Pedro Almodóvar – Kika (1993)

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Quote:
Harshly treated by the critics on release, of Pedro Almodovar’s work, Kika is perhaps the one that most benefits from re-viewing and re-assessment.

The story of Kika (an astonishing Veronica Forque), a Madrid makeup artist whose relationship with Ramon (Alex Cassanovas) leads to criminal schemes involving Kika’s maid Juana (Rossy DePalma), Jauan’s amorous, criminal brother Pablo (Santiago Lajusticia) and Ramon’s youth-obsessed father Nicholas (Peter Coyote). Overseeing it all is the muckraking, reality tabloid television show presided over by the formidable Andrea Scarface (a uniquely attired Victoria Abril).

Attracting controversy because of the scene in which Almodovar depicts Kika’s rape at the hands of Pablo with humorous detachment, the scene has since come to be more popularly viewed as further evidence of the director’s tribute to the power of women. Continue reading

Carlos Saura – Goya en Burdeos AKA Goya in Bordeaux (1999)

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Plot:
Francisco Goya (1746-1828), deaf and ill, lives the last years of his life in voluntary exile in Bordeaux, a Liberal protesting the oppressive rule of Ferdinand VII. He’s living with his much younger wife Leocadia and their daughter Rosario. He continues to paint at night, and in flashbacks stirred by conversations with his daughter, by awful headaches, and by the befuddlement of age, he relives key times in his life, particularly his relationship with the Duchess of Alba, his discovery of how he wanted to paint (insight provided by Velázquez’s work), and his lifelong celebration of the imagination. Throughout, his reveries become tableaux of his paintings. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – Volver (2006)

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Quote:
There is no director alive more connected to the hearts, minds and mysteries of women than Spain’s Pedro Almodovar. With a string of masterworks stretching from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to All About My Mother and Talk to Her, Almodovar is a filmmaker worth following anywhere. In Volver (“return”), a movie that leaps off the screen to take its place in your dreams, the writer-director tells a ghost story that manages to include lust, incest, rape and murder. You’ll laugh, too — wildly, helplessly — because to Almodovar, laughter is life. Continue reading

Alberto Rodríguez – El hombre de las mil caras AKA The Man with Thousand Faces (2016)

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The story of a man who fooled an entire country. A tale of cheats and impostors, taking its inspiration from true facts and from one of the most intriguing characters of recent decades: the spy Francisco Paesa.

Nominated at
31st Goya Awards
Premios Feroz 2017 Continue reading

Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza – [Rec] (2007)

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While covering the night shift at a small-town fire department, an ambitious young television reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman follow the crew on a call to rescue an elderly woman unable to escape the inferno that is consuming her home. Upon their arrival at the scene, the calm midnight air is pierced by the sound of horrific screams, and the television report takes an unexpectedly dark turn. Continue reading

Gonzalo Suárez – Morbo AKA Morbidness (1972)

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This Spanish thriller by dilettante director Gonzalo Suarez tells the story of two newlyweds and the uncanny happenings that attend their low-budget honeymoon. For much of the film the audience is treated to scenes of freshly-married bliss. The couple have parked their car/camper combination in a remote area, and generally frolic around. Then they begin to experience some odd occurrences, such as one of their two hamsters killing the other one. When hubby discovers a nearby home where he can get water, the story gets much more complicated and involves a blind woman, a murderer, and some inexplicable symbolism. Continue reading