The Story of El Condor  

I put together this short video about one of my favorite film sets in Almería, which appears in “Once Upon a Time in Almeria: The Legacy of Hollywood in Spain” (Daylight Books 2017). One of the most intriguing locations in Almería is the site of an elaborate fortress originally constructed in 1969 for the film El Condor. Adobe houses, horse stables, an elevated water tank, and a luxurious two story stone house surrounded a central plaza the size of a soccer field. The entire complex was circled by 30 foot walls with a network of watchtowers and stairways. The fort […]

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El Astronauta  

This 1970 Spanish comedy follows Pepe (Tony LeBlanc), a small town dreamer who, after watching the US moon landing on television, decides to build his own rocket to the moon. Amazingly, after numerous setbacks, he finally blasts off into space before coming to a rough landing in a desolate lunar landscape. But while he believes he has reached the moon, his capsule has actually fallen back to earth, landing in the Tabernas desert in the south of Spain. Suddenly, an American cavalry rides by on horseback. The director yells ‘cut!’, while Pepe stands bewildered in his space suit in the […]

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Is this Hollywood?  

“You can sit here and look around the back and think you were in Los Angeles. Except it hasn’t got that word ‘Hollywood’ scorched across it.” from an interview with the late Eddie Fowlie, David Lean’s “Dedicated Maniac” Once Upon a Time in Almería: The Legacy of Hollywood in Spain’ (Daylight Books 2017)

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Following the success of A Fistful of Dollars (1964), Sergio Leone commissioned Carlo Simi to construct an entire western town for the second title in the trilogy, For a Few Dollars More. Two rival bounty hunters, (Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef), both in pursuit of the fugitive El Indio, eye each other suspiciously from their hotel windows on opposite sides of the street. The building now labelled the “Yellow Rose” housed Van Cleef’s hotel and the town saloon. Once Upon a Time in Almería: The Legacy of Hollywood in Spain’ (Daylight Books 2017)

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Coverage of “Once Upon a Time in Almería” in the Daily Mail  

This week the Daily Mail published a feature article on my photo project documenting the legacy of Hollywood and international filmmaking in Almeria, Spain. Here is one excerpt from the interview published in the article: ‘The Western towns built by Sergio Leone and others were not meant to be accurate representations of the American West. Instead, they were constructed to meet filmmakers’ vision of what the American West was like. ‘The Spaghetti Western has been described as a myth of a myth, because it is one step further removed from the myth of the original Hollywood Westerns. ‘However, this myth […]

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Mark Parascandola discusses his project ‘Once Upon a Time in Almeria’ with local experts during the Almería Western Film Festival  

Excerpts from the press conference for the exhibit “Érase una vez en Almería: decorados, restos y paisajes del cine” are now posted online. The brief presentation includes statements from Francisco Alonso, head of the Instituto de Estudios Almerienses, Mar Verdejo, coordinator of the exhibition, and myself, talking about the content of the exhibition and Almería’s film history. The press conference was held October 8 in the Palacio Provincial de la Diputación. The exhibit opened the following day at the Salón Polivalente de Tabernas as part of the fifth edition of the Almería Western Film Festival. Click below to watch the […]

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65 cinema experts choose the best movies filmed in Almería  

This summer “La Voz de Almería” conducted a survey to pick the best films shot in the area since 1961. Hundreds of films have been made in the region over the past half century and 65 local cinema experts such as film experts, actors, directors, historians, writers were asked to select their top ten best movies filmed in Almería. “Lawrence de Arabia”, “Indiana Jones and the last crusade” and “The Good, the Ugly and the Bad” occupied the top three positions of the list and were considered among the best ever made. “Vivir es fácil” was the first Spanish movie appearing […]

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Events / Latest News / Press
Oct 14, 2015

Press coverage about the exhibition “Once Upon a Time in Almería”  

My exhibition “Érase una vez en Almería: Decorados, Restos y Paisajes de Cine” (“Once Upon a Time in Almería”) was inaugurated this last weekend in Almería, Spain. The exhibition included 18 framed prints 24″ x 36″, all images of film sets and locations around the province of Almeria, which was the site of hundreds of movie productions primarily in the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition showed sets built to recreate shootings, constructions where “good, bad and ugly folks” found a shelter and landscapes through where stagecoaches were heading to the unknown. “Mark Parascandola presents his vision of what is left […]

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Exposición “Érase una vez en Almería: decorados, restos y paisajes del cine” en el Salón Polivalente de Tabernas en Almería  

“Érase una vez en Almería: decorados, restos y paisajes del cine” Salón Polivalente de Tabernas. Dias 9, 10 y 11 de octubre de 2015 Diputación de Almería. Instituto de Estudios Almerienses Horario: 11.00 h.-13.00 h y 17.00 h – 20.00 h En los años 60 numerosos directores de cine europeo y americano descubrieron Almería, atraídos por su luz, el peculiar paisaje desértico, y una barata mano de obra. Decenas de películas como Cleopatra, Lawrence de Arabia, Patton, así como varios spaguetti westerns de Sergio Leone, con Clint Eastwood como protagonista, fueron grabados allí. Cuatro años más tarde, los decorados de […]

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Straight to Hell  

In August 1986, an unlikely crew descended on the Tabernas desert, including Joe Strummer, Courtney Love, Elvis Costello, members of the Pogues, Sy Richardson, and Jim Jarmusch. Even Dennis Hopper and Grace Jones jetted in for a day. The resulting film, Alex Cox’s Straight to Hell, was neither a commercial nor critical success, but it has since achieved a form of cult status. A remastered director’s cut was just released last year. But the fact that the film got made at all was the result of an equally improbable set of circumstances. In 1984 The Clash were on the verge […]

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