At the recent Guadalajara International Film Festival, legendary Spanish director Carlos Saura, 86, was the subject of a career retrospective at the University of Guadalajara’s Catedra Julio Cortazar, where he participated in a dialogue with producer Antonio Saura, his son, and received the Mayahuel International award.
The director, considered one of the greats of Spanish cinema along with, most famously, Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodovar, is old enough to remember the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. During the conversation between the two Sauras, the elder recalled the repression and censorship suffered by members of the film industry and other artists at the hands of the Franco dictatorship, adding that, while such overt government censorship no longer exists, a species of “economic censorship” is in full effect.
The apparently tireless Saura, whose films (of which there are over 40) like “La Caza” and “Mama Cumple 100 Años” have earned him some of the film industry’s most coveted awards, also made it known that he is currently working on a new movie, to be filmed in Mexico.
The award handed to the octogenarian during the event is given to industry veterans in recognition of their lifelong contribution to the cinematic arts, an honor that most cinephiles would agree he richly deserves.
In addition to narrative films, Saura has shot, among other things, a number of musical documentaries. These include “Flamenco” (1995) and “Fados” (2007, about the Portuguese vocal genre). His latest, “J: Beyond Flamenco” (2016), was screened during the festival at the Centro Cultural el Refugio del Tlaquepaque. Saura himself was in attendance.