Augusto Martínez Torres made the pseudo-autobiographical drama “Las Películas de mi Padre” [Orig. Title: Les pel·lícules del meu pare, Eng. Trans: The Films of my Father] as a contemplation of his own earlier work as a producer and director of short films. Using facts from his life and mixing it liberally with some imaginary characters, director Torres gives his interpretation using an interesting vantage point.
In the film, director Torres is already dead, and his (fictional) daughter, in the process of assimilating his original film negatives, becomes intrigued by his work and wants to know more about her father. She meets some of his erstwhile friends and colleagues and pieces together a side of her father she was not aware of. In the process, she begins to question her own life choices and human relationships, notably her boyfriend Fabrizio, and a new female friend she meets at the film institute while exploring some her dad’s films.
Catalan cinema is no stranger to wacky ideas, and this film certainly lives up to its fore-bearers. The film is part fiction and part documentary, and I’m not sure how much of what his friends and actresses say about Torres is spontaneous and how much his own reflections, but it is an interesting exercise nevertheless. But what we also get to see is an intimate portrait of his fictional daughter, played by ‘belleza natural’ Karme Málaga – you watch her from so close that you could almost smell her – full of youth and sensuality, she transfixes you throughout the film. While the film may have its interesting ideas and technical merits, notably the excellent cinematography and a soundtrack pulsating with African rhythms, Karme Málaga is reason enough to own this DVD. Needless to say, Recommended Viewing..!
Until this film, I hadn’t seen any of Torres’ work save a segment in the 1980 film, “Cuentos Eróticos”. Just as well, the DVD comes with a couple of Torres’ short films, which is actually very helpful in following the main film, and also understanding the reasons behind the rather voyeuristic portrayal of his ‘daughter’ in the main film. But beware the DVD doesn’t include subtitles and as far as I know, this is the only edition released.