Miguel Picazo, Spanish film director, screenwriter and actor, Died at 89

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Miguel Picazo was born on March 27, 1927, and died on April 23, 2016.

He was a Spanish film director, screenwriter, and actor.

Miguel was best known for his first feature film La tía Tula (Aunt Tula) (1964).

Picazo became a teacher in the newly restructured Escuela Oficial de Cine (EOC) and ultimately was able to direct his first film, La tía Tula (Aunt Tula) (1964).

An updated adaptation of the distinguished novel by Miguel de Unamuno, which portrayed the oppressive and puritanical environment of provincial life in Spain.

The film, helped by a strong performance in the lead by Aurora Bautista as the sexually repressed title character, that was a significant and commercial breakthrough and brought Picazo to the forefront of the new Spanish cinema.

Notwithstanding the success of his debut film, it took Picazo three years to make his second film, Oscuros sueños de agosto (Dark dreams of August) (1967), a film marred by cuts by the censors and the death of the film’s producer, Cesáreo González which hampered commercial distribution.

This defeat put Picazo away from filming for the next nine years.

During the meanwhile, Picazo devoted his creative energy to scripting and directing a series of short films for Spanish television, including children’s films and adaptations of literary works, making more than seventy programs for Spanish television.

On his next try, Miguel directed with El hombre que supo amar (The Man Who Knew Love) (1976) a biopic of John of God that was produced by the saint’s religious order which also backed the film’s distribution.

Although, El hombre que supo amar prove poorly commercially.

His fourth film attempt, (Los claros motivos del deseo) (The clear motives of Desire) (1976), about adolescence life in the provinces, prospered no better at the box office.

That particular new commercial failure brought the director back to his work on television until, thanks to the Miró’s law, he was able to shoot his fifth film Extramuros (Outside the walls) (1985), adapted from the novel of the same name by Jesús Fernández Santos.

It was starring Aurora Bautista as tyrannical mother superior of a convent of sexually repressed nuns whose authority was challenged by two younger women, played by Mercedes Sampietro and Carmen Maura.

The flim ‘Extramuros became Picazo’s last film.

Beyond his career as film director, Picazo has taken some small roles as an actor in some films, most notably in Víctor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) and Alejandro Amenábar’s Thesis (Tesis) (1996).

From he retired, Picazo has been a juror in many film festivals and received an Honorary Goya Award for his life’s work in 1997.

Miguel Picazo passed away at 89 yrs old.

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