Spain

José Luis Guerín – Unas fotos en la ciudad de Sylvia (2007)

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An unnamed young man arrives in the foreign city of Strasbourg for reasons unstated. He waits at a hotel, visits a café, sketches passersby… Eventually his motives are revealed, but it is not a traditional narrative that Guerín is after so much as the urban experience of watching, waiting, absorbing. Out of these materials Guerín builds a spellbinding film that reminds us of cinema’s powerful ability to evoke the tugs of memory, desire and the transitory. An extraordinary city film, Sylvia almost entirely eschews dialogue to instead give a symphonic voice to the city itself through a rich and fully immersive soundtrack of urban sounds, explosions of music and strange Read More »

    Joaquín Jordà & Julián Marcos – Dia de muertos (1960)

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    The first was filmed on the Day of the Dead at Madrid’s Almudena cemetery. Leaving the grounds, the police intercepted the producers. Part of their recordings was purposely blurred so as to not be used against those filmed on the grounds. The censorship defined this short film as “a nauseating movie. Read More »

      Luis López Carrasco – El futuro AKA The Future (2013)

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      Synopsis:
      El futuro opens with the news, over a black background, of Felipe González’s recent electoral victory in 1982. A preamble before the camera moves into the heart of a party. However it only gives a distant, dull view of the dancing and flirting of the modern youth of that time. Amidst the alcohol, the constant music and conversations captured in passing –very often in an oblique way-, López Carrasco (from the Collective Los Hijos) gives the impression of time standing still, of progress halted by tedium, that crystallizes in the uneasy sensation summoned up by that future of the title. An eloquent end to the party and a dawn, 30 years later, that opens multiple doors for thinking. Read More »

        Manuel Muñoz Rivas – El mar nos mira de lejos AKA The Sea Stares at Us from Afar (2017)

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        The legend of an ancient and forgotten civilization lies buried beneath a large expanse of dunes. For more than a century, certain travelers have reached this remote and desolate territory looking for the traces of ancient inhabitants, the ruins of a city, or perhaps a sort of lost utopia. Ignorant of these myths and the romantic delusions of archaeologists and adventurers, a few men, barely visible among the sands, today inhabit in solitude that place facing the sea.

        ‘The Sea Stares at Us From Afar’ premiered at Berlinale Forum in 2017 and won the Best Documentary award at Tolouse Spanish Film Festival, the Best Feature Film award at L’Alternativa Film Festival in Barcelona and the De Luxe Award at Sevilla Film Festival. Read More »

          Pedro Almodóvar – Julieta (2016)

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          Quote:
          Julieta (Emma Suarez) is a middle-aged woman living in Madrid with her boyfriend Lorenzo. Both are going to move to Portugal when she casually runs into Bea, former best friend of her daughter Antia, who reveals that this one is living in Switzerland married and with three children. With the heart broken after 12 years of total absence of her daughter, Julieta cancels the journey to Portugal and she moves to her former building, in the hope that Antia someday communicates with her sending a letter. Alone with her thoughts, Julieta starts to write her memories to confront the pain of the events happened when she was a teenager (Adriana Ugarte) and met Xoan, a Galician fisherman. Falling in love with him, Julieta divides her time between the family, the job and the education of Antia until a fatal accident changes their lives. Slowly decaying in a depression, Julieta is helped by Antia and Bea, but one day Antia goes missing suddenly after a vacation with no clues about where to find … Read More »

            Adrian Silvestre & Luis Alejandro Yero – Natalia Nikolaevna (2014)

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            Natalia Nikolaevna lives 400 km from Havana, in the city where the first nuclear power plant would be built in Cuba. He arrived 20 years ago from the USSR, to be reunited with her husband and work as an opera singer. In 1992, he began the great crisis, known as the Special Period. Natalia divorced, and rooted in the place gradually discovered him as the most hostile of spaces. Single mother without job opportunities, invented their own stage-a park-, their own -the spectators tourists- and their own livelihood: what gave him for his arias. Read More »

              Claudia Llosa – Aloft (2014)

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              Quote:
              As we follow a mother (Jennifer Connelly) and her son (Cillian Murphy), we delve into a past marred by an accident that tears them apart. She will become a renowned artist and healer, and he will grow into his own as a peculiar falconer who bears the marks of a double absence. In the present, a young journalist (Mélanie Laurent) will bring about an encounter between the two that puts the very meaning of life and art into question, so that we may contemplate the possibility of living life to its fullest, despite the uncertainties littering our paths. Read More »