Fernando Solanas

Active - 1968 - 2009  |   Born - Feb 16, 1936   |   Genres - Culture & Society, Drama, Fantasy

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

During the '60s and '70s, filmmaker Fernando E. Solanas was an influential figure in the promotion of radical, Leftist Argentine cinema. Before becoming a director, Solanas was involved with theater, music, and law. He also had experience working as a journalist and in the advertising field. In 1962, he produced and directed his first film. In 1966, Solanas teamed up with the Cine Liberacion collective and with Octavio Getino, secretly made one of the most powerful documentary films ever made, La Hora de los Hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces). Running at four hours, the film rallied in support of PerĂ³n; via archival footage, collages, poetry, interviews, and drama, the documentary attempted to incite passive audiences to take action against political injustice. Shown in secret and riddled with periodic breaks to allow audiences to actively discuss the film, La Hora de los Hornos is considered a seminal work in what became known as Third Cinema, a style of filmmaking that eschewed the values and techniques of both Hollywood and European productions in favor of making films with a revolutionary bent. Solanas and Getino made a couple more such documentaries, and then gradually began making films that were farther and farther away from the notion of Third Cinema. When Peron finally regained power in 1973, Solanas began making fiction films. He fled to Paris in 1976 when Peron was usurped during a coup and did not return to Argentina until 1983. In 1985, Solanas made Tangos -- the Exile of Gardel to chronicle his experiences in Paris and earned a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In 1988, his film South earned him Best Director honors at Cannes.

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