VALENCIA (EP). The regional secretary for Culture, Ximo López Camps, has assured that the Film Library of Valencia has “space and personnel” to house the archive of the director Luis García Berlanga, although he has remarked that “the priority” of the organization is “collaboration” to put value the legacy. This was stated by the representative of the Ministry of Culture in an interview with Europa Press when asked about the offer of the mayoress of the Valencian capital, Sandra Gómez, for Valencia to house the director’s personal archive recently acquired by the Ministry of Culture.
López Camps has assured that there are contacts between the Spanish and Valencian film libraries and that what they manifest from the latter is “the will to collaborate by making this collection available to interested citizens and research”. “Does that mean that the collection has to be here or in Madrid? Currently there are many ways of collaborating that do not imply that the material has to be in one place and another. That will to collaborate has already been raised and I’m sure it will will bear fruit,” he asserted.
On whether the Valencian Film Library is prepared to receive the pieces, he has indicated: “If we had to host Berlanga’s collection here at La Filmoteca, it has staff and space.” But he has insisted: “Another thing is that the only form of collaboration goes through that. I think the important thing is to express the will to cooperate beyond the will of the deputy mayor, which is not bad, to remember that Valencia could take over” .
The Ministry has recently completed the acquisition of the Luis García Berlanga archive for an amount of 357,000 euros, so that 74 boxes with documents of various types gathered by the filmmaker throughout his life become part of the state public collections. The material is kept in the facilities of the Filmoteca Española, an entity dependent on the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) that will be in charge of its preservation and dissemination.
The Berlanga Archive is one of the most “complete and complex” of those received by the Spanish Film Library, from where it is considered that its conservation and future consultation may shed a lot of light on the cultural life of Spain in the last century and on one of its most relevant artistic and cultural figures.
The legacy perfectly documents the confrontation and the constant clashes that Berlanga suffered with the Francoist censorship through these writings and will allow us to know, first-hand, its consequences in one of the most relevant Spanish artistic works of the last century. There is also a wide sample of draft speeches and writings, conference interventions in congresses, academic meetings and other types of forums over several decades.
It has been organized into several categories: personal and family documentation, creative work, work documentation, correspondence, prizes, souvenirs and personal objects, graphic documentation, magazines and press clippings, and work created by others. Personal and family documentation includes albums with family photos, notebooks with childhood school grades, documentation of his time in the Blue Division or personal memorabilia, such as season tickets for the Valencia Football Club or collections of Christmas cards received from other movie stars. .
Likewise, there are also original scripts, typed or handwritten, with annotations and ideas by Berlanga himself, they are among the works of creation. Among others, there are several versions of those from some of his most iconic films such as ‘That happy couple’, ‘Welcome, Mr. Marshall!’ or ‘Plácido’, as well as a large number of scripts for unfinished projects.
In addition to professional documentation, the archive keeps correspondence with some key figures of Spanish cinema such as Rafael Azcona, Juan Antonio Bardem, Basilio Martín Patino, Luis Ciges or José Luis López Vázquez. To this is added around a hundred prizes and awards, as well as memorabilia and personal items such as the documentation of the 1962 Oscars ceremony in which ‘Plácido’ was nominated for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’.
Graphic documentation is also of great importance in the filmmaker’s legacy, since there are positives on paper, negatives, and slides of photographs of personal, family, and professional themes, as well as institutional and political acts and shooting photographs of many of his films.
Among the documents there are also numerous drawings made by Berlanga with a diverse theme. Some of them are erotic and others are simply characters, objects or comics. They are made on very diverse supports and with varied techniques such as charcoal, watercolor or marker. The archive also has press clippings, newspapers and photocopies of articles with interviews and information about Luis García Berlanga’s films that appeared in different publications.