Among the cultural events honoring Miguel de Cervantes, who passed away 400 years ago, Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain and the Film Development Council of Philippines (FDCP) have scheduled a cycle of films inspired by Cervantes’ life or writings.
The cycle kicked off with an animation film directed by Cruz Delgado in 1997. Based on Cervantes’ classic novel, this animation film is an adaptation of a TV series produced for Televisión Española and shown between 1979 and 1981.
The film series will continue on April 23, 1 p.m., with the showing of El caballero don Quijote (Gutiérrez Aragón, 2001). An exquisite film adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic, this is the story of a compulsive chivalry-novels reader who loses his sanity and start believing to be a knight named Don Quixote de La Mancha. Accompanied by his neighbour Sancho Panza, a farmer who becomes his squire, Don Quixote decides to go on imaginary adventures. On their journeys, they rescue dames in distress in honorable acts and fight giants among other perils, with Don longing to be with the love of his life, lady Dulcinea, and Sancho waiting to be rewarded with an island.
The same day, at 4 p.m., will be shown the feature film Las gallinas de Cervantes (Alfredo Castellón, 1988). Based on the story of the same name by Ramón J. Sender, about the Cervantes’s wife, Dona Catalina and the metamorphosis she undergoes in the face of her husband’s disorientation. His wife’s peculiar family fascinates and horrifies the writer, who can only talk about the situation with his friend, Doménicos Theotocópulos, El Greco, for whom he poses as a model for The Burial of Count Orgaz.
Directed by Marchena and Javier Rioyo in 2007, the documentary Quijote Rides Through Cinema will conclude the film series on April 30 at 4 p.m. The documentary is a journey to the Dismal Knight and his loyal Squire’s adventures in cinema. More than 40 productions from more than fifteen countries endorse the deep impact that the character has had within the cinema industry. Different adaptations from directors such as Orson Welles, Georg-Wilhem Pabst, Eric Rohmer, Grigori Kózintsev or the Spanish Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón y Vicente Escrivá are included in this documentary which highlights the many facets under which the universal Wandering Knight has been portrayed on the big screen since the beginning of the 20th century. Rioyo and Marchena’s documentary brings together the first movie based on Cervantes’ novel, “Aventures de Don Quichotte de la Mancha” by Ferdinand Zecca and Lucien Nonguet, produced in France in 1903, and the many other produced in different countries.
All films will be shown in their original version in Spanish with English subtitles. The screenings will take place at the FDCP Cinematheque, 855 T.M. Kalaw, Ermita, Manila. Entrance is free admission on a first-come, first-served basis.