José Luis Cuerda

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José Luis Cuerda Martínez (born February 18, 1947 in Albacete , Spain , † February 4, 2020 in Madrid ) was a Spanish film director , screenwriter and film producer .


He began studying law in Madrid, but dropped out after three years and became a radio technician. With this training he started to work for Spanish public television in 1969, where he made over 500 documentaries for the newsroom for five years. Between 1985 and 1987 he worked as an assistant in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Salamanca . After making a few short films, he managed to secure funding for his first film Pares y nones in 1982 . With this film he became one of the most important representatives of the so-called Madrid comedy ( comedia madrileña ), which enjoyed great popularity in Spain in the 1980s.

His next film El bosque animado (1987) started a new creative phase of Cuerda, which was characterized by the recourse to his surrealist humor. A year later, the film Amanece que no es poco was released , which finally brought him his breakthrough as a filmmaker. With Así en la tierra como en el cielo (1995) he rounded off a kind of trilogy, the basis of which is his bizarre humor.

With La lengua de las mariposas (1999) he told a story about the relationship between a child and his teacher, which was politically overshadowed by the beginning of the Spanish civil war.

He is also known as the discoverer and patron of Alejandro Amenábar . For example, Cuerda produced Amenábar's films Tesis - The Snuff Film , The Others and Virtual Nightmare - Open Your Eyes . In 2008, his feature film Los girasoles ciegos - which has won numerous awards at home and abroad - was selected as the official Spanish entry for a nomination for the best foreign language film at the 2009 Academy Awards. Cuerda received the Goya Film Prize four times .

Cuerda died on February 4, 2020 at the age of 72 in his apartment in Madrid.


  • 1977: Mala racha
  • 1982: Pares y nones
  • 1985: total
  • 1987: El Bosque Animado
  • 1988: Amanece, que no es poco
  • 1991: La viuda del Capitán Estrada
  • 1993: Tocando fondo
  • 1995: Así en el cielo como en la tierra
  • 1999: The tongue of the butterflies ( La lengua de las mariposas )
  • 2000: Primer amor
  • 2004: ¡Hay motivo! (Segment Por el mar corre la liebre )
  • 2006: La educación de las hadas
  • 2008: Los girasoles ciegos (The Blind Sunflowers), based on the novel of the same name by Alberto Méndez (1941 - 2004)

Web links

Commons : José Luis Cuerda  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Stuttgarter Zeitung, Stuttgart Germany: Film director José Luis Cuerda died: Master of the surrealist comedy. Retrieved May 2, 2020 .
  2. cf. Official shortlist of foreign language feature films with English titles (English; accessed October 22, 2008)