100 Years of Spanish Cinema
100 Years of Spanish Cinema
25 July – 4 November 2012
To coincide with the Queensland Art Gallery’s landmark exhibition from the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque presents a major historical survey of Spanish cinema. '100 Years of Spanish Cinema' traces a fascinating path through Spain's national cinema, paralleling the country’s turbulent modern history and charting the political, social and industrial shifts that have informed Spanish cultural identity. Covering a period of just over 100 years of film production, the program includes works from pioneers of the silent era through to those working under dictatorship and in the transition to democracy, and the latest generation of filmmakers working in post-Franco Spain.
A wide variety of genres and themes are featured. The program includes socially driven rural dramas, national allegories embedded in historical epics, masterful satires and parodies of Spanish history and society as well as popular forms of melodrama and musicals, expressions of Spanish neo-realism, and the important traditions of documentary filmmaking.
The program profiles filmmakers Vicente Aranda, Alejandro Amenábar, Jaume Balagueró, Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis García Berlanga, Luis Buñuel, Mario Camus, Segundo de Chomón, Isabel Coixet, Víctor Erice, José Luis Guerín, Álex de la Iglesia, Juan José Bigas Luna, Julio Medem, Benito Perojo, Pere Portabella, Florián Rey, Carlos Saura, Albert Serra and others.
This program would not have been possible without the assistance of our Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film partners. Special thanks to National Film and Sound Archive Australia; British Film Institute; Instituto de la cinematografía y de las artes audiovisuales (ICCA) and the Embassy of Spain in Australia.
Credited as the original master of optical illusions, Segundo de Chomón’s fantastical silent films are reminiscent of French counterpart George Méliès, leading Chomón to be described as the ‘Spanish Méliès’. Program features: Ah! La barbe 1905, Plongeur fantastique 1905, Les roses magiques 1906, Le sorcier Arabe 1906, Le troubadour 1906, En avant la musique 1907, Le Scarabée d’or 1907, Les oeufs de Pâques 1907, Métempsychose 1907, Création de la Serpentine 1908, Excursion dans la Lune 1908, L’abeille et la Rose 1908, La Grenouille 1908, Le voleur mysterieux 1908, La leçon de Musique 1909.
This screening features live accompaniment by David Bailey on the Gallery's Wurlitzer Style 260 theatre organ.
Sun 9 Sept 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 75 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS/SCRIPT: E B DONATIEN, BENITO PEROJO / BASED ON THE NOVEL 'EL CABALLERO AUDAZ' BY JOSÉ MARÍA CARRETERO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GEORGES ASSELIN / PRODUCTION CO: HISPANIA RUBENS FILM, FILMS DONATIEN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CNC (CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA CINÉMATOGRAPHIE)
‘La sin ventura tells the story of a fourteen-year-old Spanish girl from the other side of ther tracks forced to serve her physically abusive mother and her good-for-nothing brother. When the latter's hoodlum friend comes to the house with a book containing "sycalyptic details of love and the venom of temptations," the seed of vice is sown, and she falls prey to her precocious nature.’ Eva Woods Peiró
This screening features live accompaniment by David Bailey on the Gallery's Wurlitzer Style 260 theatre organ.
Sun 16 Sept 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 52 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: FLORIÁN REY / BASED ON THE ZARZUELA BY CARLOS FERNÁNDEZ SHAW AND JOSÉ LÓPEZ SILVA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LUIS R ALONSO / PRODUCTION CO: GOYA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
Florián Rey’s first film is based on the popular Spanish zarzuela by composer Ruperto Chapi. Set in the working-class districts of Madrid, the story centres on a rebellious young woman who the subject of gossip for the romantic entanglements she finds herself in.
This screening features live accompaniment by David Bailey on the Gallery's Wurlitzer Style 260 theatre organ.
Sun 16 Sept 11.00am (with The Mischievous Girl) / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (MUSICAL SOUNDTRACK), 63 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JOSÉ BUCHS / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY GUILLERMO DÍAZ CANEJA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ALBERTO ARROYO / PRODUCTION COMPANIES: FILMS LINARES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
Pilar Guerra is a love story about a schoolteacher and her complicated love life. Pilar has many admirers, chiefly Luciano, the son of the mayor who doesn't approve of his son’s affection for Pilar. In hopes of separating them, he sends Pilar to Madrid, where she struggles to find work and happiness.
This screening will not be presented with live accompaniment as the screening materials feature an original musical soundtrack.
Sun 23 Sept 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 88 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: BENITO PEROJO / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ALBERTO INSÚA / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: GEORGES ASSELIN, SEGUNDO DE CHOMÓN / PRODUCTION CO: GOYA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CNC (CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA CINÉMATOGRAPHIE)
‘The Black Man Who Had a White Soul is the first important production to represent the idea of Cubas’ African “otherness” for Spanish audiences. It is also an early example of the ways in which Cuban ethnicity was used to promote ideological change in Spain (the introduction of capitalist ideals), and introduce a number of problematic elements of representation that surive in Spanish cinema to this day.’ Enrique García
Sun 30 Sept 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 65 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JOSÉ BUCHS / SCRIPT: JOSÉ BUCHS, FEDERICO DE OLIVÁN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ENRIQUE BLANCO / PRODUCTION CO: EDICIONES FORNS-BUCHS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
‘El dos de mayo is the first film version depicting the uprising in the city of Madrid on the second of May 1808, which was cruelly put down by the French army. This historic event sparked the armed insurrection in the rest of the country that led to the Spanish War of Independence. The shooting in real settings makes for spectacular epic scenes, such as the executions by firing squad in Moncloa and the defence of the Monteleón Artillery Park.’ Spain is Culture
Sun 7 Oct 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 160 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FERNANDO DELGADO / SCRIPT: FERNANDO DELGADO, MARCIAL LALANDA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ENRIQUE BLANCO / PRODUCTION CO: EXCLUSIVAS OROZCO / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA DE LA UNAM
In this light comedy set in Spain’s provincial capital, a student finds himself entangled in love triangle with a naïve girl from his village and the dangerous lover of famous bullfighter. Seduced by both women, he forgets his studies and dedicates himself to bullfighting. The real-life bullfighter Martial Lalanda financed and starred in the film as a wedding gift for his sister and many bullfighting scenes were filmed in the famous Plaza de Chinchón.
Sun 14 Oct 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 71 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: FRANCISCO ELÍAS / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TOMÁS DUCH / PRODUCTION CO: FELICIANO M VITÓRES, PHONOFILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
Pompeyo and Rodolfo are two typesetters who dream of becoming movie stars. When they are rejected from the casting of an American production in Madrid, they devise a plan to become infamous by faking the murder of Pompeyo in the city’s Puerta del Sol Square. Complications ensue when Rodolfo is detained and accused of the murder. Considered to be the first Spanish film with sound elements.
Sun 21 Oct 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 76 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS: EUSEBIO FERNÁNDEZ ARDAVÍN, NEMESIO M SOBREVILA / SCRIPT: NEMESIO M. SOBREVILA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ARMANDO POU / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
'Dissatisfied by what he considered the low-level of most Spanish filmmaking, architect Nemesio Sobrevilla embarked on his own cinematic adventure with The Sixth Sense. Literally borrowing from all the major avant-garde trends in Europe at that time-the multiple exposures of French impressionism, distorted sets from German expressionism-Nemesio created a work absolutely unique in Spanish silent film history. Populated with characters described as 'The Vampiress,' 'The Optimist,' and 'The Pessimist,' the plot turns on the assertion of the camera as a 'sixth sense,' a device capable of cutting through appearance towards some essential truth. Never generally released in Spain, the film nevertheless did provoke widespread discussion in Spain about film as art.' BAM/Pacific Film Archive
Sun 28 Oct 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (MUSICAL SOUNDTRACK), 91 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: BENITO PEROJO / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY VICENTE BLASCO IBÁÑEZ / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: PAUL COTTERET, ALBERT DUVERGER / PRODUCTION CO: COMPAGNIE GÉNÉRALE CINÉMATOGRAPHIQUE, JULIO CÉSAR / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA
‘La bodega has for a plot the Andalusian wineries where there was an atmosphere of feudalism and clerical exploitation, coupled with a correlative misery and civil unrest. The film recounts the tragic love affair of Rafael and María Luz, the daughter of Fermín who works at the wine cellars of Pablo Dupont in Jerez.’ Spain is Culture
This screening will not be presented with live accompaniment as the screening materials feature an original musical soundtrack.
