Spanish director Carlos Saura died today of respiratory failure at his home in the mountains in Madrid.
He was 91 years old.
Last year he had a small stroke, followed in the summer by a fall while walking his dogs which led to a rapid decline in his health.
Together with Luis Buñuel, Luis García Berlanga and Pedro Almodóvar , he is considered one of the four filmmakers who defined Spanish cinematography.
Known for films such as La caza, Peppermint frappé, Elisa, vida mía and Flamenco , he was due to collect the Goya Lifetime Achievement Award tomorrow. He will receive it posthumously.
Fernando Méndez-Leite , president of the Spanish Academy, explained the motivation thus:
“For his extensive and highly personal creative contribution to the history of Spanish cinema from the end of the 1950s to the present day”.
At the end of his period of confinement, in September 2020, Saura had thus defined his talent:
“The imagination. I have used my imagination to tell stories that I like and that I think others will like. Then maybe they don’t like them, but what can you do, they don’t always get it right. The fact that they allow you to tell your stories, to take it one step further, that’s what I’ve been trying to do all my life.”
Saura has directed plays, musicals and operas and her photographs have been exhibited in numerous exhibitions. Since 2004 his cinema has been predominantly musical, with forays into short films on the civil war and on the world of Goya .
He won the Goya for best director and adapted co-screenplay with ¡Ay, Carmela! .
At Cannes he won the jury prize with La prima Angélica ; the Grand Jury Prize with Cría cuervos… ; the technical grand prize and the award for best artistic contribution with Carmen , winner of the BAFTA for best foreign film.
At the Berlinale he won the Silver Bear for direction with La caza and Peppermint Frappé , the Golden Bear with Deprisa, deprisa .
In 2004 the EFA presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
His latest film
Last Friday, February 3, his latest film was released in Spanish cinemas: the documentary Las paredes hablan .The singular vision of Carlos Saura on the origin of art. He portrays the evolution and relationship of art with the wall as a creative canvas, from the first graphic revolutions in prehistoric caves to the most avant-garde urban expressions.