Revolutionizing La Regenta: Parodic Transformation and Cinematic Innovation in Oviedo Express

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Applying Linda Hutcheon’s concept of parody as “an integrated structural modeling process of revising, replaying, inventing, and ‘trans-contextualizing’ previous works of art,” this article explores how film director Gonzalo Suárez incorporates the following source material into his 2007 comedy Oviedo Express: Leopoldo Alas’s La Regenta as well as Suárez’s own 1974 film adaptation of the novel and Fernando Méndez-Leite’s 1995 made-for-television adaptation of it; Stefan Zweig’s story “Angst” and Roberto Rossellini’s film Non credo più all’amore (La paura) based on it; and J. B. Priestley’s play Music at Night. After announcing his parodic enterprise with a quote from Priestley, Suárez skillfully intertwines the plots of Alas’s novel, Zweig’s story, and Rossellini’s film while forging intertextual and extratextual connections among the characters and real-life actors present in the previous literary, cinematic, and televised versions of La Regenta. In so doing he refashions one of the classics of nineteenth-century Spanish Realism according to his own artistic genre of acción-ficción in order to create a new type of filmmaking that challenges prevailing cinematic assumptions of quality.


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