Online documentaries and video essays on Iberian cinemas

Online documentaries and video essays on Iberian cinemas

Mediático is delighted to present below links to a series of online documentaries and video essays on Basque and Spanish cinemas made by Professor Rob Stone of B-Film: The Birmingham Centre for Film Studies at the University of Birmingham, and a Mediático contributing editor..

These video essays originated in the overlap between a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project entitled Screening European Heritage, which was run by Stone, at B-Film, and Professor Paul Cooke of The Centre for World Cinemas at the University of Leeds, and a Leverhulme Trust-funded project entitled Basque Cinema: History, Politics, Art directed by Stone.

The first video, ‘Basque Heritage Cinema’ (embedded below), was the outcome of the latter project. It is a 32-minute documentary on the complex representation of Basque history and identity in Basque cinema that combines interviews with academic experts, excerpts from key Basque films, and footage of key locations in the Basque Country. The video was directed and edited by Stone, and filmed by the project’s AHRC-funded research assistant Dr Axel Bangert.

Basque Heritage Cinema from Rob Stone on Vimeo.

‘Basque Heritage Cinema’ was filmed on a professional HD camera and edited using Final Cut Pro on a MacBook Pro. All the non-diegetic music was selected from Incompetech, an excellent website run by Kevin MacLeod offering royalty-free music that he composes himself and offers in exchange for a voluntary donation.

The HD version of this documentary was screened at the international Screening European Heritage conference in Leeds in September 2013 and has since been shown at the universities of Pamplona and Cambridge with other screenings to follow. Basque Cinema: A Cultural and Political History by Stone and María Pilar Rodríguez will be published by I B Tauris in 2015.

The second essay is on Vacas (Cows, Julio Medem, 1991) and focuses on a key scene in the film, one where Basque nationalism, Romanticism and Surrealism collide.


VACAS Video Essay from Rob Stone on Vimeo.

The third is on a little-known but fascinating Basque film called Akelarre (Witches’ Sabbath, Pedro Olea, 1984) which offers an allegorical narrative that connects events of the seventeenth century with those at the time of the film’s making.


AKELARRE Video Essay (HD) from Rob Stone on Vimeo.

The fourth video essay considers a classic of Spanish cinema – Cría cuervos (Raise Ravens, Carlos Saura, 1975) – in relation to the symbolism of the house and explores the dissonance between memory and history in this masterpiece.


CRÍA CUERVOS Video Essay from Rob Stone on Vimeo.