Sun 4 Nov 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (MUSICAL SOUNDTRACK), 60 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: FLORIÁN REY / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ALBERTO ARROYO / MUSIC: RAFAEL MARTINEZ / PRODUCTION CO: FLORIÁN REY-PEDRO LARRAÑAGA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA
‘The most celebrated of all Spanish silent films, The Cursed Village takes a familiar melodramatic theme — the ruinous effects on a family of forced separation — and imbues it with a political meaning that made the film a rallying cry for progressive forces of the period. The film begins with an almost too-idyllic portrait of country life: Juan tilling the fields, his wife Acacia singing to their baby, while grandpa sits contentedly nearby. Suddenly, nature intervenes; a hailstorm ruins the crops, Juan is thrown in jail, and Acacia immigrates to a nearby town. The rest of The Cursed Village becomes an attempt to return to the original pastoral scene of peace and stability, yet even when that is finally achieved, the falseness of the image serves as a powerful critique of romantic notions of the peasantry.’ BAM/Pacific Film Archive
This screening will not be presented with live accompaniment as the screening materials feature an original musical soundtrack.
Sat 29 Sept 1.00pm (with El Perro Negro: Stories from the Spanish Civil War) / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 32 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/EDITOR: LUIS BUÑUEL / SCRIPT: LUIS BUÑUEL, RAFAEL SÁNCHEZ VENTURA, PIERRE UNIK / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ÉLI LOTAR / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: LES FILMS DU JEUDI
‘Buñuel's first film after his Surrealist collaborations with Salvador Dali is a mock-documentary on the wretchedness of life in a remote region of Spain — mock, not in the sense that its content is not real, but in that it mocks both the documentary and its viewer, mercilessly. A deadpan voice-over narration adopts the tone of a typical travelog; prospective tourists are offered glimpses of disease-ridden individuals, dying children, the mentally retarded, bees attacking a dying animal...in short, a reality that surpasses the most ingenious of Surrealism's nightmares.’ BAM/Pacific Film Archive
Wed 25 July 6.00pm and Sat 28 July 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 78 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: BENITO PEROJO / SCRIPT: BENITO PEROJO, PEDRO DE RÉPIDE / BASED ON THE ZARZUELA ‘LA VERBENA DE LA PALOMA’ BY RICARDO DE LA VEGA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: FRED MANDEL / EDITOR: HENRI TAVERNA / ART DIRECTOR: FERNANDO MIGNONI / MUSIC: TOMAS BRETON / PRODUCTION CO: COMPAÑÍA INDUSTRIAL FILM ESPAÑOL / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: BETACAM SP
La verbena de la Paloma is considered one of the best adaptations of a Spanish zarzuela (operetta) and was a centrepiece of popular cinema during the Second Republic in Spain. The charming musical comedy takes place in Madrid on the eve of the Virgin of the Dove festival, and tells the story of a young working-class man, who wants to take his girlfriend to the festival, and her attempts to make him jealous by accepting the invitation of another suitor. Perojo’s account of youthful love — an update from the lost original 1921 film version by José Buch — was celebrated on its release for reconfiguring traditional folk and musical elements for new working-class audiences.
Wed 25 July 7.30pm and Sat 28 July 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 110 MINUTES, GERMANY/SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FLORIÁN REY / SCRIPT: FLORIÁN REY, FRED ANDREAS, PHILIPP LOTHAR MAYRING / BASED ON THE NOVEL 'CARMEN' (1845) BY PROSPER MÉRIMÉE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: REIMAR KUNTZE / EDITOR: JOHANNA ROSINSKI / PRODUCTION CO: CARL FROELICH-FILM, HISPANO FILMPRODUKTION / PRINT SOURCE: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY
During the Spanish Civil War, Florián Rey accepted an invitation from the German government to make films in Nazi Berlin. There, he made a successful German and Spanish adaption of Prosper Mérimée’s and Bizet's beloved story of Carmen, with his wife, Imperio Argentina, in the title role. Set in an old Gypsy ghetto in Seville, the love story follows the tragic affair of a beautiful gypsy and a white soldier. Made at a time when gypsies where experiencing genocide throughout Nazi Europe, the film proved difficult for the Germans in its glorification of the Gypsies, and also for the Spanish censors, who objected to the representation of Spanish characters in the form of a lascivious woman and a military deserter.
Wed 1 Aug 6.00pm and Sat 4 Aug 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 75 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH/CATALAN (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LORENZO LLOBET GRACIA / SCRIPT: LORENZO LLOBET GRACIA, VICTORIO AGUADO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SALVADOR TORRES GARRIGA / EDITOR: RAMÓN BIADIÚ / PRODUCTION CO: CASTILLA FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: BETACAM SP
Vida en sombras explores a young man's fascination with cinema while critically reflecting on the suppression of Catalan culture in Franco’s Spain. Carlos Durán is born amid a screening of early Lumière and Méliès films and grows up to become a documentary cameraman. A tragic event during the outbreak of the Civil War leads Carlos to renounce his camera, with the redemptive narrative of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca inspiring him to return to fimmaking and produce the dramatised events we are watching on screen. The only film completed by the Catalan director, Vida en sombras is considered a masterpiece of the telúricos (the essentialists) movement in Barcelona.
Wed 1 Aug 7.30pm and Sat 4 Aug 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 112 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) DIRECTOR: JUAN DE ORDUÑA / SCRIPT: ALFREDO TAMAYO, MANUEL ECHEGARAY, JOSÉ MARÍA PEMÁN, CARLOS BLANCO / BASED ON THE PLAY ‘LA LOCURA DE AMOR’ (1855) BY MANUEL TAMAYO Y BAUS / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ F AGUAYO / EDITOR: JUAN SERRA / PRODUCTION CO: COMPAÑÍA INDUSTRIAL FILM ESPAÑOL / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: BETACAM SP
Locura de amor is a lavish historical melodrama about Juana de Castilla, the so called 'mad' queen of the Spanish Empire whose union to Felipe el Hermoso (Philip the Handsome) led to the development of modern Spain. Adapted from Manuel Tamayo y Baus's nineteenth-century drama, the film depict's Juana's increasing madness as a result of her husband's infidelities and the political plotting of Flemish suitors. The film was designed to extole traditional values by the Franco regime; Santiago Juan-Navarro has noted, the film ‘portrays more than a madness of love; it reveals the madness of a regime that saw cinema as a ideal instrument for the legitimation of its imagined "New Spain" and the perfect vechicle for the exaltation of nationalist sentiment by means of allegorical celebrations of its own apotheosis’.
Screening cancelled. See La tía Tula for replacement screening.
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 99 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JOSÉ ANTONIO NIEVES CONDE / SCRIPT: EUGENIO MONTES, JOSÉ ANTONIO NIEVES CONDE, GONZALO TORRENTE BALLESTER, NATIVIDAD ZARO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SEBASTIÁN PERERA / EDITOR: MARGARITA DE OCHOA / PRODUCTION CO: ATENEA FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA
Wed 8 Aug 6.00pm and Sat 11 Aug 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 83 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS/SCRIPT: LUIS GARCÍA BERLANGA, JUAN ANTONIO BARDEM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: WILLY GOLDBERGER / EDITOR: PEPITA ORDUÑA / PRODUCTION COMPANIES: ALTAMIRA IND. CINEMATOGRÁFICA / PRINT SOURCE: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / RIGHTS: PRODUCTORA SHARE TOTAL / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
Esa pareja feliz is a social satire about a young couple struggling financially in postwar Madrid. It marked the beginning of a thematic and formal makeover of Spanish cinema during the Franco years. While Luis works for a film studio his wife, Carmen, is a regular participant in the radio sweepstakes that promise a day of luxury for the winning couple. ‘By juxtaposing implausible, soap operatic storyline within a social realist framework, Bardem and Berlanga create an engaging, whimsical, and thoughtful portrait of contemporary life that exposes the inherent myth of unlimited opportunity and "living happily ever after" for the poor, working class’. (Strictly Film School).
Wed 8 Aug 7.30pm and Sat 11 Aug 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 78 MINUTES (CENSORED), SPAIN, SPANISH/LATIN/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LUIS GARCÍA BERLANGA / SCRIPT: JUAN ANTONIO BARDEM, LUIS GARCÍA BERLANGA, MIGUEL MIHURA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MANUEL BERENGUER / EDITOR: PEPITA ORDUNA / PRODUCTION CO: UNIÓN INDUSTRIAL CINEMATOGRÁFICA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES
In ¡Bienvenido Mister Marshall!, the members of a Castilian peasant village dress up as sterotypical Andalusians, desperate to impress the North American dignitaries responsible for awarding aid under the Marshall Plan, who simply drive through their village without stopping. One of the most notable films to employ comedy in a critique of the Franco regime (and get around the censors), the film comments on the United States’s postwar financial involvement in Europe, and parodies the 1940s españolada films that celebrated all the clichés of ‘traditional’ Spanish cultural identity on screen.
