José Antonio Maenza will be the star of Heterodocsias, the space that Punto de Vista dedicates to the least known films in our country. This section, which will be called ¡Maenza existe! (Maenza exists!) in 2016, in reference to his Teruel origins, will screen the three films made by this artist from Aragon: El lobby contra el cordero (1967-68), Orfeo en el campo de batalla (1968-1969) and Hortensia/Beancé (1969).
José Antonio Maenza was born in Teruel in 1948 and died in Zaragoza in 1979, at the age of 31 and probably as a result of suicide (he appeared dead in the street having fallen/jumped from the first floor of a dwelling). Admired by Enrique Vila-Matas, who was his close friend and appears in one of his films, José Antonio Maenza is one of the most forgotten and interesting figures of Spanish film. To date, a whole cycle at an International Festival has never been devoted to him; his work has only ever been seen in 2001 at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, in 2008 at the Fine Arts Museum in Bilbao and in 2015 in Barcelona.
A piecemeal writer and an incurable kleptomaniac, considered to be an unreasonable and unrealistic person who suffered an imbalance with reality which was worsening, with many obsessions and mania until he ended up on a pilgrimage through psychiatrists, the figure of Maenza is well respected in the circles of 1968. For Marcelo Expósito, he is the most 1968 filmmaker; for Emma Cohen, who we see making her nude debut in his unfinished final film, he was the most accursed of Bocaccio; and Buñuel spoke of his “senselessness”. In the autobiographical novel that he left behind, Séptimo medio indisponible, he defined himself as:
I'm very sensitive to the good and beautiful. Sensitive to sensibility.
Maenza only made three films that were unfinished, extremely radical and rebellious in their conception, designed to be screened with live sound and which can be seen as such in the tenth edition of Punto de Vista, along with debates and round tables by experts and the stars of his works. To trace the few possible lines in his heterodox films, we can present the Maenza Geography, as he made each film in a different city. He produced his first film, El lobby contra el cordero, in Zaragoza, the setting for his debut and the place where he studied Philosophy and Arts. Then came Valencia, which is the chosen city for his second film Orfeo filmando en el campo de batalla (Orpheus Filming in the Battlefield) and where he arrived to work with another poet who died prematurely: Eduardo Hervás (21 years old). And finally, he filmed Hortensia/Beancé (1969) in Barcelona thanks to the production by Pere Portabella, with the presence of the gauche divine of that period and the city’s urban scene such as Félix de Azúa, Enrique Irazoki, Emma Cohen and Enrique Vila-Matas.