Paulino Viota – October 2020


Workshop in the Countryside – PAULINO VIOTA

Filmmakers go to the cinema

October 16, 17 and 18, 2020

400 Golpes
Paulino Viota y François Truffaut
One of the most reputed, some might even say legendary, figures of Spanish cinema. Like those of Víctor Erice or José Luis Guerin, his is a name always associated with rigour and seriousness, but also with a sense of pedagogy and a love of cinema. Paulino Viota is an inescapable reference when journeying over the most interesting ground in cinematographic thinking and production in Spain.

Description of the workshop:

We will try to see how some filmmakers influence others, the chains of references, correlations, imitations or contradictions that are established between them, because filmmakers also go to the cinema… a lot. These influences are not only imitations; sometimes they are, in fact, antagonisms. The difference is irrelevant in our case; if a work defines its personality in relation to another, it doesn’t matter whether it is to reaffirm itself in the other work or to deny it. Brian De Palma wanted to remake Hitchcock’s cinema, Howard Hawks declared that he made Rio Bravo in order to refute the attitude of the protagonist of High Noon. Fassbinder said he wanted to make films “as wonderful as American ones, but less hypocritical.” Neo-realism was once seen as a reaction against escapist “white phone” cinema from the time of Mussolini, said to be an imitation of Hollywood. “Modernist” cinema of the 60s, which broke the norms of coherent narration, chronology, in short, everything (Last Year in Marienbad), was a rejection of classicism. And so on. There is no shortage of examples. Think of Tarantino.

Documentary / Fiction: Moana and Taboo. The filmmaker and the spectacle: Ford and Buffalo Bill. Europe and America: From Renoir to Visconti and from him to Howard Hawks. Parallel Lives: Renoir and Rossellini. Classic / Modern: Antonioni vs. Ford and Hitchcock. The filmmaker in the mirror: Rossellini: war and the Church.

Will being better spectators suffice? Although this is something that may not be thought about much, the most important thing in a cinema, both historically and geographically (Hollywood classicism, Neo-realism, the Nouvelle Vague), are the spectators. The feedback between production and consumption is so intense that it is really the spectators who create the cinema of a country and of a historical moment. Because, through their acceptance and their rejection, they are the ones who determine which films are possible and which are not. Every here and now has the cinema it deserves, just as it can be said that, in a democracy, it has the politicians it deserves.

If a teacher of cinema considers this, he or she will inevitably conclude that training spectators is much more necessary than training filmmakers. Why do we want filmmakers who know the trade and create beauty as they practise it if there are no spectators capable of appreciating that beauty?

It is well known that if throughout its history French cinema has been the most open and the freest (from the avant-gardes of the 1920s – Buñuel, Epstein, Dullac, Clair, etc. – through the Nouvelle Vague and right up to the present day), it is because it is the cinema that has had the most educated public; it has also been the one most willing to accept innovation and the one that has given cinema the greatest role in society. To a lesser extent, the same is true of Italy. The uninteresting nature of British cinema over time may have to do with the fact that the “intelligentsia” of that country never took this new art form seriously, so in love were they with their theatre. Having said that, James Joyce was a cinema entrepreneur.

In any case, filmmakers are spectators too, as I said at the beginning. All of them, to a greater or lesser extent, see the films of their colleagues and are influenced by each other. This creates a very complex plot that is impossible to disentangle, although it can be analyzed in certain limited areas such as form and content, an activity which constitutes the History of Cinema. This also applies, if only for the fact that they live in society, to those filmmakers who proudly say that they disdain the cinema and do not accept influences; José Luis Guerin, who had some contact with Bresson, told me that the latter said that he never went to the cinema, but then it turned out that he had seen all the films.

I began to be what I would call an aware spectator when I was very young, and I may have said more than once that I see myself above all as a spectator. (My father told me this: “If you like the cinema, get a proper job that allows you to make a good living, and then you can enjoy being a spectator as much as you want, but don’t go into cinema.” How right he was!) Borges said: “Let others take pride in the books they have written, I take pride in the ones I have read,” – and that was Borges. Now I realize, thinking about this course, that I have never been a mere spectator; I watched films and filled notebooks because what I wanted was to learn how to make films. In other words, I was a spectator as a means to becoming a filmmaker.

During breaks any participants who wish to do so can show their own work.



A notebook
If anyone would like Paulino Viota to look at their work, they should bring it on some kind of medium where it can be viewed: computer, book, paper…

Aims of the workshop:

To attempt to make all of us, both filmmakers and non-filmmakers, become better spectators by trying to appreciate beauty.


Filmmakers, video artists, camera operators, film editors, students of Film, Fine Arts, Audiovisual Communication or Sound and Image, scriptwriters, writers, producers, actors… and anyone interested in the cinema

Paulino Viota


Santander 1948
Director, as well as scriptwriter, producer and writer

Medium-length films:
1966 Las ferias
1966 José Luis
1967 Tiempo de busca
1968 Fin de un invierno
1970 Duración
1975 Jaula de todos

Feature films:
1970 Contactos
1978 Con uñas y dientes
1982 Cuerpo a cuerpo

Since 1988 he has been dedicated to teaching filmmaking, giving courses or seminars at universities, for example, at Valladolid or in the Pompeu Fabra, in film schools such as the C.E.C.C. or “Banda Aparte”, and in other institutions.


1980 Historia del cine militante en España
2004 Jean-Luc cinéma Godard
2015 Participation in the book Paulino Viota El orden del laberinto
2020 La herencia del cine

Articles in published collections and in magazines specialising in cinema such as Contracampo, Archivos de la Filmoteca, Trama & Fondo and Cahiers du cinéma.


300 € (Workshop + full board and lodging in the Casa dos Muros + light snacks during the workshop)

280 € (Workshop + full board (without lodging) in the Casa dos Muros + light snacks during the workshop



Friday, October 16: Introduction and Workshop. 18:00 hrs – 21:00 hrs.

Saturday, October 17: Workshop. 10:00 hrs – 14:00 hrs / 16:00 hrs – 20:00 hrs.

Sunday, October 18: Workshop. 10:00 hrs – 14:00 hrs.

We begin with dinner on Friday evening and finish with lunch on Sunday (both included).

Places are limited and will be filled strictly in order of registration.

Registration is open until the first day of the workshop.

The workshop will be given in Spanish.

We have a room specifically adapted to the requirements of the health authorities, among them, the reduction of capacity for conducting the workshops.

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