Spain

Jaime Chávarri – Las bicicletas son para el verano AKA Bicycles Are for the Summer (1984)

In Madrid, the family of Don Luis, his wife Dolores and their children, Manolita and Luisito, share the daily life of the Civil War with their maid and neighbours. Despite having failed his exams, Luisito wants his father to buy him a bicycle. However, the situation forces them to delay the purchase and the delay, like the war itself, is to last much longer than expected.

The movie, and the book it was drawn from, show how daily life was conducted during the war. Unexpected things happen, but people find ways to survive. Above all, it is a story of survival and adaptation. Read More »

Marco Ferreri & Isidoro M. Ferry – El pisito AKA The Little Apartment (1959)

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Based on the novel by Rafael Azcona, screenplay by Azcona and Marco Ferreri. Rodolfo and Petrita each live in separate quarters in dilapidated Madrid, while looking to have a little apartment (or “pisito”, in Spanish). Unfortunately their low salaries prevent them from acquiring one. Soon, Rodolfo’s co-workers urge him to marry the old and frail Doña Martina, who is the main tenant in the apartment he boards in. According to Spanish rent-control law, he could inherit the lease from his spouse. Thus begin his misgivings and Petrita’s. Read More »

Albert Boadella & Mercè Vilaret – La odisea (1976)

A little-known Spanish take on Homer’s Odyssey. Read More »

Jesus Franco – Las Últimas de Filipinas (1986)

Fleeing a U.S. attack during the war, 2 sisters and their governess are shipwrecked on a (not so ) deserted island. Believe it or not Lina appears to have only one brief nude scene. Who’d a thunk it? As you can see there is some flesh on display so thank god for that. Another Franco jungle “masterpiece”. Enjoy! Read More »

Oliver Laxe – Todos vós sodes capitáns (2010)

Laxe himself stars as a self-described “neo-colonialist” filmmaker who goes to Tangiers ostensibly to hold a series of film workshops. It quickly becomes clear, however, that his intentions are not purely disinterested, as he begins to turn these children into pawns in the service of his own film.

Next in our Back-To-School series, and part of our close-up on Laxe, is his startling debut, in which he also stars. Shot on gorgeous monochrome 16mm, this singular “meta-docu-fiction” expands on the concept of hybrid filmmaking and keeps questioning itself—and cinema—both playfully and politically. Read More »

Ivet Castelo & Sandra García & Marta Lallana & Iván Alarcón – Ojos Negros AKA Black Eyes (2019)

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“Paula, a thirteen year old girl, starts to experience certain complications in the relationships with her family and friends. In order to be with her ill grandmother, which she barely knows, she spends the summer in Ojos Negros. There she will meet Alicia, a girl her age, who also stays in town for the summer. Together they will venture into the adult world through a stifling summer that never ends.” Read More »

Jaume Balagueró – Alicia (1994)

Balagueró’s third short.
“Alicia” is the metaphor of a woman losing her innocence. It won the Sitges (Catalonian International Film Festival) award for best short. Read More »