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David Villalmanzo


Spanish film critic whop believes John Ford is the greatest filmmaker of all time

A film buff and part-time critic, as well as a civil engineer. A railway and celluloid worker, he seeks to build bridges with other fields and professions, as well as to travel down cultural and leisure paths. His motto is” “there are always new ways and time to learn, but also to teach”. Cinema is one of them, providing people people with “a spare lease life”. He began to love celluloid at a very early age by attending B-movies in open-air cinemas on the Spanish coast. His first vivid memory of a feature film was Michael Anderson’s Orca (1977), a terrible movie, a cheap copycat of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975). Intrigued by the seventh art, he began watching television reruns of Keystone’s black-and-white silent shorts, which included early works by Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson and Charles Chaplin. He found them fascinating, which led him to want to expand his knowledge to British and American classics from the 1920s to the 1970s.

As a teenager in Madrid in the 1980s and early 1990s, the local cinema in his neighbourhood closed down and he gradually grew tired of blockbusters. He began to attend the local cinema circuit in original version, and watch the new waves of French, German, Italian and Spanish cinema. Veteran cinephiles passed on to him their knowledge of the old European masters as well as the new generation of directors. At the age of 20 and during his university years, he began to discover the all-time independent cinema of John Cassavetes, Jim Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino. In his mid-30s, he revealed his own passion for talking and writing about film. He has since attended countless film festivals as a journalist. He tries as much as possible to champion Spanish-language films or European cinematic works, but he cannot avoid a couple of guilty pleasures from mainstream cinema. He annually follows the careers of potential award-winning films, and he still believes that John Ford is the greatest film director in history.

Other posts by David Villalmanzo
Foremost by Night (Sobre Todo de Noche)
Film programmer Víctor Iriarte's directorial debut is an intriguing revenge tale about stolen babies and sorority, and the near-perfect blend of noir and art cinema - from the 68th Valladolid International Cinema Week [Read More...]

La Singla
Documentary (with a few fictional elements thrown in) seeks to restore the legacy of deaf gypsy flamenco dancer Antonia Singla, a figure long lost from public sight - from the 31st Raindance Film Festival [Read More...]

Coup de Chance
Woody Allen’s first French-language feature is a morality tale about writers, adultery, murder and, of course, chance; while not a masterpiece, his 50th (and most likely last) film is a worthy addition to his extensive filmography [Read More...]

The Blue Star (La Estrella Azul)
Unconventional portrait of long-forgotten Spanish musician Mauricio Aznar takes viewers on a transcontinental journey of self-discovery (between Spain and Argentina) - from the 71st San Sebastian International Film Festival.  [Read More...]

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