Juan Mariné, almost a century of cinema

now, When we wake up, Juan Mariné will have begun its final countdown towards its first century of life. The legendary director of photography, that began in th

Juan Mariné, almost a century of cinema

now, When we wake up, Juan Mariné will have begun its final countdown towards its first century of life. The legendary director of photography, that began in the cinema before the Civil War, and reputed restorer of the film was born December 31, 1920. Marino, who received along with 2020 the homage of the Filmoteca Española, is 99 years old without the need of glasses, remember the directions of the studies in which he has worked, as well as and the names of their companions, and not tolerate sitting more than five minutes, whereas repeated conversations in French or Catalan of over eight decades ago.


The race to save the movies Juan Mariné, in search of the light lost

A life of Marino holds the several other. Last Saturday I was working in his office (three rooms, chained, full of machines and film material) in the basement of the Film School of the Community of Madrid (ECAM), in the middle of the City Image. In one of the cabinets, a poster of the short film The Submariné, dedicated to his career: you see a closeup of your face with the right side dark and left enlightened. “It defines my life. Until 1947 darkness and hardship. From that moment on, film, and happiness.” The National Film prize and the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in the house. The rest of the awards are resting there in two display cases. Their most prized possessions are in the two other rooms: a variety of machines created by Mariné to clean, restore and digitize celluloid. Explaining them, going on like a child. And starts to remember.

“My father was a good player of soccer, Foot-Ball Espanya. Will he floated the club, but my grandfather told him that if he booked for them, there was the door. My mother also played: it was a gatekeeper of the Child Sociedad Española de Foot-Ball”. Something unheard of decades later. “True, but gave no importance”. He learned to read with four years to understand the posters inserted in silent films. “I was very good student, and as I becaban, my father left me to continue going to college. Until a few fevers I've had a long period in bed. I was blind and luckily, I in the emergency room, just the day of my birthday, a physician with expertise in Ophthalmology. I spent months with cures, but managed to heal the eyes,” he recalls with a face scared. Not returned to the high school, and was put to work carrying freight. “I played with the Modesto Llosas Rosell. You don't know who it was, right? Of course, he became famous with the name of Jorge Mistral”.

Burial of Durruti

A day of November, 1934, her uncle instructed her to carry a film camera for roll film sound to the study Orphea where he was filming The eighth commandment. “The instruction manual was in French, and while I waited to get a van to move the camera I read it. When you reach the study, the team, all composed by the swiss, had already had problems with the camera that was used,” a model previous to which he had ported. “I was the only one able to understand that they had plugged in the wrong setup the camera is synchronized with the audio device and the electrical systems of three-phase and single-phase”. Result: they asked him to stay to the side of the camera. Adrien Porchet, the director of photography, gave him a tip: “If you want to thrive in this estate to your time and you never feel”. Since that time it has led to the letter.

So begins the first part of the career of Marino in the film, which, at the start of the Civil War, comes to a culmination historic: the leader of the troops anarchists in Madrid, Buenaventura Durruti, dies after receiving a gunshot wound in November of 1936. “I was of the CNT [the union anarchist] and I was part of the team that filmed his burial in Barcelona. But there were so many people that you deplete the batteries, and I was the only one who knew how to roll by hand by dragging the film with the crank”. Saved the first problem, and second, the lack of sound, solved by synchronizing the images with the broadcast of Radio Barcelona.


Marino took part in the Aurora de esperanza (1937), drama anarchist precursor of neo-realism, and in other films —as a Package, the photographer number one public (1938), where he was a friend of an actor who began, Paco Martínez Soria— before joining the ranks. After being decimated by your company in may of 1938 in the battle of rio Segre, Marino ended up as the photographer of another myth of the war, lieutenant colonel Enrique Lister, until that winter, crossed the border with France.

Detained by the colonial troops, senegalese in France, Marino was detained in the concentration camp of Argelès-sur-Mer. “I'm the only Spanish who managed to escape from there, and I did swim”. Finally, with other refugees traveled as a prisoner of Pasajes (Gipuzkoa) to Cadiz. The camp of la Rinconada (Seville), he took his father with luck and contacts, and Marino ended the war on the side of the franco regime, as a photographer in the Greater State of Catalonia. The first thing you did to achieve freedom was to go to a room, to see The great Ziegfeld.

it was Still military when he returned to the cinema, to the filming in October, 1939, from The silly to the pot (“The original, not the one that all of you remember”). In 1942 filmed four movies in 1943, five... In 1947, moved to Madrid and the following year he made his debut as director of photography on the first of 140 films in which he performed this work until 1990, who retired with a shooting half under the water: The crack, of Juan Piquer Simón. Among them, the first filmed in Spain in color, The gata (1956), with Jorge Mistral and Aurora Bautista, of which Marino recalls several anecdotes.

he Has worked with filmmakers such as Edgar Neville, José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, Juan Piquer Simón, Antonio del Amo, José María Forqué and Pedro Masó. Marino told us about the vicissitudes of his 140 films. With its technological advances, which developed in parallel, achieved, for example, that would not have to shoot again The great family, whose negative was marred almost to the end of the shoot. Over the years he has worked on restoration at the Filmoteca Española. "You must always restore the negative. Do it on the positive is another thing that can't be called restoration. And we'll see how we preserve the digital, which is proving to be the worst storage medium". It has also given a class on this work in the ECAM. “After surviving the Civil War, I swore that my life would be dedicated to the movies,” he says with a powerful voice. And so it goes.

A projection by month for a review of a life

Frame of 'Supersonic Man'.

The Spanish Film library was inaugurated last Sunday a cycle dedicated to John Marino, who will have a screening for the month up to 2021, and that he himself will be presenting. Started with the first movie I saw after achieving freedom, The great Ziegfeld (1936), and in January there will be a session with their first jobs. For February, the Film probably will schedule the title of worship Supersonic Man (1979), of Juan Piquer Simon, a Superman Spanish filmed with actors americans. Mariné account how to photos of Kronos / Supersonic for “fly.” Unveils the trick, so simple in its theory and complex in its execution. “Everything I created”. For that passion for research, the filmmaker has received, among other awards, the premio Juan de la Cierva and the post of Honor of the Seminci.

Date Of Update: 31 December 2019, 04:00