Wed 29 Aug 6.00pm and Sat 1 Sept 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 88 MINUTES, SPAIN/ITALY, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JUAN ANTONIO BARDEM / SCRIPT: JUAN ANTONIO BARDEM, LUIS FERNANDO DE IGOA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ALFREDO FRAILE / EDITOR: MARGARITA DE OCHOA / PRODUCTION CO: GUIÓN PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS, SUEVIA FILMS, TRIONFALCINE / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
'Juan Antonio Bardem's scathing portrait of the privileged class, heralded the international rebirth of the Spanish cinema in the post-Civil War/postwar period. The film is a study in collisions-of images, in a bold montage pattern; styles (now Eisensteinean, now neorealist); and values, in a bourgeois couple's heightened guilt and improbity following a hit-and-run encounter with a bicyclist. Afraid that their illicit affair will be discovered, the couple — a university professor and the wife of a wealthy industrialist — speed off, leaving the cyclist for dead. The incident leads the professor into a tortured re-examination of his life, while his lover becomes all the more venal in her panic to protect her status.' BAM/Pacific Film Archive
Wed 29 Aug 7.30pm and Sat 1 Sept 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 99 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JUAN ANTONIO BARDEM / BASED ON THE PLAY PLAY "LA SEÑORITA DE TREVÉLEZ" BY CARLOS ARNICHES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MICHEL KELBER / EDITOR: MARGARITA DE OCHOA / PRODUCTION CO: SUEVIA FILMS - CESÁREO GONZÁLEZ, GUIÓN PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS, IBÉRIA FILMS, PLAY ART / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: EMBASSY OF SPAIN, AUSTRALIA; EL MINISTERIO DE EDUCACIÓN, CULTURA Y DEPORTE, MADRID
Adapted from the popular play La senorita de Trevelez 1916, Calle Mayor tells the story of a group of provincial you men who play a cruel joke on a local spinster they consider unmarriageable. They convince outsider Juan to pretend to court the impressional Isabel in order eventually to reveal the joke in public, and laugh at her expense. An outspoken critic of the Franco regime, Bardem was imprisoned briefly during the film’s production for a 'crime of opinion'. As Mark Allinson has commented, Calle Mayor ‘embodies all the currents and contradictions of its time. It combines the ethics and aesthetics of Italian neorealism, with the more veiled, less confrontational vechicle of melodrama. It balances the imperatives of socially and politically engaged filmmaking against the need to avoid confrontation with a dictatorial regime’.
Wed 15 Aug 7.30pm and Sat 18 Aug 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 85 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: MARCO FERRERI / SCRIPT: RAFAEL AZCONA, MARCO FERRERI / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JUAN JULIO BAENA / EDITOR: PEDRO DEL REY / PRODUCTION CO: FILMS 59, PORTABELLA FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CONTEMPORARY FILMS / SCREENING FORMAT: 16MM
In this dark satire of 1950s Spanish society, a retired minister considers poisoning his bourgeouis family so he can steal their money and buy a motorised wheelchair. While there is nothing wrong with his legs, Don Anselmo is consumed by his desire to move around with his group of physically disabled friends and take part in the races for the handicapped on the streets of Madrid. The film suffered at the hands of the Spanish censors, who insisted on revisions to the film's ending. Ferreri left Spain for his native Italy after its release.
Wed 22 Aug 6.00pm and Sat 25 Aug 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 88 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: CARLOS SAURA / SCRIPT: MARIO CAMUS, CARLOS SAURA, DANIEL SUEIRO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JUAN JULIO BAENA / EDITOR: PEDRO DEL REY / PRODUCTION CO: FILMS 59, PEDRO PORTABELLA FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CONTEMPORARY FILMS
Carlos Saura's debut is a harsh, realist study of a teeange gang in a poor town on the outskirts of Madrid. The group steals to buy food and helps one member fulfill his desire to become a bullfighter. The first film to be shot entirely on location, it features a cast of non-professional actors and authentic street scenes in Madrid. The release of the film was delayed and finally released as part of García Escudero's Liberations policy. Escudero described Saura as a realist ‘in the line of the harsh realism that has produced Buñuel in cinema, Goya in painting, and our picaresque in literature’, and Los golfos as ‘an unforgettable film, passionate and harsh like the red wine that sticks to the palate and makes the throat grow hoarse; like the dark thick blood that gushes from the bull agonizing in its final death throes’.
Wed 15 Aug 6.00pm and Sat 18 Aug 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 87 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LUIS GARCÍA BERLANGA / SCRIPT: RAFAEL AZCONA, JOSÉ LUIS COLINA, JOSÉ LUIS FONT, LUIS GARCÍA BERLANGA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: FRANCISCO SEMPERE / EDITOR: JOSÉ ANTONIO ROJO / PRODUCTION CO: JET FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES
Plácido follows the day-long struggles of a family and is a masterful satire of the provincial middle classes and inditement on the corruption of a bourgeois Catholic society. ‘Pressed for money and time and desperate to pay an installment on the motorised cart that provides him with a livelihood before sundown, Plácido and his clan to and fro across a provincial town as messengers and gophers, providing transport for the reluctant bourgeois hosts of a crew of tramps and aspiring cinema starlets who, one Christmas Eve, are relocated to the dinner tables of the local well-to-do under the auspices of a charitable campaign, whose slogan reads: “Sit a Poor Person at Your Dining Table”’(Steven Marsh).
Wed 5 Sept 6.00pm, Sun 9 Sept 1.00pm, Sun 16 Sept 1.00pm and Wed 19 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 90 MINUTES, MEXICO/SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LUIS BUÑUEL / SCRIPT: JULIO ALEJANDRO, LUIS BUÑUEL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ F AGUAYO / EDITOR: PEDRO DEL REY / PRODUCTION CO: UNIÓN INDUSTRIAL CINEMATOGRÁFICA, GUSTAVO ALATRISTE, FILMS 59 / PRINT SOURCE: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES
'Buñuel returned to Spain after 23 years' exile to make Viridiana, the film that won him the Vatican's condemnation, the Cannes Palme D'Or, and widespread box-office success, except in Spain where it was banned by Franco. Viridiana longs to become a nun, but on the eve of taking her vows, she makes a final visit to the home of her lecherous uncle, who sees in her the reincarnation of his dead wife. Viridiana never returns to the convent, but, instead, turns her uncle's estate into a haven for society's outcasts, a blindman, a leper, cripples and beggars. People, Viridiana seems to assert, must become completely human before they can become saints. But the complete surrender of the spiritual world to materialism is nowhere better evoked than in the famous beggar's banquet, a feast turned into a blasphemous version of the Last Supper. The chic scandal that the film touched off, and the director's own quips ("It was chance that led me to project the impious; If I had any pious ideas, perhaps I would express them too...") tended to obscure the film's complexities, into which Buñuel inserts some of his most outrageous erotic and religious imagery.' BAM/Pacific Film Archive
Screening cancelled. See Viridiana for replacement screening.
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 90 MINUTES, SPAIN/ITALY, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LUIS GARCÍA BERLANGA / SCRIPT: RAFAEL AZCONA, ENNIO FLAIANO, LUIS GARCÍA BERLANGA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TONINO DELLI COLLI / EDITOR: ALFONSO SANTACANA / PRODUCTION CO: INTERLAGAR FILMS, NAGA FILMS, ZEBRA FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES
'El verdugo tells the story of a man who, upon marrying the daughter of the state executioner, is condemned to inherit his father-in-law's practice. The film is an ethical probing and criticism of Spanish tourism in the 1960s coexisting with the death penalty, highlighting the contradictions between Spain's opening up to the rest of the world and the persistence of its dictatorial structures. El verdugo was timely, filmed just before the regime attracted international attention and outrage by executing three of its political opponents.' Tatjana Pavlović
Wed 22 Aug 7.30pm and Sat 25 Aug 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 109 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: MIGUEL PICAZO / SCRIPT: LUIS S ENCISO, JOSÉ MARÍA HERNÁN, MANUEL LÓPEZ YUBERO, MIGUEL PICAZO / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JUAN JULIO BAENA / EDITOR: PEDRO DEL REY / PRODUCTION CO: ECO-SURCO / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA ESPAÑOLA / SCREENING FORMAT: BETACAM SP
Carlos Estrada plays a bank employee who suffers a tremendous loss after his wife dies, so he calls on his sister-in-law Tula to care for the children and manage the household affairs. She lovingly cares for the children, and Carlos finds himself falling for her. Although Tula does not feel the same way, she often takes to criticizing him when he expresses any interest in other women. This moral drama is based on the book by Miguel de Unamuno and was cut by nearly five minutes by Spanish censors, excising most references to matters such as virginity and the Civil War.
