Tag Archives: José Luis Garci

Madrid, 1980 as seen in El Crack (José Luis Garci, 1981)

Madrid after Franco and before Colonel Tejero’s attempted coup in 1981. Filmed for a noir, El Crack (1981) so the bleakness is expected. Still, the decrepitude of the buildings, the dirt, speak of a certain legacy of the dictatorship, now overcome and at the risk of being forgotten. The run-down-ness of it all is evident in other — lighter, comedic — works of the era such as Almodóvar’s What Have I Done to Deserve This or Trailer for Lovers of the Forbidden. This is just a supercut, which I hope to do more with at some point, but here just as a record.

A friend of mine commented that what he saw in the film didn’t look that bad to him. But the film shows us the grandest parts of the city and still one sees about 30 years of grime on all the official building. Then there’s the cars, the garbage on the streets, the relative lack of traffic, etc. It’s the sight of a once imperial city reduced to ‘second world’ status. It’s all glossier now. See for example below in the background the Cine Doré on left side of the street near the centre of the frame:

..and see how it is today (and how it appears in Almodóvar’s Talk To Her. It’s where Benigno goes to see The Incredible Shrinking Lover:


José Arroyo