Spain

André Malraux – Espoir aka Days of hope (1945)

1937, the Spanish civil war. Republicans fight against Franco’s army and need to bomb a bridge… in Teruel.
Turned on location… and almost in situation. Read More »

Orson Welles – Don Quijote de Orson Welles (1992)

“Perhaps the most fascinating component of the films directed by Orson Welles was the masterpiece he never lived to complete. Beginning in 1957 and continuing on-and-off for the next 15 years, Welles self-financed and directed an audacious film version of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” which brought the legendary knight and his rotund aide Sancho Panza out of 16th century Andalusia and into the world of (then-) modern Spain. But despite his genius behind the camera, Welles was remarkably neglectful in maintaining and preserving the footage he created and much of his work was considered lost…and the footage that remained was not properly stored! Read More »

Pere Portabella – Nocturno 29 AKA Nocturne 29 (1968)

Synopsis
Portabella’s first feature, co-scripted by poet Joan Brossa, became one of the most influential works of the Barcelona avant-garde, although like all his early films, it circulated only in an underground fashion. Eschewing dialogue, the director constructs a non-narrative story in fragments that reveal the daily lives of an adulterous couple interspersed with a cryptic stream of unrelated imagery. The title of this homage to directors including Eisenstein, Antonioni, Bergman, and Buñuel refers to the 29 “black years” of the Franco dictatorship. Read More »

Gonzalo Suárez – El Extraño caso del doctor Fausto aka The Strange Case of Dr. Fausto (1969)

This film is loosely based on Goethe’s Dr. Faustus. It’s the second feature that Gonzalo Suárez made, when he still was a member of the Barcelona School (Escuela de Barcelona). The Barcelona School was a 1960s group of Catalan filmmakers, concerned with the disruption of daily life by the unexpected, whose stylistic affinities lie with the pop art movement of the same years and with the French Nouvelle Vague. Among their members: Joaquin Jordà, Jacinto Esteva, José María Nunes, and also, at the begining of their career, Vicente Aranda and Gonzalo Suárez. Read More »

Jesús Franco – Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht AKA Count Dracula (1970)

Synopsis:
Count Dracula, a gray-haired vampire who regains his youth by dining on the blood of maidens, is pursued in London and Transylvania by Professor Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker and Quincey Morris after he victimizes them and their loved ones. Read More »

María Luisa Bemberg – Señora de nadie AKA Nobody’s Wife (1982)

After finding out her husband cheated on her, Leonor decides to leave him to find her true identity. Read More »

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 »