Jordá, Joaquín

(1935-2006)
   A key player in the Escuela de Barcelona movement and co-director (with Jacinto Esteva) of the em-blematic Dante no es únicamente severo (Dante Is Not Only Severe, 1967), Joaquín Jordá's reputation rests mainly on his work as a script-writer. After completing a law degree, he studied at the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas for two years and debuted in the film industry as co-director (with Julián Marcos) of the documentary El día de los muertos (Day of the Dead, 1960). He col-laborated with avant garde producer Pere Portabella in different tasks (as script doctor or production assistant) during the early 1960s.
   Dante no es únicamente severo was a true manifesto for Jordá, in which he set out his views on art film at the time. As he would comment: "Since we are not allowed to do Victor Hugo, we'll do Mallarmé." Indeed, he saw avant garde aesthetics and narrative obscurity as a way to circumvent the objections censors raised when faced with a critical approach to social reality. From then on, his contribution to films like Cada vez que . . . (Each Time I . . ., 1968), La larga agonía de los peces fuera del agua (The Long Agony of Fish Out of Water, 1970), and Liberxina 90 (1970) was manifested in his individualistic, nonclassical approach to narrative and his play with conventions. None of his own scripts materialized into a finished film until Francisco Franco's death.
   After the Transition, Jordá contributed to a number of scripts, including Cambio de sexo (Sex Change, 1977) and both parts of El lute (1987, 1988) for Vicente Aranda; La vieja música (Old Music, 1985), for Mario Camus; and the television series Los jinetes del alba (Riders at Dawn, Rafael Romero Marchent, 1990). Accepting the last wish of his friend Jacinto Esteva, in 1990 he compiled the tribute El encargo del cazador (The Hunter's Request, 1990), based on a series of testimonials on the latter's work and personality. He returned to feature film direction with Un cuerpo en el bosque (A Body in the Woods, 1996), a satiric view of Catalan identity starring Rossy de Palma, which looked back at the conventions of metaphorical cinema.

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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