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© 2015 ELS FILMS DE LA RAMBLA S.A. ||  VENTURA PONS

In the garden of her house in a humble district, talking with friends, all very important women of her generation, always filled with lots of wit and fun, the Colita’s concept of "friendship" includes even people who knew those years lived intensely: the last two decades of Franco dictatorship.

 

VENTURA PONS

2015
COLA, COLITA, COLASSA
COLA, COLITA, COLASSA

SYNOPSIS

Colita; The why of this woman

 

In the photographic portrait, Colita is an undisputed master of the 20th century in Barcelona. She committed to her job as the pleasure of exercising it (a rare virtue), preferring to portray people who she knows and, especially, the ones she loves. Writers, singers, artists of cinema but also anonymous faces, people that she caresses, and feels, because her art has no distance. She needs love to shoot them.

 

In the garden of her house in a humble district, talking with friends, all very important women of her generation, always filled with lots of wit and fun, the Colita’s concept of "friendship" includes even people who knew those years lived intensely: the last two decades of Franco dictatorship.

 

Just enough to give all of us the sense of their lives with her memoirs, through Colita’ eyes and camera.

 

 
COLA, COLITA, COLASSA
VO/ ENG. SUBT
 
COLA, COLITA, COLASSA

COLITA AND HER WORLD

Isabel Steva i Hernández, whose pseudonym is “Colita” is a great Spanish photographer. Her nickname was her father’s idea when she was born in the heart of Barcelona, in 24 August 1940, at naptime.

 

"If the French say that children come out from under cabbage, she will named Colita" The father had quite the "wisdom" of a traditional Catalan family since the fifteenth century, all engineers. The "impetuosity" comes from the maternal side, with an uncle bullfighter, boxer and cyclist. She is known as Isabel only for taxes, bills or the police. The South Americans, when ask for her name, die of laughter, because in that continent "colita" means "bum".

 

Being very young she moved to Paris, where she studied French Civilization at the Sorbonne. She feels bad, over the years, as she has not done a good “dive” in the Anglosaxon cultural world.

 

Back to Barcelona, she trained with the best photografs and began her professional career in 1961 as a lab technician and stylist for one of them,  Miserachs. She became the youngest of the extraordinary generation in the origin of modern Catalan photography.

 

Initially, she demonstrated great interest in dance photography—almost always flamenco—and later she also specialized in portraits and journalistic photography.

 

She has had numerous exhibitions with photographs of Catalan artists and singers from the “Nova Cançó” movement: Joan Manuel Serrat, Maria del Mar Bonet or Núria Feliu. She is considered one of the top portrait artists in this genre.

 

Colita is considered as the key witness of her time, with her proverbial critical eye, penetrating and human, acid and fun, reflecting her great personality and boundless open to everything that exists in the decades of the late 20th century, so important to understand the history of our country. Commitment, passionate look and humor.

 

She is linked with the Catalan cultural movements of those years: the official photographer of Barcelona's “Gauche Divine”, a movement of the best writers, photographers, models, architects, film directors, and many other professionals who began to stand out in their respective fields.

 

Throughout her career, Colita has put on more than forty exhibitions MUSEU DE LES ARTS ESCÈNIQUES DE BARCELONA, ARXIU NACIONAL DE CATALUNYA, ARXIU FOTOGRÀFIC DE BARCELONA, FILMOTECA DE CATALUNYA, etc..  and has published some fifty books of photographs: HABANERA, 24x24, UNA TUMBA, EL MODERNISME, MIRÓ OTRO, LA GAUCHE QUI RIT, TARJA D'IDENTITAT, CONFESIONS DE UNA DIVA, BREVE LECCIÓN DE ZOOLOGÍA, A ROSE IS A ROSE, IS A ROSE, 10 AÑOS EN LOS ESCENARIOS DE CATALUNYA, TOTS SANTS, TRETZE QUE CANTEN, GENTE CON MUCHAS TABLAS. GIGANTES, DRAGONES Y OTRO BESTIARIO,

LA PEDRERA CARA SUCIA, QUATRE FOTÓGRAFS METROPOLITANS, QUERIDO JAIME., COLOMBIA VIVE., CIUTADANS?...CIUTADANS!, CARMEN AMAYA, EL CALL DE GIRONA., CARMEN AMAYA 1963: TARANTA, AGOSTO, LUTO Y AUSENCIA, COLITA-MASPONS MISERACHS-POMÉS, FLAMENCS, OJO SON DE ESPAÑA, FOTOS PERDUDES, FOTOS RETROBADES,

20 ANYS D'AJUNTAMENTS DEMOCRÀTICS A CATALUNYA. EL SERRAT DE COLITA, LA GAUCHE DIVINE, BESTIARI XXX, SINMISTERIOS DEL FLAMENCO, CARMEN AMAYA 1963, DONA ATLES, CONFLICTE A COLÒMBIA, FOTÒGRAFES PIONERES A CATALUNYA, LA MANO QUE MECE LA PLUMA, BROSSA – COLITA, DES DEL COS - MARIA MERCÈ MARÇAL, PROHIBIDO EL CANTE, DÍAS LABORABLES, etc. Stylistically, she is considered an all-purpose photographer.

