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Hello, today is Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 

 

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OLIVES & POPCORN FILM REVIEWS

 

CLICK HERE FOR MANY SPANISH FILMS 

 

March 2013

La chispa de la vida (2011) PosterThis month I present La Chispa de la vida ( 2012) As Luck would have it where an Unemployed Adman Makes a Deal With His Body

The new film from beloved cult director Alex de la Iglesia goes into fresh territory for the daring director, a dark comedy/social satire that also works as a deeply felt drama about the devotion of a husband and father. A wild riff on manhood in the modern media world, As Luck Would Have It is a skewed take on the strange world we live in.

A toothless examination of marketing and morality, Álex de la Iglesia’s “As Luck Would Have It” combines lecture, farce and soapy sentiment in a single misshapen package.

Centering on Roberto (the Spanish comedian José Mota), a dejectedly unemployed adman, Randy Feldman’s screenplay aims for satire but lands squarely on schlock. Immobilized when a ridiculously contrived accident leaves him supine on a museum floor with an iron rod piercing his skull, Roberto resolves to monetize the bejesus out of his predicament. Around him is a newly unearthed Roman amphitheater — perfect for the gathering storm of paparazzi — and ahead lie myriad opportunities to rescue his family from destitution. His body may be trapped, but his brain is working overtime.

Engrossing at every turn, maverick Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia's As Luck Would Have It is a biting satire about the machinations of today's sensation-hungry media. Seamlessly moving between drama and black comedy, the heart of the film lies in the pitch-perfect performances from Mota, in his big-screen debut, and the always brilliant Hayek.

as luck would have it

 

 

Dec 2011

cuento de navidad

 

Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.

 

 

This month I present a seasonal tale that was originally a Spanish TV series, but I should warn you that this is one Christmas tale you won't be able to watch on a full belly of turkey and mince pies!…… Películas para no dormir: Cuento de navidad (2005) -(English title: Films to Keep You Awake: The Christmas Tale)

Originally aired on TV this strange little tale featuring Ivana Baquero from Pan's Labyrinth which can still be viewed mostly on Youtube as well as being released as a DVD set.

films to keep you awake. The Christmas tale

Plot: In 1985, in a coastal town, the friends Koldo, Peti, Tito, Eugenio and Moni stumble across a woman dressed like Santa Claus trapped in what appears to be a large bear trap in the woods. While two of the boys go to the nearby police station to ask for help, the others find a rope to pull the woman out of the hole. However, the first two boys are informed by the police that the woman is the dangerous thief Rebeca Expósito, who has just stolen two million pesetas from a bank and is a most wanted criminal. The group decides to leave the woman in the hole without any food to force her to give the stolen money to them. Meanwhile, in a strange subplot Peti and Eugenio who are fans of a horror movie "Zombie Invasion", decide to perform a voodoo ceremony using Rebecca transforming her into a zombie. When Rebecca escapes from her imprisonment, she uses an axe to chase the misguided boys.The trailer can be checked out here -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWV3itwigWI
Jason.M.Berry 7/11/11 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

el hombre de las mariposas

 

 

Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month like last month I present something a little different, but I hope still will interest our readers……

El hombre de las mariposas (2011) (English title: The man of the butterflies)

Directed by Maxi Valero, whose previous credits include various titles over the past few years as writer, director, and composer! Plot: Lucio is an old Soviet general who emigrated to Spain after the end of the Soviet period. Natasha is a 12 years old girl, and at the time an unknown niece of Lucio, who is abandoned by her stepfather at the door of the house of her uncle.

 

el hombre de las mariposasThey don't know each other, they are both lonely people, additionally they don't like each other... but now, the old Soviet general and the strange little girl must live together.

butterflyThis new situation will ask for great sacrifices to the girl and the General, they will have to look inside to find the best of themselves in the worst time of their lives. For those readers who do pay attention this film features Claudia Silva who you may remember from "REC"

butterfly

 

The trailer can be checked out here - http://youtu.be/HeFEbxiMfNg

Jason.M.Berry 17/10/2011
Contact e-mail:[email protected]

 

Oct 2011

intruders 2011Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month like last month I present a film due for release this coming October just in time for the Halloween season, that although of Spanish origin has some familiar faces…

INTRUDERS (2011)
'Intruders' is an American/British/Spanish project staring Clive Owen, Kerry Fox, Carice van Houten and Daniel Brühl in the leads. The shooting began at the end of June in London and Madrid under the directorial guidance Juan Carlos Fresnadillo who brought us '28 Weeks Later' as well as the recently announced 'The Crow' remake.
Clive Owen Stars in this supernatural horror that tells the parallel stories of families whose lives are disrupted by supernatural forces. The first story takes place in Spain, where a mother tries to protect her son from a faceless ghost. The second story takes place in Britain, dealing with a young girl who has terrifying dreams of a demon who is beginning to manifest itself to her and her family.
The screenplay was written by the Spanish duo Nicolás Casariego and Jaime Marques, based on a story by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Belén Atienza and Enrique López Lavigne works as producer for Antena 3 Films, Apaches Entertainment and Universal Pictures.

As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at http://www.imdb.com/rg/VIDEO_PLAY/LINK//video/screenplay/vi438148121/
Jason.M.Berry 04/09/2011
Contact e-mail:[email protected]

intruders 2011 intruders 2011

intruders 2011intruders 2011

SEPT 2011

GARBOWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I present a rarely seen documentary film set during World War Two………Garbo: El espía (Garbo: The Spy) 2009

Garbo: The Spy offers a fascinating account of an extraordinary Spanish double agent during WWII who helped change the course of history. Director Edmon Roch utilizes a dazzling mixture of feature film and archival footage, interviews and music, beautifully underscoring the film's theme of the shifting border between truth and falsehood.

The former manager of a chicken farm, Catalan Juan Pujol was in hiding during much of the Spanish Civil War, which gave him a distaste for fascism. In 1940, he offered his services to the British as a spy against the Nazis but was rejected. Instead, he set himself up as a German agent, operating out of Lisbon but pretending to the Nazis that he was based in London. On his fifth try, the Brits accepted him. Pujol wrote thousands of pages of information (some true, some false) which he sent to the Nazis. The passion, detail and sincerity of his letters were enough to persuade the Germans that he was for real. The peak of his career came in 1944, when he succeeded in diverting German defense forces to Calais while the Allied landings were taking place in Normandy, thus averting considerable bloodshed. After this, Garbo retired by faking his own death.

GARBO GARBO

Garbo the spy successfully worked for both the Allies and the Third Reich partly due to the credibility he earned through his impressive knowledge of classified information--information he accounted for with reference to a web of 27 fictitious subagents, supposedly under his command. Honoured as a hero on both sides at the end of the war, Pujol subsequently disappeared. Rumour had it he died in 1949 after contracting malaria in Angola--until he was discovered more than 30 years later living a new life, yet again, in Venezuela. Telling the incredible story of this secret agent, who British Intelligence named Garbo for being the 'greatest actor in the world,' director Edmon Roch relies on a collection of eloquent interviews that fluidly guide the viewer through the many lives of a true master at the art of deception. Imaginatively mixing these with archival footage and excerpts from spy films to create a suspenseful and witty tone, Roch constructs a narrative that not only deciphers a fascinatingly complex character but ultimately implicates the documentary process itself in its analysis of the truths to be won from a canny mixture of facts and fictions.
As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at http://www.garbothemovie.com/
Jason.M.Berry 04/08/2011
Contact e-mail:[email protected]

Aug 2011

pa negreWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I present a Catalan film which won nine Goya Awards, including best film, best director and best adapted screenplay..…..Pa Negre (Black Bread)2010 is a 2010 Catalan-language Spanish drama film written and directed by Agustí Villaronga.

The screenplay is based on the same-titled novel by Emili Teixidor, with elements of two other works by him, Retrat d'un assassí d'ocells and Sic transit Gloria Swanson. In the harsh post-Civil War years in rural Catalonia, a shockingly vicious attack takes place. Ten-year-old Andreu encounters the victims. Leaning over the dying boy, Andreu hears him whisper "Pitorliu"— the name of a mysterious ghost living in a cave in the woods. The local police, investigating the bodies that lie below the cliff in the woods, initially label it an accident but soon come to see it as murder.

The only suspect is Andreu's father Farriol. When Andreu's father is wrongly accused of the murder, the boy sets out to find the real killers and brings to light long hidden secrets. The film's violent opening is an apt foreshadowing of the brutal coming-of-age in store for Andreu in a world of adults nourished by lies, myths and wicked revelations.

black breadOne of the most creative and individual Spanish filmmakers of his generation, Agustí Villaronga's adaptation of a novel by Emil Teixidor keeps the story moving relentlessly to dark and sinister places while questioning the decency of the human spirit. The breathtaking cinematography and a brilliant ensemble cast made Black Bread one of the best and most discussed films at the 2010 San Sebastian Film Festival. Though the film contains a scene that may offend those with a heightened sensitivity regarding cruelty to animals, no animals were harmed during the making of the film.

black breadNora Navas won Best Actress for her role as the put-upon wife of an anti-Francoist farmer in 1944 Catalonia. Overall, however, he found Black Bread to be "a fairly stodgy tearjerker with mild supernatural touches that nod to Spanish-language forerunners such as Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth and Erice's enduringly seminal 1970s classic The Spirit of the Beehive.

