Spanish Cinema Now

The National Shotgun

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The National Shotgun
La escopeta nacional | Luis García Berlanga, 1978
Spain | Spanish with English subtitles | 95 minutes

Please note the screening time has been changed to 9:30pm on December 20.

For his first film of the post-Franco era, Berlanga—again working with screenwriter Rafael Azcona—devised a wicked satire of the ruling classes, which is said to have been based partly on real incidents. Jaume, an unctuous Catalan businessman, is invited to the estate of the aging Marquis de Leguineche, who Jaume believes can grease the wheels for some government deals. The hunting party consists of movie stars, military men, members of the influential Catholic group Opus Dei, and assorted other hangers-on in the halls of power. Quickly, Jaume learns to manipulate their petty jealousies and revenge plots to his own advantage, while struggling to survive the weekend and go home. Shotgun became a great audience favorite, as Spaniards delighted in trying to discern the actual people to whom Berlanga’s characters corresponded; it also inspired several sequels that would keep Berlanga busy well into the Eighties.

Series: Spanish Cinema Now

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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