San Sebastian, September 21 (EFE).- After more than four decades at the San Sebastian Film Festival as a critic, Carlos Boyero, one of the most influential and feared figures in Spanish cinema, celebrates his retirement by storming the screen as the character of a documentary, “La critique”, which was presented this Wednesday out of competition.

In the documentary, directed by Juan Zavala and Javier Morales for TCM, some define him as a rock star, others as an archetype of film noir; for some it is an outdated and outdated model, for others it is a model of sincerity.

The truth is that his popularity has exceeded the usual canons of a film critic and he himself believes that it has to do with his authenticity: “I may be despicable but I have never made an image of myself”, he said.

Shot in part during the last edition of the San Sebastian festival, the film reconstructs his life and professional career, from his childhood in Salamanca, to his expulsion from the college of priests and his studies at the Complutense University, where he meets Fernando Trueba and Antonio Résines.

“We all wanted to be directors, he didn’t want to do anything,” he says in the documentary Trueba, who was the one who first offered to write in the “Guía del Ocio”, where he replaced the director of “Belle Epoque”.

“I had a response from people and I still have it to this day,” boasts Boyero, who defines himself as a film enthusiast since he was a child, but who never wanted to be a critic and at this day he still doesn’t like that label. “I wanted the film to be called ‘Ciudadano Boyero,'” he told Efe.

The biographical account is combined with interviews with colleagues and personalities from the world of cinema. Álex de la Iglesia says he prefers “an insult from Boyero to the praise of a mediocre”; Actor Antonio de la Torre remembers the expression on his face when, after a year of work and more than 30 kilos for “Gordos”, Boyero called him “affected and unpleasant”.

Manuel Martín Cuenca, director of “Caníbal”, claims that a bad review of Boyero could lead to a decrease in the number of copies of the film distributed, and producer Enrique López Lavigne, that his reviews and those of the late Ángel Fernández Santos were ” the only ones who mattered.”

Professional colleagues, younger critics, confirm the generation gap and the great changes that the genre has experienced in recent decades, which boil down to greater precariousness and loss of influence, but also to a change in mentality.

“I don’t read them”, says Boyero, “I don’t even read myself (…), but from what they tell me now the criticism is reduced to that of the Internet, Twitter is called, no? a sentence can be more striking than a text”.

Although at several points the documentary is comical, at other times it becomes darker, especially when talking about his alcohol and drug problems, which have turned him into a kind of “Jekyll and Hyde”. . “I had really good times and really bad times with my addictions,” he says.

Another complicated moment was the publication in 2008 of a letter signed by personalities such as Víctor Erice, José Luis Guerín, Isaki Lacuesta or Miguel Marías in which they asked him to resign from his position after acknowledging that he had left a screening of Abbas in Venice. Kiarostami.

What many will wonder now is what Boyero will think of his own documentary. “I was terrified when they showed it to me, he admits, what was missing was that I had to give birth to it, but I liked it, it seems to me that it captures me, with the good and the bad.”

Madeleine Tsanis

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