Radical Politics and Experimental Film in Spain: Los Encuentros de Pamplona (1972)
Introduction by Yuri Tsivian, Department of Cinema and Media Studies
Los Encuentros de Pamplona of 1972 was the most important exhibit of avant-garde art and film in Spain during the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975). Although supported by a millionaire with very close ties to the Franco regime, Los Encuentros offered an unexpected and unique occasion for showing avant-garde and radical films to a general audience. The reception of extremely conceptual films as political manifestos against the dictatorship, even though this was not the intention, inspired debate regarding aesthetics and interpretation of films in that political context.
Vicente J. Benet is the 2010 Coromines Visiting Professor in Catalan Studies at the University of Chicago and has been teaching the history of film for over 20 years at the Universitat Jaume I (Castellón). He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Cambridge, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he has offered post-graduate courses on documentary film for over 10 years.
Benet is Managing Editor of the film journal Archivos de la Filmoteca and his work centers on film's historical relationship to other cultural fields such as music, painting and literature. Focusing on two main areas, the value of films as historical documents, and the relation of film to other cultural trends in Spain during the last years of the Franco dictatorship and the posterior transition to democracy (60s and 70s), Benet has published extensively and collaborated on exhibits on Spanish avant-garde and underground films of the 60s and 70s at Film Archives, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía of Madrid, and at the Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló.