Belén, Ana

(1951- )
   Ana Belén was born María del Pilar Cuesta Acosta and started out as a teenage actress in 1966, in sentimental fare like the musical Zampo y yo (Zampo and Me, Luis Lucia), in which she starred as a neglected teenager who invents an imaginary clown-like father figure (played by Fernando Rey, no less). Soon she showed more discernment, doing a number of film plays for television and accepting roles in off-beat Tercera Vía films like Roberto Bodegas' Españolas en París (Spanish Women in Paris, 1971). Her risk-taking image was consolidated with Jaime de Armiñán's El gran amor del capitán Brando (Captain Brando's Great Love, 1975), Pilar Miró's feminist debut La petición (The Request), Eloy de la Iglesia's La criatura (The Creature, 1977), and the obscure metaphorical melodrama Sonámulos (Sleepwalkers, 1978), directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón. At this time, she also became a well-known pop singer, with a number of chart-topping singles. She often teamed up with her husband, Victor Manuel, one of the more emblematic late-Francoism songwriters, and she had a hugely successful recording and concert career. Both were politically committed, publicly supporting the Communist Party in the first general elections.
   Belén was one of the key performers of the Transition, appearing in earnest Zeitgeist films including La petición (The Request, 1976) and Jordi Cadena's adaptation of Juan Marsé, La oscura historia de la prima Montse (The Obscure Tale of Cousin Montse, 1978). Other roles of this period include her portrayal of a woman who marries for money in Demonios en el jardín (Demons in the Garden, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, 1982) and the poor girl forced into prostitution in La colmena (The Beehive, Mario Camus, 1982). Then, around the time of her roles in Sé infiel y no mires con quién (Be Wanton and Tread no Shame, Fernando Trueba, 1985) and La corte del Faraón (Pharaoh's Court, José Luis García Sánchez, 1985), she discovered glamour, and a particular kind of haughty sophistication became the most remarkable part of her image.
   In a number of films during the next two decades, Belén specialized in the cool, elegant, glamorous woman, flawlessly attired and with a certain unemotional coldness, and some audiences perceived unresolved contradictions between her mask and her avowed political ideas. She alternated between singing and acting, but by the early 1990s, her film roles were becoming less committed and more rote. When, as in El amor perjudica seriamente a la salud (Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health, Manuel Gómez Pereira, 1996), aloofness suited the role, she was note perfect. But her range suffered, and she found it hard to regain former versatility, particularly when called upon to emote.
   In 1991, she directed the unremarkable Cómo ser mujer y no morir en el intento, (How To Be a Woman and Not Die in the Attempt) starring Carmen Maura. In films like Vicente Aranda's Libertarias (Freedom Fighters, 1996), she was eclipsed even by Victoria Abril's supporting turn and in La pasión turca (The Turkish Passion, 1994), also directed by Aranda, she failed to show the passion required by the role. She missed the opportunity to play the protagonist in Pedro Almodóvar's La flor de mi secreto / Flower of My Secret, in 1995, which suggests that her interest in movies was waning. Her film appearances have become rare since the mid-1990s. In 1995, she received the Gold Medal for Professional Achievement in Film, awarded by the Spanish Academia de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas.
   Historical Dictionary of Spanish Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Belén, Ana — (1951 )    Ana Belén was born María del Pilar Cuesta Acosta and started out as a teenage actress in 1966, in sentimental fare like the musical Zampo y yo (Zampo and Me, Luis Lucia), in which she starred as a neglected teenager who invents an… …   Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema

  • Belén, Ana — b. 1950, Madrid    Actress and singer (real name María del Pilar Cuesta)    Ana Belén began in show business at 14 in the film Zampo y yo (Zampo and I). A multifaceted artist with a deep social conscience, she became known during the 1970s as a… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • Belén, Ana — pseud. di Cuesta, Maria del Pilar …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Ana Belén — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Ana Belén Información personal Nombre real María del Pilar Cuesta Acosta …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ana Belén — (* 27. Mai 1951 in Madrid, Spanien, eigentlich María del Pilar Cuesta Acosta) ist eine spanische Schauspielerin und Sängerin. Sie ist seit 1972 mit dem Pop Sänger Víctor Manuel verheiratet, den sie bei den Dreharbeiten des Films Morbo… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ana Belén Montes — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Fotografía compuesta de Ana Belén Montes, después de haber sido detenida por el FBI. Ana Belén Montes (nacida en la Alemania Occidental el 28 de febrero de 1957) era la analista superior (senior analyst) sobr …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ana Belen — Ana Belén María del Pilar Cuesta Acosta alias Ana Belén, est une chanteuse et actrice espagnole née 27 mai 1951. Sommaire 1 Discographie 2 Cinématographie 3 Théâtre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Belén (desambiguación) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Belén es un nombre propio de mujer. Contenido 1 Lugares 1.1 Asia 1.2 Europa 1.3 América del Norte …   Wikipedia Español

  • Belén — oder Belen (der spanische Name von Betlehem) ist der Name folgender Orte: in Argentinien: Departamento Belén in der Provinz Catamarca Belén (Catamarca) in der Provinz Catamarca Belén de Escobar in der Provinz Buenos Aires in Bolivien: Belén… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Belén — Belen Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Belen ou Belén Sur le Wiktionnaire belén : Crèche (représentation de la Nativité) vient de Belén en espagnol …   Wikipédia en Français

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