Prologue to “¡Con Alfredo Matas hemos topado!”

Alfredo and I may be the only example of a close friendship between a producer and a director. Because of our destinies, we were both forced to have, at least, the simple relationship of courtesy or good education there must be among professionals who are condemned to face each other in all the projects they carry out together. In fact, while fulfilling our obligations, we have even had historic fights, for example, the case of Estrellita Castro in “National III”; but, luckily, our destinies also had some territories where we necessarily met to live the pleasure of friendship to the full. And not only that of eroticism, as some common friends think, but also that of a hedonistic concept of life, that of the assertion of our individuality as a rejection of a society which constantly attacks us with subtle traps, and many other affinities which contributed, in short, to instantly erase any obstacle to the affection, almost love, which started with the shooting of “Plácido” and which will vanish when we go wherever we are going.

Because of the authority of our friendship, which allows me to say and feel everything related to our lives, I feel touched by this homage which the Peñiscola Film Festival pays now, when it is almost the gold anniversary of our first encounter. It was, as I said earlier, in “Plácido”, which is part of our history. Later, there came other unforgettable moments like the trip to Hollywood with the film nominated for the Oscars and our also constant M. Amparo making ironic remarks about our amazement, or the pleasure, almost an orgy, which was the filming of “The National Shotgun”, the many adventures we went through until we managed to make “The Heifer” see the light, our determination to get a Film Academy off the ground, the beautiful, risky project of the “Ciudad del Cine” (City of Film Making), so unfairly lost because of the presence of the usual petty thieves, etc., etc. A long list of anecdotes which must remain deposited here, in this mythical “Calabuch”, in a place where we can share the determination to make films which, at some time, managed to move some Spanish people among laughs, and the adventures of our long, joint effort, with all those who have accompanied us in the adventure, with José Manuel Miguel Herrero at the front.

And when all that memory is already deposited in this Festival, in this land, we can come together to enjoy, because then we will be able to, the pleasures of eroticism, like the two wonderful dirty old men which, on the other hand, we always were, since our childhood, I think.

Luis García Berlanga

* Prologue to “¡Con Alfredo Matas hemos topado!”. Festival Internacional de Cinema de Comedia de Peñíscola, Castellón, 1993.