Wed 12 Sept 7.30pm and Sun 16 Sept 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 91 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: CARLOS SAURA / SCRIPT: ANGELINO FONS, CARLOS SAURA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LUIS CUADRADO / EDITOR: PABLO GONZÁLEZ DEL AMO / PRODUCTION CO: ELÍAS QUEREJETA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CONTEMPORARY FILMS
'Carlos Saura crafts a brilliant metaphor for the dangerous excesses of bellicose masculinity in The Hunt, his most intense and tightly constructed film. A rabbit hunt led by three veteran Nationalist soldiers on a former battle site steadily and inexplicably builds in violence and aggression with the heat of the day. Although The Hunt avoids any explicit mention of the war — following the dictates of Francist censors — its subject remains even more vivid for being unspoken.’ Harvard Film Archive
Wed 5 Sept 7.30pm and Sat 8 Sept 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, MONO, 83 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: PERE PORTABELLA / SCRIPT: JOAN BROSSA, PERE PORTABELLA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LUIS CUADRADO / EDITOR: TBC / MUSIC: CARLES SANTOS, JOSEP M. MESTRES QUADRENY / PRODUCTION CO: FILMS 59 / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMS 59 / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMS 59
'Pere Portabella's first feature-length film — the title of which refers to the twenty-nine dark years of Franco's reign — is a collaboration with the celebrated Catalan poet Joan Brossa. Virtually dialogue-free and composed of "super-realist fragments exposing the irrelevance of everyday life" (Portabella), the film circulated clandestinely in Spain.' Mark Nash
Wed 19 Sept 8.00pm and Sun 23 Sept 1.00pm/ Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 105 MINUTES, SPAIN/ITALY/FRANCE, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LUIS BUÑUEL / SCRIPT: JULIO ALEJANDRO, LUIS BUÑUEL / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY BENITO PÉREZ GALDÓS / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ F AGUAYO / EDITOR: PEDRO DEL REY / PRODUCTION CO: ÉPOCA FILMS, TALÍA FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
'After the death of her mother, the beautiful and impressionable Tristana is taken under the wing of Don Lope. An aging Don Juan with an outdated, hypocritical code of honor, he defiles Tristana’s body and her spirit — alternately treating her as his child or his lover, a lady or a servant. Mistreated and misshapen in one way or another, all characters in the film suffer under misuse of aristocratic power, as they play out Buñuel’s psychoanalysis of loathing and desire within the narrow, disorienting streets and faded palette of 1920’s Toledo.' Harvard Film Archive
Sat 8 Sept 3.00pm and Wed 12 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A
16MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 85 MINUTES, SPAIN, ENGLISH/SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: PERE PORTABELLA / SCRIPT: PERE PORTABELLA, JOAN BROSSA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MANEL ESTEBAN / EDITOR: TERESA ALCOCER / MUSIC: CARLES SANTOS / PRODUCTION CO: FILMS 59 / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMS 59 / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMS 59
'In Umbracle, an aleatory horror film that paints a critical image of Francoist Spain, Pere Portabella explores the language of experimental cinema and develops his aesthetic of combining documentary with reenactment. He worked with Christopher Lee to produce an "ideal and predetermined cliché[d]" image of an actor: "Lee offered to perform my ideas with pleasure. I even managed to get him to do the hardest thing an actor can do: nothing."' Mark Nash
Fri 7 Sept 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 90 MINUTES, FRANCE/TUNISIA, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FERNANDO ARRABAL / SCRIPT: FERNANDO ARRABAL, CLAUDINE LARGRIVE / BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘BAAL BABYLON’ (1959) BY FERNANDO ARRABAL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JEAN-MARC RIPERT / EDITOR: LAURENCE LEININGER / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CULT EPICS
‘[Viva La Muerte] is part allegory, part autobiography about Spain, uniting Freudian and political themes in the story of a boy whose mother betrays his father to the Fascists during the Civil War. Albert Johnson has written: "A primitive, sadistic flow of episodes become expressions of the boy's subconscious fears and desires, and one discerns behind these almost dementedly Goyasque images, the unspeakable mysteries of adulthood, the temptations of sex and its Catholic associations with sin, and the implacable terrors of a hostile government.’ BAM/Pacific Film Archive
16MM TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 101 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JACINTO ESTEVA / COMMENTARY: LUIS GONZÁLEZ SEARA / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: JUAN AMORÓS, JUAN JULIO BAENA, LUIS CUADRADO, FRANCISCO MARÍN, MILTON STEFANI / EDITORS: JUAN LUIS OLIVER, RAMÓN QUADRENY / PRODUCTION CO: FILMSCONTACTO / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMOTECA DE CATALUNYA
‘Far from the Trees could have been born and publicized as a denunciation of the atavisms and inertias that still survived in the developmental Spain of the 1960s, but, actually, it revisits one of the central themes of the 20th-century avant-gardes: alterity, the other worlds that are within this one, the Other Side that is here, the doors or trapdoors through which we have access to other hidden or invisible human universes, inhabited by the most opaque dimensions of the human condition.’ Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Sun 30 Sept 3.00pm and Wed 3 Oct 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 97 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: VÍCTOR ERICE / SCRIPT: VÍCTOR ERICE, ÁNGEL FERNÁNDEZ SANTOS, FRANCISCO J QUEREJETA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LUIS CUADRADO / EDITOR: PABLO GONZÁLEZ DEL AMO / PRODUCTION CO: ELÍAS QUEREJETA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS, JACEL DESPOSITO / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
'The Spirit of the Beehive is a haunting allegorical film on innocence and illusion, set in post-Civil War Spain. Ana and Isabel, two lonely young sisters, see the film Frankenstein at a makeshift theater. Ana, unsettled by the brutal acts of the monster and the townspeople in the film, desperately seeks explanation. Taking her to an abandoned barn, Isabel claims to see the immortal spirit of the monster in the well; Ana becomes obsessed with the idea of befriending it. The Spirit of the Beehive is a deceptively lyrical tale of idyllic childhood memories and a disturbing portrait of isolation.' Harvard Film Archive
Sun 30 Sept 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 110 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: CARLOS SAURA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TEO ESCAMILLA / EDITOR: PABLO GONZÁLEZ DEL AMO / PRODUCTION CO: ELÍAS QUEREJETA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS SL / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY
'After witnessing the death of each of her parents, Ana believes that she has a deeper understanding of the world than many of the adults in her life. As the boundaries between fantasy and reality collapse, she finds herself surrounded by ghosts of her family's past. Geraldine Chaplin assumes the dual role of Ana as an adult and her deceased mother and, along with Torrent, gives the film a powerful emotional resonance. Saura made the film at the time of Franco's death, and intended the film to be a meditation on the uncertain political future of mid-1970s Spain.' Harvard Film Archive
Sat 15 Sept 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, MONO, 115/99 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: BASILIO MARTÍN PATINO / SCRIPT: BASILIO MARTÍN PATINO, JOSÉ LUIS GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ LUIS ALCAINE / EDITOR: JOSÉ LUIS PELÁEZ / PRODUCTION CO: TURNER FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: SUEVIA FILMS / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
'[Canciones para después…] engages intensely with the Spanish past, recuperating collective and popular memory… The film centres on the beginning of the dictatorship and the repressive and miserable early postwar years… The harshness of the postwar images mixes with the lyrics of the popular music from the era, while a narrator reminds the viewer about the affective and cultural importance of these songs: "they were songs to bring ourselves out of the darkness, the far; songs to help us with the need to dream." Tatjana Pavlović
Fri 7 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 105 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: IVÁN ZULUETA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ÁNGEL LUIS FERNÁNDEZ / EDITORS: JOSÉ LUIS PELÁEZ, JOSÉ PÉREZ LUNA, MARÍA ELENA SÁINZ DE ROZAS / PRODUCTION CO: NICOLÁS ASTIARRAGA PC / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: BILDSTÖRUNG / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
‘A cult masterpiece of underground cinema, Rapture depicts, in a metaphorical way, the vampiric relationship between a film director suffering a personal and creative crisis and a young man obsessed with the process of filming. Testing the limits between fiction and reality, vampirism provides the ideal vehicle for a fascinating meditation on addiction to drugs, to cinema, and ultimately, to the other.’ Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Sun 7 Oct 1.30pm and Wed 10 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 72 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: CARLOS SAURA / SCRIPT: ANTONIO ARTERO, ANTONIO GADES, ALFREDO MAÑAS, CARLOS SAURA / BASED ON THE PLAY BY FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TEO ESCAMILLA / EDITOR: PABLO GONZÁLEZ DEL AMO / PRODUCTION CO: EMILIANO PIEDRA / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION / SCREENING FORMAT: 16MM
