Spanish-language cinema: a log

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kunsttyv
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Spanish-language cinema: a log

Postby kunsttyv » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:06 pm

Now that my Spanish is at a sufficiently high level to watch movies subtitle-free without being lost, I'm going to allow movie watching to creep into my study routine more than before. I already got a lot of exiting things lined up (and I've also seen quite a lot before, being a movie buff for many years, although always with the help of subtitles). It seems like the two main hubs are going to be Spain and Mexico, with the occasional film from Argentine, Chile, Cuba or wherever the interesting stuff may come from.

Modest goal: at least one every week.

And discussions about these films or Spanish films in general are of course more than welcome!
Last edited by kunsttyv on Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby kunsttyv » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:06 pm

lists

stats

praise and neglect

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ESPAÑA
Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961)
¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! (Luis García Berlanga, 1953)
Plácido (Luis García Berlanga, 1961)
Dante no es únicamente severo (Jacinto Esteva & Joaquim Jordà, 1967)
Cría cuervos... (Carlos Saura, 1976)
¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto! (Pedro Almodóvar, 1984)
Matador (Pedro Almodóvar, 1986)
La ley del deseo (Pedro Almodóvar, 1987)
Mujeres al borde de un ataque de "nervios" (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988)
¡Átame! (Pedro Almodóvar, 1989)
La piel que habito (Pedro Almodóvar, 2011)
Los amantes pasajeros (Pedro Almodóvar, 2013)
Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar, 2016)
El hombre de las mil caras (Alberto Rodríguez, 2016)
Tríptico (José Val del Omar, 1955-1961)
La caza (Carlos Saura, 1966)
Lucía y el sexo (Julio Médem, 2001)
Amanece, que no es poco (José Luis Cuerda, 1988)

MÉXICO
Tiempo de morir (Arturo Ripstein, 1966)
El compadre Mendoza (Fernando de Fuentes, 1934)
El castillo de la pureza (Arturo Ripstein, 1973)
Susana (Luis Buñuel, 1951)
Subida al cielo (Luis Buñuel, 1952)
El bruto (Luis Buñuel, 1953)
Él (Luis Buñuel, 1953)
Simón del desierto (Luis Buñuel, 1965)

ARGENTINA
La mujer sin cabeza (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)

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TV SERIES FINISHED
Verano azul
Las chicas del cable (temporada 1)

---

TV SERIES LONGLIST
El internado
Allí abajo
Corazón salvaje
El barco
Gran Hotel
Vis a vis
Los tiempos entre costuras
La reina del sur
Mar de plástico
En terapia
El chavo del ocho
Aquí no hay quien viva
La que se avecina
El ministerio del tiempo
Anillos de oro
Isabel
La huella del crimen
Delirios de amor
Historias para no dormir
Fortunata y Jacinta
Segunda enseñanza
Cuéntame cómo pasó
Desaparecida
Los gozos y las sombras
El Caso. Crónica de sucesos
Juana Inés
El Chapo
Pablo Escobar, el patrón del mal
Last edited by kunsttyv on Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:34 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby the1whoknocks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:45 pm

I'm really liking your logs. You can count on me following along - a very cool idea.
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby kunsttyv » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:52 pm

La mujer sin cabeza (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)

Pretty good, although not as fresh as her debut La Ciénaga. A woman runs over and kills a kid somewhere in rural Argentina, she flees the involuntarily crime scene in what seems like a repressed panic, and spends the rest of the playing time being shaken to the core, confined in her own misery and unresponsive to anything that happens around her. The people around her only kind-of notice that something has happened, but they don't seem to care that much.

Martel's films are very sensory in the sense that people are very close to each other physically, and close to the screen. There's a lot of motion and people are constantly coming into the frame and leaving it, clinging onto each other, hugging, kissing or playing with each others hair. But at the same time it's apparent that they are profoundly alone. I'm still not sure if Martel is aiming for some sort of commentary on class, or if she just choose to depict the kind of people she knows best given her own background. Everyone belongs to the decadent white Argentine middle class, and they all seem bored to death.

The language was a challenge for me. I have very little experience with Rioplatense Spanish, but I managed somehow.


Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961)

One of the grande classics of Spanish cinema. I saw it a long time ago, when my stepmom took me to see it (along with Fellini's La dolce vita, it was a double bill) at the cinematheque in Oslo when I was maybe sixteen years old. I still remembered it almost frame by frame. It's a prime example of idealism gone bad, about lost illusions. Give power to the poor and oppressed, and they will reign like tyrants, destroy your home and kill your family. And for the ones who like it a bit corny: the film ends with a threesome disguised as a game of cards.


Now I would like to see something by Arturo Ripstein or Luis García Berlanga
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby kunsttyv » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:46 pm

Just watched another one:

Tiempo de morir (Arturo Ripstein, 1966)

Mexican western written by Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel García Márquez. A man returns to his village after eighteen years in prison for having killed another. Upon getting the news of his release, the two sons of the murdered man wants their revenge. Not because of a desire for vengeance it seems, but for ideas of honor, righteousness and masculinity and so on. Several encounters follow, and the story unfolds very slowly, all the time with additional psychological and moral complexities. The writers put down some real love in this story. The movie came out a year before the publication of Cien años de soledad by the way, so García Márquez was still not the household name he would turn out to be.

