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Studies on Film
Bardem is often described as a Spanish Neorealist, as a director who followed closely the cinema of Italian directors like Fellini, Pietro Germi, Visconti and of course the early Antonioni. Except for Cómicos (1954), inspired by the reading of Joseph L. Mankievicz’s All About Eve (1950) all the films he made during the 1950s are inspired by an Italian source: Death of a Cyclist (1955) was inspired by Antonioni’s Cronnica di un Amore/Story of a Love Affair (1951); Calle Mayor (1956), shares similarities in plot and concept with Fellini’s I Vitelloni (1953); La Venganza (1957) with Pietro Germi’s Il Camino della Esperanza /Path of Hope (1950), and Sonatas (1959) follows clearly the new path for Neorealist practise of Visconti’s Senso (1954), an attempt to achieve a re-interpretation of current affairs via historical events But when we study closely the purely technical and formal achievements in Bardem’s films, the mechanics of his style, the Neorealist influence vanishes, giving way to a more Hollywood oriented kind of cinema. This paper focus on the analysis of aesthetic tricks and representational devices adopted by Bardem in order to get closer to the Hollywood modes of storytelling within the aesthetically impoverished Spanish industry of the 1950s.
Urda, J. Baroque Glances at Society: the appropriation of decoupage, the long take and depth of field photography in the early films by J.A. Bardem. Film Studies Postgraduate Forum, Trinity College Dublin, September, 2008 .