As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn_gJ5Aly6c
Jason.M.Berry 04/07/2011
Contact e-mail:[email protected]


July 2011

paper birdsWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I present a rare Spanish film based on events after and not during the Spanish civil war……Pájaros de Papel (Paper Birds) 2010.

After the civil war has destroyed their lives, an odd assortment of vaudeville artist's band together to perform in a travelling troupe. Scenes of rehearsal and joyous performance are contrasted with the oppressive gaze of Francoist agents, as the troupe struggles for subsistence on days when applause must suffice to sate the hunger pangs. Part celebration of this lost art, and part a touching tale of the bonds of friendship that develop between the artists, the film retains a sincere tone without lapsing into melodrama.

This loyal and accurate portrayal of vaudevillians comes from first time director Emilio Aragon, once a clown himself (performing as the famed Milikito) and features superb performances from Imanol Arias, Lluis Homar and Carmen Machi. Set in the dark days of the Franco dictatorship with the shadow of Nazism looming, this story shows us how the pursuit of excellence one's craft, no matter how humble, can elevate us out of the daily drudgery of survival, even if fleetingly so.

Paper Birds 2010Paper Birds 2010Paper Birds 2010Paper Birds 2010

Winner, Audience Award, Montreal World Film Festival.
As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at -http://www.pajarosdepapel.com/
Jason.M.Berry 04/06/2011 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

June 2011

los-ojos-de-juliaWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.

Julias eyesThis month I would like to highlight a new film obtaining good reviews after its screening in Sitges in 2010. Los ojos de Julia (Julia's Eyes) (2010)

In the world of cinema I have yet to come across a decent thriller about blind people that was really able to keep me engaged and connected with the film. Luckily for me, and probably most of you in the near future, that is about to change. I was fortunate enough to catch a screening of Julia's Eyes (Los ojos de Julia), the new Spanish thriller from writer/director Guillem Morales (The Uncertain Guest) and producer Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) and I can tell your right now that it is both exciting and frustrating to watch.

Julias eyeslos-ojos-de-julia

Julia's Eyes is very much a detective story with loads of suspenseful and thrilling moments. The story follows a woman named Julia (Belén Rueda-The Orphanage), who's "suffering from a degenerative eye disease," as she tries to figure out why her twin sister hanged herself in the basement of her home. While Julia believes her sister was murdered, no one else does and so she decides to take it upon herself to figure out who killed her sister. The problem is that as she continues to move forward in the case she begins to lose her eyesight due to some extremely stressful events and the presence of a threatening "invisible man." Eventually, after a few unexplained deaths, Julia goes blind and now must try to find the potential killer while living in complete darkness.

Julias eyes I think you got the idea that I really enjoyed Morales' directorial effort and his ability to realistically convey life from the perspective of a blind woman. Guillermo Del Toro has found another young director who I also believe will have a promising future in the horror/thriller genre. I'm looking forward to seeing his next film and hope it's as visually exquisite to watch as this one. As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at - http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/los_ojos_de_julia/trailers/11142635.

Jason.M.Berry 04/05/2011 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

May 2011

extraterrestrial

 

Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I would like to highlight a new film from the director who brought us the very cool film 'TimecRimes'…


Extraterrestre (2011) Produced by Vigalondo's label Arsenico, "Extraterrestre" marks his awaited follow-up to debut time-jumping "Timecrimes," a cult item after winning the Austin Film Fest and screening in Sitges in 2007.


extrterrestrial

Over the past year or so there has been an invasion (forgive the pun) of Alien films all very similar in plot and as a result all flowing into one quite missable film feature (e.g. Skyline, Battle LA, even a new alien TV series by Steven Spielberg!) so you know what to do if one morning the sky would be absolutely full of UFOs? run as fast as you can.
However, what would happen if the invasion started while you are in the flat of the girl of your dreams, the one you have just met?


extraterrastrial

 

 

This is the premise of the new comedy/sci-fi film from Nacho Viglondo who brought us Timecrimes which as we speak is been touted for another US remake with Tom Cruise!
Featuring Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces, Julián Villagrán, and Raúl Cimas while little is known about this film at the moment I am however, very certain this film will stop you watching the skies and start watching your heart.


When I discover more I will be sure to update you, our loyal readers.
Jason.M.Berry 04/04/2011 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

APRIL 2011

biutifulWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month marking the recent Oscars is a film of great interest to anyone wanting to understand the impact of Spanish film in the international market….Biutiful (2010)
Directed by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Javier Bardem. It is González Iñárritu's first feature since Babel and fourth overall, and his first film in his native Spanish language since his first feature Amores Perros.
The title Biutiful refers to the orthographical spelling in Spanish of the English word beautiful as it would sound to native Spanish speakers.
biutifulIt has been nominated for two Academy Awards in 2011 - Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor. Bardem's nomination makes his performance the first entirely Spanish language performance to be nominated for that award. Bardem also received the Best Actor Award at Cannes for his work on the film.
biutifulBiutiful is the story of Uxbal (Javier Bardem), a single father who struggles with fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amid the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona all before his time is up. He must deal with his loving but unreliable, reckless, bi-polar wife and a large group of illegal immigrants for whom he obtains material so that they may not be deported. In the middle of all of this, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer, which he tries to hide from his two children.
Fellow filmmakers Sean Penn, Werner Herzog and Michael Mann have all expressed their admiration for the film.
The film was also nominated at the 16th Critics' Choice Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the 68th Golden Globe Awards for Best Foreign Film, but lost to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and In a Better World, respectively.
As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at - http://www.biutifuloficial.com/
Jason.M.Berry 04/03/2011
Contact e-mail:[email protected]

MARCH 2011

even the rainWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I present a new film only just released staring the very popular and very busy Garl Gacia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) that is gaining many nominations including the Oscars….También la lluvia 2010 (Even the Rain )


Even the Rain (Spanish: También la lluvia) is a 2010 Spanish drama film directed by Icíar Bollaín about Filmmaker Sebastian (Gael Garcia Bernal) who travels to Bolivia to shoot a film about the Spanish conquest of America. He arrives during the tense time of the Cochabamba water crisis, 2000 Cochabamba protests. The lines between past and present, fiction and film intertwine.


Introduction: In February and March of 2000, protests broke out daily in Cochabamba, Bolivia in response to the government's decision to privatize the water company. The cost of water went up by up by three hundred per cent. Iciar Bollain's latest feature, Even the Rain, tells the story of a film crew that arrives right at this tense juncture of the city's history.


even the rainPlot Outline:
Filmmaker Sebastian arrives in Cochabamba accompanied by a cast and crew ready to make a film about Colombus's first voyage to the New World and the subsequent subjugation of the indigenous population. Sebastian wants to focus on the experience of Bartolome de las Casas and Antonio de Montesinos, who was so distraught over the treatment of the natives that he dedicated the rest of his life to their cause. His producer Costa (Luis Tosar) has chosen Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, because it makes sense economically especially when extras are happy to work hard for just two dollars a day.
Powerful drama is played out on many levels in this film within a film and draws many parallels between the exploitation of the past and the continued exploitation of Latin America by richer countries and multinational corporations. Bollaín's thoughts on the introspection inherent in filmmaking, or in any work of art, are expressed through Sebastian. He has only the best intentions of denouncing the injustices of the past, but little patience for the present dilemma, especially when it starts to impede his shooting schedule.
As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at - http://www.imdb.com/rg/VIDEO_PLAY/LINK//video/screenplay/vi3121322521/
Jason.M.Berry 04/02/2011
Contact e-mail:[email protected]

FEBRUARY 2011

flatmatemientras duermesWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month marking the start of a new year I present a film not yet released to give us something to look forward to in the world of Spanish cinema in 2011….Mientras duermes (2010) ('Flatmate' or 'Sleep Tight')
mientrasFlatmate (Spanish: Mientras duermes)
is an upcoming Spanish horror thriller film directed by Jaume Balagueró and was written by Alberto Marini.
Cesar, a harassing janitor transforms the life of a tenant living in his building into a nightmare.
• Luis Tosar as César
• Marta Etura as Clara
• Alberto San Juan as Marcos
• Pep Tosar as Padre de Úrsula
• Petra Martínez as Sra. Verónica
• Amparo Fernández
• Iris Almeida
mientrasFilmax narrated the film on the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and named Jaume Balagueró as director. Alberto Marini wrote the script of the film. Balagueró casted in early May 2010 Luís Tosar and Marta Etura for the leads. Filmax and Balagueró filmed the project in Barcelona. It is Balagueró's first film since Fragile alone on the directing chair.
Jason.M.Berry 19/01/2011
Contact e-mail:[email protected]

JANUARY 2011

los girasoles ciegosWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month as it's the holiday season why not once again enjoy a film about Spain's and Ernest Hemingway's favourite subject…The Spanish Civil War…. Los girasoles ciegos (2008) "The Blind Sunflowers"
Directed by José Luis Cuerda and written by Rafael Azcona and Cuerda, based on the eponymous novel of Alberto Méndez. The film stars Maribel Verdú, Javier Cámara and Raúl Arévalo. The plot follows the life of a family, former sympathizers of the Spanish Republic, during the early 1940s in Ourense where their lives are disrupted when a young priest falls in love with the mother.

los_girasoles_ciegos
Every time that Elena locks the door, she locks in her secrets. Her husband Ricardo spent years hidden in his house with his children (Elenita and Lorenzo), trying to dodge persecution. Salvador, a priest confused after battling in the front, returns to seminary in Ourense.

los_girasoles_ciegoslos_girasoles_ciegos

Filming took place in Arahuete, Segovia, Castilla y Leon, and Madrid. And despite being nominated for 15 accolades for the prestigious Goya Awards it only won one for Best Screenplay!

los_girasoles_ciegoslos_girasoles_ciegos


As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at - http://www.girasolesciegos.com/paginas/menu.html. Jason.M.Berry 19/12/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

DECEMBER 2010

SERES GENESISWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I will present for your viewing pleasure what is currently becoming a common theme for many new films, a film about alien invasion and ancient prophecies from the mystic land of the Mayans…...Seres: Genesis (2010) The year is 2010. A Mexican company, Owal Technologies, a leader in technology and its chief of operations, Mariel, are investigating the paranormal phenomena by means of their secret 'Section B'. Graco, leader of the group of archaeologists of the company, is looking for the codices given by King Pakal, one of the last kings of the Mayas and known to prophesied the end of their calendar with an exact date, day and hour.

