Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

From Paradise to Parody: The Transformation of the Rural Arcadia in Basque Film

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2013), 90, (4), 459–474.

Abstract

This article traces the transformation of the rural Arcadia as rendered in Basque film, from an idealized countryside that protects an originary Basque culture to a target for satire. The essay analyses the rural images in five shorts: Pelotari (1964), Carboneros de Navarra (1981), Topeka (2002), Txotx (1997), and 40 ezetz (1999). I argue that the static, symbolically charged countryside of Pelotari, which was produced during a period of repression of Basque language and culture, is qualified in Carboneros by the film's emphasis on the passing of time and the rural world's poverty. The latter three shorts, I suggest, by openly subverting rural motifs and detaching them from a nation-building project, paradoxically propose a viable, postmodern aesthetic that is still rooted in traditional local referents.

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Woodworth, Paddy, 2008. The Basque Country: A Cultural History (New York: Oxford University Press). The Basque Country: A Cultural History Google Scholar

Zulaika, Joseba, 1988. Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies). Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament Google Scholar

Zunzunegui, Santos, 1985. El cine en el País Vasco (Bilbao: Diputación Foral de Vizcaya). El cine en el País Vasco Google Scholar

Films Google Scholar

40 ezetz, 1999. Dir. Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Ama Lur, 1968. Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Videodisc 2007 (EKHE). Google Scholar

Carboneros de Navarra, 1981, dir. Montxo Armendáriz (Institución Príncipe de Viana). Google Scholar

El mayorazgo de Basterretxe (1928), dir. Mauro Azkona. Google Scholar

Pelotari, 1964. Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Google Scholar

La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedra, 2003. Dir. Julio Medem. Videodisc 2003 (Alicia Produce). Google Scholar

Topeka. 2002, dir. Asier Altuna. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Txotx, 1998. Dir. Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Vacas, 1992. Dir. Julio Medem. Videodisc 2001 (Sogepaq). Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

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Corcuera Atienza, Javier, 2007. The Origins, Ideology, and Organization of Basque Nationalism, 1876-1903 (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies). The Origins, Ideology, and Organization of Basque Nationalism, 1876-1903 Google Scholar

Crumbaugh, Justin, 2008. ‘Reading Rural Tourism: On the Recreational Nature of Basque Heritage’. Spain is (Still) Different: Tourism and Discourse in Spanish Identity, ed. Eugenia Afinoguénova and Jaume Martí-Olivella (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books), pp. 85-104. Spain is (Still) Different: Tourism and Discourse in Spanish Identity 85 104 Google Scholar

Douglas, William, and Joseba Zulaika, 2007. Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies). Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives Google Scholar

Insausti, Mikel, 2007. Booklet accompanying Ama Lur, 1968 (Videodisc (EKHE)). Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Ama Lur Google Scholar

Juaristi, Jon, 1987. Literatura vasca (Madrid: Taurus). Literatura vasca Google Scholar

Landaburu, Ander, 2008. ‘Miserias y grandezas de un genio: Basterretxea y Sistiaga recuerdan para El País sus experiencias con Oteiza’. El País 17 Nov. Available at: http://elpais.com/diario/2008/11/17/paisvasco/1226954410_850215.html (accessed 1 March 2013). http://elpais.com/diario/2008/11/17/paisvasco/1226954410_850215.html ‘Miserias y grandezas de un genio: Basterretxea y Sistiaga recuerdan para El País sus experiencias con Oteiza’ El País Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lecours, André, 2007. Basque Nationalism and the Spanish State (Reno: University of Nevada Press). Basque Nationalism and the Spanish State Google Scholar

Mogel, Juan Antonio, 1995. Peru Abarka (edición bilingüe). (Hernani: Orain D. L.). Peru Abarka Google Scholar

Oteiza, Jorge, 2003a. ‘The Importance of the Artist in the Life of the Basque People’, in Oteiza's Selected Writings, ed. Joseba Zulaika, trans. Frederick Fornoff (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies), pp. 437-50. Oteiza's Selected Writings 437 50 Google Scholar

Oteiza, Jorge, 2003b. Quousque Tandem …!, in Oteiza's Selected Writings, ed. Joseba Zulaika, trans. Frederick Fornoff (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies), pp. 286-361. Oteiza's Selected Writings 286 361 Google Scholar

Pinilla, Ramiro, 2004. Verdes valles, colinas rojas: La tierra convulsa (Barcelona: Tusquets). Verdes valles, colinas rojas: La tierra convulsa Google Scholar

Roldán Larreta, Carlos, 1997. ‘Cine vasco y etnografía, un camino abandonado’, Cuadernos de Etnología y Etnografía de Navarra, 70: 329-42. ‘Cine vasco y etnografía, un camino abandonado’ Cuadernos de Etnología y Etnografía de Navarra 70 329 42 Google Scholar

Stone, Rob, 2006. ‘Mother Lands, Sister Languages: the Epic, Poetic, Propaganda Films of Cuba and the Basque Country’, in Remapping World Cinema: Identity, Culture and Politics in Film, ed. Stephanie Dennison and Song Hwee Lim (London: Wallflower Press), pp. 65-72. Remapping World Cinema: Identity, Culture and Politics in Film 65 72 Google Scholar

Woodworth, Paddy, 2008. The Basque Country: A Cultural History (New York: Oxford University Press). The Basque Country: A Cultural History Google Scholar

Zulaika, Joseba, 1988. Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies). Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament Google Scholar

Zunzunegui, Santos, 1985. El cine en el País Vasco (Bilbao: Diputación Foral de Vizcaya). El cine en el País Vasco Google Scholar

