Fernando Trueba, one of the most prestigious filmmakers in Spain, has set his latest film somewhere in occupied France in the summer of 1943, not far from the Spanish border. An old renowned sculptor, tired of life and mankind?s folly, rediscovers the desire to work and sculpt his last piece thanks to the arrival of a young Spanish woman who has escaped from a refugee camp. “The lovely and poignant drama ‘The Artist and the Model’ stirringly presents art, life and death as one irrevocably tangled trio” (Los Angeles Times). “[Trueba and Carriere] imbue the material with genuine feeling-exploring the melancholy of waning days and a defiantly naive belief in artistic transcendence. Continue reading
The politics of the past and present begin to merge during the making of a motion picture in this drama from director Icíar Bollaín. Spanish movie director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and his producer Costa (Luis Tosar) have arrived in Bolivia to shoot a picture about Columbus’ exploration and exploitation of the New World. While Sebastián has come to Bolivia for realistic scenery, Costa has chosen the location for the cheap and abundant supply of labor. An open casting call for extras attracts far more people than the picture needs, but when Costa tries to send them away, one would-be actor, Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri), makes a strong and eloquent case for fair treatment of the locals, and Sebastián casts him as Hatuey, the chief of a native tribe who fought the invading Spaniards. As Sebastián stages scenes of revolt against would-be colonists, a real battle is brewing in Colombia — the government has privatized the national water works, and the price of water has jumped by 300 percent, leading to protests and riots in the streets of Cochabamba. Daniel is one of the activists protesting price gouging for something as essential as water — will Sebastián and his colleagues join him in speaking out against this injustice? También la Iluvia (aka Even the Rain) was an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Continue reading
Casanova hires a new servant to witness the last moments of his life. Leaving a gallant and libertine Swiss castle, he decides to spend his remaining days in the poor and dark lands of eastern Europe. There, his society life and rationality begin to collapse under a romantic and violent force, represented by Dracula and his eternal power.
Golden Leopard at Locarno 2013
Two characters: old and young; teacher and pupil; man and woman. Four walls within which they conjure intellectualism, relive the profession (journalism), explore politics and discover each other.
Ana is an ambulance driver. Though good at her job, she has problems relating in her personal life. She doesn’t know it, but she suffers from a condition known by psychiatrists as Borderline Personality Disorder. The situation pushes her to outbreaks of self-destructive behaviour, alcohol abuse and self-harm. Ana is incapable of getting what she wants most: to be happy. ~ cineuropa
Ana is 28. She feels useful and satisfied in her routine work helping others. Nevertheless, outside of her working day, Ana has serious problems relating to people. She is socially awkward and even aggressive towards those people closest to her and whom she loves. Ana can’t control this behaviour or her emotions, so she suffers constantly and feels tormented and guilty. Really she would just like to feel at ease with herself and with others, to be happy. But her self-destructive, self-harming behaviour only isolates her more and more. Ana is unaware that she suffers from what psychiatrists call Borderline Personality Disorder. ~ golem.es
Again, it is a portrait of a woman and it gives us another glimpse of an exceptional figure. Mézières comes across as an outstanding actress, offering her body and her sufferings with a rare and profoundly moving abandon. Although the action of the film unfolds over five years, charting the development of a painful relationship between a mother and her daughter, the basic principle is to draw it all together rather than follow a psychological chronology. The relationship is apprehended as a single entity: the cracks are evident, but there is not too much emphasis on the process of disintegration. The story divides into two distinct time periods, first with mother and daughter together in the same bohemian setting, then separated by society, each facing her own choices and wanderings. However, the purpose of this time division is not so much to answer the predictable question “What will become of them?” in preparation of a pointless debate on “How can a girl live without her mother?” (and vice versa), as to show the metamorphosis of a single body, a dual mother-daughter identity, which is treated in the film less as a social couple going through ups and downs than as a single female figure with two faces. The beauty of the film lies in this constant blending of the two personalities, an on-going role-play in mother/daughter boundaries resulting in a disturbing tension between incestuous bond and transfer of identity. Continue reading
Rafael Gil directed a number of films during the ’40s and ’50s. He started out co-directing three films with Gonzalo Memedez Pidal, and in 1941 he made his solo directorial debut with El Hombre Que Se Quiso Matar. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi Continue reading