Sigo Siendo – Kachkaniraqmi (I am still here, 2012)

I am still here_Kachqaniraqmi

Directed by Javier Corcuera

Written by Javier Corcuera and Ana de la Prada

Starring: Máximo Damián, Félix Quispe “Duco”, “Palomita”

BY ÚRSULA COX

In Quechua Chanka (from the Ayacucho province in the Peruvian Andes) when two dear old friends meet after a long time the chosen greeting is “¡Kachkaniraqmi!” to express that, despite everything, one still is, still exists, is still here or, in its plural version (Quechua in all its forms doesn’t differentiate between plural and singular), we are still here, we are still, despite the odds.  Read More…

Calle Mayor (Main Street, 1953)

Calle Mayor

Written and directed by Juan Antonio Bardem

Starring: Betsy Blair, José Suárez, Manuel Alexandre

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

The Spanish Civil War has been considered one of the most horrendous events in the recent European history and has been depicted by a plethora of writers, philosophers and artists – Hemingway, Picasso and even Guillermo del Toro. But how much do we know about the thirty-five years General Franco ruled in Spain for? Under what conditions did Spaniards live in the 1940s and 50s, for example? This is a much obscure period, due mainly to Franco’s protectionist attitude towards international politics.

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Los amantes pasajeros (I’m So Excited, 2013)

Los amantes pasajeros

Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar

Starring: Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre

BY FIONA NOBLE

Pedro Almodóvar’s Los amantes pasajeros/I’m So Excited is, on the surface, a comedic, drug-fuelled romp of a film, that for Paul Julian Smith ‘marks a much heralded return to the transgressive and corrosive comedies of Almodóvar’s early period’. Like the director’s early films, produced in the aftermath of the Movida madrileña, Read More…

La lengua de las mariposas (Butterfly’s Tongue, 1999)

La-Lengua-De-Las-Mariposas

Directed by José Luis Cuerda

Written by Rafael Azcona, José Luis Cuerda and Manuel Rivas

Starring: Fernándo Fernán Gómez, Manuel Lozano, Guillermo Toledo.

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

How can a war shape a country and its people? To what extent may social pressure affect the behaviour and political ideas of individuals? And most importantly, can a conflict change dramatically the way a child perceives the world around him? La lengua de las mariposas takes place shortly before the start of the Spanish Civil War, Read More…

El sol del membrillo (The Quince Tree Sun, 1992)

Sol membrillo

Directed by Víctor Erice

Written by Víctor Erice and Antonio López

Starring: Antonio López, Marina Moreno, Enrique Gran

BY SERGIO ROMERO

Víctor Erice’s film El sol del membrillo (1992) introduces us to the difficult and complex world of art and more specifically that of painting. This is not the first time that Víctor Erice has used the artistic world as the basis for one of his films – allusions to painters such as Jan Vermeer, Velázquez, Rembrandt or Edward Hopper are Read More…

El Bola (Pellet, 2000)

Guess the film 3

Directed by Achero Mañas

Written by Verónica Fernández and Achero Mañas

Starring: Juan José Ballesta, Pablo Galán, Alberto Jiménez, Manuel Morón, Ana Wagener

BY PAUL HUNTER

Playing potentially lethal games with express trains may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but for the eponymous 12 year old boy it’s where he can feel some rare companionship with his peers. It’s also safer, than being with his father. For the boy, nicknamed El Bola (Pellet) after the lucky ball bearing he always carries, is a victim of Read More…

Belle Époque (1992)

Belle Epoque poster

Directed by Fernando Trueba

Written by Rafael Azcona, José Luis García Sánchez and Fernando Trueba

Starring: Jorge Sanz, Maribel Verdú, Ariadna Gil, Penélope Cruz, Fernándo Fernán Gómez.

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

When Fernando Trueba picked up the Oscar for his 1992 film Belle Époque he stated that, as he didn’t believe in God, he wished to thank Billy Wilder instead for helping him win the award. Just a few hours later, Trueba received a phone call from Wilder himself, who famously greeted him saying “Hi Fernando, it’s God here”. The truth is Read More…

Tierra (Earth, 1996)

Tierra 2

Written and directed by Julio Médem

Starring: Carmelo Gómez, Emma Suárez, Karra Elejalde, Silke, Nancho Novo

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

There is a certain amount of complexity in Julio Medem’s films. The Basque director has developed his own fictional universe through a very recognisable range of elements which often include non-chronological narration, incomplete stories and emotionally unstable characters. Medem – who graduated in Medicine and Read More…

Los Sin Nombre (The Nameless, 1999)

Los sin nombre 2

Directed by Jaume Balagueró

Written by Jaume Balagueró and Ramsey Campbell

Starring: Emma Vilarasau, Karra Elejalde, Tristán Ulloa

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

When Jaume Balagueró’s first feature length Los Sin Nombre was released in Spain in 1999, the hope for the then almost extint Spanish horror genre started being restored. Balagueró and other directors of his generation – like Paco Plaza (Rec, El Segundo Nombre) – reopened the door for Spanish audiences to take pride on Read More…

Balada Triste de Trompeta (The Last Circus, 2010)

Balada triste

Written and directed by Alex de la Iglesia.

Starring: Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Carolina Bang, Manuel Tafallé 

BY ANDRÉS ROMERO – JODAR

During the first half of the twentieth century, Europe was engaged in an atrocious fight against fascism. Fortunately, the Second World War put an end to some of those terror regimes, but sadly enough, in the Iberian Peninsula the wrong guys won the war. For more than forty years, both Portugal under Salazar and Spain under Franco Read More…