Pere Portabella (Figueres, 1929) has been an important presence in the world of Spanish cinema, both as producer and film-maker, since the 1960s.
As a producer in the 1950s, Portabella promoted, through Films 59, some of the cornerstone productions of Spanish cinema's "realismo crítico": of particular note are films like Carlos Saura’s Los golfos (1959) Marco Ferreri's El cochecito (1960) and Luis Buñuel's Viridiana (1961). At the end of the 1970s he was involved in the formation of the Barcelona School. His first films as director were written in collaboration with the poet Joan Brossa, and brought together the avant-garde heritage fostered by Dau al Set and the iconoclastic languages which came one after another onto the international scene during the seventies, and became known as "new cinema". Films from this period include No contéis con los dedos/No compteu amb els dits (1967) and Nocturno 29 (1968), which would mark the beginning of his unbroken collaboration with the musician Carles Santos. During the first half of the 1970s, Pere Portabella became a key figure in the development of an independent, alternative, clandestine cinema, whose cinematographic work was inextricably linked to his political stance of opposition to Franco’s regime. Films like Vampir-Cuadecuc (1970), Umbracle (1971-1972) or his series of shorts about Joan Miró, along with his participation in the Grup de Treball were radical interventions in the cinema and art worlds.
After directing Informe general (1976) Portabella took a break from his film career and dedicated himself to the world of politics and governmental institutions during the time of the transition to democracy. After this interval he resumed his work as a film-maker on films like Pont de Varsòvia/Puente de Varsovia (1989) and as a producer on, among others, José Luis Guerín’s Tren de sombras (1997).
Since the year 2000, Portabella's film career has had an international recognition in the circuits of contemporary art. In 2000, the MACBA put on the exhibition project Plotless Stories. The Cinema of Pere Portabella, a project that travelled in 2003 to Paris' Musée National Centre Georges Pompidou. In 2002 he was the only Spanish artist invited to documenta II in Kassel. In 2007, the MOMA in New York projected his filmography. Since then, he has received numerous recognitions.
Feature films 1967 No compteu amb els dits 1968 Nocturn 29 1970 Vampir-Cuadecuc 1972 Umbracle 1974 El sopar 1976 Informe general 1989 Pont de Varsòvia 2007 Die Stille vor Bach
Short films 1969 Miró l'altre 1969 Aidez l'Espagne 1969 Premios Nacionales 1970 Play Back 1970 Poetes catalans 1973 Miró tapís 1972 Miró la forja 1973 Acció Santos 1992 Art a Catalunya 2003 La tempesta 2003 Lectura Brossa 2004 P.H.N. Hay motivo 2006 No al no. Visca el piano! 2008 Mudanza