Spain

Pablo Llorca – Días color naranja (2016)

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yjafjalla, the Icelandic volcano, has erupted. The European air traffic collapses. Álvaro has to interrupt his flight to Madrid. He decides to continue by train, starting his trip in Athens. He knows a group of people doing interrail; Berta, a young Swedish girl, among them. Álvaro initiates in a world full of new things for him: the pleasure of travelling by train, the parties at the youth hostels, love in a Croatian island… Read More »

José Ramón Larraz – La visita del vicio AKA The Coming of Sin (1978)

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A perverse little number from the erratic but always interesting José Larraz (Vampyres), this rarely seen, low budget blend of exploitation and art is best known to fans of Euro sleaze under its more colourful theatrical release title, Violation of the Bitch. For its first DVD release, Pagan translated the original Spanish title, La visita del vicio (or more literally, Vice’s Arrival), as The Coming of Sin. Under any time, it’s a twisted, often mystifying daydream filled with erotica and surrealism. Beautiful amateur painter Lorna (Patricia Granada) passes her sunny days dabbling with a paintbrush and burying herself in the family library. Read More »

David Trueba – Madrid, 1987 (2011)

Miguel, the arrogant newspaper columnist at the center of “Madrid, 1987,” has spent decades building up a tough outer shell. Pompous, calloused, dismissive, he’s a parade float begging for a hole to be poked in it. That comes in the form of a would-be acolyte, Angela, and a malfunctioning door lock in this sweet, sometimes dull and certainly overlong film, written and directed by David Trueba. Miguel (José Sacristán) has been spouting literary analogies and trite aphorisms long enough that he believes them; Mr. Sacristán gives him equal measures of confidence and tediousness. But Miguel is lovably smug: when an autograph seeker interrupts his squiring of Angela (María Valverde), he signs her paper, “For Sonia, who has lousy timing.” Before long, he and Angela retreat to an apartment nearby, where the faulty door traps them in the bathroom, disrobed but not entangled. Read More »

David Trueba – Soldados de Salamina AKA Soldiers of Salamina (2003)

A woman uncovers some unsettling truths about her country and its history in this drama from Spain. Lola (Ariadna Gil) is a writer who feels creatively stifled and hasn’t been able to work out a new idea in months. Looking for something to clear her creative block, She takes an assignment to write a piece about Rafael Sanchez Mazas (Ramon Fontsere), a writer who sided with the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. While legend has it Mazas was killed by Republican troops, the truth is he was given protection and shelter by Friends of the Forest, a group of men who lived in the woods. As Lola tries to search out Joaquim Figueras, one of the last surviving Friends of the Forest, she discovers a soldier who captured Mazas and was prepared to shoot him, but opted to let him go at the last moment. As Lola’s writer’s block dissolves, she digs deeper in search of the truth about this elusive man and his mysterious actions during the war. Soldados de Salamina was based on a true story and the real-life Joaquim Figueras appears in the film, along with several other people who took part in the shelter and capture of Mazas. From AllMovie Read More »

Manuel Gómez Pereira – El amor perjudica seriamente la salud aka Love Causes Serious Harm To Your Health (1996)

This sophisticated Spanish romantic comedy charts the course of a long-time on-again-off again love affair between Diana Balaguer and Santi Garcia. The story begins at a sumptuous dinner party for the King of Spain. There the beauteous Diana Balaguer makes eye contact with security guard Santi Garcia, and suddenly faints dead away. The story fades from 1996 to 1966, and the film switches from color to black-and-white. Diana is a teenager with a terrible crush on Beatle John Lennon. She sneaks into his room and hides under the bed when Lennon arrives with a groupie. Diana is shocked to find herself hiding beside the handsome Santi. As Lennon and the groupie begin making out, so do the youngsters beneath them. Thus begins their sporadic affair. Over its course, Diana reveals her ambitions to become a society hostess. Unfortunately, Santi simply wants to settle down, get married and raise children. Their differences cause the lovers to drift apart. By the time the film returns to the present tense, both lovers have undergone major changes. From All Movie Read More »

Rodrigo Sorogoyen – Madre (2019)

Ten years have passed since Elena’s son, then six years old, has disappeared. Today Elena lives and works at a seaside restaurant until she meets a teenager who reminds her of her missing son. Read More »

Lois Patiño – Costa da morte (2013)

Costa da Morte is a region in Galicia (Spain), which was considered as the end of the world during the Roman period. Its dramatic name comes from the numerous shipwrecks that happened along history in this area made of rocks, mist and storms. We cross this land observing the people who inhabit it, fishermen, gatherers of shellfish, loggers… We witness traditional craftsmen who maintain both an intimate relationship and an antagonistic battle with the vastness of this territory. The wind, the stones, the sea, the fire, are characters in this film, and through them we approach the mystery of the landscape, understanding it as a unified ensemble with man, his history and legends. Read More »