Colomo, Fernando


Colomo, Fernando
(1946- )
   Fernando Colomo belongs to the first generation of post-Franco Spanish filmmakers. After completing a degree in architecture and then studying art direction at Film School, he was first noticed outside the mainstream with a series of mischievous shorts including Usted va a ser mamá and Pomporrutas imperiales (both 1976). His 1977 film Tigres de papel (Paper Tigers) perfectly conveys the mood of twenty-somethings who find themselves in a situation of sexual and political freedom. It was an instance of the kind of themes that would also be explored by Fernando Trueba in Ópera Prima (1979), a film co-produced by Colomo. Other comedies along similar lines were ¿Qué hace una chica como tú en un sitio como éste? (What Is a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? 1978), ¡Estoy en crisis! (Going Through a Crisis, 1982), and La línea del cielo (Skyline, 1984). By the early 1980s, the novelty began to wear thin and he sought a new direction for his work. A combination of his work as producer and director is El caballero del dragón (Dragon's Knight, 1985), a fantasy epic starring pop star Miguel Bosé that was at the time the most expensive film in Spanish film history. It was a big box-office flop.
   His films of the 1990s are efficient but less personal. Rosa Rosae (1993) is an accomplished comedy that made good use of María Barranco and Ana Belén, both typecast. Alegre ma non troppo (Gay, but Not That Much, 1994) was the slightly embarrassing story of a young gay man who wants to "change." Los años bárbaros (The Brutal Years, 1998) was received as a return to form. It was a clever road movie that followed two young men in the post Civil War years as they run away from prison in the company of two young American women, with engaging performances by Jordi Mollá, Ernesto Alterio, and Juan Echanove as a fascist thug.
   Colomo's recent films include El cuarteto de la Habana (Havana Quartet, 1999); Al sur de Granada (South of Granada, 2003), a story inspired by real events in the life of British historian Gerald Brennan; and the multicultural comedy El próximo oriente (Near East, 2006). As a producer, he has supported the work of a young generation of filmmakers including Mariano Barroso (Mi hermano del alma [ My Soul Brother ], 1994), Azucena Rodríguez (Entre Rojas [ Among Reds ], 1995), Icíar Bollaín (Hola ¿estás sola? [ Hi! . . . Are You on Your Own? ], 1995), and the Albacete-Bardem-Menkes team's (Más que amor, frenesí [ Not Love, Frenzy ], 1996).
   Historical Dictionary of Spanish Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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