Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Villar del Río Revisited: The Chronotope of Berlanga's ¡Bienvenido Mister Marshall!

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2004), 81, (1), 24–41.

Abstract

Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of its filming, this article offers a new reading of Luis García Berlanga's ¡Bienvenido Mister Marshall! (1952). Focussing on the configurations of time and space in the movie, its theoretical approach combines Mikhail Bakhtin's notion of chronotope with Michel de Certeau's emphasis upon the temporal, tactical activity of the 'weak' in-between dominant discursive space (both real and metaphorical). It argues, against those who would maintain that the film is conservative, that its repeated parodic operations – often manifested through mimicry – subvert dominant groups' claims of 'knowledge', particularly evident in the figure of the movie's all-seeing, despotic narrator.

Cincuenta años después de su rodaje, este artículo ofrece una nueva lectura de ¡Bienvenido Mister Marshall! (1952) dirigida por Luis García Berlanga. Para enfocar en las configuraciones del tiempo y del espacio dentro de la película, adopta un marco teórico en el cual se combina el cronotopo de Mijail Bajtín con el trabajo de Michel de Certeau, que hace hincapié en la actividad táctica y temporal de los 'débiles' en los intersticios del espacio discursivo dominante (tanto real como metafórico). Defiende, en contra de aquellos que mantienen que el filme tiene un talante conservador, que sus operaciones paródicas – manifestadas frecuentemente a través de la mímica – subvierten el 'saber' de los grupos dominantes, hecho especialmente evidente en la figura del narrador, omnipresente y panóptico.

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Author details

Marsh, Steven