Sunday, May 8, 2011

"The Complete Exile: The Films of Carlos Atanes"

Prestigious academic film magazine Bright Lights Film Journal (issue 72) presents this analysis on my films written by Rob Smart:

"The films of Carlos Atanes — Codex AtanicusFAQPROXIMA, and Maximum Shame, feature outsider characters who dream of or find themselves stranded in alternate universes. Like his fictional creations, Atanes is also an outsider — outside the established Spanish film industry and, so far, outside American distribution.

Atanes arrived on the scene in the 1990s with several surreal, underground short films, including Metaminds and MetabodiesMorfing and the corrosive Welcome to Spain. Original, bizarre, provocative, they reveal many of Atanes' principal influences, including surrealist progenitors such as Bunuel, Arrabal, and Jean Cocteau as well as Greenaway, Lynch, Cronenberg, Ionesco, Stanislaw Lem, Philip K. Dick, and Boris Vian, among others. These shoestring-budget shot-on-video works already demonstrate Atanes' characteristic gifts for composition and staging combined with a knack for finding bleakly evocative locations that reinforce his themes of power, oppression, exile or, entrapment and the dream of alternate realities where freedom might be possible.

Despite convincing several prominent Spanish directors to make cameos in Morfing, Atanes remains outside the Spanish film industry, where he has found no financial or institutional support from an industry with no tradition of independent filmmaking. Though some state subsidies are available, Atanes found the requirements of obtaining it too onerous and so felt he had no choice but to self-finance his work. For features such as FAQPROXIMA and Maximum Shame he has had to spread out a range of one to four actual weeks of shooting over several months or even a year. Yet, despite extremely low budgets, Atanes' shot-on-video features transcend their economic limitations and look and sound like the work of a far better-funded filmmaker..." - Read the whole essay at Bright Lights Film Journal magazine.

Carlos Atanes website:

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