Fernando E. Solanas and Octavio Getino - Director





Nationality: Argentinian. Born: Solanas born in Buenos Aires, 16 February 1936; Getino born in Spain, moved to Argentina, 1952. Education: Solanas studied law, theater, and musical composition. Career: Solanas worked in advertising, early 1960s; Getino active as writer, also made short documentary Trasmallos , early 1960s; both entered Cine Liberación group, making underground films, 1966; Perón returned to power, Getino accepted post on national film board, 1973; following military coup against Perón, Solanas moved to Paris, Getino moved to Peru, working for TV, 1976; Getino moved to Mexico as member of Film Dept. of the Universidad Autónoma de México, 1982. Awards: Solanas, Best Director Award, Cannes Festival, for Sur , 1988.


Films as Directors:

1968

La hora de los hornos ( The Hour of the Furnaces ) (Solanas d, co-sc, co-ph, ed, mus; Getino co-sc, sound)

1971

Perón: actualización politica y doctrinaria para la toma del poder ; Perón: La revolución justicialista (both films made as part of Grupo de Cine Liberación)

1973

El familiar (Getino only)

1976

Los hijos de Fierro (Solanas only)

1978

La familia Pichilin (Getino only)

1979

La mirada de los otros ( Régard des autres )) (doc) (Solanas only)

1986

Tangos—el exilio de Gardel ( Tangos—l'exil de Gardel ) (Solanas only)

1988

Sur (Solanas only)

1992

El Viaje (Solanos only)

1998

La Nube ( The Clouds ) (Solanos only) (+ sc, exec pr)



Publications


By SOLANAS AND GETINO: books—

Cine, cultura y descolonización , Mexico City, 1973.

Getino, Octavio, Notas sobre cine argentino y latinoamericano , Mexico City, 1984.


By SOLANAS AND GETINO: articles—

"Cinema as a Gun," an interview with Solanas by Gianni Volpi and others, in Cineaste (New York), Fall 1969.

"Fernando Solanas: An Interview," in Film Quarterly (Berkeley), Fall 1970.

Getino, Octavio, and Fernando Solanas, "Toward a Third Cinema," in Cineaste (New York), Winter 1971.

Solanas, Fernando, and others, "Situation et perspectives du cinéma d'Amérique Latine," in Positif (Paris), June 1972.

"Dar espacio a la expresión popular," Solanas interview, in Cine Cubano (Havana), no. 86/88, 1973.

"Argentina: Fernando Solanas," an interview with Don Ranvaud, in Framework (Norwich), Spring 1979.

Solanas, Fernando, and others, "Round Table: The Cinema: Art Form or Political Weapon," in Framework (Norwich), Autumn 1979.

"Godard on Solanas/Solanas on Godard," in Reviewing Histories , edited by Coco Fusco, Buffalo, New York, 1987.

"The Tango of Esthetics and Politics," interview with Solanas by Coco Fusco, in Cineaste (New York), vol. 16, nos. 1/2, 1987/1988.

Interview with Paranagua, in Positif (Paris), December 1988.

"De La hora de los hornos a Sur : Entrevista con Fernando Solanas," with Luis Gastelum, in Dicine (Mexico City), September 1989.

"Durch die Stimme der Poesie," an interview with Margret Köhler, in Film-Dienst (Cologne), 13 April 1993.

"Fernando Solanas: Cuatro respuestas/Con Solanas proa hacia un viaje real? e imaginario," an interview with Jorge Yglesias and Luciano Castillo, in Cine Cubano (Habana), no. 138, 1993.

Newman,K., "National Cinema after Globalization: Fernando E. Solanas' Sur and the Exiled Nation," in Quarterly Review of Film and Video (Reading), April 1993.

Interview with Hélène Romano, in Jeune Cinéma (Paris), January 1994.


On SOLANAS AND GETINO: books—

Pick, Zuzana Mirjam, Latin American Filmmakers and the Third Cinema , Ottawa, 1978.

King, John, and Nissa Torrents, editors, The Garden of Forking Paths: Argentine Cinema , London, 1988.

Pines, Jim, and Paul Willemen, editors, Questions of Third Cinema , London, 1989.

King, John, Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America , London, 1990.


On SOLANAS AND GETINO: articles—

Matthews, John, ". . . And After?: A Response to Solanas and Getino," in Afterimage (London), Summer 1971.

Wilson, David, "Aspects of Latin American Political Cinema," in Sight and Sound (London), Summer 1972.

Burton, Julianne, "The Camera as 'Gun': Two Decades of Culture and Resistance in Latin America," in Latin American Perspectives , Winter 1978.

