Tuesday, 2 April 2013

¡Cine fantástico! In Memory of Jess Franco (1930-2013)

Frame grab image of Lina Romay in Jess Franco's Les possédées du diable/Exorcism (1974)
Serge Daney distinguishes between love of cinema and passion for cinema. The latter state concerns the expressive evolution and refinement of the art, typified by the work, one might suppose, of such singular giants as Godard, Dreyer and Garrel. Love of cinema, on the other hand, is fetishistic, stemming from contentment with the medium as it already is. In the acceptance speech [Jess] Franco made on receiving his honorary lifetime achievement Goya award this February [2009], he described himself as simply ‘a man in love with cinema'. Perhaps nowhere better than in Jess Franco's oeuvre is ‘love of cinema' embodied. Yet complacency is hardly the first quality one associates with Franco's often defiantly free, personal and gloriously extreme riffs on familiar B cinema patterns. The fevered mirror he holds up to cinema reveals not a static museum of ossified formulas but a rich arsenal of figurative possibilities. Jess Franco is cinema- cinema in all its crassness, vulgarity, brutality, puerility, vitality, invention, wonder, joy, eroticism, poetry, violence, bizarreness, obsessiveness, mystery. And, of course, addictiveness. [Maximilian Le Cain, Editorial, Experimental Conversations, Spring 2009]
Film Studies For Free was muy triste when it heard the news that Spanish horror cinema maestro Jess Franco has died today, following a stroke last week.

It will be gathering tributes and links in memory of Franco's amazing film career over the next days, starting with the ones below. So do please come back for more as the below lists get longer.

Good resources online

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