Spain’s ‘new cinema’ of the 1990s
Alongside Alejandro Amenábar’s Los otros/The Others (2001), Santiago Segura’s Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley/Torrente, the stupid arm of the law (1998) was one of the most spectacular commercial successes in Spain’s entire film history. In an age of increasing American international hegemony (punctuated by recent remake fever and the success of Spiderman (Raimi, 2002) and now Hulk (Lee, 2003)), how do relatively marginal national cinemas survive and compete? More to the point, how do we account for Torrente’s incredible national success, given that the main protagonist is a grotesque, parodic inversion of the American-cop super hero. This essay offers no definitive answers, rather a series of working hypotheses and pathways which deal with the film in relation to issues of genre, parody, the grotesque, excess and ‘paracinema’.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: De Montfort University, UK
Publication date: 03 March 2003
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