Archive of films Wine Cellars / La bodega

Spain / France
1929, 91 min

Section: Treasures from the European Film Archives
Year: 2002

This film set in rural Spain and full of the colours of love, honour, revenge, bullfighting, grape-harvesting and the famous flamenco, was made in 1929 and based on the novel of the same name vy Vincente Blasco Ibánez.


Czech audiences have had practically no opportunity to see silent or early sound Spanish films. According to Jiří Havelka’s book on the Czech film industry (Filmové hospodářství) only two films were purchased for Czech distribution during the silent era. One of them is Toreador from 1916, the title of the second film is not known. Toreador was directed by the famous Spanish writer Vicente Blasco Ibáńez who was greatly interested in film and worked in the business for a number of years. His name is also linked with the film Wine Cellars. In 1930 Benito Perojo made a film based on his novel set in rural Spain. Benito Perojo (1894-1974) is a fascinating figure in Spanish cinema. Film was his life-long passion but it was not until the 1990s that he was recognised for his key position in the film industry of the 1920s and 1930s. To a certain extent this recognition was the result of restoration undertaken by staff at the Spanish film libraries who studied the work of Perojo and Blasco Ibáńez during this decade on the occasion of their respective anniversaries. Perojo frequently worked with French producers. Wine Cellars itself is a Spanish-French co-production. He shot the film in the Paris studios and also in Spain, Andalusia and Seville. According to the critics, his story of love, honour, revenge, bulls and vineyards masterfully captures the spirit of this region, the sun beating down on the parched earth, life on the farms and vineyards and the celebrations coloured by the famous flamenco dance. Wine Cellars was originally a silent film and its soundtrack was only added later. Its premiere was held in Madrid and Paris in 1930. Wine Cellars enjoyed a warm reception from both audiences and critics who were unanimous in their view that the film accurately portrayed the Spanish story, spirit and environment. They also marvelled at its technical perfection. The film was restored as part of the Lumiere project (a European Union programme for the protection of cultural heritage). The work was carried out at the Centre National de la Cinématographie, Bois D’Arch, where two copies were treated (silent and sound versions), in cooperation with Filmoteca Espańola, Madrid.

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Treasures from the European Film Archives
Director: Benito Perojo
Screenplay: Benito Perojo podle románu/based on the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáňez
Dir. of Photography: Albert Duverger
Music: Michel Levin, M. Arquelladas (hudební úprava / musical arrangement)
Production: Julio César, S.A. (Madrid), Compagnie Génerale de Productions Cinématographiques
Cast: Conchita Piquer, Valentín Parera, Enrique Rivero, Gabriel Gabrio, María Luz Callejo, Colette Darfeuil, Jean Coste

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