Article acadèmic: La Barcelona “Desarrollista”a Umbracle (1972) de Pere Portabella: una ciutat “vampiritzada”

Per | 11/09/2020

+ info: Catalan Review

This article analyses the cinematic representation of Barcelona in Umbracle (1972) by Pere Portabella. In this movie the Catalan filmmaker reflects the social and political climate of Barcelona during the late Franco regime playing with imagery and features typical of the horror film, including the figure of Dracula, performed by the famous horror movies actor Christopher Lee, who had previously starred in another of Portabella’s films, Vampir-Cuadecuc (1970). In Umbracle Portabella contrasts the image of the thriving “Ciudad de ferias y congresos” that the dictatorship wanted to present to the outside world with that of a quasi-terrifying Barcelona saturated with Freudian uncanny (Unheimlich) elements. Barcelona appears as an “undead” city, “vampirized” by Francoist repression and bad urban policy during Porcioles’s municipal government (1957-1973), and it stands as pars pro toto for an entire country bled by more than thirty years of dictatorship. Umbracle thus becomes an artistic and political manifesto against the “vampirization” of society and culture in Franco’s Spain.