Miguel Bardem – La mujer más fea del mundo AKA The Ugliest Woman in the World (1999)

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Quote:
In a futuristic Spain, someone is murdering beauty queens.

If you’ve never heard of this wildly original and adventurous flick from 1999 Spain, then this is further proof of one of the best things about being in love with movies: you will never hear of, let alone see so many great films being made around the world. There are just too many. But you can certainly try, and this is an excellent place to continue your journey. Continue reading

Antonio Maenza Blasco – Orfeo filmado en el campo de batalla (1969)

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NB: there is no audio track: Maenza’s films were never mastered or fitted with sound. This rip comes from a digitized work print. His films were sometimes screened with live voice performance commenting on and/or enacting what unrolls visually. The text that was read by performers during the few screenings this had at the time it was made can be read HERE (or via googletranslate)

Quote:
In December 1968 I participated in the film Orpheus Shot on the Battlefield, which originated as a collective work, a movie without an author, but which would ultimately be attributed to Antonio Maenza in the end even though he only played the role of the director in the film. The film, which was never provided a soundtrack, was screened on several occasions with a soundtrack performed live consisting of a text for three voices and a number of musical pieces, among which were the “descent into hell” from the opera L’Orfeo by Monteverdi in the version by Edward H. Tarr, released in 1968 by Erato, “New York 1963 – America 1968” from Every One of Us by Eric Burdon and the Animals; and “The Return of the Son of the Monster Magnet” from Freak Out by [Frank Zappa and] The Mothers of Invention. After the “state of emergency” in January 1969, an epilogue was shot but it was never developed. Continue reading

Jordi Cadena & Judith Colell – Elisa K (2010)

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At eleven, everything in Elisa’s life will lose its innocence. One day whilst her father is asleep and her brother is on a swing outside, her father’s friend will rape her, as she cries he tells her if she stops he’ll give her a silver bracelet. It’s from that moment on she will forget what happened to her for a very long time.

Fourteen years and four months later she remembers. Scared, she calls her mum, “Help me, I’ve remembered something terrible.” Breaking many rules of cinema and featuring unconventional narration throughout, Eliza K is a heartbreaking story that asks the question of how this young woman will carry on with her life. Continue reading

Agustí Villaronga – Pa negre aka Black Bread (2010)

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Quote:
In the harsh post-war years’ Catalan countryside, Andreu, a kid that belongs to the loser side, finds the corpses of a man and his son in the forest. The authorities want his father to be made responsible of the deaths, but Andreu tries to help his father by finding out who truly killed them. In this search, Andreu develops a moral consciousness against a world of adults fed by lies. In order to survive, he betrays his own roots and ends up finding out the monster that lives within him. Continue reading

Jorge Coira – 18 comidas (2010)

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A street musician meets the love of his life again; two drunk men have long drinks and seafood for breakfast; a man cooks, cooks and cooks for a woman that never shows up; two men love each other but they hide; a cooker dreams of being a singer; a young woman wants what a man does not give her while a waiter is dying for her; a Macedonian is lost in Santiago suffering the lack of love; an elderly couple who have already said everything to each other have breakfast, lunch and dinner in silence. All these stories meet in “18 meals” during a single day of fiction, a film of emotions served around a table, a journey along the feelings of the most universal of all fights: the search for happiness. Continue reading

Albert Serra & Lisandro Alonso – Correspondencia: Albert Serra & Lisandro Alonso (2011)

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the original dvdr announce wrote:
This filmic exchange is based on two works that reflect on the way each director films, on the crew and the actors, on the way they see and make cinema. Albert Serra took the characters of Honor de Cavalleria and his regular team of collaborators to follow in the steps of Quixote. Lisandro Alonso returned to La Pampa province to film his work, for which he recalls Misael Saavedra, the lead of his first film, La Libertad. Continue reading

Pere Portabella – Umbracle (1970)

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Pere Portabella (b. 1929, Barcelona) is a veteran Spanish filmmaker whose narrative features—rich in interludes, plot diversions, atmosphere, and unexpected synchronies between sight and sound—limn the avant-garde and expand the expressive potential of cinema. Portabella, who began his cinematic career as a producer of fiction films implicitly critical of General Francisco Franco, had his passport revoked when Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana (1961), which he helped to make, “embarrassed” Spain at the Cannes Film Festival in 1962. When democracy returned to Spain, Portabella served as a senator in the Catalan government. However, throughout his various careers, Portabella continued to make cinema, investigating meaning in the moving image and flexing the notion of genre—particularly for horror films, fantasy films, and thrillers. Continue reading