Hennebelle, Guy, "Le Réalisme magique et les élans du coeur," in Ecran (Paris), 15 March 1979.

Stam, Robert, " Hour of the Furnaces and the Two Avant-Gardes," in Millennium (New York), Fall/Winter 1980/81.

"Solanas Issue" of Avant-Scène du Cinéma (Paris), January/February 1989.

Evora, J. A., "Milagro en la Torre de Babel," in Cine Cubano , no. 129, 1990.

Chanan, M., "Le troisieme cinema de Solanas et Getino," in Cinemaction , July 1991.

Paranagua, P. A., "Solanas, victime d'un attentat," in Positif (Paris), July/August 1991.

Arlyck, R., "Argentine Filmmaker Fights Menem 'Mafia,"' in The Independent , October 1991.

Pelko, S., "Fernando Solanas: izumitelj poti," in Ekran , no. 6/7, 1992.

Vicari, D., "La volonta di crescere nel viaggio di Fernando Solanas," in Cinema Nuovo , March/April 1993.

Deslandes, Jeanne, "Persiste et signe: Le voyage de Fernando Solanas," in Ciné-Bulles (Montreal), Summer 1993.

Chanan, Michael, "The Changing Geography of Third Cinema," in Screen (Oxford), Winter 1997.


* * *


Originators of the pivotal "third cinema" concept, Fernando E. Solanas and Octavio Getino demonstrated its practice in the only really important film they were to make—the influential La hora de los hornos. "Third cinema" was the product of a very specific context: the world-wide insurrections during the late 1960s. While U.S. students were protesting against the Vietnam War, Argentina moved close to genuine social revolution for the first time in its history. Solanas and Getino participated in that movement as cineastes, but they made it clear that their concern was with social change, not film art, in their first declaration as the Cine Liberacion Group: "Our commitment as cineastes in a dependent country is not with universal culture or art or abstract man; before anything else it is with the liberation of our country and the Latin American peoples."

As intellectuals and artists in a neo-colonial situation, Solanas and Getino were greatly influenced by the "Third Worldism" of the period, frequently citing ideologists from the African (Frantz Fanon) and Asian (Mao Tse-Tung) struggles. They contrasted "third cinema" to the "first cinema" of the Hollywood industry and to the auteurist "second cinema" in various ways, distinguishing it first of all by its ideological commitment to anti-imperialism and the struggle for socialism. Against the consumerism provoked by the hermetic narrative structures of Hollywood, they proposed a cinema which would require active audience participation. Thus, a film was important as a "detonator" or a "pretext" for assembling a group, not as an experience that was born and that died on the screen. Likening themselves to guerrillas who open paths with machete blows, they perceived cinema as a provisional tool: "Our time is one of hypothesis rather than thesis, a time of works in process—unfinished, unordered, violent works made with the camera in one hand and a rock in the other."

The most realized description of "third cinema" can be found near the end of their often-reprinted essay, "Toward a Third Cinema." There they summarize it in the following manner: "The third cinema above all counters the film industry of a cinema of characters with one of themes, that of individuals with that of masses, that of the author with that of the operative group, one of neocolonial misinformation with one of information, one of escape with one that recaptures the truth, that of passivity with that of aggressions. To an institutionalized cinema, it counterposes a guerilla cinema; to movies as shows, it opposes a film act . . . to a cinema made for the old kind of human being, it proposes a cinema fit for a new kind of human being, for what each one of us has the possibility of becoming. "

Given their concern to produce a cinema of information rather than one of fantasies to be consumed, Solanas and Getino naturally turned to the documentary. However, they conceived of the documentary as "not fundamentally one which illustrates, documents, or passively establishes a situation; rather it attempts to intervene in the situation as an element providing thrust or rectification . . . it provides discovery through transformation." La hora de los hornos may be a bit too didactic at times, but it was certainly more "revolutionary" than the documentaries they were to make as the official cineastes they became on the return of Juan Perón, the urban populist who was president of Argentina (1946–55 and 1973–74).

Because of the timeliness of La hora de los hornos and the extensive publication of Solanas and Getino's theoretical writings and interviews, they have received attention which may be disproportionate to that given to other Latin American cineastes of greater achievement, most notably the Cubans. Nonetheless, the French film critic Guy Hennebelle argued that "third cinema" is the concept that seems to be "most viable" as a counterpoint to traditional film study, stating, "according to this perspective, a veritable 'counter-history' of the seventh art is yet to be written." In both their writings and their cinematic practice, Solanas and Getino have provided an alternative and a clearly articulated challenge to bourgeois cinema.

—John Mraz



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