Nocturno 29

This is the first feature of Pere Portabella, the remarkable Barcelona-based Catalan filmmaker. He started out as a producer of art films by Carlos Saura, Marco Ferreri, and Luis Buñuel, and Buñuel’s first Spanish feature, Viridiana, so angered the Spanish government that it took away Portabella’s passport for many years. Nocturno 29 is a narrative film that refuses to tell a story and an underground anti-Franco film that was most often shown clandestinely (its title refers to the number of years Franco had then been in power), and it evokes both European art films of this period (its star is Lucia Bosé, an actress associated with Antonioni and Bardem) and the bolder experimental cinema Portabella would embark on soon afterward. Coscripted by poet Joan Brossa, it has the kind of moody provocation that captures its period indelibly. In Spanish with subtitles. 83 min. (JR)

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