• film

Subversive Elements

Dante no es únicamente severo

Joaquin Jordà/Jacinto Esteva Grewe, Spain, 1967, 78 min.

Joaquín Jordà and Jacinto Esteva's debut feature, Dante no es únicamente severo is a filmic delirium that falls somewhere between Pop Art and the avant-garde. A major work of Spanish cinema and a touchstone of the Barcelona School Movement, Dante no es unicamente severo, stands as the manifesto film of sorts for the movement. In that regard, Dante no es unicamente severo, primarily served as the statement of the necessity of democratizing the film industry in its attempts to free the cinematic expression from censorship under the Franco dictatorship. The film deals with the issue of censorship by constantly manipulating the form especially in experimenting with anti-narrative montages, obtuse language, inscrutable dialogue, and innuendo often making it difficult for the board of censors to comprehend. The film's lack of plot and non-linear narrative becomes an interesting reflection or meditation on the inability of the cinema to tell a story.  So simple and, at the same time, so profoundly subversive.

Presented with the cooperation of Institut Ramon Llull and Filmoteca de Catalunya. Special thanks to Herb Shellenberger and Almudena Escobar Lopez.