Tag Archive | Spain

Felices 140 (Happy 140, 2015)

img_21162

Directed by Gracia Querejeta

Written by Antonio Mercero and Gracia Querejeta

Starring: Maribel Verdú, Antonio de la Torre, Eduard Fernández

BY PABLO DE CASTRO

Spain may not be the most popular country in Scotland these days – in fact it hasn’t been for quite some time now: threats back in 2014 to veto any attempt for an independent Scotland to join the EU resulted among other things in occasional calls against the rights of the Spanish fishing fleet to work in Scottish waters. The recent events in Catalonia haven’t been helpful either to improve this image of a government prone to bullying their way around. Read More…

Hermosa juventud (Beautiful Youth, 2014)

foto-hermosa-juventud-3-183

Directed by Jaime Rosales

Written by Jaime Rosales and Enric Rufas

Starring: Ingrid García Jonsson, Carlos Rodríguez, Inma Nieto

BY RAQUEL MARTÍNEZ

In December 2014, the Spanish Prime Minister  ̶  Mariano Rajoy  ̶  claimed that the economic crisis was ‘history’.[1] In the same year, Catalan director Jaime Rosales released Beautiful Youth, a bleak observation of the effects of such crisis on one of Spain’s most vulnerable sectors: young people. Read More…

Un perro andaluz (Un Chien Andalou, 1929)

Perro andaluz

Directed by Luis Buñuel

Written by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí

Starring: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí

Making sense of Buñuel’s Un chien andalou 

BY BEATRIZ CABALLERO RODRIGUEZ

Daring and irreverent, Un chien andalou sets out to break expectations and to shock viewers out of their bourgeois numbed comfort. Although a black and white, silent film only seventeen minutes long, it remains one of the most influential and celebrated short-films in the history of cinema. Read More…

Volver (2006)

Cartel_Volver

Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar

Starring: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, Chus Lampreave

BY BEATRIZ CABALLERO RODRIGUEZ

From the outset, Pedro Almodóvar’s film Volver (2006) tackles the topics of memory and trauma across three generations of women. As the title Volver (meaning to return, to come back) indicates, this film is marked by a strong sense of disjointed time where the past refuses to stay in the past, ghosts refuse to stay buried, traumatic events refuse to be forgotten. Read More…

La isla mínima (Marshland, 2014).

Isla minima

Directed by Alberto Rodríguez

Written by Rafael Cobos and Alberto Rodríguez

Starring: Javier Gutiérrez, Raúl Arévalo, Antonio de la Torre.

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

2014 was an incomparable year for Spanish cinema. The Spanish film industry started to show signs of recovery from the harsh blow suffered as a result of the economic crisis and the VAT tax rise (from 8% to 21%) imposed by the Conservative Government. This rehabilitation was visible at this year’s Goya Awards where, for the first time in several years, there wasn’t just one clear favourite but a few strong contenders. Andalusian director Alberto Rodriguez achieved a considerable victory over the other nominees by taking home a total of 10 Goya awards for his film La isla mínima, including Best Film and Best Director. Read More…

El día de la bestia (The Day of the Beast, 1995)

Bestia1

Written and directed by Álex de la Iglesia

Starring: Álex Angulo, Santiago Segura, Armando de Razza

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

Spanish cinema lost one of its most talented and at the same time humble actors very recently. Álex Angulo, who passed away in a car accident at 61 years of age, received hundreds of condolences from fellow actors and artists right after the tragic news reached the net. He was really loved and respected in the profession, and also by the public. At this point, some non-Spanish readers might be wondering who this actor was and which films did he star in. He appeared in various Spanish TV series – Periodistas, for example – and several films. His international breakthrough came with Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth, in which he played the merciful and Republican supporter Dr Ferreiro. In Spain though, Angulo was remembered – and will always be – as Father Berriatúa, Álex de la Iglesia’s El Día de la Bestia’s popular anti-hero. Read More…

Stockholm (2013)

Stockholm

Directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen

Written by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and Isabel Peña

Starring Aura Garrido, Javier Pereira, Jesús Caba

BY R. MARTÍNEZ

From time to time, one watches a film whose originality and inventiveness are able to surprise and excite even the most worn out audiences’ imaginations, always looking out for a true and special cinematic experience. Stockholm provides a lot of that and a little more. It is fresh and surprising, well-shot and better performed. It is new but has a very powerful cult element to it, borrowing from very interesting sources that should not be revealed, thus intending to optimise the artistic journey that is Stockholm. The less the spectator knows about it, the better. Read More…

Todas las mujeres (2013)

Todas las mujeres

Director: Mariano Barroso

Written by: Alejandro Hernández and Mariano Barroso

Starring: Eduard Fernández, Michelle Jenner, Lucía Quintana, María Morales, Petra Martínez, Marta Larralde, Nathalie Poza.

BY REBECCA NAUGHTEN

Adapted from the TV series of the same name in which veterinarian Nacho (Eduard Fernández) interacted with a different woman in each episode, Mariano Barroso’s film compresses the story down into not much more than a 24 hour period wherein Nacho’s life implodes. I’m not going to say what the exact turn of events are, because it’s something that is revealed gradually, but ‘plot’ is also somewhat superfluous to the real point of the film: a study in character. 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.

Read More…

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…