Author: Dr Fiona Noble
Extent: 240 pp
Price: £ 85,00
Publication: August 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
A camp lipsynched routine by three air stewards distracts unsuspecting passengers from the fact that their plane is to make a crash landing. Performance functions as a diversion from unsavoury realities. In this way, Pedro Almodóvar’s 2013 film I’m So Excited adopts a strategy of subversive anti-establishment censor-evading filmmaking practices under Franco. Contemporary cinematic performance in Spain intersects with politics to provide a platform for views and voices that do not conform to the dominant political narrative.
An essential text for scholars, students and aficionados of Spanish cinema, Subversive Spanish Cinema: The Politics of Performance is the first single-authored monograph to focus on performance in this context. The book analyses interactions between performance and politics in technical and conceptual terms considering, for example, performance styles, the narrative role of performance and political interventions by actors such as Javier Bardem and Juan Diego Botto.
Ultimately, Subversive Spanish Cinema: The Politics of Performance posits performance, within the specific context of contemporary Spanish cinema, as a politically-potent device and proposes that it is precisely for this reason that the arts have borne the brunt of aggressive austerity measures enforced by Spain’s conservative government in recent years.
In this bold book, Noble presents performance in cinema (in varied manifestations) as a heightened, privileged moment, opening out onto exhilarating new understandings of the Spanish past, identity politics, the political landscape and even, strikingly, as therapy. Sarah Wright, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Royal Holloway University, UK