GENESIS At the same time, the American government, also investigating the paranormal phenomena decides to split their research from the alliance they formed with the Owal Company. This and more recent events of extreme importance force the company to accelerate their investigations. Meanwhile Section B begins to tie the bows that unite to the paranormal phenomena with the old prophecies of their ancestors. This further investigation leads to the translation of the prophecies giving us "from the beginning of the times, they have been between us".

GENESISBeings: Genesis (English Title) is a rare science fiction Mexican film, director Mario Angel Kitchen garden and produced by the Huma company Films.

GENESIS The ingredients of this film are: Mayan prophecies of King Pakal, mysticism, archaeologists, hunters of UFOs. With an investment of two million dollars and a distribution headed by Gonzalo Fertile valley, Manuel Balbi, Alejandra Mud, Thin Arthur, Striking Liz, Humberto Bust, among others, film was rolled in leases of Monterrey, with a unique technology in Hispano-America – a camera Network One with hi-res--, that as soon as it begins to be explored for the great productions of Hollywood.
As always if you want to check out the trailer, you can do so at - http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi1457785113/
.Jason.M.Berry 19/11/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

 

NOVEMBER 2010

MAXIMUM SHAMEWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I will dip my toe into the murky world of extreme Spanish cinema with a feature that is guaranteed to challenge the woolly sweater brigade and ruffle the proverbial feathers of any Radio 4 listeners……..Maximum Shame (2010)

This very Lynch/Cronenberg style film revolves around the end of the world which is imminent. A man goes into a parallel dimension, a limbo between reality and fantasy where the normal rules of time and space have ceased to apply. His wife goes to rescue him. Both will be trapped in a strange and cruel world where a ruthless Queen organizes reality as a mad game of chess, a post-apocalyptic dystopia of domination and subjugation where characters can’t eat, speak or move about freely and are periodically viciously attacked.
MAXIMUM SHAME"Maximum Shame" is the third feature movie by Carlos Atanes. It can be framed as the previous ones -"FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions" and "PROXIMA" (of which I have already recently reviewed) - within the fantasy genre, but "Maximum Shame" overflows this classification, being in fact an experimental cross-genre film, ranging from science fiction to musical through horror, surrealism and fetish, and touches on topics as diverse as chess, parallel universes, pornography, religious ecstasy, totalitarianism and black holes.
MAXIMUM SHAMEProduced completely independently, like all its author's films, it inspired aesthetics from the exploitation films of the 1970s. Keeping a very low budget feel with its shaky handycam made famous by the Blair Witch Project and more recently Paranormal Activity. Some of the shooting, done in English, was developed in Spain over just six days, but one scene in particular was made in the UK with British indie scream queen Eleanor James.

If you are still curious enough to take a cautious taster of this film you can catch the trailer at - http://www.carlosatanes.com/maximum_shame.html
.Jason.M.Berry 19/10/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

October 2010

proximaWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I would like to bring to your attention another surreal Spanish adventure in the field of science fiction…Proxima (2007). Tony (Oriol Aubets), who is PROXIMA's main character, runs a small science fiction video store bordering on bankruptcy; his relationship with Natalia (Karen Owens) is getting worse as time goes by, because their interests have diverged. One day, Tony goes to a science fiction convention where a well-known writer Félix Cadecq's (Manuel Solàs) comes to give a chat on his latest work. When he starts his speech, the writer makes a surprising declaration: it's worthless to keep writing science fiction novels, because he has found a new portal; a real and simple way to reach the stars. "Listen to my new CD-book and try it yourself", he proclaims. This announcement is not well received among his estranged fans; but Tony, touched by curiosity, buys Cadecq's CD in order to test what he said.
From that moment on, Tony's life will never be the same. He feels bizarre sensations, he gets to know surprising people who assure him they know the way to escape from the alien fleet coming to Earth. Finally, Tony starts a trip heading to the star Proxima Centauri, but what he finds there is not exactly what he had expected.
PROXIMA's plot starts through the vision of a science fiction lover, by whom we're introduced into classic science fiction topics: the possibility of crossing the spacetime line, the contact with an alien civilisation (and the impact that this would cause), the presence of a discouraging future to escape from, the trip to an unknown world, the relationship between dream and reality, brainwashing, etc. In addition to all this, we can find a new perspective, which stains with a harsh realism Tony's experiences on the satellite orbiting Proxima, as close to a western as a sidereal trip.
The film also includes several references addressed to the experts in this sort of genre. An example of this kind of wink is the scene where Félix Cadecq makes his announcement that he is quitting literature and that he has found a new portal, reminiscent of a real anecdote carried out by Philip K. Dick at a French science fiction congress in 1977. (Among Dick's works were The Man in the High Castle, The Golden Man, The Minority Report and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the last of them the source of the plot of Blade Runner.)
But there are also references to such great science fiction directors as Georges Méliès and Segundo de Chomón, whose films Tony especially admires. We cannot either forget the risen controversy between the Star Wars and Star Trek's fans, who discuss about Sci-Fi real bases.
PROXIMA' has an enormous cast. More than two hundred extras participated in its shooting, as we can see in the Planet scenes and those that take place in the science fiction convention.Jason.M.Berry 19/09/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

September 2010

el lince perdidoWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month like last month I have found a Spanish film that again shows how much Spanish cinema is diversifying by entering in Shrek/Toy Story territory… El Lince Perdido 2008 (English title: Missing Lynx)
It is a 2008 computer-animated film produced by Spanish studios Kandor Graphics and YaYa! Films and presented by Antonio Banderas. One of the first Spanish films to be presented in 3D.
Directed by Raul Garcia who previous credits include many Disney ventures including Fantasia 2000, Tarzan, and Aladdin.
el lince perdidoFélix, a clumsy and unlucky Iberian lynx, is staying at the animal recovery center at the Doñana National Park, after one of his countless mishaps. However, the center is attacked by mercenaries led by Newmann, the self-titled "greatest hunter in the world", hired by an eccentric millionaire, Noé (Noah in the English version), who intends to create a sort of Noah's Ark for threatened species. Assisted by his friends - Gus, a paranoid chameleon; Beeea (Beeety in the English version), a daredevil goat; Astarté, a brave falcon; and Rupert, a poor-sighted mole - Félix must foil Noé's plans.
The location of the movie takes place in the famous natural parks of Andalucia.
Although a small budget production especially in comparison to the giants of Pixar and Dreamworks this entertaining little gem does put up a good fight for your attention and if you can get hold of a copy should indeed give not only yourselves but your kiddies as well another peek into the very growing joy of Spanish cinema.


Jason.M.Berry 16/08/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

AUGUST 2010

Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.

cronocrimenes This month I present to you a little gem I came upon by accident late one night on Film4. Which to date is a genre I haven’t touched on in Spanish films….SCI FI! Los Cronocrímenes (2007) - Timecrimes.
The protagonist Hector (Karra Elejalde) sits on a lawn chair outside his new country home, surveying the nearby hillside through binoculars. Just as his wife (Candela Fernández) decides to take out the car to buy groceries, he catches sight of a woman removing her shirt amidst the trees and curious, goes to investigate. Finding the woman supine, naked and senseless he approaches but is attacked and stabbed in the arm with a pair of scissors by a sinister figure wrapped in a grotesque pink head bandage. He runs through the wood to a house where, finding a first aid kit he bandages his arm. He also finds a walkie-talkie and, on the advice of a man who informs him over the device that his attacker is approaching, runs up a hill to join the man in a laboratory atop the hill. The man in the laboratory (Nacho Vigalondo) convinces him to hide inside a peculiar scientific contraption filled with liquid, and before Hector can resist, the scientist closes it shut. Moments later, Hector emerges — only to find that it is about an hour earlier.
los_cronocrimenesExiting the lab and viewing his house through his binoculars, Hector sees himself from earlier. He has returned to a point in time when there exists a double of himself which the scientist calls Hector #1. The scientist explains to him the principle of time travel and emphasizes how imperative it is that Hector #1 follows the same timeline and gets into the time machine, for otherwise his (Hector #2's) life as he knows it will be over. Hector #2 leaves the scientist's compound in a small white car and drives past a young woman on her bicycle (Barbara Goenaga), whom he recognizes as the undressing woman. Stopping the car to think, he gets bumped off the road by a red truck and crashes into a tree. His head is injured by the impact, so he removes the bandage from his arm and wraps it around his head. Seeing his reflection in the rear view mirror, he begins to realize that he is the bandaged man who has stabbed his pre-time-travel self ....


