Jaime Chávarri

Jaime Chávarri
Born Jaime Chávarri y de la Mora
(1943-03-20) 20 March 1943
Madrid, Spain
Occupation Filmmaker
Years active 1967 present

Jaime Chávarri (born 20 March 1943) is a Spanish film director and screenwriter.

Life and career

Chavarri comes from a prominent family. His mother María de la Mora y Maura (1907 Segovia, Sotosalbos, 1 November 2001) was a maternal granddaughter of Antonio Maura. He had already graduated as a lawyer when he entered the Escuela Oficial the cine EOC in 1968.[1] He abandoned his formal film studies in his second year, moving into film criticism. He wrote for Film Ideal while devoting himself to make two feature-length films in super 8: Run, Blanca Nieves run (1967) and Ginebra en Los Infiernos (1969). He collaborated with Ivan Zuleta in this director's series for Spanish television Ultimo grito (The last cry) and subsequently scripted Un dos tres... al escondite Inglés (Hide and Seek) (1969). Over the next several years he worked on the technical crew of a number of films and collaborated with Spanish cult film director Jesus Franco on the script for Franco's 1970 opus, Vampyros Lesbos. He also contributed one segment to the collective film, Pastel de Sangre / Blood Pie (1971).

Chávarri's first feature-length film as a director was Los Viajes Escolares (School trips) (1974), a complex autobiographical film that focuses on the ambiance of a dysfunctional family.[2] Critics recognized the director's talent but criticized the obscure symbolism of the film. Two years later, Chavarri continued the theme of the dysfunctional family with the documentary El Desencanto (The disenchantment) (1976) which portraits the family of the deceased Francoist poet Leopoldo Panero, capturing the visceral relations forged out of the patriarchal tyranny in the poet's three sons and widow.[2] Chavarri subsequent film was the highly praised A Un Dios Desconocido, To An Unknown God (1977) which tale the story of a solitary aging gay magician who remembers his youthful romance with Federico García Lorca. The film, written with producer Elias Querejeta and with notable work by cinematographer Teodoro Escamilla, was highly praised winning the leading actor and director prizes at the 1977 San Sebastián International Film Festival.[2]

Chavarri subsequent film: Dedicatoria (A dedication) (1980), another collaboration with Elias Querejeta, centers on Juan Uribe, played by José Luis Gómez, a journalist whose interrogation of his comrade, Luis Falcon, a political prisoner, leads him to discover the incestuous relation between Falcon and his daughter, the same woman with whom Juan is having sexual relations. Like earlier Chavarri's films, A dedication was praised for its uncompromising thematic and artistry, but failed at the box office.[2]

By the early 1980s, Chavarri embarked on a series of film adaptations of diverse fictional works which lent a seeming randomness and lack of focus to his development as filmmaker. In 1983 he directed the opulent adaptation of Llorenç Villalonga's novel, Bearn o la sala de muñecas (Bearn or the Dolls's room) and followed that with a screen version of Fernando Fernán Gómez' war play Las bicicletas son para el verano (Bicycles are for summer) (1984).[2]

The success of Las bicicletas son para el verano led Chavarri to turned his career from making independent films to more commercial ones. His musical- drama set in the 1930s Las Cosas del Querer The things of love (1989) became his biggest commercial successes.[2] In 1993, he made the comedy Tierno Verano de lujuria y azoteas (Tender Summer of lust and Rooftops) based on the novel by Pablo Solozábal . The film explores the sexual awakening of a young man played by Gabino Diego obsessed with his much older cousin Olga, played by Marisa Paredes. This was followed by a sequel: Las Cosas del Querer 2,(1995) made for the producer Luis Sanz. It was less successful than its predecessor.

Chavarri's films of the 1990s: Gran slalom (1996) and Sus ojos se cerraron y el mundo sigue andando (1997) did not have any artistic of commercial repercussions. The director did better with Besos para todos (Kisses to all) (2000), a comedy set in the 1960s starring Emma Suárez, Eloy Azorín and Pilar López de Ayala. His film Camarón (Camarón: When Flamenco Became Legend) (2005), a biopic of the flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla played by Óscar Jaenada, also was well regarded.[3]


Year English title Original title Notes
1973 School trips Los viajes escolares
1976 The Disenchantment El desencanto Documentary
1977 To an Unknown God A un dios desconocido Best director San Sebastián International Film Festival
1979 Tales for an escape Cuentos para una escapada segment The deaf woman
1979 Erotic tales Cuentos eróticos segment Pequeño planeta
1980 Dedicatory Dedicatoria
1982 Bearn or the Dolls's room Bearn o la sala de las muñecas
1983 Bicycles Are for the Summer Las bicicletas son para el verano
1985 The river of gold El río de oro
1989 The Things of love Las cosas del querer
1993 Tender Summer of lust and Rooftops Tierno verano de lujurias y azoteas
1995 The things of love. Second part Las cosas del querer. Segunda parte
1996 Gran slalom Gran slalom
1997 Tangos Are for Two Sus ojos se cerraron y el mundo sigue andando
2000 Kisses for Everyone Besos para todos
2004 El año del diluvio El año del diluvio
2004 Madrid M11: We Were All on That Train Madrid M11: We Were All on That Train segment "Doce de octubre"
2005 Camarón: When Flamenco Became Legend Camarón: When Flamenco Became Legend


  1. D’Lugo, Guide to the Cinema of Spain, p. 139
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 D’Lugo, Guide to the Cinema of Spain, p. 140
  3. "Jaime Chavarri". spainisculture.com. Retrieved 2012-07-20.


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