Prologue to “Las grandes películas del cine español”

I have always thought the most conceited profession in the world was that of film making. We like to be awarded prizes; the more, the better received and aired. I myself have just been honoured with having three films in the top ten of the best Spanish films by the most exclusive group of our cinema historians. And I am logically swollen with pride, but I also admit that the ten best surgeons in this country are not awarded anything, nor the ten best judges or lawyers.

However, even in our arrogance, there are strange and contradictory reactions like, for example, those of the actors who, being the most biologically arrogant, have not yet realized that the quality and success of a film is because of them, more than the directors, screenwriters, cameras, etc.

Apart from that, I am proud of being part of that selection, in which I am protected by the nationality of those who have chosen these films, because my films, saturated with dialogues, have not been dubbed abroad and, therefore, they have not been very well understood. I confirmed this in the Moscow Film Festival, when an interpreter was translating the film simultaneously and after ten minutes we heard a noise accompanied by a scream, the sound of the translation disappeared and those who went into the cabin found the interpreter lying on the floor sobbing hysterically. I realized, with this incident, that my films couldn’t be assimilated outside Spain.

But the important thing for me is my country and, whether they like it or not, I can only be sure to be completely understood in my own language. And my satisfaction is that the critics have understood the strange latent anger behind my comedies.

Anyway, after my goodbye, I can only think, historian friends, of your fright when you have to choose, from now on, ten films among the three or four thousand shot even with mobile phones. But if you have the time and the courage, somebody will feel as happy as I am at this moment.

Luis García Berlanga

Madrid, July 2006

* Prologue to “Las grandes películas del cine español”. Magí Crusells, Rafael de España y José María Caparrós Lera. Ediciones JC, Madrid, 2007.