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By Paul Julian Smith

Any follower of Spanish cinema who turns to tv unearths that the in the community produced courses such a lot preferred by means of either audiences and critics are as artistic and unique as any function movie. This booklet, the 1st of its variety, offers shut readings of television programmes broadcast from the Seventies to the current day. They include drama, comedy, and talk/reality exhibits and are at the moment on hand on DVD. It additionally treats the obsessive subject matter of tv in Almodóvar, Spain's so much celebrated movie director, arguing for a re-reading of his paintings within the mild of television reports. as well as analysing specific programmes, this booklet examines television channels, construction businesses, governments, and the position of the click, academy, and viewers. PAUL JULIAN SMITH is Professor of Spanish on the collage of Cambridge.

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One of Bourdieu’s examples here, tellingly, is “Sorbonne professors debating on TV” (326). It is a perilous position also occupied by those who adapt classic novels for television. The literary adaptation: academy and press Fortunata, a glorious woman of the people, struggles all her life against the angelic, bourgeois Jacinta; both adore Jacinta’s charming, selfish husband, the sybarite Juanito. Pérez Galdós steeps his story in scenes of working- and middle-class Madrid that are panoramic and intimate: the streets and reeking tenements, shops and stalls that open like mouths, the fashion trades, cafes where idlers thrash out politics, the pharmacy where Fortunata’s sickly husband Maxi goes mad with jealousy, the convent in which the passionate 36 PAUL JULIAN SMITH Fortunata is locked to repent her promiscuity, the twin beds where Juanito caresses Jacinta with lies.

Noting (like the British) the increasing complexity and diversity of society, the Spanish scholars argue that the “associative fabric” which television must reflect cannot be reduced to party politics (175). TV programming is thus to be understood as a “social good” that is as heterogeneous and plural as the new audience. Public broadcasting should be freed from the tyranny of the ratings; but it should not turn its back on society (178); and generalist entertainment programming should be combined with minority schedules dedicated to important segments of the public, especially those with “reduced cultural capital” (179).

TVE’s public ownership, manifest in its lavish display of resources, thus serves to articulate national identity in opposition to illegitimate foreign influences. At this period there is no sense that this public is differentiated or fragmented (that Catalans, for example, might not be quite so interested as Castilians in the minute re-creation of old Madrid) or that literary culture is elitist (that viewers lacking in cultural capital might be justified in preferring, on occasion, high-speed car chases to drawing-room dialogues).

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