January 21, 2021

Overwhelming sympathy | Culture | THE COUNTRY

Overwhelming sympathy | Culture | THE COUNTRY


If he had not died 68 years after a heart attack, Edgar Neville would perhaps be celebrating more than his centenary these days. He was fat and gluttonous, "a very fine wit lodged in an excessive box" as Luis Escobar defined him with his usual sharpness; was a prominent member of the so-called "other generation of 27", creator of important works for design, film and theater in which he captured with good humor his critical vision of our pacata society (Life in a thread It's a good example); friend among others of Charles Chaplin and of course Mihura, Tono, Jardiel Poncela and all the splendid troop of the magazine The Quail. It has been claimed by the current youth (The seven hunchbacks's tower is, especially, his most valued work), being a reason for tributes, documentaries and biographical books such as the magnificent Rios Carratalá, advisable reading, entitled A sweeping sympathy, edited by Ariel.

Edgar Neville is not the only subject of recoveries, so is his favorite actress, with whom he shared a long and passionate love story against all the conventions of the time, that is, the intrepid and unusual Conchita Montes. She was not only a theater, film and television actress, but also a translator of numerous works, an eventual businesswoman, and author of the famous pastime. The cursed checkerboard, from the time of the Second Republic until the forces began to weaken him. The first biography dedicated to her has just been published (Conchita Montes, a woman before the mirror, written by Felipe Cabrerizo and Santiago Aguilar, and edited by Bala Perdida) in which she recognizes not only a creator of the frivolous and elegant high comedy that she marked with peculiar style on stage and in some of her films (The dance, written and directed by Neville was perhaps his masterpiece), but a courageous intellectual in a context of men and in times of political and moral repression.

It was time for this recovery of Conchita Montes, forgotten by many (not so for Berlanga who counted on her in The national shotgun), forgetting what she complained about, for example, when on the TVE program Dear comedians it was not counted on his presence, when there were enough younger actresses for whom Conchita asked: "But. they have done?".

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