‘In Blood Wedding, the play by Garcia Lorca, a bride is swept away from her wedding by a former suitor whom she still loves. They are pursued by the groom, and what follows is a bloody duel, the blood wedding. Antonio Gades's flamenco-ballet version of the Lorca story maintains the strong Andalusian atmosphere while it distills the details of ethnic tradition and dramatic narrative into a modern ballet. Carlos Saura's film of the Gades ballet removes it even further from the original drama, but remains in a strange way true to both play and ballet. Saura begins shooting in the dressing room and in rehearsals and moves on to a full dress performance.’ BAM/Pacific Film Archive
Sun 21 Oct 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 93 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JOSÉ LUIS GARCI / SCRIPT: JAIME CAMINO, JOSÉ LUIS GARCI, ROMÁN GUBERN, ÁNGEL LLORENT / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MANUEL ROJAS / EDITOR: MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ SINDE / PRODUCTION CO: NICKEL ODEON SA / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
‘José Luis Garci’s Oscar-winning Volver a empezar concern the return to Spain and to his home town of Gijón of terminally sick, Nobel-prize-winning writer Antonio Miguel Albajara from the United States where he writes and lectures. The film is dedicated to the ‘generación interrumpida’ (fractured generation) whose lives were interrupted by the Civil War, but it is also about the brevity and fugacity of life in more universal terms. Antonio’s return to Gijón is full of a sense of nostalgia, recollection and symbols of the past to give back that which time (or events like the Civil War) take away is positively presented. Antonio briefly relieves his youthful love affair with Elena, which both recognise can only be a precious sojourn from their everyday lives today.’ Barry Jordan, Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas
Sun 7 Oct 3.00pm and Wed 10 Oct 7.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 102 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: CARLOS SAURA / SCRIPT: CARLOS SAURA, ANTONIO GADES / BASED ON THE NOVELLA BY PROSPER MÉRIMÉE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TEO ESCAMILLA / EDITOR: PEDRO DEL REY / PRODUCTION CO: EMILIANO PIEDRA, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE / RIGHTS: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION
‘Carlos Saura’s biggest international box-office success was this self-reflexive meditation on both Bizet’s popular opera Carmen and the original novella by Prosper Mérimée. Antonio Gades plays a choreographer who gets involved with his neophyte lead dancer (Laura del Sol), and grows dangerously jealous. Depicting the ups and downs of their affair in between rehearsals for Gades’s ballet, Carmen is a visually hypnotic hall of mirrors in which the dancers become inseparable from their personas.’ The Criteron Collection
Sun 14 Oct 1.00pm and Wed 17 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 95 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: VÍCTOR ERICE / SCRIPT: VÍCTOR ERICE / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ADELAIDA GARCÍA MORALES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ LUIS ALCAINE / EDITOR: PABLO GONZÁLEZ DEL AMO / PRODUCTION CO: CHLOË PRODUCTIONS, ELÍAS QUEREJETA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY
‘El Sur returns to the same world of childhood fantasies and terrors Erice had already so brilliantly explored in The Spirit of the Beehive, yet moves in an even more disturbing direction. Young Estrella lives in a small northern Spanish town with her parents, immigrants from the South. A deep and special relationship develops between father and daughter; he teaches her to divine water, and together they go on assignments searching for new wells. A fascination with her father's past turns into an obsession with her parents' native region; "the South" no longer becomes a geographical location, but a certain state of mind, linked with lost loves and youthful political ambitions. Told as a long flashback, El Sur deftly maintains the delicate balance between the various realities-memory, dream, lived experience-which envelop its characters.’ BAM/Pacific Film Archive
Sun 14 Oct 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, 107 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: MARIO CAMUS / SCRIPT: MARIO CAMUS, ANTONIO LARRETA, MANOLO MATJI / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY MIGUEL DELIBES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: HANS BURMAN / EDITOR: JOSÉ MARÍA BIURRÚN / PRODUCTION CO: GANESH PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PRODUCTORA DONCASTER / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
‘Mario Camus' The Holy Innocents presents a caustic and potent indictment of the inhumanity (and corruption) of privilege, class stratification, and marginalization. Adapted from the novel by Spanish author Miguel Delibes, the film traces the interweaving personal stories of a peasant family working in the rural province of Extremadura at the feudal estate overseen by Doña Pura during the early 1960s, as Franco solidified his stronghold over the country with the support of powerful administrators like Doña Pura who represented the incestuous relationship between the upper class and the Catholic church. …What emerges from Camus' understated, yet incisive gaze is a profoundly sobering portrait of a silent (and silenced), resigned servitude and institutionalized, moral enslavement enabled by insular — and essentially arbitrary — privilege and systematic exclusion.’ Strictly Film School
Fri 2 Nov 6.00pm and Sun 4 Nov 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 102 MINUTES, SPAIN/ITALY, SPANISH/POLISH/ITALIAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: CARLOS SAURA / SCRIPT: RAFAEL AZCONA, CARLOS SAURA / BASED ON THE PLAY BY JOSÉ SANCHÍS SINISTERRA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ LUIS ALCAINE / EDITOR: PABLO GONZÁLEZ DEL AMO / PRODUCTION CO: ELLEPI FILMS, IBEROAMERICANA FILMS INTERNACIONAL, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES
'Based on a popular Spanish play, Ay, Carmela! follows a struggling Republican stage troupe that accidentally strays across enemy lines. Carlos Saura’s often trenchant comedy of manners subtly examines both sides of the conflict to explore the price of loyalty and the bitter ironies of war. The radiant Carmen Maura stars in this vivid portrayal of a country torn asunder.' Harvard Film Archive
Fri 21 Sep 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 103 MINUTES, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: VICENTE ARANDA / SCRIPT: ÁLVARO DEL AMO, VICENTE ARANDA, CARLOS PÉREZ MERINERO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ LUIS ALCAINE / EDITOR: TERESA FONT / PRODUCTION CO: PEDRO COSTA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS SA, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: COLIFILMS DISTRIBUTION / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
‘Amantes portrays a struggle between a strong phallic widow and a younger patriarchal woman for the love of a young man – a romantic triangle that results in the former demanding that he murder her young rival. [Amantes] depicts the young man not as the object of the camera’s erotic gaze; generically, he is the noir hero who is coerced into committing murder; and allegorically, he is the 1950s generation torn between “two Spains”, the feudal vision of a Holy Spain versus the modern vision of a newly emerging industrialised Spain with its technocracy and graft.’ Marsha Kinder
Sun 9 Sep 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 109 MINUTES, SPAIN/PORTUGAL/FRANCE, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FERNANDO TRUEBA / SCRIPT: RAFAEL AZCONA, JOSÉ LUIS GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ, FERNANDO TRUEBA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ LUIS ALCAINE / EDITOR: CARMEN FRÍAS / PRODUCTION CO: ANIMATÓGRAFO, FERNANDO TRUEBA PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRÁFICAS SA, LOLA FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LOLA FILMS
'[Belle Epoque] is a light erotic coming-of-age story set in a lush, rural locale between the fall of the Spanish Monarchy and the advent of the Second Republic. Trueba's pairing of the nostalgic view of the 'beautiful time' of sexual and social liberation of the Republican years is charmingly presented through the erotic adventures of Fernando, a deserter from the army who has strayed into the household of Manolo, an ageing painter and father of four daughters… who each take a liking to the young deserter.' Marvin D'Lugo
Sat 13 Oct 2.30pm and Wed 17 Oct 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 133 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: VÍCTOR ERICE / SCRIPT: VÍCTOR ERICE, ANTONIO LÓPEZ / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: JAVIER AGUIRRESAROBE, ÁNGEL LUIS FERNÁNDEZ / EDITOR: JUAN IGNACIO SAN MATEO / PRODUCTION CO: MARIA MORENO P.C. / PRINT SOURCE: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES / RIGHTS: MARIA MORENO/ROSEBUD FILMS
