Posted by Ross Battaglia
01. May, 2015
Hold onto your sombreros because the Spanish Film Festival has breezed into selected Palace Cinemas in Melbourne. From April 22 to May 10, immerse yourself in all things español in a collection of 38 carefully chosen films intending to woo audiences and steal their heart. Each feature film is brimmed to the top with vibrant colour, similar to a glass of sangria—you will be left with a sweet taste for days to come. Playing at Cinema Como, Kino and Westgarth, the 2015 Spanish Film Festival is definitely worth checking out.
The cliché of the traditional telenovela is shelved and replaced with contemporary film techniques. Each film is exceptional in its own right positioning Spanish cinema as a major contender in the foreign film industry.
Here are three movies that are must this season:
‘One day you’re here, then you suddenly disappear.’
Touted as Spain’s answer to True Detective, this movie is difficult to say no to. Bird’s-eye shots of a stagnant marshland are filtered throughout the story—emphasising the stark realities of a town struggling in a post-Franco world rocked by the disappearance of two sisters. Two detectives launch an investigation and are soon confronted with a string of murders that may or may not be tied to the ‘sis-napping’. Delving deeper, the good-cop bad-cop duo become tangled in a web of corruption and solicitation ultimately leaving them to question their limits to solving the case at hand.
Packed with suspense, Marshland is a gripping film leaving you pointing your find at almost every character you come across. Focus from one shady character to the next is quite seamless while the narrative adds layer upon layer making this whodunit story memorable. The winner of 10 Goya Awards in 2015—including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor—this flick is a hit.
Carmina And Amen
‘I never lie. When I say something, it becomes the truth. End of story.’
To the delight of Spanish Film Festival regulars, Carmina Barrios returns to play the staunch and domineering matriarch, reprising her role in the successful 2013 hit, Carmina. In this installment, Carmina deals with the untimely and inconvenient death of her husband and decides to postpone the news to secure a bonus cheque that is due for her departed spouse.
Grieving in an unorthodox fashion and dealing with a series of familial dramas, her cynical daughter and surprise drop-ins by guests, Carmina is called to hold up her scheme with her vulgar and offensive manner. Collecting the best screenplay award at the Malaga Film Festival, the Spanish Film Festival reports that Carmina And Amen is “more polished, sharper and funnier”—you should decide for yourself!
Six stories. Six lost people. A place to come together.
Blue Lips is a realistic examination of people dealing with internal loss that cannot be quantified. Set in six cities around the world (Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Buenos Aires, Rome and Pamplona) each lost soul is drawn to the San Fermín Festival at the annual running of the bulls.
Interestingly, each character’s narrative is directed by a different director; however, the film is put together in a cohesive manner. Blue Lips is the perfect self-discovery movie that promotes the idea of living in the now and looking at life’s randomness in the most positive way. This is an uplifting movie that reveals that you are not alone.
The award-winning collection showcases Spain’s best. It may be getting cooler in Melbourne, but the Spanish Film Festival is intent on sizzling things up. Catch it before it leaves town.
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