....He sees the lights at his house turned on, so he chases her there. Entering the house he is knocked down the stairs by a table thrown at him. After recovering he chases her to the roof, and when he tries to grab her, he pulls her off to her death. However, looking down it appears to be his wife. He then decides that he cannot leave things as they are and must enter the time machine again. Remembering Hector #1, he asks the scientist over the walkie-talkie to make something up to convince Hector #1 to get into the time machine. He drives back to the lab to use the machine again. When the scientist then attempts to sabotage Hector #2's plan to time travel, he realizes that the scientist knows more than he has revealed. He makes the scientist reveal that Hector #2 was not the first to emerge from the machine ....

Having become Hector #3, he takes a red truck to go after Hector #2. He bumps Hector #2 in the white car off the road, but in the process crashes the truck, mangling his face even more. He uses the walkie-talkie to contact the scientist, telling him that all is lost. The girl, having escaped the bandaged Hector #2, walks into him and screams. He calms her down, sits down to rest and falls asleep. She wakes him up some time later, telling him she that she has seen a house (Hector's house) nearby. She helps him there and, leaving him resting in the kitchen, goes upstairs to check the house. Hector's wife then appears, telling him that a bandaged man is breaking into their house and that she has called the police. Realising that it is not his wife whom Hector #2 is to accidentally kill on the roof, Hector #3 hides his wife in the garage and goes upstairs ensure everything transpires exactly as he remembers. He cuts the young woman's hair shorter claiming it will disguise her, wraps her with his wife's jacket, and has her hide upstairs. He then knocks Hector #2 down the stairs with the table. He then takes his wife across the lawn to the deckchairs, and they sit there waiting for the rest of the grisly scene to unfold, he now confident that Hector #2 will do as he (Hector #3) did and end up back in the time machine.
If that has not confused you too much an English version of this time travel film is due out in 2011!
Jason.M.Berry 17/07/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

JULY 2010

viajesdelvientoWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I present a recent film from Colombia which keeping in the theme of Olives & Popcorn is mostly spoken in Spanish.…


Los viajes del viento(The Wind Journeys) 2009. Ignacio Carrillo (Marciano Martínez) is a vallenato singer from Majagual, Sucre, who decides, after his wife's sudden death, to stop playing and return his accordion, which is said to be cursed, to his master. He is joined by Fermín Morales (Yull Núñez), a teenage boy who admires Ignacio and wishes to become a juglar like him. Carrillo reluctantly accepts, given his loneliness. On Ash Wednesday 1968, Carrillo, Morales and their donkey start a journey throughout several towns in the Caribbean region in Northern Colombia, until Taroa (a small caserío in Uribia jurisdiction), in La Guajira desert, where Carrillo's maestro supposedly lives. During their journey, Carrillo participates in the first version of the Vallenato Legend Festival in Valledupar.

viajesdelvientoviajesdelvientoviajesdelviento


viajesdelvientoWritten and directed by Ciro Guerra. It was filmed in 80 locations in Northern Colombia. The film is spoken in Spanish, Palenquero, Wayuunaiki, and Ikun. It can be said it is similar in many ways to the Motorcycle Diaries as a road trip of the soul.


This has won five awards to date including one this year for best Spanish Language Film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The trailer can be found via youtube at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tli4nSO4hIA
Jason.M.Berry 17/06/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

June 2010

el verdugoWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below. This month I will go back through the mists of time to present one of Spain’s golden oldies from 1963, and was voted as one of the best Spanish films of all time…El Verdugo (The Executioner, English title: Not on your Life) The story starts with the main character (an old executioner in Spain in the early 60's) approaching retirement age. As his profession is quite rare, he (a very gentle and nice man, caring, and proud of traditions) begins to worry about who might take his place when he retires. He has a daughter, but, unfortunately, she seems doomed to perpetual "spinsterhood": as soon as any prospective groom learns about her dad and her dad's "trade", he runs away from her, scared. However, a new character enters: the local undertaker, a young handsome man who has exactly the same problem... No girl wants him given his profession. So, you have the woman whom almost nobody would marry and the man whom almost nobody would marry. Obviously, they are meant for each other. But here the old executioner has something to say: He does not object to her daughter marrying the young undertaker; he seems a decent man, but only on condition that if the groom agrees to take the executioner's job when he retires. And, anyway, as the old executioner says to the worried young man.... "Don't worry, they sentence people, but, in the last moment, they pardon them.
el verdugoel verdugoel verdugoel verdugo

Overview: El Verdugo was the eighth feature film written and directed by Luis García Berlanga in collaboration with his longtime associate, Rafael Azcona. The story pivots upon the fate of a pleasant, if somewhat timid, young undertaker whose dream is to go to Germany and become a mechanic. This dream is thwarted when he happens to meet the executioner in a prison where both of them are plying their trade. In spite of the aversion that the young man (and everyone else) feels for the executioner, he not only ends up marrying the executioner's daughter, but even takes over his father-in-law's business. El Verdugo is a farce or domestic comedy filled with macabre touches and scenes of black humour in which the taboos associated with death are transgressed. Even the actual mode of execution is the subject of morbid jokes as the executioner, who garrots his victims, measures the neck size of his future son-in-law. The film is punctuated with these bits of gallows humor as well as with comic reversals that take the audience by surprise. A fine example of this occurs at the end of the movie when the young executioner is carried kicking and screaming like the victim into the prison where he will perform his first execution. Berlanga's irreverent treatment of death is symptomatic of a tendency found in all of his movies, to send up pomposity and pretensions, and to deflate generally accepted values and beliefs. In one sense, the film is about two outcasts, the undertaker and the executioner's daughter, both of whom are avoided by everyone. When they join together, it is with the hope of having a better life, but as Berlanga demonstrates, these hopes cannot be realized. Like other protagonists in Berlanga's film, the undertaker becomes caught up in a destiny which he did not choose. He is a victim of innocent concessions made along the way that ultimately lead him to be sentenced to his fate of becoming the executioner. He is the true victim, the one who is strangled in a web of circumstances beyond his control, caught up in the system of justice and retribution that is all encompassing. In the context of Franco's Spain, the ideological dimensions of this message are that as the executioner tells his son-in-law, where there's a law, someone has to pleasantly or not enforce it.
Jason.M.Berry 17/05/2010 Contact e-mail:[email protected]

May 2010

butterflyWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored. Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I present another film based during the Spanish civil war but this time viewed through the eyes of a child.……….
Butterfly (1999) (UK DVD title Butterfly's Tongue) is the English language DVD release title for La lengua de las mariposas (Spanish The Tongue of the Butterflies), a 1999 Spanish film directed by José Luis Cuerda. The film revolves around a young boy by the name of Moncho (Manuel Lozano) growing up in Galicia in 1936 where he also grows attached to his teacher Don Gregorio (Fernando Fernán Gómez) who introduces the boy to the world through his eyes. Following along with the main story the backdrop of the looming Spanish Civil War periodically interrupt Moncho's daily routine. This is manifested when fascists take control of the town, round up known Republicans, including Don Gregorio. Moncho's father is also a Republican, leaving his family to fear that he too will be taken away in the purge if the fascists discover his political leanings. In order to protect themselves, the family goes to the town square to jeer the captured Republicans as they are paraded out of the court house and boarded onto a truck.

mariposasThe film ends with Moncho, despite his continued great affection for his friend and teacher, yelling hateful things and throwing rocks at Don Gregorio and the other Republicans as the truck carries them away, though the last thing Moncho yells are the words for the tongue of a butterfly, espiritrompa (literally "spirotube" or proboscis, in Spanish), a favourite word taught to him by Don Gregorio in an attempt to let his dear friend know that he does not truly mean the words he is yelling.


The film is adapted from 3 short stories from the book "¿Qué me quieres, amor?" by Galician author Manuel Rivas. The short stories are "La lengua de las Mariposas", "Un saxo en la niebla", and "Carmiña".
As mentioned before I will add a link to help you get a better idea of the films I review from our chums at youtube - http://www.youtube.com/atch?v=qFO6k7pOLXk
Jason.M.Berry 17/04/2010
Contact e-mail:
[email protected]     

April 2010

los sin nombreWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
hide behind the sofaThis month I present to you once again another film in the style Spain has now become famed for, the spooky kid film! Put the kettle on and get the space behind the sofa ready!!……….


los sin nombrelos sin nombreLos sin nombre (1999) Based of a James Herbert novel, this story takes place five years after a young girl was murdered when her mother seemed to have started to recover, a phone call once again shatters her life: "Mummy, it's me... come and get me". Helped by an ex-policeman and a reporter who is expert in the supernatural, she sets out on a desperate search for a terrifying truth that lay dormant until now: a group of the occult that rejects its own name, the empirical science of evil, uninhabited desolate houses that conceal things, secrets... An abominable trap. This truth spreads its tentacles through time and space, from the horror of the Holocaust to the occult fever in sixties London up to the present day. After years of lethargy, the nameless are about to be revealed. A number: 106, an abandoned motel. They might manage to find the child. Perhaps she's alive and can be saved, but the horror is only just beginning...
What happens next will leave you asking yourself why the Spanish love this style of horror. Also to be noted is a member of the cast who some of you may remember from many UK TV programmes such a Emmerdale Farm and Doctor Who, Brendan Price. This great character actor has since starred in many other Spanish films and currently resides in Eastern Spain.
Brendan PriceBrendan Price (far right) in seventies classic ‘Space 1999’
As mentioned last month I will add a link to help you get a better idea of the films I review from our chums at you tube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m9Xt6mMbSU

Jason.M.Berry 17/03/2010
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

 

 

March 2010

celda 211Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I present to you the next big thing in Spanish Cinema. Recently clearing the Goya Awards (the Spanish equivalent to the Baftas) is the harrowing prison drama ‘Cell 211’.
Not only did this film nearly grab every statue at the Goya’s it also beat the almighty Pedro Almodóvar to the punch as well! ……….
Cell 211 (2009) Directed by Daniel Monzón, this film follows the events that follow Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann) on the first day at his new job as a prison officer and in his eagerness to make a good impression he reports to work a day early, leaving his pregnant wife, Elena(Marta Etura), at home. This fateful decision results in an accident that knocks him unconscious. He is rushed to the empty but visibly haunted walls of cell 211.
celda 211As this diversion unfolds, inmates of the high security cell block strategically break free and hijack the prison. The prison officers flee, leaving Juan alone and unconscious. When Juan awakens, he realises in order to survive he must pretend to be a prisoner.
celda 211Juan develops a dialogue with the violent leader of the riot, Badass, and the two begin a uneasy partnership, with Badass believing that Juan is one of the new inmates. Things then turn worse when the rioters take three ETA (the militant Basque separatist organization) prisoners hostage. An explosion of prison riots throughout the country follow suit when this news reaches the outside with numerous demonstrations in the Basque Country. Juan quickly realizes that he is on his own as the situation becomes more politicized and the government gets involved, afraid of potential ramifications in the Basque community. As the drama heightens, unexpected shifts in the relationships of the characters both in as well as out of the Prison become very apparent.
celda 211The movie is dedicated to 'Luis Ángel Puente', a fireman of the city of Zamora (Spain) where the film is located. He participated in the film and died rescuing two boys in the Duero River shortly after.
As mentioned last month I will add a link to help you get a better idea of the films I review from our chums at youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhoAXEXKNHI
Jason.M.Berry 17/02/2010
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

 

February 2010

bajo_las_estrellasWelcome to 2010 and another Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I have been reminded by one of our loyal readers of another Spanish gem of a film from 2007. ‘Bajo Las Estrellas’, or Beneath the Stars.
This is a great little road movie that can be easily compared to the Coen Brothers classic ‘O Brother, Where art Thou’……….


Bajo las estrellas (beneath the stars) features the selfish, opportunistic Benito (Alberto San Juan), a professional trumpet player who makes a basic living in Madrid, is forced to return to his home in Navarra after he learns the news of his dying father. Benito reconnects with his younger brother, Lalo (Julián Villagrán) a sculptor, who has strong emotional problems. Things become even more complicated for Benito when he develops a surprising bond with Ainara (Violeta Rodríguez) the young daughter of his brothers girlfriend, Nines (Emma Suárez).

bajo_las_estrellas


Being a free spirit, Benito is enraged at a television report of an ETA car bombing. While drunk he insults Basque sympathizers and is beaten up. Later a family tragedy provokes the suicide of Lalo. From this Benito chooses to abandon his music career in the big city and insists that Nines and Ainara move in with him and together start a new life.

bajo_las_estrellasbajo_las_estrellasbajo_las_estrellas


bajo_las_estrellasThe film is directed by Felix Viscarret, who as far as I’m aware only directed this one movie, which is a shame as from what he has done with this one it would be very interesting to see what else he could also direct in the future.
One last thing to mention is the truly magnificent soundtrack which like ‘O Brother…’ brings the film alive with a sense of "bluegrass joy". As mentioned last month I will add a link to help you get a better idea of the films I review from our chums at youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8IWhZOBhEw
as long as a trailer exists I will make this a standard part of my film reviews in the future…enjoy!
Jason.M.Berry 17/01/2010
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

 

JANUARY 2010

hierroWelcome to 2010 and another Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month as regular readers have noticed I do have a strong love for Spanish horror films and with the sequel to the highly successful [REC] lurking close around the corner I have come across another great Spanish Horror film in the same ilk as ‘The Orphanage’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’.
The film in question is ‘Hierro’, a 2009 psychological thriller directed by Gabe Ibáñez and starring Elena Anaya, Kaiet Rodríguez, Bea Segura, and Andrés Herrera. Get that ever trusty sofa ready……….
hierrohierro

hierroThe movie was directed by Short film director Gabe Ibáñez, who filmed the movie in the Canary Islands of El Hierro (hence the title of the film), Gran Canaria as well as mainland Madrid which makes an atmospheric welcome change from all the films I normally review that are based solely on mainland Spain.
Synopsis: While travelling by ferry to the island of El Hierro, Maria's young Diego goes missing. Has he fallen overboard? Has he been abducted? Nobody knows. Diego simply vanished. Six months later, as Maria is fighting to overcome the pain of her loss and to pick up the pieces of her life and start over again, she receives an unexpected telephone call. A child's body has been discovered and she has to return to El Hierro. On the island, a strange and threatening landscape, populated by sinister, malevolent looking characters, Maria is forced to confront her worst nightmares. As she travels along the terrible path that will lead to her son, Maria will ultimately make that most unbearable discovery of all: that some mysteries are better left unanswered.
A new part of my reviews will be to add a little link to help you get a better idea of the films I review from our chums at youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yM62QhmZcw
as long as a trailer exists I will make this a standard part of my film reviews in the future…enjoy!
Jason.M.Berry 17/12/2009
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

 

DECEMBER ISSUE 2009

Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
Following last months actress focused double bill, this month is the turn of the boys with Mexico’s favourite son, Gael García Bernal…..
Since his acting début in 2000, his rise to “Hollywood A list” has not quite succeeded with many near misses staring along side big hitters like Brad Pitt. But it was with the magnificent indi favourite ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ where Gael first stepped in the world cinema spotlight. But I will highlight two of his films spanning his film career.

     

y_tu_mama_tambien Y tu mamá también “And Your Mother Too” (2001) is a 2001 Mexican drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and written by Carlos Cuarón. The film is a coming-of-age story about two teenage boys taking a road trip with a woman in her late twenties. The film is set in 1999, against the backdrop of the political and economic realities of present-day Mexico, specifically at the end of the uninterrupted 71-year line of Mexican presidents from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and the rise of the opposition headed by Vicente Fox.


y_tu_mama_tambienThe film is known for its controversial, unabashed depiction of sexuality, which caused complications in the film's rating certificate in various countries. The film was released to English-speaking markets under its original Spanish title, rather than the literal translation to English, and opened in a limited release in the United States in 2002. In Mexico, the film took in $2.2 million in its first weekend in June 2001, making it the highest box office opening in Mexican cinema history.
In the United States, the film went on to gain nominations for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, as well as a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards that year as well as helping Gael launch his film career into the international market.

      
LIMITS OF CONTROLThe Limits of Control (2009) This second film directed by Jim Jarmusch, director of such classiscs as ‘Night on Earth’, ‘Coffee & Cigarettes’, & ‘Broken Flowers’. It stars Isaach De Bankolé as a lone wolf criminal undertaking a job in Spain while encountering many typically Jarmusch styles characters along the way including Gael in a role simply titled as ‘Mexican’. Filming began in February 2008, and encompassed locations in Madrid, Seville and Almeria. The film was distributed by Focus Features. At the time of this article it has yet to receive a formal release date but snippets can be seen on Youtube. But being a Jarmusch film it is sure to be granted a classic underground status almost immediately.
Jason.M.Berry 17/11/2009
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

LIMITS OF CONTROLTHE LIMITS OF CONTROL

NOVEMBER ISSUE 2009

 

Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I present another double bill, but this time highlighting the work of one of Spain’s finest actresses Penelope Cruz…..


BELLE EPOQUEAlthough many of you now know her as the ex-Mrs Tom Cruise she has excelled in both Spanish and English films. And along with her latest film Almodóvar’s ‘Broken Embraces’ I wish to highlight on of Penelope’s first films going way back to 1992. Belle Époque “The Beautiful Era” (1992)

bELLE EPOQUEThis first film is set in 1931, and yes, another Spanish Civil War film and as we know at this time Spain is torn between the republicans and royalists and on the edge of civil war. Fernando, a young deserter from the army escapes the chaos around him to discover another when he befriends Manolo, an old man with a large house in the country. Fernando meets and is enchanted by Manolo's four daughters. As he meets each of the first three one by one, he falls in love and has sex with each of them which makes the youngest naive daughter, Luz jealous. Initially this comes across as a somewhat more saucy Shakespeare comedy of errors but it does grow beyond that feel and grows it’s own style that both amuses and ponders the life’s of the common man during this turbulent time.


BROKEN EMBRACESBroken Embraces
‘Los abrazos rotos’ (2009)

This second film by Pedro Almodóvar is set in the 1990s and present day. The film is four small stories that elope into one more larger tale of dangerous love, and was shot in the style of classic 5o’s American film noir. The cast includes many Almodóvar regulars such as Ángela Molina, Lola Dueñas and of course Penélope Cruz (her fourth film with the director). Many themes include noir references such as posters in sets, the lighting and the characters themselves. "Harry Caine" (Lluís Homar) is a blind writer who shares his life with his personal assistant Judit (Blanca Portillo) and her adult son Diego (Tamar Novas). Slowly, events in the present begin to bring back memories of the past. He hears that millionaire Ernesto Martel (José Luis Gómez) has died; a young film-maker, Ray X, appears and turns out to be Martel's son, Ernesto Martel Junior (Rubén Ochandiano). Diego is hospitalized after an accidental drug overdose in a Madrid nightclub. "Harry" collects Diego from the hospital and looks after him to avoid worrying his mother.

LOS ABRAZASPart of the main storyline is told in flashback as "Harry" narrates a tragic tale of fate, again in classic noir style that includes jealousy, abuse of power, betrayal and guilt.
In conclusion another emotional powerhouse of a film that we now come to expect from Almodóvar, but in my personal opinion still not as strong as ‘Talk to Her’. Jason.M.Berry 17/10/2009
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

LOS ABRAZOS

OCTOBER ISSUE 2009

km31Welcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month being the month of October and Halloween I felt it only appropriate to present a classic creepy tale perfect for the season…..
Although it is a Mexican film not Spanish I feel that this should still stand tall along with any Del Toro Ghost Story. Once again find that cosy place behind the sofa and enjoy……KM31


km31Kilometre 31 (2006)
After the tragic death of their mother when they were children, twin sisters Agata and Catalina Hameran developed a special skill, a way of communicating without speaking, a link between them. After a mysterious accident on Kilometer 31, featuring a small child very similar to the little boy in the Japanese horror series ‘The Grudge’ Agata falls into a coma. Catalina, thanks to their link, feels the pain and tragedy that her sister is going through at the time of the accident. Following a series of supernatural events, Catalina realizes that their link is stronger than ever and that her sister Agata is screaming for help from her unconscious state.

km31km31Catalina is now determined to find out what really happened to her sister in order to help her wake up. Nuño, Catalina's long time friend, and Omar, Agata's boyfriend, agree to help her. But they soon find out that not only is Agata in a coma, but she is also trapped between reality and an ancient legend, the legend of La Llorona.
km31Kilometre 31 (Kilómetro 31 or km 31) is a 2007 Mexican horror film, written and directed by Rigoberto Castañeda. The film is inspired by the Crying Woman legend (La Llorona) and legends about highway ghosts (very popular in México). The KM 31 picture aims to combine the drama and the horror genre, a psychological horror film that is clearly influenced by the great classics such as The Shining, The Exorcist, as well as recent movies such as The Ring and as already mentioned The Grudge.
Jason.M.Berry 17/09/2009
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

 

SEPTEMBER ISSUE

IN THE CITY OF SYLVIAWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.


This month I present for your viewing pleasure an unusual Spanish/French film that should come with a warning that viewing could send you into a very long sleep…..
That said it is not a bad film at all but do not expect any wild car chases or exploding caravans….enjoy……


In the City of Sylvia / En la ciudad de Sylvia (2007)


Nearly without any dialogue, this film follows a young man credited at the end only as 'El' ('Him') as he spends his days meandering a suburban Strasbourg in search of his Sylvia, a woman he asked for directions in a bar many years ago.

SYLVIA
Despite its lack of connection with the central characters it is in fact a warm film, not at all aloof, but a celebratory and generous hearted piece which meditates on themes like desire, beauty and the silent interaction of society. SYLVIAMost notable with the one great pastime of ‘people watching’, and it achieves this through a truly wonderful use of natural light and day-to-day sounds of the streets whilst the film is framed in a beautifully subtle style. And the choice of cast while vital to the film do not eclipse the director's vision of the city streets which themselves become characters to the film.

CITY OF SYLVIAIt will not be to everyone's taste but you could well find yourself hypnotized by this film, and deeply impressed by the purity of the film-makers' achievements here. Though unusual compared to previous films I reviewed, it also seems a natural next step in European cinema's long history of loosely-plotted films that are about atmosphere and everyday emotions rather than life-changing events.

Award Notes;
En la Ciudad de Sylvia was nominated for the 2007 Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, although the award was eventually presented to Ang Lee for 'Lust, Caution'. En la Ciudad de Sylvia won the Australian Film Critics Association award for the 'best unreleased film' in Australia at the time of the awards.
Jason.M.Berry 17/08/2009   Contact e-mail: [email protected]

 

AUGUST ISSUE

KM0 COVERWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I present for your viewing pleasure a groovy little comedy of errors which upon reflection is very comparable to a Shakespeare play.
Although featuring adult themes it is very light hearted so please enjoy.......


KM.0 (Comedy Drama 2000)


 

km0The ambiguous title of this film ‘KM.0’ (kilometer zero) refers to the central square located in the middle of Madrid which in Spain all distances are measured from. The ‘0’ is also symbolic of the situation where we find the lives of our fourteen characters who at the start of the film are all strangers. km0The stories of these fourteen collide together at KM.0 in Madrid on a typical humid afternoon in August. As already mentioned akin to a Shakespeare Comedy of Errors the stories are made up of numerous mistaken identities and second chances featuring, among other characters, a horny gay university student, an internet-love seeker flamenco dancer, a macho but lovelorn gigolo, an actress, and a businessman keen for new sexual experiences.

km0

 

The Director Juan Luis Iborra said he got the idea for "Km. 0" while standing in Madrid's Puerta del Sol, watching different combinations of people meet up at the plaza's famous zero-kilometer mark.

km0km0

 

km0This engaging, surprising, very funny and sentimental ensemble piece follows more than a dozen such characters of varying ages, professions and sexual orientations as their stories cross and separate over the course of one day.
Awards and nominations
Goya Awards Best Original Song - nominated (2001)
Outfest Audience Award for Outstanding Narrative Feature (2002)
plus many others
DVD release
* Region 1: February 17, 2004
* Region 2: July 1, 2006

Jason.M.Berry 06/07/2009
Contact e-mail:[email protected]                      

 

JULY 2009 issue

sex addictWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.


This month for a change I present a something a bit naughty but highly entertaining as the first film based on the real life diaries of a French lady (Valerie Tasso )exploring her sexuality in modern day Spain. This one is strictly for adults only so lock away the munchkins and enjoy...... Diary of a Sex Addict (Adult Drama 2008) (Diario de una ninfómana)

sex addictVal is 28 years old, is an attractive woman with a highly academic background and carefree lifestyle. This lifestyle creates a strong sexual curiosity, that in turns changes her into a released woman who constantly looks for new experiences that satiate this addiction. She takes who she wants to sleep with whenever she wants it, this lifestyle has its positive aspects and negative. All these experiences turn Val’s desire for sex into a new form of life, it becomes a drug for her, through which she will find love which takes her to explore prostitution. In both cases suffering extreme situations which will make her undergo and revaluate her life.

 


Controversial presentation in Spain;
poster

 

The marketing poster of the film was not accepted by the concessionary company of the publicity for the public transport of Madrid with its launching in Spain in October for 2008. The director declared: “Many posters were left mutilated and censured in Madrid, which worries me because it is the place where we thought we would receive the best reception”. The City council of Madrid defended itself by saying that the producers did not accept the age qualification in the poster. In addition, the religious group of Catholic transmitters "Close-Woven Part Of A Fishing Net" also prohibited the advertising campaign as the poster showed a woman introducing a hand below the panties.

 

 

sex addictlover
About the writer;
valeri

 

Valerie Tasso, born in France 1969, writer, lecturer and research worker. She now lives in Barcelona (Spain). She has several University degrees (Economical Sciences, Foreign Applied languages) and in 2006, she graduated in Sex Therapy, in the INCISEX (Madrid). In September 1999, she decided to work as a prostitute, for pure curiosity, and for self-knowledgment. In 2003, she wrote about her sexual experiences in the book called “Insatiable. The sexual adventures of a French Girl in Spain”. This first book has been a bestseller all over the world, and a film was also produced. The Première was foreseen for summer 2008. She has written 3 more books: “Paris La Nuit” (2004), and in 2006 “The other side of sex”. In February 2008, and following the brilliant idea of the French philosopher Michel Foucault, she published an essay called “Antimanual of sex” in which she tries to demonstrate that we never speak of sex but of what she calls “the sexual standardized speech,” made of topics and clichés. She collaborates in different Spanish media (TV, radio) and writes press articles. At present, she is considered one of the most relevant Spanish writers of non-fiction books, for the originality of her work. “Whoever ignores the reasons for the rules is condemned to respect them” is her slogan.


Jason.M.Berry 11/05/2009 Contact e-mail:
[email protected]

 

June 2009 issue

land and freedomWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.


This month I present another film set during the Spanish civil war but this modern classic was brought to my attention when given away as a freebie in the Independent Newspaper.
And now I have the opportunity to bring it to you.......