‘Every year at the beginning of autumn, the sun shines for a scant two hours onto the quince tree in the garden of the studio of Madrid-based artist Antonio López Garcia. Every year, he tries to capture the majestic light in a painting. Victor Erice painstakingly films the painting process, and the similarities between the disciplines of the two men - painting and filming - become increasingly clear. From the moment López Garcia nails the canvas to the stretcher and bangs two metal pegs into the ground for his feet (to fix his position behind the canvas), a game of observation and staging starts, played out by extremely subtle means. What seems at first to be a recording of reality (painting the tree, filming the painting process), turns out to be a sophisticated composition. "What we have here is the perfect unity of emotion and order," someone comments on the paintings, and the same could be said of the film. Time keeps passing: as December looms, the quinces have changed shape too much to be reliable models, and the painter has to stop work.’International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Sun 28 Oct 3.00pm and Fri 2 Nov 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 95 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: BIGAS LUNA / SCRIPT: CUCA CANALS, BIGAS LUNA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSÉ LUIS ALCAINE / EDITOR: TERESA FONT / PRODUCTION CO: LOLAFILMS, OVÍDEO TV SA, SOGEPAQ / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LOLA FILMS
‘José Luis is an executive at his parents’ factory where his girlfriend Silvia works on the shop floor. When she falls pregnant, José Luis promises her marriage against his parents’ will. Raúl, a vulgar spunk and bullfighter wannabe is hired by José Luis’ mother to seduce Silvia. A bizarre love triangle is then created that will culminate in a most unpredictable way. Jamón Jamón provides Shakespearean undertones to a passionate love in the midst of a not-so-typical Spain made of machismo, bullfighting, fiery sexual passion and, of course, legs of ham.’ La Mirada Film Festival
Sun 28 Oct 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 95 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JULIO MEDEM / SCRIPT: MICHEL GAZTAMBIDE, JULIO MEDEM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: CARLES GUSI / EDITOR: MARÍA ELENA SÁINZ DE ROZAS / PRODUCTION CO: SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE TELEVISIÓN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
'Spanning more than sixty years of bitter rivalry between two Basque families, Julio Medem’s directorial debut immediately set itself apart from that staple of Spanish cinema, the epic historical melodrama. Full of visual flamboyance and employing a rapid, elliptical style, Cows explores issues of national and cultural identity as it sardonically draws attention to its own recycling of stereotypes. Throughout it all—as the feuding families repeat the same mistakes across three generations—are the "vacas," the cows of the title, whose immutable presence bears silent witness to the passage of time and the succession of events.' Harvard Film Archive
Fri 14 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY SR, 90 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ÁLEX DE LA IGLESIA / SCRIPT: JORGE GUERRICAECHEVARRÍA, ÁLEX DE LA IGLESIA / CINEMATOGRAPHYER: CARLES GUSI / EDITOR: PABLO BLANCO / PRODUCTION CO: CIBY 2000, EL DESEO SA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
'A gang of comically grotesque freaks kidnap the daughter of an industrial tycoon and fly to the exhausted mining Planet Axturias to collect their ransom money… [Acción mutante] can be regarded as a metaphor for and satire on the situation of unrest and violence in the Basque Country and the struggle of terrorist organisation ETA with the central Spanish state. But the film also offers a biting critique of 1980s yuppies and designer Socialists, their tastes, values and styles, which are mercilessly mocked and subverted by the outrageously trashy, 'grungy' gang members.' Barry Jordan and Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas
Fri 14 Sept 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY SR, 103 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ÁLEX DE LA IGLESIA / SCRIPT: JORGE GUERRICAECHEVARRÍA, ÁLEX DE LA IGLESIA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: FLAVIO MARTÍNEZ LABIANO / EDITOR: TERESA FONT / PRODUCTION CO: CANAL+ ESPAÑA, IBEROAMERICANA FILMS PRODUCCIÓN, SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE TELEVISIÓN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LOLA FILMS
'A Basque priest who has been studying the Apocalypse according to St John for 25 years comes to the inescapable conclusion that the Antichrist will be born on Christmas Day 1999 in Madrid. Unfortunately, the priest can't tell exactly where. So, helped by the only people who believe him (a chunky metal head and a TV psychic), he decides to commit a series of crimes in hopes it will lead him to the baby Satan. The Day of the Beast is a devilishly entertaining, visually dazzling film, and one of the highest grossing in Spain's history.’ Brattle Theatre
Sat 15 Sept 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 100 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: CARLOS SAURA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: VITTORIO STORARO / EDITOR: PABLO GONZÁLEZ DEL AMO / PRODUCTION CO: CANAL+ ESPAÑA, JUAN LEBRÓN PRODUCCIONES, JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA, RTVA RADIO TELEVISION DE ANDALUCIA, SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE AUTORES, SOGEPAQ / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA
‘It's been hailed as the ultimate flamenco film, a breathtaking compendium of the styles and traditions of this Andalusian Gypsy dance form, evoking all the immediacy of a live performance. Set in an abandoned train station and graced with the sensual yet abstract cinematography of Vittorio Storaro, Flamenco moves from dusk to night, dawn to daylight, using the day's shadow and color to reflect the tone of each dance. Saura regulars-Seville's best actors, dancers and musicians-come together to recreate the passion of this timeless way of life.’ BAM/Pacific Film Archive
Fri 21 Sep 8.00pm and Wed 26 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 125 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JULIO MEDEM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JAVIER AGUIRRESAROBE / EDITOR: IVÁN ALEDO / PRODUCTION CO: LOLAFILMS, SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE TELEVISIÓN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES
'A bug fumigator with schizophrenic tendencies, Angel is hired to clear up the wood lice infecting a wine-growing district. Believing himself to be half-human, half-divine, and governed by heavenly instructions only he hears, Angel encounters two women of wildly opposing character. Loving them both, he must finally choose between his two states of being and face up to the terrible possibility that instead of divine, he may be simply insane. In a nominally realist, rural setting, Medem creates an atmosphere of fantasy and poetry in which wild boars are attracted by female smells and widowers search for their dead, departed lovers among the stars. Against this magical backdrop, Medem explores an unusual man’s request for transcendence, his search for an elusive state of calm and inner peace.' Harvard Film Archive
Fri 28 Sept 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 117 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE/ITALY, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ALEJANDRO AMENÁBAR / SCRIPT: ALEJANDRO AMENÁBAR, MATEO GIL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: HANS BURMAN / EDITOR: MARÍA ELENA SÁINZ DE ROZAS / PRODUCTION CO: CANAL+ ESPAÑA, LAS PRODUCCIONES DEL ESCORPIÓN SL, LES FILMS ALAIN SARDE, LUCKY RED, SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE TELEVISIÓN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA
‘César is a handsome Madrid playboy whose life takes an unexpected turn for the worst when an ex-girlfriend tries to kill him by crashing the car they're driving. César survives, horribly disfigured and with no chance, it seems, of ever winning over the woman he loves, Sofia. Drawing strength from a host of film noir thrillers, and even sci-fi movies, Amenábar's labyrinthine puzzler keeps you guessing right until the very last minute.... Amenábar's script covers everything from our contemporary obsession with beauty, to the emptiness of modern culture and the kind of questioning of reality that's usually only found in sci-fi movies.’ BBC
Tren de sombras (Train of Shadows) aka Le Spectre De Le Thuit (The Spector of Le Thuit) 1997 Ages 15+
Sat 22 Sept 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 87 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JOSÉ LUIS GUERÍN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TOMÀS PLADEVALL / EDITOR: MANEL ALMIÑANA / PRODUCTION CO: FILMS 59, GRUPO CINE ARTE, INSTITUT DEL CINEMA CATALÀ / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMS 59
‘On November 8, 1930, amateur filmmaker Gérard Fleury stood on the shores of Normandy's Lake Thuit, watching the sun rise in preparation for an upcoming shoot that would never take place; he died later that day under mysterious circumstances. Out of this information, Guerín constructs a haunting meditation on the photographic and cinematic image, on loss and decay, on the passing of time, the recounting of history and the blurring of fact and fiction.’ Harvard Film Archive
Sun 23 Sept 3.00pm and Fri 5 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, SOUND, 112 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JULIO MEDEM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GONZALO F BERRIDI / EDITOR: IVÁN ALEDO / PRODUCTION CO: CANAL+, SOCIEDAD, SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE TELEVISIÓN / PRINT SOURCE: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION / RIGHTS: DENDY FILMS
'A romantic epic that not only embraces coincidence as a motif but celebrates it, Lovers of the Arctic Circle follows a seventeen-year journey through the lives of Otto and Ana. They meet first as children, but their budding relationship takes a turn toward the taboo when Otto’s single father and Ana’s single mother decide to get married. Ignoring this minor societal obstacle, Otto and Ana continue their clandestine relationship until circumstances begin to pull them apart. Deploying subtle shifts in time and space that recall the early work of Alain Resnais, Medem nonetheless addresses themes and ambience that are Spanish to the core as he charts the crisscrossing destinies of these protagonists with passion and lyricism.' Harvard Film Archive