Films Google Scholar

40 ezetz, 1999. Dir. Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Ama Lur, 1968. Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Videodisc 2007 (EKHE). Google Scholar

Carboneros de Navarra, 1981, dir. Montxo Armendáriz (Institución Príncipe de Viana). Google Scholar

El mayorazgo de Basterretxe (1928), dir. Mauro Azkona. Google Scholar

Pelotari, 1964. Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Google Scholar

La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedra, 2003. Dir. Julio Medem. Videodisc 2003 (Alicia Produce). Google Scholar

Topeka. 2002, dir. Asier Altuna. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Txotx, 1998. Dir. Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Vacas, 1992. Dir. Julio Medem. Videodisc 2001 (Sogepaq). Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Bakhtin, Mikhail M., 1981. ‘Discourse in the Novel’, in The Dialogic Imagination, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press), pp. 259-422. The Dialogic Imagination 259 422 Google Scholar

Corcuera Atienza, Javier, 2007. The Origins, Ideology, and Organization of Basque Nationalism, 1876-1903 (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies). The Origins, Ideology, and Organization of Basque Nationalism, 1876-1903 Google Scholar

Crumbaugh, Justin, 2008. ‘Reading Rural Tourism: On the Recreational Nature of Basque Heritage’. Spain is (Still) Different: Tourism and Discourse in Spanish Identity, ed. Eugenia Afinoguénova and Jaume Martí-Olivella (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books), pp. 85-104. Spain is (Still) Different: Tourism and Discourse in Spanish Identity 85 104 Google Scholar

Douglas, William, and Joseba Zulaika, 2007. Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies). Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives Google Scholar

Insausti, Mikel, 2007. Booklet accompanying Ama Lur, 1968 (Videodisc (EKHE)). Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Ama Lur Google Scholar

Juaristi, Jon, 1987. Literatura vasca (Madrid: Taurus). Literatura vasca Google Scholar

Landaburu, Ander, 2008. ‘Miserias y grandezas de un genio: Basterretxea y Sistiaga recuerdan para El País sus experiencias con Oteiza’. El País 17 Nov. Available at: http://elpais.com/diario/2008/11/17/paisvasco/1226954410_850215.html (accessed 1 March 2013). http://elpais.com/diario/2008/11/17/paisvasco/1226954410_850215.html ‘Miserias y grandezas de un genio: Basterretxea y Sistiaga recuerdan para El País sus experiencias con Oteiza’ El País Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lecours, André, 2007. Basque Nationalism and the Spanish State (Reno: University of Nevada Press). Basque Nationalism and the Spanish State Google Scholar

Mogel, Juan Antonio, 1995. Peru Abarka (edición bilingüe). (Hernani: Orain D. L.). Peru Abarka Google Scholar

Oteiza, Jorge, 2003a. ‘The Importance of the Artist in the Life of the Basque People’, in Oteiza's Selected Writings, ed. Joseba Zulaika, trans. Frederick Fornoff (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies), pp. 437-50. Oteiza's Selected Writings 437 50 Google Scholar

Oteiza, Jorge, 2003b. Quousque Tandem …!, in Oteiza's Selected Writings, ed. Joseba Zulaika, trans. Frederick Fornoff (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies), pp. 286-361. Oteiza's Selected Writings 286 361 Google Scholar

Pinilla, Ramiro, 2004. Verdes valles, colinas rojas: La tierra convulsa (Barcelona: Tusquets). Verdes valles, colinas rojas: La tierra convulsa Google Scholar

Roldán Larreta, Carlos, 1997. ‘Cine vasco y etnografía, un camino abandonado’, Cuadernos de Etnología y Etnografía de Navarra, 70: 329-42. ‘Cine vasco y etnografía, un camino abandonado’ Cuadernos de Etnología y Etnografía de Navarra 70 329 42 Google Scholar

Stone, Rob, 2006. ‘Mother Lands, Sister Languages: the Epic, Poetic, Propaganda Films of Cuba and the Basque Country’, in Remapping World Cinema: Identity, Culture and Politics in Film, ed. Stephanie Dennison and Song Hwee Lim (London: Wallflower Press), pp. 65-72. Remapping World Cinema: Identity, Culture and Politics in Film 65 72 Google Scholar

Woodworth, Paddy, 2008. The Basque Country: A Cultural History (New York: Oxford University Press). The Basque Country: A Cultural History Google Scholar

Zulaika, Joseba, 1988. Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament (Reno: University of Nevada, Center for Basque Studies). Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament Google Scholar

Zunzunegui, Santos, 1985. El cine en el País Vasco (Bilbao: Diputación Foral de Vizcaya). El cine en el País Vasco Google Scholar

Films Google Scholar

40 ezetz, 1999. Dir. Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Ama Lur, 1968. Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Videodisc 2007 (EKHE). Google Scholar

Carboneros de Navarra, 1981, dir. Montxo Armendáriz (Institución Príncipe de Viana). Google Scholar

El mayorazgo de Basterretxe (1928), dir. Mauro Azkona. Google Scholar

Pelotari, 1964. Dir. Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert (Frontera Films Irún). Google Scholar

La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedra, 2003. Dir. Julio Medem. Videodisc 2003 (Alicia Produce). Google Scholar

Topeka. 2002, dir. Asier Altuna. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Txotx, 1998. Dir. Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal. Videodisc 2007 (Kimuak). Google Scholar

Vacas, 1992. Dir. Julio Medem. Videodisc 2001 (Sogepaq). Google Scholar

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Goicoa, David