.......Land and Freedom (Drama)
Land and Freedom is a 1995 film (alternative title: Tierra y Libertad) directed by Ken Loach and written by Jim Allen. The movie narrates the story of David Carr, an unemployed worker and member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, who decides to fight for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. The movie won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.tierra y libertad


The film's narrative unfolds in a long flashback. David Carr has died at an old age and his granddaughter discovers old letters, newspapers and other documents in his room: what we see in the film is what he had experienced in his life.


Persuaded of the necessity of helping the Spanish Republicans in their fight against the fascist Nationalist insurgence, Carr, a young unemployed worker and member of the Communist Party, leaves Liverpool and travels to Spain to join the International Brigades. He crosses the Catalan border and casually ends up enlisted in a POUM militia commanded by Lawrence, in the Aragon front.

land and freedomland and freedom

In this company, as in all POUM militias, men and women — such as the young and enthusiastic Maite — fight together. In the following weeks and months he becomes friends with other foreign volunteers, like the French Bernard, and he falls in love with Blanca, a member of POUM, who is also the idealist of his group.
land and freedom

 

After being wounded and recovering in a hospital in Barcelona, he finally joins — in accordance with his original plan and against the opinion of Blanca — the government-backed International Brigades, and he witnesses first-hand the Stalinist propaganda and repression against POUM members and anarchists; he then returns to his old company, only to see them rounded up by a government unit requiring their surrender: in a brief clash Blanca is killed.

 

funeralDavid CarrAfter her funeral he returns to Great Britain with a red neckerchief full of Spanish earth.
Finally the film comes back to the present, and we see Carr's funeral, in which his granddaughter throws the Spanish earth into his grave after speaking lines from "The Day Is Coming", a poem by William Morris. Afterwards she and the other family members perform a raised fist salute, honoring his beliefs and suggesting that his family might also hold them.
Jason.M.Berry 07/04/2009 Contact e-mail:
[email protected]

 

MAY 2009 ISSUE

little ashesWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.


Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.


This month for a change I present a brand new film not even released yet just to show that there seems to continued interest in Spain’s illustrious history during its civil war and in its colourful artists. I hope you will come to enjoy this potential gem when it comes out as much as I’m looking forward to seeing it myself.......

Little Ashes (Drama)
little ashesLittle Ashes is a 2009 British drama film, set against the backdrop of fascist Spain as three of the era's most creative young talents meet at university and set off on a course to change their world. Luis Buñuel watches helplessly as the friendship between Salvador Dalí and the poet Federico García Lorca develops into an unusual love affair. In 1922, 18-year old Salvador Dalí (Robert Pattinson) arrives at university in Madrid. The Residencia de Estudiantes, or student residences, is a modern environment which encourages Spain's brightest young minds. Salvador, who is determined to become a great artist, soon catches the attention of the Resi's social elite – poet Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltran) and aspiring filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty). Together they form the nucleus of the most modern group in Madrid.
Their private lives become increasingly complex as Federico ignores the advances of devoted friend and writer Magdalena (Marina Gatell), and Salvador himself feels the pull of Lorca's magnetism. Luis, becoming increasingly isolated by the duo's closeness, decides to move to Paris to fulfill his own artistic ambitions, leaving Salvador and Federico to spend the summer at the seaside village of Cadaques.
salvador daliFederico finds himself accepted into the Dali family as he and Salvador grow closer until, one night, their friendship becomes more. Even as they draw closer, their relationship appears doomed. Luis visits them at university and becomes more suspicious and appalled by their apparent closeness.


Dali finds Lorca's obsession with him more than he is prepared to handle and moves to Paris. Consumed by the high society and decadence, Dali is soon entangled with Gala (Arly Jover) a married woman with a penchant for celebrities. When Lorca visits, he finds his friend is a changed man, about his life, his love, his politics and sexual orientation.

 


little ashesThe movie title is taken from Salvador Dalí's 1927-28 painting Cenicitas (Little Ashes). It was originally called The Birth of Venus, before being changed to Sterile Efforts and then finally Cenicitas. It was first displayed on 20 March 1929 in a Madrid exhibition. It was again displayed in his first solo exhibition in Paris in June 1931. The painting is currently in the Dalí collection of the Queen Sofia Art Centre in Madrid.


Jason.M.Berry 07/04/2009 Contact e-mail:
[email protected]little ashes

 

APRIL 2009 ISSUE

FERMATS ROOMWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I am going all out intellectual and present a fairly new Spanish ‘whodunnit’ film that like many others I hope will leave you wondering what monkeys Hollywood pays to write their so called big blockbusters that so often pollute our silver screens. This is one hell of a brain teaser in more ways than one.....
Fermat’s Room (Thriller) / Habitación de Fermat, La (2007)
Directors: Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo Sopeña
Writers: Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo Sopeña BRAIN TEASER
Four mathematicians who do not know each other are invited by a mysterious host on the pretext of resolving a great enigma. The room in which they find themselves turns out to be a shrinking room that will crush them if they do not discover in time what connects them all and why someone might wish to murder them. That's the starting point of this gripping suspenseful Spanish film filmed in Barcelona.

FERMATS ROOMBy fusing several elements, the director brings it all back home: the enigmas are borrowed from the "saw" saga (but without any of the pointless gore and with special effects kept to the minimum);the place reminds me of another Indy classic "Cube" ;there are also elements taken from Agatha Christie's classic "Ten little Indians" aka "And then there were none" (guests are invited to a remote house, where the host is to kill us but actually he is one of us; and of course they have all done something wrong before).

FERMATS ROOM 2Mathematics of course comes centre place to the essence of the film. Some of them are classics, as the young math genius points out: the three children and the story of the shepherd, the wolf, the sheep and the cabbage. All the actors are excellent, and the fact that Lluis Hornar resembles just a little the late great Laurence Olivier cannot help make you think of "sleuth".

FERMATS ROOM 3

 

The ending is borrowed from "Le Theoreme du Perroquet" (by Daniel Guedj) another book which blends a detective story and the history of maths. In that book, they tried to prove a theorem which Andrew Wiles, an English mathematician finally proved in 1993.....that in conclusion was Fermat's conjecture.

Jason.M.Berry 14/02/2009 Contact e-mail:
[email protected]

 

 

BEHIND SETTEE

MARCH 2009 ISSUE

TESISWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I present a very creepy thriller that will remind many of more recent American ‘Shock’ style films but this little gem came out way back in 1996!.
This is another one that might have you hiding behind the sofa.........Tesis (Thriller)

TESISTesis (Thesis) is a 1996 Spanish film. The feature debut of director Alejandro Amenábar, and written by him and Mateo Gil, it won seven 1997 Goya Awards (and was nominated for an eighth), including the award for Best Film. It stars Ana Torrent, Fele Martínez and Eduardo Noriega. The 1999 film 8mm was loosely based on this film.8MM


TESIS HIDINGÁngela (Torrent) is a film student at Madrid's University Complutense. Searching for research material for her Thesis (hence the film's title) on audio-visual violence, she attains the friendship of Chema (Martínez), a fellow student and introvert with an encyclopedic collection of violent and pornographic films.
After her professor dies while watching a film she steals the videotape, discovering that it is a snuff film featuring a girl whom she and Chema recognize as another student at the university - and a former girlfriend of current student Bosco (Noriega). Investigating the origins of the tape, they are drawn into the operations of a chilling snuff ring.
This as you might guess can be compared to such recent films as ‘Hostel’ and ‘Saw’ but the style it’s shot in makes it so much more real and gritty and therefore so much more horrific! Only equalled by the recent horror films from Japan (i.e. ‘Audition’ & ‘Ringu’)


Jason.M.Berry 09/01/2009 Contact e-mail:
[email protected]

TESIS

FEBRUARY 2009 ISSUE

VOLVERWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.


This month I present a film I mentioned last year and now I proudly present it for your viewing pleasure. This is a good one for anyone feeling the new year blues.......Volver (Comedy)
Volver (Spanish: "to return" (specifically: to return to a place), pronounced [bol'βer] is a 2006 Spanish film by director Pedro Almodóvar.


DIRECTORVolver was one of the films competing for the Palme d'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. It eventually won two awards: Best Actress (shared by the six main actresses) and Best Screenplay. The film's premiere was held on March 10, 2006, in Puertollano, Spain, where the filming had taken place. Cruz was nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG Award and the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first Spanish woman ever nominated for an acting Academy Award.
WOMENThe film opens in a cemetery full of women cleaning and tending to their families' gravestones. Two sisters, Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) and Sole (Lola Dueñas) and Raimunda's daughter Paula (Yohana Cobo) are cleaning the grave of their parents who had died in a tragic fire. The events which had occurred on the night of the fire are only gradually revealed, but are central to the plot of the film.


WITH DAUGHTERAfter their Aunt Paula (Chus Lampreave) dies, Sole returns to the village for the funeral. Aunt Paula’s neighbour Agustina (Blanca Portillo), whose mother had disappeared without a trace three years ago, tells Sole that she has heard the aunt talking with Sole's departed mother, Irene (Carmen Maura). Agustina helps Sole, who is “terrified of the dead,” to avoid seeing the corpse at the funeral. In her aunt’s house, Sole encounters the ghost of her mother, who had “died in the arms of her husband” in the fire. Arriving home, she hears a knocking sound from the rear of her car, and opens the car and again encounters her mother's ghost. She has brought luggage and intends to stay with Sole for a while.
DEATHThis film is a very sweet story set in modern day Spain and only a director of such vision as Almodóvar can tell it in such a way that a subject we would normally feel is cold and unfeeling comes across as a wonderful celebration of what we should all truly care about.....
Almodóvar says of the story that “it is precisely about death...More than about death itself, the screenplay talks about the rich culture that surrounds death in the region of La Mancha, where I was born. It is about the way (not tragic at all) in which various female characters, of different generations, deal with this culture.” The plot of Volver follows the plot of a movie-within-the-movie based on the main character's novel in Almodóvar's 1995 film La flor de mi secreto.