Fri 19 Oct 6.00pm and Wed 24 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, 108 MINUTES, DOLBY DIGITAL, SPAIN/MEXICO, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: GUILLERMO DEL TORO / SCRIPT: GUILLERMO DEL TORO, ANTONIO TRASHORRAS, DAVID MUÑOZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GUILLERMO NAVARRO / EDITOR: LUIS DE LA MADRID / PRODUCTION CO: EL DESEO, TEQUILA GANG, ANHELO PRODUCCIONES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: SONY PICTURES
‘Guillermo del Toro casts a mesmerizing spell in this beautifully understated ghost tale set in a crumbling orphanage at the height of the Spanish Civil War. A mature work of poetic allegory, The Devil’s Backbone explores a child’s unerring perspective on war and loneliness and offers an evocative companion piece to del Toro’s breakthrough film Pan’s Labyrinth.’ Harvard Film Archive
Sat 22 Sept 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 125 MINUTE, SPAIN, SPANISH/CATALAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JOSÉ LUIS GUERÍN / SCRIPT: JOSÉ LUIS GUERÍN / PRODUCER: ANTONI CAMIN DIAZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ALEX GAULTIER / EDITOR: MERCEDES ÁLVAREZ, NÚRIA ESQUERRA / SOUND DESIGN: AMANDA VILLAVIEJA / PRODUCTION COMPANY: OVÍDEO TV SA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: OVÍDEO TV SA
‘Guerín magically spins spellbinding cinema from the simplest elements of urban interaction in Work in Progress. The subject is the construction of a building of condominiums in the Barcelona's "El Xino" quarter. This rough neighborhood is a home to workers, immigrants, squatters, prostititutes and drug dealers. The construction site represents an attempt to "improve" the neighborhood – by pushing some longtime residents out.’ Harvard Film Archive
Wed 26 Sept 8.00pm and Fri 5 Oct 8.00pm / Cinema A
HD VIDEO, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGTIAL, 128 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JULIO MEDEM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: KIKO DE LA RICA / EDITOR: IVÁN ALEDO / PRODUCTION CO: ALICIA PRODUCE, CANAL+ ESPAÑA, SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE CINE SA, SOGEPAQ, STUDIO CANAL, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO MERCURY / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
‘A frank, sexually provocative, sensual film that, as the title suggests, deals with sex as the center of our life stories. The mating, the pairing, the trysts, the desire, the pleasure and the complications that occur from all that. This is not a romantic comedy. It’s not even a romance. Lucia’s lover, an emotionally overwrought novelist, mysteriously disappears just as he is finishing a complicated tale of love, lust and tragedy and Lucia discovers the painful truth about him on an island off the coast of Spain.’ efilmcritic
Sat 27 Oct 3.00pm / Cinema A
DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR, SOUND, 110 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH/BASQUE/ENGLISH/FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: JULIO MEDEM / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: JAVIER AGUIRRE, RICARDO DE GRACIA, DANIEL SOSA SEGURA / PRODUCTION CO: ALICIA PRODUCE / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ALICIA PRODUCE S.L
'In the wake of the 2004 Madrid train bombings, the cause of the Basque people rose to national prominence as the Spanish government assumed the ETA (a militant Basque separatist group) was responsible. Completed before the attacks, this documentary examines the state of Basque culture in contemporary Spain as they continue to fight for independence. Using extensive interview footage, Julio Medem offers a comprehensive portrait of this controversial movement.' Harvard Film Archive
Fri 28 Sept 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 109 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ICÍAR BOLLAÍN / SCRIPT: ICÍAR BOLLAÍN, ALICIA LUNA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: CARLES GUSI / EDITOR: ÁNGEL HERNÁNDEZ ZOIDO / PRODUCTION CO: ALTA PRODUCCIÓN, PRODUCCIONES LA IGUANA SL / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES
'"A very damaging and a wrong one, but a love story all the same," is how director Iciar Bollain describes her award-winning tale of domestic abuse. Laia Marull gives a terrific performance as Pilar, a terrified housewife on the run from husband Antonio and his regular outbursts of violent rage. Taking refuge with her sister, she tries to build a new life — but she's still in love with the man who beat her. As Antonio's group therapy session suggest, it's a cultural issue as much as a personal one. Surrounded by macho, middle-aged men unable to understand why they shouldn't beat their wives, Antonio is clearly not a one-off.' BBC
Sun 21 Oct 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 125 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE/ITALY, SPANISH/CATALAN/GALICIAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/EDITOR: ALEJANDRO AMENÁBAR / SCRIPT: ALEJANDRO AMENÁBAR, MATEO GIL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JAVIER AGUIRRESAROBE / PRODUCTION CO: SOGEPAQ, SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE CINE SA, HIMENÓPTERO / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ROADSHOW FILMS / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CIENMA
‘The Sea Inside tells the true story of Ramón Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), a quadriplegic who spent 30 years fighting for his right to die. Director Alejandro Amenabar tells this story simply and effectively, resisting the temptation to liven things up with unnecessary visual flourishes. Of course, The Sea Inside wouldn't be nearly as compelling as it is if it weren't for Bardem's fantastic performance — a feat made all the more impressive considering the actor spends the majority of the film completely unable to move. It's Bardem's acting that makes it easy enough to overlook the film's occasional jaunts into melodrama, while even the most jaded viewer will find it difficult to resist the inherent power of this story.’ Toronto Film Festival
Sat 29 September 1.00pm (with Land without Bread) / Cinema A
16MM TRANSFERRED TO DIGITAL BETACAM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, SOUND, 84 MINUTES, NETHERLANDS/FRANCE/FINLAND/SWEDEN, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: PÉTER FORGÁCS / PRODUCTION CO: LUMENFILM / PRINT SOURCE: LUMENFILM
'Hungarian documentarian Peter Forgás used the remarkable home movies of two men from opposite sides of the Spanish Civil War — a Catalan industrialist and a student from Madrid — to weave an intimate and insightful composite portrait of the conflict. Forgács gives the amateur filmmakers’ footage new life in an expertly crafted montage of image and voice-over quotations from other participants in the war to create an alternate narrative from the romanticized fictions that continue to prevail.' Harvard Film Archive
Fri 12 Oct 7.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 115 MINUTES, SPAIN, ENGLISH/DANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ISABEL COIXET / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JEAN-CLAUDE LARRIEU / EDITOR: IRENE BLECUA / PRODUCTION CO: EL DESEO SA, HOTSHOT FILMS, MEDIAPRO, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: DENDY FILMS
‘Hanna, a mysteruious, introverted young nurse, accepts a job on an oil right in the Irish Sea, where she cares for perspective, ironic Josef, a temporarily blinded burns victinm. As Hanna tends Josef’s wounds, it soon becomes clear that he’s desperate to divulge secrets – as if words and transparency will free him from his sightless, immobile state. The Secret Life of Words, Isabel Coixet’s intensely perceptive, wrenchingly cathartic love story, is about the need for human interpendence and the power of silence and speech to transcend trauam’ Brisbane International Film Festival
Fri 19 Oct 8.00pm and Wed 24 Oct 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 119 MINUTES, SPAIN/MEXICO, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: GUILLERMO DEL TORO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GUILLERMO NAVARRO / EDITOR: BERNAT VILAPLAN / PRODUCTION CO: ESTUDIOS PICASSO, TEQUILA GANG, ESPERANTO FILMOJ / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: HOPSCOTCH FILMS
‘The film takes place during Franco’s time and thus deals with fascism. To me, fascism is the representation of total horror and is, therefore, a perfect theme for an adult fairytale. In fact, it is, above all, a form of repression of innocence and thus of childhood, which consumes a person’s soul before it consumes his body.’ Guillermo del Toro
Sat 3 Nov 1.00pm / Cinema A
DV TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 95 MINUTES, SPAIN, CATALAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ALBERT SERRA / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY MIGUEL DE CERVANTES Y SAAVEDRA / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: CHRISTOPHE FARNARIER, EDUARD GRAU / EDITOR: ÀNGEL MARTÍN / PRODUCTION CO: ANDERGRAUN FILMS, EDDIE SAETA SA, NOTRO FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VERTICE SALES
'Albert Serra's brilliant and instantly controversial adaptation of Don Quixote offers a revelatory portrait of the strangely symbiotic relationship between the knight errant and his loyal scribe. Patiently revealing the bonds of pathos and humor that bind the two misfits, Knight’s Honor centers exclusively and unconventionally on the quiet moments between Quixote and Sancho Panza's most famous misadventures. Shot on digital video in breathtaking pastoral locations, Serra's film creates a richly textured, painterly beauty from its technologically humble means, giving equal attention to the wind in the grass and the slow descent of night as to its two remarkable heroes. First-time nonprofessional actor and ex-tennis instructor Lluís Carbó brings a haunting frailty and almost chimerical aura to Quixote, a note of melancholy otherworldliness that gives an elegiac and genuinely moving quality to the film.' Harvard Film Archive
