Spanish filmmaker José Luis Bora died today in Madrid at age 83, after a long battle witht throat cancer. Regarded as the godfather of Spanish cinema even though he directed only 9 films, he was also was a producer, writer and distributor as well as a teacher and historian. His classics include Tata Mine (1986), Poachers (1975) and Hay Que Mater A B and other titles such as his last film Leo which earned the Goya award for directing. Poachers, a powerful rural-set drama about a possessive mother and her mentally challenged child, is widely considered a masterpiece and a pioneering work of post-Franco Spanish cinema. Borau also made his mark on Spanish cinema as a producer and writer with films such as Un Dos, Tres Al Escondite Ingles (1969), Mi Qquerida Señorita (1972), Camada Negra (1977) and El monosabio (1977). He wrote and directed one Euro-western Ride and Kill (1964) with Alex Nicol and Robert Hundar. Juan Antonio Bayona, director of the upcoming The Impossible, was a pupil of Borau described him as “a great director and a great person.” From his debut in 1965 with Brandy, an early spaghetti western, Borau was known for making genre films full of passion and twisted plots. He was also the writer of My Dearest Senorita (1972), a film by Jaime de Armiñán that was nominated for an Oscar and portrayed the ignorance in some provincial areas of Spain through the tragic story of a man who was raised as a woman and doesn’t know his true identity. An influential scholar and intellectual, he was also author of an well-regarded Spanish Cinema dictionary. The Spanish Royal Academy just announced the creation of a new annual prize in Borau’s honor to recognize the best Spanish-language screenplay.
R.I.P. José Luis Borau
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