Monday, November 3, 2008

Pere Portabella's "Vampir-Cuadecuc" in Chicago

White Light Cinema presents a special screening of Spanish filmmaker Pere Portabella’s 1970 masterpiece VAMPIR-CUADECUC, showing in a restored 35mm print. This screening takes place at the Music Box Theatre on Sunday, November 9, at 5:00 pm and will be introduced by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum ("Chicago Reader"). Portabella, the subject of a retrospective at the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2006, is one of the key figures in contemporary Spanish cinema. Little known in the U.S. until the last few years, Portabella’s career struggled under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Recently he has been finding an artistic and critical resurgence with a new feature film and major retrospectives in Chicago and New York.

VAMPIR-CUADECUC is a dreamlike combination of documentary, narrative, experimental, and essay film styles and is one of the key films of contemporary Spanish cinema. Shot on the set of Jesus Franco’s Italian horror film “Count Dracula,” and featuring the star of that film, Christopher Lee, VAMPIR is both a sly political allegory about dictator General Francisco Franco, a gentle homage to early films about the vampire legend, particularly Dreyer’s “Vampyr” and Murnau’s “Nosferatu,” and a work of subtle beauty and great richness.

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