 

PRIZES AND ACCOLADES.

1998: Artistic Merit Prize from the Ajuntament de Barcelona. 2004: Sant Jordi Cross from the Generalitat de Catalunya. 2013: Premio Nacional de Fotografía Piedad Isla (National Photography Prize of Piedad Isla). 2008: Sebastià Gasch FAD Prize for Paratheater Arts. 2009: Joan Reventós May 1st Prize for Popular Culture, Fundació Rafael Campalans. 2009: Non-sexist communication and journalist career prizes. (Women Journalists Association of Catalonia). 2011: Terenci Moix International Prize, (Special jury prize). 2012: Honoris Causa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 2014: Photograhy Naational Award  from Spain’s Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (she rejected as disagreement with the cultural policy of the Spanish government)

COLA, COLITA, COLASSA

NINE WOMEN ON A GARDEN

TERESA GIMPERA

 

One of the best knwon Spanish actressees.

Since 1965, when she started her carrer in Fata Morgana, by Vicente Aranda, Teresa has acted in many films in Spain, France and Italy. More than 100 titles with directors as Fernando Fernán Gómez, Vittorio De Sica, José Luís Garci, Jorge Grau... She is very well remembered by Víctor Erice’s El espíritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive),. She achieved great popularity as Lady Europe in 1969.

Fun, progressive and very committed: she didn’t hid publicly, despite her pain, about the disease that, in a the 80’s, ended the life of her younger son, during the years that AIDS were taboo.

 

 

MARUJA TORRES

 

Outstanding journalist with both a great sense of commitment and irony, Maruja is a native of Barcelona’ Chinatown, the Raval. She dedicated herself to journalism since nineteen, despite the lack of academic training in this field. She started as a secretary in the press, and soon became a great journalist in the best newspapers, bright as anyone in the country, only with a pen.

 

Se has received many awards: Victor de la Serna from the Press Association of Madrid; Francisco Cerecedo of journalism, Ernest Hemingway: the Association of Foreign Correspondents, Manuel Vazquez Montalban Journalism and Planeta 2000, the Gabriela Mistral Medal, the Creu de Sant Jordi from the Catalan Goverment and the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts, Ministry of Culture .

 

After the war between Hezbollah and Israel, which she covered from Lebanon, she lived in Beirut, where she wrote Wait for me in heaven, winner of Nadal 2009 Award. In May 2013 she prsented her dismissal in the Opinion section of El País, after working on this newspaper during thirty-two years. "Poorer, but I'm better," she said.

 

 

PILAR AYMERICH

 

In 1965 she discovered the world of photography in London and later on in París.

 

In 1968 she settled in Barcelona professionally, at a time when there was still censorship, specializing in portrait and courageous stories: the death of Franco, demostations as "Liberty, Amnesty and Statute of Autonomy", the Catalan first Conference of Women; the big demostation of September 11, 1977; struggles of the labor movement and the hunger strike, the transition to democracy, feminism moviment and all  about Barcelona: she pictures the city to illustrate the city story.

 

Her numerous portraits are the most representative of her work, more than four hundred characters of Catalan culture. Her photography is a defense of the main protagonists of the culture of the second half of the twentieth century and the leitmotif of her numerous exhibitions.

 

 

ROSA REGÀS

 

This outstanding woman graduated in Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, sharing her studies with the best poets: Jose Agustin Goytisolo, Jaime Gil de Biedma or Gabriel Ferrater. Literarily, she consolidated between 1964 and 1970, working with the great  publisher Carlos Barral. In 1970 she founded The Gaia Science, publishing works by Spanish authors little known then: Juan Benet, Alvaro Pombo, María Zambrano, Manuel Vazquez Montalban or Javier Marias.

 

She sold her publishing company in 1983 and worked as a translator and editor for different temporary UN organizations in cities like Geneva, New York, Washington, Nairobi and Paris, an activity that left her more free time to devote herself to literature. Geneva, a funny essay that she wrtote on the Calvinist capital of Lake Geneva and its peculiar inhabitants, was the first of her 20 very popular books until now.

