'Las estaciones perdidas del cine mudo en Málaga' book on early cinema by Francisco Griñán, wins ASECAN’s “Best Book Written About Film” Prize 2009.
The book can be purchased here. Paco's own blog entry on the award, in Spanish, is here.
An article about Paco’s book winning the prize, in Spanish, can be found here.
Here are the details in English:
Las estaciones perdidas del cine mudo en Málaga (The Lost Stations of Málaga’s Silent Cinema) has won the Best Book Written About Film in 2009 by The Association of Film Critics of Andalusia (ASECAN). Griñán’s study is part of the series published by the Diputación de Málaga as part of its “Books About Film” series. The prize was awarded on February 6, 2010, in a ceremony at the Filmoteca de Andalucía in Córdoba.
It took Paco four long years to write the book. In the last months before publication he consulted with me on the section involving Alice Guy, Gaumont, and the Lumiéres. This was a rich conversation that led to the two of us becoming fast friends. After helping him get a few last facts and figures in order I came away with a much better picture of how Alice Guy spent her time in Spain, which will enable me to write a much better chapter about it in Inventing the Movies.
Detailed reviews of the book in Spanish can be found here and here.
A very interesting part of Paco’s book is the section on pioneer Spanish filmmaker Ricardo de Baños, who produced a series of films shot from trains that were then exhibited in theatre auditoriums set up to look like traincars. The company was called Metropolitan Cinemaway, based in Barcelona, mainly in business in 1909 (clearly inspired by Hale’s Tours). The book’s title comes is based on this concept, the idea of cinema as a window on the world the way train windows once were.
Paco’s book examines thirty-three other neglected films, both fiction and non-fiction, from Spain’s early films history, such as the series ‘Danses espagnoles’, filmed in Seville in 1898 by a Lumière operator, and the newly discovered ‘Un día por Málaga’ (A Day in Malaga) (1913-16), a documentary by Catalán filmmkaer José Gaspar, still being preserved by the Filmoteca de Andalucía.
In the process of writing this book Paco did research in numerous film archives, including Filmoteca Española, Filmoteca de Andalucía, Filmoteca de Cataluña, Deutschen Kinofilmen, Association Frères Lumière, Europa Film Treasures, Centre National de la Cinématographie in France, British Film Institute, Archivo Díaz de Escovar y Archivo Municipal de Málaga, along with private archives.
The book has been adapted into a short documentary entitled ‘¡Espectadores al tren!’, (Spectators on a Train), written and produced by Domi del Postigo y Francisco Griñán. The documentary was an official selection of the Festival de Málaga-Cine Español, which took place in April of 2010. You can read an interview with Paco here, in Spanish.
You can see Domi del Postigo introducing the film at the festival, and the first minute of the film, here (in Spanish).
Francisco Griñán is a journalist and film critic. Since 1995 he’s written for the newspaper Diario SUR in Málaga, where he is currently an editor. He is co-author of the book ‘Málaga Cinema’ (Festival de Málaga-Cine Español, 2004) and has published articles in cultural reviews like ‘Nickelodeon’ and ‘El Maquinista de la Generación.’ He’s written for papers such as ‘ABC’, ‘El Correo’, ‘El Norte de Castilla’, ‘Las Provincias’ or ‘Ideal’, among others.
You can contact Paco at info(at)cortonet.com