Illegal immigration is one of the most challenging problems facing Spain over these
last few years. From among the thousands of immigrants entering the country by
various means, there are hundreds and hundreds trying to reach Spanish territory on
rudimentary open-decked vessels, most of them setting out from along the African
coast. Many of these African immigrants fail to reach Spain and find their death in the
sea. Others reach the coast exhausted and dehydrated from days on the open sea and
yet still hoping to find a new future. For many, there is no future as they are promptly
returned to their land of origin and even those who are allowed remain for whatever
reason, find that things are much more difficult for them than they had ever expected. Continue reading
Plot (From the DVD jacket):
In a small town close to the capital lives a family with three siblings: the serious and dominating Ignacia and her timid and withdrawn brother and sister, Paquita and Venancio. The monotonous life of the town is only shattered on Saturdays, when a band from Madrid comes to play their songs for the weekend dance. One stormy Saturday, Paquita and Venancio, frightened by noises, enter their sister’s room. There they think they see a mysterious fourth person. But their sister Ignacia denies it..
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
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)
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
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
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
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