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'¡Mecagüen el Misterio!'

Alvaro Arroba

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Giò Abate
Gilbert Adair
Alvaro Arroba
Helen Bandis
Cyril Béghin
Janet Bergstrom
Yvette Bíró
Bertrand Bonello
Fabien Boully
Nicole Brenez
Rex Butler
Peggy Chiao
Jean-Pierre Coursodon
Stéphane Delorme
Stephen Dwoskin
Michael Eaton
David Ehrenstein
Thomas Elsaesser
Chris Fujiwara
Ruy Gardnier
Roger Garcia
Charlotte Garson
John Gianvito
Augustin Gimel
Philippe Grandrieux
Eugène Green
Paul Hammond
Peter Harcourt
Shigehiko Hasumi
Kent Jones
Bill Krohn
Miguel Marias
Adrian Martin
Fermin Martínez
David Matarasso
Grant McDonald
Meaghan Morris
V F Perkins
Douglas Pye
Mark Rappaport
Jackie Raynal
Jonathan Rosenbaum
William D. Routt
Jayce Salloum
Clemente Sobourin
François Thomas
Jean-Baptiste Thoret
Peter Tscherkassky
Johanna Vaude
Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Manuel Yáñez
Andrei Zelitsky










A shot and its reverse-shot, a vignette of two Military Police (Guardia Civil) shooting at the rising sun at the very end of Jose Luis Cuerda’s 1989 masterpiece Amanece que no es poco (in English translation, something like 'The sun rises, and that suffices'). As they shoot at the new-born sun, they yell '¡Mecagüen el Misterio!', the strongest - and most original - blasphemy ever invented in Spanish, approximately in English: 'I shit on the Holy Trinity!' This image-concept has always moved me with its force of synthesis and radicalism. This glorious scene signifies not only a country capable of killing and desecrating its most sacred gods at every moment, but also the very death of the most important and formally brilliant tradition of satiric comedy in the history of European cinema. Amanece functions as a sort of Unforgiven (1992) as it brings to a close this sub-genre, twenty years after its last great works – thus rendering Amanece an anachronism. Sadly, this entire tradition remains unknown to global cinephilia; it always seemed too difficult to understand abroad, due to its large component of national ritual. It all began in the mid-1950s as a reaction to the classic Italian comedies by Monicelli et al., but the early comedies of Luis García Berlanga, Marco Ferreri or Fernando Fernan Gómez – absolute masterworks – remain far superior to those Italian films. They don’t only connect to a tradition beginning with Goya, Valle-Inclán and Buñuel, but also define a new type of moving body and harsh character for the planete-cinéma. When will the time come for the world to look up and notice this shot-down shining star?