 

 

NÚRIA FELIU

 

A great activist of the nova cançó and Catalan culture, born in the neighborhood of Sants, Barcelona, home also of her friend, the tenor Josep Carreras, something that leads Feliu with honor and great pride.

 

Hes first steps in the art world were acting. Classical and contemporary theater, where she starred in big heroines that promised her a brilliant career.

 

The ways of life led her to debut as a singer in 1965, and then highlighted successfully with over forty records of Catalan folk songs, “boleros”, “couplets”, american standards, both country and jazz, especially with the collaboration with pianist Tete Montoliu and Lou Bennet.

 

In 1976 she was awarded with the Popular Culture Prize by the Ministry of Culture in Madrid for her record Cançons d'Apel·les Mestres, in 1985 with the Creu de Sant Jordi, from the Catalan Goverment, and in 1990 the Sant Jordi Cinematography Prize from RNE and SGAE (Author’s Society) Prize awarded for her career.

 

 

BEATRIZ DE MOURA

 

Born in Rio de Janeiro, daughter of a Brazilian diplomat, studied Political Science, History and Literary Translation at the School of Interpreters in Geneva in 1958.

 

In 1961 she settled in Barcelona, working for various publishers, Salvat, Gustavo Gili or Lumen, owned by writer Esther Tusquets. In 1968 she married the architect Oscar Tusquets, and founded the publishing house Tusquets Editores, opened with a rigorous editorial line that has been made possible to the public the works of great contemporary writers in Castilian, as Ernst Jünger, Milan Kundera or Emil Cioran.

 

In 2006 she was awarded with the Creu de Sant Jordi from the Catalan Goverment.

 

 

ANNA MAIO

 

Everyone in Barcelona knows this friendly and cheerful woman from Torino, Italy, Bachelor of Arts, specialized in German language and literature at the University of Heidelberg.

 

In the 60’s she came to our country to perfect her Spanish, and since then she established her permanent residence between Barcelona and Cadaqués, a landscape that won her heart. She teached Italian language and literature at various schools: the Italian High School and the Italian Cultural Institute of Barcelona, ​​a center socially very active in the last years of the dictatorship.

 

Since 1970 she was responsible for public relations at the famous “Boccaccio” disco that become the nerve center of "La gauche divine", the meeting point of Barcelona's  social and cultural life of those years. With her huge capacity for work and social skills, helped everyone knocking on the door, she became the most reliable living memory of the golden age of this social sector.

 

 

ROSA SENDER

 

The link, created since many years, of her deep friendship with Colita was the figure of Anna Maria Moix and their world.

 

Doctor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the Medical School of the University of Barcelona. Since beginning her clinical training at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona between 1972 and 1976, she has carried out a continuous clinical practice in all areas of psychiatric pathology.

 

Professor of Medical Psychology (Faculty of Medicine of the UB) and Professor of Psychosomatic and Behavioral Medicine from 1999 to 2006. Sender is a very important member of the Spanish Society of Biological Psychiatry, the Spanish Society of Psychosomatic Medicine, the Catalan Society of Psychosomatic Research Group and Women and Mental Health.

 

 

MARTA TATJER

 

The sea. She is the sea and Barcelona.

 

There are few people who have the energy of this cultural agitator, proud to belong to the first democratic city council of his city from 77 to 87, a brilliant time after so many years of boredom and Francoist repression. Tatjer became a computer enabled reinvent a new city, open and carefree, recovering parties, relying on a different way to experience the city, occupying the streets opened to enjoy the culture space. Curious, interested in art, music and culture in general ... and quite voyeur.

 

She explains that, without being an expert in anything, Barcelona gave her the opportunity to devote herself, heart and soul, to cultural management. It was an unforgettable time, great collective illusions to change and innovate. Since inventing the Mercè City Feasts (which is what she is most proud of) to redesign the Grec theatre Festival and organize major cultural events in Barcelona, ​​dances at the Moll de la Fusta, the festivals of Sant Joan in Montjuïc, “correfoc”, carnivals and many more events.

 

The artists - in photography Colita - have been her right hand. All of them also liked this way of joining the party.

