A heartfelt adiós to the great filmmaker Vicente Aranda
by Alfonso Rivera
- The man behind such memorable films as Lovers: A True Story, Fanny Straw-Top and Time of Silence has passed away in Madrid at 88 years of age
Erratic but ever interesting, the filmography of Vicente Aranda always drew on risk as its main driving force and on the most aggressive side of human nature as the basis for its story lines. 26 May 2015 was a sad day for the Spanish film industry because one of the greats was taken from us at the age of 88, although, as tends to be the case in Spain, of late he had received hardly any support from an industry that neglects its veteran talents: his last movie, Luna caliente [+see also:
film profile], starring Eduard Fernández, was released in 2009.
Some of the most significant accolades he won during his bold film career were his well-deserved Goya for Best Director for Lovers: A True Story (1992) and the National Film Award he was given in 1988. Not long ago, we saw the master plying his expertise as an incorrigible erotomaniac, a personal literary adaptor (of Juan Marsé, Gonzalo Suárez, Antonio Gala, Andreu Martín, Vázquez Montalbán and Martín Santos, among others) and a brave all-rounder of a director in a documentary by brothers Javier and Kiko Prada, Vicente Aranda: 50 años de cine (2013).
Born in Barcelona (he was indeed a prime example of the Barcelona school of filmmaking) and having fled to Venezuela after the war, Aranda found his main muse in Victoria Abril (together they shot 12 movies, including Forbidden Love, If They Tell You I Fell, Girl with the Golden Panties, Freedomfighters, the two parts of El Lute and Time of Silence). He also found an unwavering ally in his editor (and wife) Teresa Font, and his favourite story lines were rooted in murky themes that highlighted the more complex passions of the human being, with sex and death always up to their old tricks.
A prime example of this is that masterpiece that never seems to get old: Lovers: A True Story, starring an unbeatable trio of actors – Victoria Abril, Jorge Sanz and Maribel Verdú – and which never fails to appear on the lists of the best Spanish films of all time.
(Translated from Spanish)