Forn, Josep M.


Forn, Josep M.
(1928- )
   Josep M. Forn started in the film industry in 1948 as script assistant and was soon promoted to scriptwriter. In 1953, he co-directed (with Juan Bosch) Gaudí, a short film on the Catalan architect. His first feature as director was Yo maté (I Killed, 1955), which was followed by a series of unremarkable thrillers, including El inocente (The Innocent, 1957), La ruta de los narcóticos (The Route of Narcotics, 1961), and ¿Pena de muerte? (Death Penalty? 1961), and by literary adaptations like José María (1963) and La barca sin pescador (A Boat Without a Fisherman, 1964), produced by his company Teide.
   His importance as filmmaker is based on his 1966 film La piel quemada (Burnt Skin), a perfect example of the symbolic approach typical of the Nuevo cine español movement. The narrative is almost abstract and focuses on metaphors that suggest social issues rather than present them in a straightforward manner, which would have been censored. The central character is José, an Andalusian builder who works under the sun (hence the title) in a Catalan tourist resort with other immigrant workers. Parallel to this, the film shows the journey his wife and their children take from Granada to join him in Catalonia.
   In spite of its critical success, the film made Forn a target for censorship. His next film La respuesta (The Answer, 1969) was forbidden (until 1975), and he stopped directing for over 10 years, only returning to filmmaking after Francisco Franco's death as producer of Ventura Pons' Ocanya: Retrat Intermitent (Ocanya: An Intermitent Portrait, 1978) and El vicari d'Olot (Olot's Vicar, 1980). At the time, he also directed Companys: Procés a Catalunya (Companies: Catalonia Under Trial, 1979), one of the prime examples of Transition-period Catalan cinema, which followed the last days in the life of the last pre-Civil War president of Catalonia. Although he worked mostly as producer in the years that followed, he also directed ¿Ho sap el ministre? (Does the Minister Know? 1991) a political satire, Sujúdice (Under Judgement, 1998), and El coronel Maciá (Colonel Maciá, 2001).

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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  • Forn, Josep M. — (1928 )    Josep M. Forn started in the film industry in 1948 as script assistant and was soon promoted to scriptwriter. In 1953, he co directed (with Juan Bosch) Gaudí, a short film on the Catalan architect. His first feature as director was Yo… …   Guide to cinema

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