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Spain: The Movies, Cultural Imperialism?

     Spanish TV news programs are usually excellent, but today's seemed to justify French complaints about the cultural imperialism of Tinseltown. Important news such as the election of Putin in Russia was relegated to a brief section at the end. The bulk of the program was devoted to Hollywood's presentation of Oscars. Never have the newscasters appeared so jubilant: Pedro Almodovar's "All about my mother" had won the Oscar for the best foreign film. He seemed like a nice man and the film is probably good. In a Hispanic mood, he effusively gave thanks in his speech to various Catholic icons, beginning with the Virgen de Guadalupe and ending with the Christ of Medinaceli, about which I can find nothing. This piety seemed strange since one of Almodovar's best-known films is "Entre Tinieblas" about a nun engaged in drug smuggling. In the early morning the joyful Spaniards withdrew to a nightclub to celebrate in the usual Hollywood way. It is a sign of the times that Spaniards seem think longingly of Hollywood and this ceremony, which most responsible Spaniards must view as a tasteless extravaganza. As for the thoughts of the French minister of culture, well...

Ronald Hilton - 3/27/00