office returns. La sabina (The Sabine, 1979), a Swedish co-production set in Andalucia, followed a similar line of metaphorical cinema. Rather than the story itself, Borau was interested in the symbolics of femininity.
   He then tackled what for years had been his pet project: Rio abajo (Downstream, 1984), a film on illegal immigration shot in the United States and starring Victoria Abril (in one of her many roles as a prostitute). It was a difficult shoot, in which he experienced serious financial problems that would impact his later career. Tata mía (My Granny, 1986), a family comedy with surrealistic touches, was meant as a more commercial project: it starred Carmen Maura and Alfredo Landa, and also featured Imperio Argentina, the iconic star of 1930s musicals. In 1996, he directed Niño nadie (Boy No One, 1997), starring Icíar Bollaín, Rafael Álvarez "El Brujo," and Adriana Ozores. His last film was Leo (2000), centering on a group of marginal characters.
   Borau has been a key presence in the institutional shaping of Spanish cinema through the post Transition years. He was president of the Academia de Ciencias y Artes Cinematográficas between 1994 and 1999. In 2007, he was made president of the Sociedad General de Autores (SGAE), the Spanish Society for Intellectual Property. He also belongs, since 2008, to the Real Academia Española de la Lengua (Royal Academy of Spanish Language), an institution which only recently has started to consider filmmakers as members.

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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  • Borau, José Luis — (1929 )    After finishing his law degree, Borau decided to pursue his real vocation and concentrate on film. He began as a critic and completed the directing course at the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas (IIEC). His… …   Guide to cinema

  • Borau, José Luis — b. 1929, Zaragoza    Filmmaker and film critic    Noted particularly for his successful anti Franco film Furtivos (Poachers) (1975) in which he played the role of the civil governor, Borau has always aimed to broaden the scope and influence of… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • Borau, José Luis — ► (n. 1929) Guionista y realizador cinematográfico español. Películas: Furtivos (1975), La sabina (1979), Río abajo (1984), Tata mía (1987) y Leo (2000), entre otras …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jose Luis Borau — José Luis Borau José Luis Borau (né à Saragosse le 8 août 1929) est un réalisateur espagnol. Biographie Dans les années 1970, il fait partie de la nouvelle génération du cinéma espagnol avec Mario Camus. En 1975, il reçoit la Coquille d or au… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • José Luis Borau — Moradell (Zaragoza, 8 de agosto de 1929) es un director, productor, guionista, actor y crítico de cine español. Contenido 1 Biografía 2 Premios 3 Obra cinematográfica …   Wikipedia Español

  • José Luis Borau — Moradell (* 8. August 1929 in Saragossa) ist ein spanischer Filmregisseur, Drehbuchautor, Filmproduzent und Schauspieler. 2001 erhielt er den spanischen Filmpreis Goya 2001 für seinen Film Leo. Leben und Werk Borau begann 1949 zunächst ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • José Luis Borau — (né à Saragosse le 8 août 1929) est un réalisateur espagnol. Biographie Dans les années 1970, il fait partie de la nouvelle génération du cinéma espagnol avec Mario Camus. En 1975, il reçoit la Coquille d or au Festival de San Sebastián pour… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • José Luis Viloria — Nombre real José Luis Viloria García Nacimiento 11 de noviembre de 1929 (82 años) …   Wikipedia Español

  • José Luis Borau — Moradell (Zaragoza, 8 de agosto de 1929) es un director, productor, actor y guionista español. Borau comenzó a estudiar Derecho en Zaragoza en 1949. Tras trabajar durante un corto periodo de tiempo como crítico de cine en el periódico Heraldo de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • José Luis Borau — Moradell (Zaragoza, 8 August, 1929) is a Spanish producer, screenwriter, writer, and film director. He has acted in some films. He won Goya Award as Best Director in 2000 for Leo . He was president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts… …   Wikipedia