Fri 12 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A
16MM TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 84 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, FRENCH/SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JOSÉ LUIS GUERÍN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: NATASHA BRAIER / EDITOR: NÚRIA ESQUERRA / PRODUCTION CO: EDDIE SAETA SA, CHÂTEAU-ROUGE PRODUCTION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: DEAPLANTA INTERNATIONAL
'An unnamed young man arrives in the foreign city of Strasbourg for reasons unstated. He waits at a hotel, visits a café, sketches passersby… Eventually his motives are revealed, but it is not a traditional narrative that Guerín is after so much as the urban experience of watching, waiting, absorbing. Out of these materials Guerín builds a spellbinding film that reminds us of cinema's powerful ability to evoke the tugs of memory, desire and the transitory. An extraordinary city film, Sylvia almost entirely eschews dialogue to instead give a symphonic voice to the city itself through a rich and fully immersive soundtrack of urban sounds, explosions of music and strange echoes.' Harvard Film Archive
Wed 31 Oct 7.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 105 MINUTES, SPAIN/MEXICO, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JUAN ANTONIO BAYONA / SCRIPT: SERGIO G. SÁNCHEZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ÓSCAR FAURA / EDITOR: ELENA RUIZ / PRODUCTION CO: ESTA VIVO! LABORATORIO DE NUEVOS TALENTOS, GRUPO RODAR, RODAR Y RODAR CINE Y TELEVISIÓN, TELECINCO CINEMA, TELECINCO, TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA, WARNER BROS PICTURES DE ESPAÑA, WILD BUNCH / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ROADSHOW FILMS
‘A sinuous modern twist is applied to the classic ghost story form… and revives the genre's great theme: our profound yet unacknowledged fear of children. We are afraid of their vulnerability, which is our vulnerability, and the mysterious otherness of their private, mental worlds. Laura is happily married to well-to-do doctor Carlos; they have an adopted nine-year-old son, Simón. The presence of this sweet-natured, imaginative boy in their lives has awakened complex feelings in Laura, stemming partly from the fact that she herself was adopted. Driven by a need for closure, she persuades her husband to buy the old orphanage where she spent the first years of her life, and to be foster-parents there to six new orphans with learning difficulties. Once installed, Laura and Carlos start noticing that Simón is behaving strangely. Always prone to fantasies about imaginary friends, he starts talking about a new group of invisible children, who begin to tell Simón painful and upsetting things about himself that his adoptive parents have kept secret.’ The Guardian
Wed 31 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 79 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRCTORS: JAUME BALAGUERÓ, PACO PLAZA / PRODUCERS: CARLOS FERNÀNDEZ, JULIO FERNÀNDEZ / SCRIPT: JAUME BALAGUERÓ, LUIS BERDEJO, PACO PLAZA / CINEMATOGRAPHY: PABLO ROSSO / EDITOR: DAVID GALLART / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RIALTO DISTRIBUTION
'Ever since The Blair Witch Project, the faux horror documentary has had many imitators. We're happy to report that [REC] makes up for prior transgressions with the story of perky TV reporter Angela, whose show "While You Sleep" covers the nocturnal activities of Barcelona firemen. When a report of a screaming woman in an apartment block comes in, Angela and her crew of two follow the dedicated team to the emergency. The brisk [REC] doesn't waste a moment with its claustrophobic setup and, once things start to go wrong, it builds to a kind of hysterically sustained tension rarely seen on the big screen'. New Zealand Film Festival
Sat 3 Nov 3.00pm / Cinema A
HD VIDEO TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 98 MINUTES, SPAIN, CATALAN/HEBREW (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ALBERT SERRA / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: JIMMY GIMFERRER, NEUS OLLÉ-SORONELLAS / EDITORS: ALBERT SERRA, ÀNGEL MARTÍN / PRODUCTION CO: ANDERGRAUN FILMS, CAPRICCI FILMS, EDDIE SAETA SA, TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CAPRICCI FILMS
'Albert Serra recasts the story of the Magi as an elemental epic of man simultaneously lost and found in the uncanny beauty of nature. Masterfully shot in black and white on remote, almost extraterrestrial locations in the Canary Islands and Iceland, Birdsong follows the slow, stumbling passage of the kings towards the mysterious birth that beckons them through the long days and dark nights. Like Knight's Honor, Birdsong adds a level of humor to gently undercut the sacred qualities of the tale, here by foregrounding the wonderfully profane corporality of the awkward kings who float and fidget in an assertively, refreshingly human manner.' Harvard Film Archive
Sat 20 Oct 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, SOUND, 85 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH/BASQUE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: JOSÉ MARÍA DE ORBE / SCRIPT: JOSÉ MARÍA DE ORBE, DANIEL V VILLAMEDIANA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JIMMY GIMFERRER / EDITOR: CRISTÓBAL FERNÁNDEZ / PRODUCTION CO: EDDIE SAETA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: EDDIE SAETA SA
‘Returning to his derelict 13th-century ancestral home, José María de Orbe not only explores the magnificent structure but also delves into the rich history of the Basque countryside surrounding it. A justly deserving winner of two prizes, including the cinematography award, at San Sebastian, Father glows and resonates with the weight of history, as real-life caretaker Luis Pescador throws open the windows, allowing the mansion to bathe in a rich combination of light and shadow.’ Vancouver International Film Festival
Fri 26 Oct 8.00pm / Cinema A
HD VIDEO TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 107 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ÁLEX DE LA IGLESIA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: KIKO DE LA RICA / EDITOR: ALEJANDRO LÁZARO / PRODUCTION CO: TORNASOL FILMS, LA FABRIQUE 2, UFILM, CANAL+ ESPAÑA, CASTAFIORE FILMS, TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT
‘During the Spanish Civil War, a famous circus clown is conscripted into Franco’s Nationalist army, but then turns on and slaughters his fellow troops. 35 years later, as Franco’s ruling-order crumbles, his son Javier works as a circus ‘Sad’ clown, a straight-man humiliated daily by its sadistic star, ‘Happy’ clown, Sergio. The two also love the same woman, acrobat Natalia. Rivalry turns to jealousy and that into an explosion of unleashed egos and stunning, apocalyptical rage. De la Iglesia honours the Iberian surrealist tradition of Bunuel and Jodorowsky – and their mocking anti-Fascist fables – in a phantasmagoric film that 'makes Pan’s Labyrinth look like Sesame Street'. (Village Voice).’ National Film and Sound Archive Australia
Wed 3 Oct 6.00pm and Sat 6 Oct 3.00pm / Cinema A
RED ONE CAMERA TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, COLOUR, SOUND, 97 MINUTES, SPAIN, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: CARLOS SAURA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: VITTORIO STORARO / EDITOR: VANESSA MARIMBERT / PRODUCTION CO: GENERAL DE PRODUCCIONES Y DISENO / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: IMAGINA SALES
'Carlos Saura, best known for his 1980s flamenco trilogy, once again returns to the world of his favourite dance. A painterly, masterful look at flamenco today, Saura's latest documentary features well-established figures such as Paco de Lucia and Tomatito, as well as a new generation of dancers and musicians, while he explores the way the form has evolved in recent years. Shot by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, this sequel of sorts to Saura's 1995 film Flamenco pays homage to the deep traditions of flamenco, while showcasing exciting innovators such as Rocío Molina, who, the Financial Times noted after a recent New York show, “does with flamenco what Picasso did with the female nude.” The film features some 21 performance sequences, some music-only. But Flamenco, Flamenco is more than just a dutiful recording of the form's current trends and of what some critics are calling “fusion flamenco.” Saura and Storaro have created a truly cinematic experience, filmed at the Seville Expo '92 pavilion with sets featuring replicas of great flamenco portraits ranging through history from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. A thrilling portrait of an art form and its passionate practitioners, Flamenco, Flamenco is for lovers of dance, music and film alike.' Vancouver International Film Festival
Fri 26 Oct 6.00pm and Sun 4 Nov 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, 108 MINUTES, SPAIN/FRANCE, CATALAN/SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: AGUSTÍ VILLARONGA / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY EMILI TEIXIDOR / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ANTONIO RIESTRA / EDITOR: RAÚL ROMÁN / PRODUCTION CO: MASSA D'OR PRODUCCIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: BETA CINEMA
‘Iconic filmmaker Agusti Villaronga masterly directs this suspenseful and gripping drama set in the forests of Catalonia during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Black Bread offers an awe-inspiring piece of storytelling that blends a child’s onerous coming-of-age with a murderous secret that haunts the adults surrounding him. Award-winning performances and outstanding cinematography have made this period film a contemporary classic in Spanish cinema.’ La Mirada Film Festival