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Entries in Spain (22)

Monday
May152017

Pedro Party: What Have I Done To Deserve This? & Volver

It's a Pedro Party. We're celebrating Almodóvar each day as we count down to Cannes 2017. Here's Daniel Crooke.

Women hold the universe together according to the peacock-feathered films of Pedro Almodóvar, and never more earthily or elegant than in his mirrored portraits of multitasking matriarchs putting out the fires of the men around them: 1984’s What Have I Done To Deserve This? and 2006’s Volver. Both domestic dramas with a hint of the supernatural, they showcase a pair of imperfect pragmatists – respectively, Gloria (Carmen Maura) and Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) – caught in the crucible of their everyday lives with no signs of slowing down, spinning an interminable amount of plates only to wash them straight after so they can serve their families dinner on time. While their inattentive lazybones husbands bark orders from the couch and fail to see the strength beyond their busts – no matter, as they’ll soon both be dead– Gloria and Raimunda are the breadwinners, juggling odd jobs and managing the affairs of family and friends to simply keep the lights on.

Strikingly feminist with an emphasis on the superhuman virtues of intergenerational sisterhood, What Have I Done To Deserve This? and Volver display two working women hustling on the verge with no time for a nervous breakdown...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May152017

The Furniture: Decorating Obsession in "The Skin I Live In"

It's a Pedro Party! Our Almodóvar week is extending a couple of days. You can click on the images from this production design feature to see them in magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber...

El Cigarral is a mysterious, hidden estate that lurks on the outskirts of Toledo, Spain. Its gates are perpetually locked and its secrets are not easily pried loose. Its owner, Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), keeps the outside world at a distance.

That said, more people manage to break in than he might like. It’s inevitable, at least in movies like these. Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In is part of a long tradition that winds its way from The Island of Lost Souls through Eyes Without a Face. And this house, which seems to be accessible only under cover of night or in disguise, is among the most dramatically conceived in the entire genre...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May122017

Pedro Party: All About My Mother

It's a Pedro Party all week. Here's Lynn Lee on her introduction to Almodóvar...


To all actresses who have played actresses.  To all women who act.  To men who act and become women.  To all the people who want to be mothers.  To my mother.”

All About My Mother was the first Almodovar film I ever saw, and as it happens, I saw it with my own mother.  I don’t remember why I picked it for us to see together.  It certainly wasn’t because of the title or because I thought it would be something she’d particularly like.  In fact, if I’d thought about it more, I might have been anxious that she would find it too outré.  Or for that matter, that I would; as both a movie lover and a young adult, I was just beginning to learn what was out there and how far it stretched beyond my own personal experience.

To our credit, or rather to Almodovar’s, there was no reason for such trepidation...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar312017

Almodóvar for 99¢

Heads up. If you ever rent movies from iTunes rather than wait for them to stream, you should know that Pedro Almodóvar's entire filmography (well, absent Julieta of course which is too new) is now available to rent for 99¢ for each film (or between $4.99 and $9.99 to buy, depending on the title). Yes, even Pepi Luci Bom, his first official feature, which has been previously quite hard to come by. There are very few filmmakers in the world with a filmography as consistently rich as his, so dig in. He's my favorite living filmmaker, so I must proselytize when I can.

Perhaps we should do a series? 

Friday
Mar172017

Have you heard of the Platino Awards?

Though The Film Experience likes to track key foreign awards (examples include the Césars, Goyas, and the Golden Horse, in addition to the massive Oscars circus, those groups proliferate just like American precursors do. I've lost track of how many awards that Asian cinema, for example, has. But how about South America? The Platino awards are relatively new. They're now in their fourth year honoring films from the Ibero-America region, which is to say primarily Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, i.e. former territories of Spain and Portugal, plus those countries for good measure.

Here's why we should start paying attention to them: in their short existence they've given Best Film to a truly outstanding picture every single time:  Chile's Gloria (2014) an amazing study of a divorcee rebuilding her romantic life with an Oscar worthy performance by Paulina García (we nominated her here); Argentina's rowdy, funny, Oscar nominated and deeply pleasurable anthology Wild Tales (2015); and Colombia's mystical wonder Embrace of the Serpent (2015) which you already know we're wild about.

Penelope Cruz is one of 37 women vying for a Best Actress nomination (for her new film Queen of Spain)

We don't have the nominee list yet as the ceremony isn't until July. Like the Oscars, they only allow a certain number of contenders from each country (2 or 3 in their case as opposed to Oscar's 1 film per country rule) but their long list includes a lot of Oscar submissions from the past season. Some highlights include Chile's playful fictionalized biopic Neruda, Brazil's critical sensation Aquarius, Almodovar's Julieta, the fantasy A Monster Calls, Paraguay’s father daughter road trip movie called Guaraní, and at least three LGBT titles: Chile's Rara which is an LGBT family drama, the Venezuelan Oscar submission From Afar, and the Cuban political drama Santa & Andres. You can see the complete longlist for Best Film here which will be narrowed down to 5 nominees soon. There are 37 women vying for the Best Actress nomination but we'd be shocked if both Emma Suarez from Julieta and Sonia Braga from Aquarius didn't make it.

 

Thursday
Mar162017

Well, Hello Linky

Playbill Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh got their Sardi's caricatures this week
BFI Pedro Almodóvar recommends 13 Spanish films, some classics and some recent, including Jamon Jamon, Blancanieves (♥︎), and Peppermint Frappé
McCarter want to see Murder on the Orient Express on stage before the big screen remake later this year? A new production just opened in Princeton with a pretty great cast that includes Veanne Cox, Julie Halston and gorgeous Max Von Essen who should've won the Tony two years back for An American in Paris


Jezebel "Carol Without Women" boring crap or still beautiful abstraction? Must watch!
MNPP Sam Claflin will costar in the next film from brilliant Babadook director Jennifer Kent
Interview talks to the new Iron Fist Finn Jones
Ashlee Marie shows you how to make a standing Lego Batman cake
Shudder a new streaming service for horror fans is streaming Ken Russell's notorious and brilliant and often banned The Devils (1971). It's so hard to get in the US so see it while you have a chance!
Coming Soon Jennifer Aniston will costar in Anne Fletcher's YA adaptation Dumplin' about child beauty pageants
Tom & Lorenzo judge the "stylists & stars" Hollywood Reporter covers. Fun 
Queerty did you hear that RuPaul got married? He and his boyfriend of 23 years tied the knot in January
Variety Kleber Mendonça Filho, who gave us the great Aquarius last year, will preside over the Critics Week jury at Cannes this summer 
Coming Soon Married actors John Krasinski and Emily Blunt will co star for the first time in the horror thriller A Quiet Place. Krasinski will also direct

Exit Tweet
Bette Midler reminding us that she's back but we're too poor to see her do Dolly Levi on Broadway. Thanks, Bette!