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Entries in Maribel Verdú (4)

Tuesday
May282019

The New Classics - Y Tu Mama Tambien

Michael Cusumano here to add a title that is near and dear to my heart to the New Classics pantheon 

Scene: Epilogue
The Narrator in coming-of-age stories most often represents a grown-up version of the protagonist. Think The Sandlot or A Christmas Story, or the quintessential example, The Wonder Years, voices looking back, awash in nostalgia. In Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También not only is the narrator not a character, but the voice is indifferent, even coldly clinical in its omniscience, as likely to note the fate of a passing group of wild pigs as to reveal the deepest secrets of the protagonists.

We get used to the voice as a welcome companion throughout the film. Its flat, objective viewpoint is a welcome respite from the main trio’s frequent emotional upheavals. Little do we realize we are being set up for the emotional gut punch of the film’s epilogue...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug192017

New Oscar Chart ~ Foreign Hopefuls including Spain

Last month we shared speculation about what countries Argentina, Chile, Denmark, and The Czech Republic among others might submit to the Oscars this years. And we'll soon have more charts up. Spain narrowed down their finalists to three which is worth noting. The most successful countries in terms of Oscar in the later portions of the alphabet are Spain (19 nominations and 4 wins), Sweden (14 nominations and 3 wins) and Poland (10 nominations and 1 win). If you include the former Soviet Union stats with Russia's stats since 1992, they're approximately tied with Sweden.

Maribel Verdú in "Abracadabra" which is a finalist for Spain

Spain is currently in their longest dry spell of all time in this Oscar category (their last nominee The Sea Inside, which won, was 13 whole years ago). They will select their submission on September 7th but they've narrowed down their choice to the following three pictures: 

  • 1898: Our Last Men in the Philippines [This film is available to stream on Netflix]
    Luis Tosar and Javier Guteirrez star in Salvador Calvo's war epic about soldiers who held a town square under seige for almost a year in the Philippines even after Spain had surrended and The Philippines had become a free country.
  • Summer 1993 This is the first narrative feature from director Carla Simón who has previously made shorts and documentaries. It's in the Catalan language and about a six-year-old girl trying to adapt to a new life with her uncle after her mother's death. Simón won two prizes at Berlinale for this debut.
  • Abracadabra - My favorite Spanish submission of the past ten years was the great Snow White themed black and white silent Blancanieves.  The director (Pablo Berger) and star (Maribel Verdú) of that memorable entry (which inexplicably didn't make the finals) reunite for a colorful film which the director describes as a "paella of genres" but is at least partially a comedy about a woman who thinks her husband is possessed. Antonio de la Torre (Volver, The Last Circus) co-stars

I couldn't tell you which they'll choose as there's a definite pro for each, statistically. Consider: War films are often submitted to Oscar. Childhood-focused dramas are often beloved in this category. Countries generally like to return to directors they've submitted before. 

The foreign submission charts will be updated this weekend.

Sunday
Oct022016

Beauty Break: Maribel Verdú, Goya Darling

Happy 46th birthday to Spanish beauty Maribel Verdú of Y Tu Mama Tambien and Pan's Labyrinth fame. How many women can claim to have terrorized Snow White and been tag teamed by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, and knifed a dictator's officer right in the face? How many women have been nominated for a Goya ten times and won twice*. Just Maribel, that's who!

Those Goyas must be heavy!

More beauty after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec202012

And the Oscar Goes to... Snow White?

YEAR IN REVIEW BEGINS NOW! Many Best ofs and Film Bitch Awards to follow...

Did you know that today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of the controversial "Die Kinder und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales)" by the Brothers Grimm? (Google is celebrating) The book, a collection of fairy tales both pre-existing in oral form and original, has a complicated legacy in Germany and outside of it. But modern pop culture would be unthinkable without its existence. I mean without Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and the rest you'd have no "Into the Woods", no Grimm or Once Upon a Time, no gingerbread houses, and no global Disney Empire as we know it!

But today, when it comes to the legacy of the Brothers Grimm, I'm thinking about Snow White. If you're reading any list on "Entertainers of the Year" for 2012 and Snow White isn't present, there is a problem. Or if not Snow White (who has, on occassion, defined The Bland Protagonist), than the Evil Queen Stepmother. The Former Fairest of Them All nearly always pulls focus and ends up the defacto star of each iteration.

Earlier this year we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) with an animated edition of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"  and the cinema gave us not one not two but three new movie versions of the classic tale... [more]

Click to read more ...