 
 
COLA, COLITA, COLASSA

 A production of

ELS FILMS DE LA RAMBLA, S.A. and TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA with the collaboration of INSTITUT CATALÀ D’EMPRESES CULTURALS

Screenplay, Director and Producer VENTURA PONS

Music: PASCALE COMELADE & COBLA SANT JORDI

D.P. : MARIA CODINA

Editor : MARC FARRERAS

Art Director : BEL·LO TORRAS

Direct sound : NATXO ORTÚZAR

Sound Mixer : NACHO MELERO

© ELS FILMS DE LA RAMBLA, S.A. / TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA, S.A

COLA, COLITA, COLASSA
 
COLA, COLITA, COLASSA

I've already seen this film twice. I liked it for so many reasons that it will be too long to explain. I think it is a "document" very important, joining powerful voices that we have not heard too much, unfortunately, until now. A very important film to recover a time we do not remember or do not want to remember. That Barcelona gray pigeon colour, they say. It also reminded me that we have a very particular mood, very private, laughing a lot while communicating. It is a private conversation, individuals women, yet very common. And a reminder for all women who go through life, of all colors, open minded, free, while they were assigned a very difficult time and did very well. They are a role model. And their nostalgic vein, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunties.. Snacking, laughing ...

TON PUJOL

CHICAGO UNIVERSITY. US.

HAVING TEA WITH UNIQUE WOMEN

The images of García Márquez with his head crowned with an open copy of Cien años de soledad (One hundred years of solitude) or that historic session when Terenci Moix provided the hairy chest replica of the sex-appeal of a young Truman Capote, are credit to the great standing as a portraitist of Colita, able to balance humour and fondness in each snapshot. There is, of course, another Colita, the one that recorded on the street the extreme vitality and also the extreme helplessness that could be found in the Chinese quarters of Barcelona and the huts of the Somorrostro. In the year 2014, Colita declined the National Photography Award, stating the very understandable reason of not wanting to have a picture taken next to the then minister Wert. This rejection is the starting point of the entertaining, very relaxed and free from prejudices conversation that articulates Cola, Colita, Colassa, the documentary that Ventura Pons has conceived, not so much as an eulogy to the artist, but as a verbal ode to Barcelona.The approach could not be simpler: Pons invites the audience to have tea in Colita’s house, in the company of friends of hers like Maruja Torres, Pilar Aymerich, Beatriz de Moura, Núria Feliu, Rosa Regàs, Teresa Gimpera, Anna Maio, Rosa Sender and Marta Tatjer. It is a pleasure to listen to these ladies, who seem to have lived everything, the last days of Francoism, the Gauche Divine, the nights at Bocaccio, the boom, and who exchange memories as if nobody was there filming them, but beyond this instant gratification, the documentary adds to the essential task that Pons has been doing in film works like Ocaña, retrat intermitent (1978) and El gran Gato (2003): to accurately document a Barcelona that is ceasing to be.

Jordi Costa

El País

THAT WIG TERENCI WORE 

Teresa Gimpera, Maruja Torres, Rosa Regàs, Núria Feliu, Pilar Aymerich, Beatriz de Moura, Anna Maio, Rosa Sender, Marta Tatjer... and Colita, the photographer who declined the National award 'to avoid being on the same picture as Wert' (Spanish culture minister at the time). The same person who travelled to Madrid to capture, in disguise, Franco's funeral. All of them are Catalan, all renowned professionals (book publishing, journalism, cinema), all of them in love with Barcelona and its past in the decades of the 60s and 70s, which witnessed the transformation of a dictatorial country into democracy. At the table, whilst we see dozens of snapshots taken by the protagonist herself, they eat churros and smoke whilst talking about Terenci, and his spider-wig, and Ana María Moix, the nova canço, censorship, Carmen Amaya, Orson Wells, Márquez and Vargas Llosa, the "gauche divine", with which they were actively and joyously involved... And of endless parties showered with alcohol and splashed with political discussions and a tremendous joy of life.

The title of the documentary is revealing, because the film, shot with such connivance, is an ode, a love letter to that long gone and missed Barcelona, with which the director was so actively involved himself. Let's just remember that his debut, the powerful "Ocaña, intermittent portrait" is from 1978. There is playfulness in the memories shared by the protagonists, which also reflect a society where it wasn't well accepted, for instance, that a young lady could calmly say that she enjoyed a lot making love, whilst using a rude word. There is nostalgia without tears and some minor drama, without much importance. But, above all, there is a bunch of women that were so free as the sign of times allowed them. And a Little bit more. And... what a trip to Ibiza that was...

