Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

Berlin 2010 Preview: Forum, Part 1

February 11, 2010

So if the Panorama section deals with contemporary issues and Generations is for the children, what’s Forum? Well, loosely defined it’s where Berlin can put all the other films they like. There’s a particular emphasis on first-time filmmakers and experimental approaches. The net is cast wide this year, with movies from as far a-field as the Chinese-Burma border and Uganda in the first installment of our Forum preview. As for cutting edge, cut-up techniques are used to relate a transsexual romance. The line-up includes the best movie about clams since that one with Elvis Presley. Click on the titles to watch trailers.

Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza)

Swiss documentary filmmaker Nicolas Wadimoff went to Gaza to find the images behind the headlines. He got the goods. This al-Jazeera co-production shows how life goes on under the blockade, with moments of ordinary happiness punctuated by the occasional explosion.

La belle visite

The subjects of Jean-François Caissy’s documentary are in an unusual place. They live in a Quebec roadside motel that’s been turned into a retirement home. Caissy’s long takes and eye for detail emphasizes the grim tragedy of getting old in a mausoleum with has lost none of its transient air.


Berlin 2010 Preview: Panorama Main/Special, Part 2

February 5, 2010

The Panorama section takes in a wide swathe of both independent and international productions which deserve a few more eyeballs cast in their direction. There’s plenty in this year’s line-up to merit attention. A Japanese courier goes on the run after a bomb blast, a miracle-working vagabond raises some hell, Dostoevsky goes Moroccan and families across Europe suffer the fallout of secrets and lies. For afters, there’s even a hermaphrodite road movie. What’s German for “fasten your seatbelts”?

Read the first part of our Berlin Panorama preview.
Read the first part of our Berlin Competition preview.
Read the second part of our Berlin Competition preview.

Fucking Different São Paulo

In the fourth installment of the LGBT-friendly series, male directors take on lesbian stories and female directors tell of gay lives in Brazil’s largest city. Like all portmanteau films, it’s literally a grab-bag. Through a variety of genres that includes animation, the directors tackle all-girl rock bands, long-term relationships, and friends turned lovers.

Goruden Suramba (Golden Slumber)

Director Yoshihiro Nakamura and author Kotaro Isaka have enjoyed a fruitful collaboration that includes 2009’s Fish Story. The Japanese team’s latest is about a courier who goes on the run after he becomes a prime suspect in a political assassination. Put-upon star Masato Sakai won a Blue Ribbon for his role in 2008’s Climber’s High.


Berlin 2010 Preview: Panorama Main/Special, Part One

February 5, 2010

According to the program notes, Berlin’s Panorama section is meant to present “an overview of trends in art-house world cinema.” That’s shorthand for “this is where we put stuff we like, but which is unlikely to attract the attention of a Competition film.” The films found in the Main and Special programs highlight international and independent productions in need of wider distribution. This year’s batch includes India’s first legally gay film, a Brazilian action film and Kevin Spacey moving in with his daughter. Read to the end, because there’s a trick in this line-up’s tail. Click on the titles to see trailers.

Read the first part of our Berlin Competition preview.
Read the second part of our Berlin Competition preview.

Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story)

A gay director and his bisexual cameraman learn that it’s hard to make a documentary in Calcutta. Star Rituparno Ghosh is better known as a director, having won the National Film Award for Unishe April. According to director Kaushik Ganguly, this is the first gay picture to be shot in India after the decriminalization of homosexuality.


A straight fitness trainer named Kafka and a gay businessman have a fraught affair. This is the second film in a stylish autobiographical trilogy by Hong Kong IT-whiz-turned-filmmaker Scud (Permanent Residence), which also starred model Byron Pang.


Trailerama: Habitación en Roma (Room in Rome)

February 1, 2010

This sounds like very bad lesbian porn. Fortunately, it looks like great lesbian porn. Julio Medem is reunited with his Sex and Lucia star Elena Anaya for a romp based on the excellent 2005 Chilean yak-fest En la cama. The Spanish director appears to have decided that less talk, more action is the way to go–and as long as you plug your ears, Rome could be some kind of erotic masterpiece. Be warned: the trailer may not have a red band, but this is NSFW. The other naked girl is Natasha Yarovenko.

Trailerama: El mal ajeno

January 5, 2010

In the course of his long medical career, Dr. Diego (Eduardo Noriega) has lost what little bedside manner he’s had in the first place. Then he brushes off the husband of a dying patient and something happens. Diego awakes knowing that he heard a gun fire, but unsure about what really occurred. Oskar Santos’s directorial debut was written by Daniel Sanchez Arevalo (Azuloscurocasinegro) and produced by Alejandro Amenabar (The Others).

Trailerama: Nacidas para sufrir (Born To Suffer)

October 27, 2009

It’s into the land of women for this Spanish film, where a 73-year-old spinster will do anything to keep the maid under her thumb. While the trailer makes it all look sweetness and light, there’s a dark center to the latest from writer-director Miguel Albaladejo (Cachorro).

Trailerama: 25 Kilates (25 Carat)

August 21, 2009

There’s plenty that looks familiar about this Spanish thriller. The lined face of the local godfather, the pairing between a been-around-the-block ex-boxer and his comelier partner, the gun thrust to the head like somebody’s seen too many Tarantino movies. But there are great pleasures in genre. Writer-director Patxi Amezcua’s tale of double-cross also has the benefit of being set in Barcelona’s underworld. It all adds up to a nice evening of slumming for the arthouse filmmaker. Word is the leads Aida Folch and Francesc Garrido generate some real heat.

Trailerama: Los abrazos rotos (Broken Embraces)

March 5, 2009

Nobody photographs Penelope Cruz quite like Almodovar. That’s good, because his latest exercise in melodramatic noir involves films within films and competing directors. The trailer hints at the formal complexities and visual pleasures present in this resume of his work so far.

Trailerama: El cant dels ocells (Birdsong)

January 1, 2009

The three kings bum around waiting for Christ to arrive. Nothing and everything happens in the new film from Albert Serra.