Pedro Almodóvar – Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón (1980)

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This is Almodóvar’s first feature film. The plot follows the wild adventures of three friends: Pepi, an independent modern woman; Luci, a mousy, masochistic housewife; and Bom, a lesbian punk rock singer. The central theme of the film – female resilience, independence and solidarity – would be a constant throughout Almodóvar’s career. (Wikipedia) Continue reading

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Luis Miñarro – Stella cadente AKA Falling Star (2014)

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Quote:
Colourful feature debut from experienced producer Miñarro offers an almost hallucinatory look into the world of Amadeo van Savoy, who for two years was king of an ungovernable Spain around 1870. This intriguing episode is transformed into a plea for beauty, creativity and joy.

At first sight, Falling Star presents itself as a historic film about the brief rule of Amadeo van Savoy, a prince from Turin who was king of Spain for two years. His mainstay, the powerful General Prim, was murdered before Amadeo was properly installed and then he had no one to fall back on; Spain in 1871 was already plagued by administrative and financial crises.
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Sergio Caballero – La distancia (2014)

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Quote:
A heist-movie of such exquisitely bizarre loopiness to make Inception look like Ocean’s Eleven, Sergio Caballero’s The Distance (La distancia) is a likeably giggle-inducing dollop of deadpan surrealist whimsy. Observing a trio of telepathic Russian dwarves tasked with robbing an abandoned Siberian power-station, Caballero’s follow-up to 2010’s even more deliciously outre Finisterrae confirms the Catalan’s status as a puckish jester in the court of current European art-cinema. Adventurous audiences enduring the longueurs and waywardness of his gloriously uncompromised vision are rewarded with a hilariously abrupt finale that should delight many but leave others baffled and bemused. Festivals with late-night slots to fill will clamor for this cultish item, which might even find small distribution niches in eccentricity-embracing territories such as Japan and France. Continue reading

Julien Duvivier – Black Jack (1950)

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IMDb comment by niathan:

I saw this film when it was released to the minor cinemas in the UK some 50 years ago; and the memory remains of a great musical score, and the tragedy of the storyline. I saw it again on video recently. The sound track was poor and the picture grainy; but it is one of two films that I saw again the next day, the other being Gladiator. The music theme is intensely tragic, and from the outset one knows that it heralds failure or death. Certainly one of George Sanders best performances; as a man working the black market to get pay back for what he lost in the war, but nemesis waits; Patricia Roc plays a refugee from Eastern Europe eaten with despair. He is attracted to her, selflessly wants to help her, and then falls in love with her, but she is too proud and hurt to accept help. Their love destroys him, and inevetably the girl and the doctor (Herbert Marshall), who brought the nemesis. The storyline is of complex intertwining destinies, where subsidiary characters are not who they appear to be. This is as a film, which diappointed the critics and struggled at the box office; but for the adolescent who saw it, and the retired gentleman who saw it again it is one of the greatest films (taking into account its age)whose story is more akin to an opera. Continue reading

Jaime Rosales – Hermosa juventud AKA Beautiful Youth (2014)

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Natalia and Carlos, both aged 20, are in love and struggling to survive in today’s Spain. Their limited resources prevent them from getting ahead as they’d like to. They have no great ambitions because they have no great hopes. To earn some money, they decide to shoot an amateur porno film. The birth of their daughter Julia is the main catalyst for the changes they make. Continue reading

Carlos Marques-Marcet – 10.000 Km AKA Long Distance (2014)

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Quote:
ONE YEAR, TWO COMPUTERS AND AN OCEAN BETWEEN THEM

One couple, one year apart and two distant cities: Los Angeles and Barcelona. Love is Alexandra and Sergio’s only weapon and their computers their only tools to fight the 10,000 kilometers that stand in the way of their future together.
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Ventura Pons – Barcelona (un mapa) AKA Barcelona: A Map (2007)

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Synopsis:
Timid, elderly Ramon once worked at a Barcelona theater, later burned down, where he enjoyed dressing up in women’s costumes. He’s now married to Ros and owns a house whose rooms he has rented out.Wishing to spend his last days in peace, Ramon visits his tenants to ask them to leave. Continue reading

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