Spain

Jaime de Armiñán – Mi querida señorita AKA My dearest senorita (1972)

Synopsis
Miss Adela Castro (José Luis López Vázquez in a superb performance),a mature lady from the provincial Spanish bourgeoisie, has spent her life in solitude, sewing, playing the piano, attending charity meetings at the local church and meditating on her forced spinsterhood. Her partially unacknowledged attraction to females, together with her lack of desire for her fiance drives Adela to her confessor and then to a doctor. The diagnosis is unambiguous: she is a man. Adela, now Juan, is then forced to confront both a prejudiced society and himself. Jaime Armiñán directed My Dearest Señorita in a context of profound social transition in Spain. Read More »

Laida Lertxundi – Laida Lertxundi complete filmography (2004-2018)

Laida Lertxundi is a Spanish filmmaker

Quote:
“I was really into music and photography and art in general growing up. Not really so much into film. I wasn’t drawn to narrative film, and I hadn’t seen any other kind growing up in the Basque Country.”- Laida Lertxundi Read More »

Fernando Fernán Gómez – El Viaje a ninguna parte aka Voyage to Nowhere (1986)

The spirit, hopes, and failures of a troupe of itinerant performers in the 1950s create a poignant, humorous leitmotif in this drama by Fernando Fernan-Gomez. The story of the wandering players is told in flashbacks, as Carlos Galvan (Jose M. Sacristan) reminisces about the good times while under therapy with a psychiatrist in a senior citizens’ home. Carlos and his lover Juanita (Laura del Sol), his teenage son, his father, and a few other actors try to eke out a living by putting on shows in small towns and villages. No one has very much money, but life is lived to the hilt, and Carlos himself has some pretty tall tales. Read More »

Julio Medem – Tierra aka Earth (1996)

Tierra (Earth, Julio Medem, 1996) opens with a hypnotic journey through space, as the camera soars through the ethereal atmosphere, descending towards an agricultural area, then focusing in on a lone traveler who is having a motivational conversation with himself. A remote village has been infested with woodlice, imparting an earthy taste to the locally produced wine. An exterminator, a self-described “complex” man named Ángel (Carmelo Gómez), has been hired by the town mayor to fumigate the region. Ángel’s inner voice, the figurative angel of his subconscious who has died but continues to exist (and interject opinions) within his corporal self, believes that he has been sent down to earth for a divine mission. Read More »

Miguel Picazo – La tía Tula AKA Aunt Tula (1964)

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Tula, the titular aunt is raising the children of her recently-deceased sister, alongside her brother-in-law Ramiro. She is austere and somewhat bossy, but the kids accept her as the replacement for their mother. Ramiro struggles being cooped up with her in their chaste relationship -he suggests they become man and wife, scandalizing Tula. But amid an atmosphere of Catholic hypocrisy -her priest recommends she marries Ramiro and never deems to criticize his unwanted advances to her- and unspoken patriarchy (her female peers all see marriage as their goal in life) she begins to wilt -only, too slowly for the lusty Ramiro, who matter-of-factly precipitates a devastating conclusion to their arrangement. Read More »

Bigas Luna – Huevos de oro AKA Golden Balls (1993)

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Directed by acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Jose Juan Bigas Luna, HUEVOS DE ORO (GOLDEN BALLS) stars Javier Bardem in his breakthrough role (for which he also received a Goya Award nomination). In this satire of Latin machismo and the excesses of the 1980s, Bardem plays Benito Gonzalez, who dreams of building a mighty skyscraper and thereby securing fame and wealth for himself. His main advantages are his uncontrollable self-assurance and skills as a lothario. He marries the daughter of a rich banker while keeping a mistress on the side, but his betrayal of both women begin to destroy his plans for the building as well as his chauvinist self-confidence. Bigas Luna brings his trademarks–an honest exploration of sexuality and surrealistic imagery–to this tale of male egotism and its undoing. Read More »

Bigas Luna – Las edades de Lulú aka The Ages Of Lulu (1990)

Quote:
Never one to shy away from touchy subject matter, Bigas Luna seems determined to become to Spain what Russ Meyer is to America and Tinto Brass is to Italy. One of his most explicit works to date, The Ages of Lulu (Les edades de Lulú) begins like a fairly standard knockoff of 9 1/2 Weeks but swerves into far more dangerous waters that could only be explored in Europe. Sweet little Lulu (Live Flesh’s Francesca Neri) discovers her sexual awakening at the hands of older, self-absorbed Pablo (Óscar Ladoire), who makes her acquaintance by shaving her nether regions (“…so you’ll look prettier”). Read More »