Miquel Porter Moix (Barcelona, 1930 - Altafulla, 2004) was a historian and film commentator and critic, as well as a cultural and political activist. He had a doctorate from the University of Barcelona where he occupied the first Chair of Cinema Studies.
He was a pioneer in his work to recover the film legacy of Catalonia and in his rigorous research into the history of cinema – especially Catalan cinema – as may be seen in his works Cinematografia catalana. 1896-1925 (Catalan Cinematography, 1896 – 1925), which was published in 1958, Història del cinema català (A History of Catalan Cinema, 1969), Adrià Gual i el cinema primitiu a Catalunya (Adrià Gual and Early Cinema in Catalonia, 1985) and Història del Cinema a Catalunya: 1895-1990 (History of Cinema in Catalonia: 1895 – 1990), which appeared in 1992.
For many years he was a film commentator and critic for the daily Avui and in such reviews as Serra d'Or and Destino. He also wrote as a cinema specialist in encyclopaedias and published very influential works in the general field of film studies, for example Historia del cine ruso y soviético (A History of Russian and Soviet Cinema, 1968) and Las claves del cine y otros medios audiovisuales (Keys to Cinema and Other Audiovisual Media, 1994).
Until his retirement in 2000, he taught History of Aesthetics and Sociology of Cinematography and Audiovisual Media at the University of Barcelona. His versatile personality led him also to initiate cultural endeavours concerned with experimental theatre and the "Nova Cançó" (New Song in Catalan) movement, which promoted Catalan music during the Franco dictatorship, and he was also actively engaged in political life and union activities.
Notable among the awards he received are the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George Cross) of the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia, and the City of Barcelona Gold Medal. From 2001 until his death in 2004, he was president of the Fundació de la Universitat Catalana d'Estiu (UCE – Catalan Summer University Foundation).
Web page: Francesc Viñas for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.
Photographs: Associació d'Amics de Miquel Porter Moix.