Cinema Great Hall
El jefe político (La réponse du destin / L’homme des Baléares) André Hugon
Catalan and spanish
The projection of the film El jefe político (The political boss)(1926) will be accompanied by live music performed by the composer and musician Miquel Brunet in order to commemorate the 27th of October, World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.
The recovery of this film by André Hugon, one of the pioneers of French cinematography, has come as a result of the joined efforts of the Arxiu del So i de la Imatge de Mallorca (Mallorca’s Archive for Sound and Image) and the Filmoteca Española (Spanish Film Library). The until-now-unreleased movie was acquired in 1999 by Mallorca’s Counsel, it has been carefully restored and, so far, is the only preserved copy of the film. The Political boss is an example of political cinema prior by many years to those directed by Francesco Rosi and Costa Gavras, who made this kind of films come into fashion back in the 50s and 60s.
Leopoldo Quintana is a really ambitious lawyer form Majorca. Sebastián Gocho, a powerful businessman, will help him with his political career so that both of them can establish a win-win relationship. Quintana wins his seat in Parliament through the manipulation of the elections and also through the use of criminal means. Once in Madrid, both men thrive by influence peddling and blackmail. Quintana claims that he is defending the working movement and he is able to take over the government, subsequently being appointed president, while Gocho becomes one of his ministers. In the meantime, Quintana has started a love affair with Gloria Montenegro, a model usually hanging about with the high-heeled in society. Meanwhile Juliana, Quintana’s wife, is very sick back in Majorca. Because of the government’s refusal to reduce the number of working hours and to put an end to Grocho’s monopoly on flour and electric energy in the island, riots begin to break out in Majorca. The rioters follow a mysterious leader, the Iron Man, who seems to know a lot of things about Quintana. The so-called Iron Man is Ernesto Avial, a young journalist who had gone to prison for defending Quintana.
The 35 mm cellulose nitrate, slightly faded at times, with toning cyanotype and intertitles in Spanish had to be thoroughly restored. The materials have been digitalized in 4k. Their origin was an incomplete copy with significant alterations in the editing. Even though there are differences between the book and the film, the reconstruction of the latter has been done following the former due to the lack of any other references. In spite of the addition of these extra titles the film includes important gaps in its narrative continuity. Image has been stabilized; it has also been colour-corrected and speed-adjusted to 17 frames per second; apart from that, everything else having to do with the physical characteristics present in the photo-chemical materials has been kept untouched.
René Navarre, Colette Darfeuil, Camille Bert, James Devesa, José Durany, Alexiane, Alexis Gashne, Joaquín Carrasco
André Hugon, José María Carretero, sobre la novel·la d’aquest darrer.
Jean Bachelet , Alphonse Gibory.