Jason.M.Berry 09/01/2009 Contact e-mail:

[email protected]

VOLVER

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JANUARY 2009 ISSUE

HABLO CON ELLAWelcome to Olives & Popcorn, your monthly guide to great Spanish based films that in my opinion should not be ignored.
Any comments are welcome. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch via my email below.
This month I present one of my favourite Spanish films of all time...I can say with a sense of pride that I went to the cinema three times to see this film and enjoyed it more every time.
This is one film you really need to watch cuddled up with that special someone.......


TALK TO HER

 

 

Talk to Her (Hable con ella) – 2002 (Drama)


Talk to Her (Spanish: Hable con ella) is a 2002 film written and directed by the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, starring Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin and Rosario Flores. It won the 2002 Academy Award for Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen and the 2003 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The film's themes include the difficulty of communication between the sexes, loneliness and intimacy, secrets and infidelity, and the persistence of love beyond loss

.HER
MENBenigno (literally meaning "benign" or "harmless" in Spanish) and Marco cross paths when they both attend the same dance performance, only to eventually meet again at a private clinic where Benigno works. There he is the personal nurse and caregiver of Alicia, a beautiful dance student who lies in a coma and with whom Benigno has become obsessed. Marco, a journalist and travel writer, is at the clinic to visit his girlfriend Lydia, a famous matador who is also comatose after being gored by a bull.MATADORMATADORAs the men stand vigil over these women, the story unfolds in a flashback and flash forward motif, telling the lives of the four with respect to their relationships. Marco leaves Lydia when her previous lover informs him that they had reunited a month before Lydia's accident.
'Talk to Her' is slow paced from the start but it is in no way wasted for every moment on the screen is full of profound meaning regarding relationships, and the thin line between devotion and obsession that I am sure we all have had to face at some point in our lives.

PATIENTCINEMA
The film is a beautiful tapestry of emotion and scenery that only someone like Pedro Almodóvar would be able to create.
Without giving away the ending I can say that you have to have a very stony heart not to be swept away with the feelings that are illustrated on the screen.
Pedro has directed many great films but this is his best work with only ‘Volver’ coming close. But don’t despair I will be sure to present more of his work including ‘Volver’ in later issues.

Jason Berry 10/12/2008 Contact e-mail:
[email protected]

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DECEMBER 2008 ISSUE

MOVIE CAMERAHello and Hola to our ex-pats out there who may or may not know what Spain can offer to challenge Hollywood in great films.
Every month I will highlight a film that is in essence of Spanish origin. It's role will be to get you the reader to want to see the film without spoiling the plot.
If any of our readers disagree or even possibly agree with my views I will welcome your comments. Also if you want to MOVIE CAMERA GREYknow more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch.
This month I will be presenting another double bill but this time of a lighter subject matter that will I hope make you smile, laugh, cry, or hopefully all three!!!

 


L'AUBERGEL'Auberge espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) (Comedy/Drama)
L'Auberge espagnole (English: The Spanish Apartment) is a 2002 French film directed and written by Cédric Klapisch. It is about Xavier, an Economics graduate student studying for a year in Barcelona as part of the Erasmus student exchange programme, where he encounters and learns from a group of students who hail from all over Western Europe.
The title of the film as you may already know literally means "the Spanish hostel", and is a French idiom for a hodgepodge of 'ingredients,' sort of like a pot luck. It is also sometimes used to mean a busy, chaotic place. The English title of the film is Pot Luck in the UK and Canada; Euro Pudding is an international title it was given, and it is also known as The Spanish Apartment. In Spain, where it is set, it was released as Una casa de locos —"Madhouse".
The film's portrayal is in the first-person perspective of the main character, Xavier, and is hence mainly narrated in French. Some of the dialogue is in English however, and a significant amount is in Spanish, as well as small amounts in Catalan, Danish, German and Italian.
I felt as European films go this is one of the true greats as it features strong characters from many parts of Europe and together shows us what modern Europe stands for. Even to the point of admitting our own problems in being a part of the new Europe.
The movie has a sequel, The Russian Dolls...see opposite and a third film is upcoming in the near future.

 

LES POPEESLes Poupées russes (Russian Dolls) (Comedy/Drama)
Les Poupées russes (Russian Dolls) is a 2005 French-British film, the sequel to L'Auberge espagnole (2002). Cédric Klapisch wrote and directed the film, whose settings include Paris, London, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Klapisch makes use of digital and split-screen effects in the film, as well as non-linear narrative.
The characters from the first film all feature again but is centred once again around the indecisive Xavier and over the course of events that span from London to Moscow the threads original spun in the first film are nicely concluded so making a third film at this stage very unnecessary .
By itself the film does not cover too much and by its nature is only relevant after watching the first film which did not really need this second part even though the characters are well developed enough. Therefore I leave it to you the viewing public to decide to keep to the first film or if you wish to continue with the second part it would not harm the experience of the first but does not do a great deal to enhance it either........

Jason Berry 04/11/2008 Contact e-mail:
[email protected]

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NOVEMBER 2008 ISSUE

MOVIE CAMERAMOVIE CAMERA GREYThis is a new section for those ex-pats out there who may or may not know what Spain can offer to challenge Hollywood in great films.
Every month I will highlight a film that is in essence of Spanish origin. Its' role will be to get you the reader to want to see the film without spoiling the plot.
If any of our readers disagree with my views I will welcome your comments. Also if you want to know more about a particular film and how to get a copy again get in touch.
In my first offering to coincide with Halloween I will bring to your attention a classic double bill of scary films both filmed in Spain and both directed by Mexican born Guillermo del Toro who you may know better for recent blockbusters ‘HELLBOY’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’

Get that pillow ready to hide behind...............

devils backboneThe Devils Backbone - 2001 (Horror)
The Devil's Backbone (Spanish: El espinazo del diablo, literally The Backbone of the Devil) is a 2001 Mexican/Spanish gothic horror film written by Guillermo del Toro, Antonio Trashorras and David Muñoz, and directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was independently produced by Pedro Almodóvar.
Set in Spain, 1939 during the Spanish Civil War a young boy Carlos is abandoned in a orphanage where he is confronted by horrors beyond that of the war that surrounds him. In essence this is a powerful ghost story that is told with absolute passion by the Mexican director Guillermo del Toro with a incredible cast that draws into not only the ghost story but also the grim situation of war torn Spain. It should be noted that similar themes are explored in another of Del Toro’s more well known films ‘Pan's Labyrinth ‘ which again set during the Spanish Civil war but this time features the theme of Fairies rather than Ghosts. The filming location was shot in Madrid after the original idea of filming in Mexico was abandoned and Del Toro added the War as a new backdrop to the story. The producer Almodóvar is famous as one of Spain’s most celebrated directors worldwide and I will take time to discuss his films at a later stage.
To summarize this is one great little film not too be missed especially over Halloween and not to be seen alone.

 
orphanageThe Orphanage (Horror)
The Orphanage (Spanish: El orfanato) is a 2007 Mexican-Spanish horror/suspense/drama film. The film is directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, produced by the Spanish production company Rodar y Rodar, co-produced by Telecinco and presented by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. The film opened at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2007. It opened Spain's Sitges Film Festival on October 4, 2007. The Orphanage was chosen by the Spanish Academy of Films as Spain's nominee for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, but ultimately did not end up as one of the five final nominees in that category.
This second offering by Del Toro again is a ghost story but one that covers the painful subject of the loss of a young families only child. History literally comes back to haunt the main character Laura after their beloved son Simón goes missing soon after moving to their new home and business on the coast which was long ago where Laura lived as a child. What follows is a dramatic rollercoaster of fear and suspense that will leave you feeling both afraid and happy in a very bittersweet ending and you will wonder why mainstream Hollywood struggles to create anything half as original as this modern classic.

Jason.M.Berry 14/10/08-Contact [email protected]

 

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The aim of the WEBSITE is to provide readers with various articles some serious some humorous so that there is something of interest for everyone. We have found since moving here from the South of Spain that there is a lack of places to promote and advertise any business you may have. We are therefore offering this WEBSITE as a solution.

We welcome any suggestions of what you would like to see in the WEBSITE. Any articles of local interest or details of upcoming events can be submitted.

We are glad to see people are visiting our web site regularly. Please check the classified and business directory pages as these are updated as and when during the month.
There is also additional subjects and information about living in spain on the web site.

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Copyright ©.All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner. No adverts or artwork in the Olive Press Catalunya magazine or Always Mañana or Catalunya Biz web sites may be reproduced or used for print, media or web in part or in their entirety without the express permission of the Catalunya Biz. Adverts and logos remain the property of the magazine and this website. To use any artwork please contact us.

Disclaimer: Always Mañana does not accept responsibility for the contents of the articles supplied by contributors nor for the claims made by advertisers. If you wish to give us some feedback about a client, please contact us.

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