Carmen L. Lobo

LA RAZÓN

For curious and open minds

Ventura Pons's three more popular documentaries (Ocaña, retrat intermitent', 'Ignasi M.' and this one, 'Cola, Colita, Colassa') have a common thread: an upfront vindication of freedom. It does not matter the decade he is portraying or who the protagonists are. The Barcelona of the 60s, the 70s... rich or poor people, intellectuals or artists. The filmmaker always sneaks in his message in support of free will. Sometimes in an assertive political way; some others in a more libertine and humorous way. His defence of enjoyment is another constant element in his work. This time he has reunited a group of friends of the photographer Colita to talk about her, of course; but also, whilst eating 'churros', of Franco's death, Boccaccio, the fascists, the 'Nova Cançó, the fight between García Márquez and Vargas Llosa, bidets, Carmen Amaya ('the memory of Carmen Amaya has left a mark on me for ever', says Colita), Sara Montiel, Orson Welles, trips to Egypt, the Moix siblings, Terenci ('he thought he resembled Burt Reynolds') and Ana María Moix, Antonioni's cinema ('I detest Antonioni, I find him ridiculous, dated'), how handsome Che Guevara was, the elegance of Gil de Biedma, and a teenager Romina Power in a Jesús Franco's film... amongst many other subjects, halfway between the glamour of the stage and the Gauche Divine and the misery of the Raval neighbourhood and the Bodega Bohemia. All of this interspersed with thousands of pictures from the honouree's archive.The conversation is undoubtedly thrilling, ... (and bits of it will remain in our memory, each spectator retaining those from their favourite girls): Maruja Torres, who tells us how one day she discovered ¡¡Bibi Andersen with a big cock!!!”; Teresa Gimpera, who reminisces on her career as an actress in commercial Spanish cinema, and Núria Feliu, who is grateful to Colita for convincing her to show her legs. We take with us a sentence from the photographer Pilar Aymerich: 'Happiness was revolutionary'. Let's wish that this message and many others we hear in this very entertaining movie ('he thought that we were all raising our fists and Mao's book in our cunt' says Colita), are never starved.

Pere Vall

Fotogramas

COLA-COLITA-COLAZA such a great “cola”!!!! Congratulations for such good work! Thank you very much Ventura Pons. A tribute to those big women! With their work, each made possible to change the landscape of the 70’s in Barcelona. They pushed and pushed and nobody opened any doors to them, because they demolished all or nearly all, themselves. Nobody gave them 5 extra points for being women to present their work in any oficial event. Hahaha! They won them leaving their skin and soul in every project. I loved it! I laughed and sometimes tears came to my eyes. It is one of those documentaries you see unblinking, with the smile in your lips, with a powerful laugh and bright eyes, moist at all times. It’s like I had been invited to their gathering and I was a guest unseen, almost tasting “churros” and smoking for a while.

Angela Bosch

CONSULTORA CINEMATOGRÀFICA

COLA, COLITA COLASSA. What a delight. It also could have been headline "10 WOMEN AND 20 BALLS" or "10 DIVINE OF GAUCHE". It is essential to understand an era when Barcelona stopped being Spanish to become one of the capitals of the world intelligentsia. My sincerest congratulations.

THOMAS SPIEKER.

FILM PRODUCER.

This sensational and emotional film explains and tributes Barcelona in decades that remains as legendary and indispensable to our memory. I was 9 years old when Franco died and so my joy was limited. I did not have to keep studying for the exam: the next day it was canceled and, instead, I could see a movie with Virginia Mayo and Bob Hope on TV. I could not resist to pause for so many interesting photographs of the great “Colita” selected for the film.

 

RAMON LAMARCA

LONDON UK

A good idea, a film giving the word to theese great women! With only the director attentive eye. What they tell is very interesting, dusting the memory of an old man like me and the curiosity of those who have come after. Then to check, once again, the distance separating those sixties / seventies from the formatted society we live today. And the series of images in black and white, at breakneck speed on all the final blast ... amazing! I confess that I have given to “playback” to allow time to put names to a few faces (not all!). Many "mersis".

José María Riba

PARÍS, FRANCE

Cola, Colita, Colassa (Ode a Barcelona). Another great documentary. I find it amazing that one can be so amused with so little action. It makes you fly. Such great women! Her point of view seems wonderful, so funny and serious at the same time, so dramatic and even so nostalgic sometimes. For me it's a great example of the power of storytelling, because, beyond the pictures her words take us to the world that they describe. What a document so valuable! Definitely the key word is the memory and the film perfectly combines the oral memory and the graphic one. What I love is that there is no hierarchy between them. The narrative concept works so well and I think as a great success to settle the sensational episode of Franco, the dictator, funeral at the end of the film. So many things are buried in these images. I also loved how the camera presents the faces in close-ups, witnessing themselves reliving their memory. I remember "Actresses" but I think this film is better. For many reasons of artistic, social, historical and heritage feminist I am convinced that will have a lasting impact for decades, as "Ocaña, an intermitent portrait" and as it will be with "Ignasi M." English subtitles work great. All perfect. Congratulations!

SANTIAGO FOUZ-HERNÁNEZ

DURHAM UNIVERSITY. UK

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