The movie is also interesting on an aesthetic level. The soundscape is very experimental at times, and the use of a handheld camera is something I did not expect from a 60s Mexican western. It's almost hard to believe that Arturo Ripstein was only in his early twenties when he made it, because everything about it seems so mature. Awesome movie!

Image
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby kunsttyv » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:31 pm

¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! (Luis García Berlanga, 1953)

Early Spanish comedy about a postwar northern small town preparing to receive an American delegation who are supposedly going there to hand out aid according to the Marshall Plan. The people of the town go totally overboard with the preparation, putting up huge banners, constructing fake streets and learning to dress up and dance like Andalusians. Because you know, the yanks fetishize the flamenco and the Andalusian women like the Spaniards fetishize rock'n'roll and the saloons. Of course, the miracle never comes, and the whole thing turns out to be a clever parable about how you shouldn't be victim of euphoria and mass suggestion at the hands of a more affluent outsider whose real intentions you would rather not have to think about.

The movie is very funny, some dream sequences towards the end are bizarre (the KKK invading the town, a bar brawl where the Spanish townspeople impersonate American cowboys from the western movies and imitate their American English), and now finally I know where the narrator in Arrested Development took his style of narration from.

I understand Castilian Spanish so much better than any other variant, so much so that I will understand a toothless old Spanish man speaking slurred better than I will a well-spoken Mexican. Not a big surprise considering that 90% of my exposure to Spanish has been Castilian. I need to get more Latin American and Andalusian Spanish under my belt.
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby kunsttyv » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:04 pm

Plácido (Luis García Berlanga, 1961)

Another excellent black comedy by Luis García Berlanga. The dialogues were extremely fast paced though, so I missed out on some of the details. I think it would be a great candidate for a subs2srs Anki deck, but we'll see. Maybe I'll just re-watch it later. The movie reminded me a bit of American screwball comedies from the 40s.

This project is going quite well I must say, everything I've watched so far has been very enjoyable!
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby kunsttyv » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:32 pm

Dante no es únicamente severo (Jacinto Esteva & Joaquim Jordà, 1967)

A kind of manifest for the Barcelona School film makers of the sixties and early seventies. These film makers worked from a position of protest and subversion in Franco's Spain. Their movies were self-financed, experimental, anti-establishment, anti-Madrid, anti-Franco, with a predominant adherence to formalism. A couple of years ago I would watch something like this and more or less get a semi. Now I'm sad to say I found this move a bit dull and shallow. Seems like the truth is that the movies are not changing, but my temperament is.

---

I've also watched a few Spanish series lately. I'm halfway through Verano azul which is mildly amusing. I'm halfway through the second season of El internado which is really bad but have some potential if they would just drop all those stupid mystery elements and focus on intrigues and character relations instead. I don't care if the story is unbelievable or if the acting is exaggerated, as long as they give me some aroused feelings for my time spent. Blanca Suarez just arrived at school, maybe she'll shake things up. I also watched a couple of episodes of Las chicas del cable which were so dull that I don't even want to write about it. I just want to say that this is what always happens when you throw a lot of money on a film production in a country where the people who receive such support are always the people who look up to and admire the worst of the American film industry, that is to say big bloated unimaginative clichéd productions, and these film makers from the smaller country somehow always manage to make something that's even worse than the original.

I don't know why I'm complaining by the way. There's so much good stuff out there, so I should just leave the hypes and the turkeys alone and go watch something enjoyable instead.
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby klvik » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:55 pm

kunsttyv wrote:¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! (Luis García Berlanga, 1953)

Early Spanish comedy about a postwar northern small town preparing to receive an American delegation who are supposedly going there to hand out aid according to the Marshall Plan. The people of the town go totally overboard with the preparation, putting up huge banners, constructing fake streets and learning to dress up and dance like Andalusians. Because you know, the yanks fetishize the flamenco and the Andalusian women like the Spaniards fetishize rock'n'roll and the saloons. Of course, the miracle never comes, and the whole thing turns out to be a clever parable about how you shouldn't be victim of euphoria and mass suggestion at the hands of a more affluent outsider whose real intentions you would rather not have to think about.

The movie is very funny, some dream sequences towards the end are bizarre (the KKK invading the town, a bar brawl where the Spanish townspeople impersonate American cowboys from the western movies and imitate their American English), and now finally I know where the narrator in Arrested Development took his style of narration from.

I understand Castilian Spanish so much better than any other variant, so much so that I will understand a toothless old Spanish man speaking slurred better than I will a well-spoken Mexican. Not a big surprise considering that 90% of my exposure to Spanish has been Castilian. I need to get more Latin American and Andalusian Spanish under my belt.


After reading your description I watched ¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! this week and loved it - old fashioned silliness on the surface with more serious themes hidden underneath. I look forward to watching more of your movie recommendations!
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Re: Spanish-Language Cinema: A Treasure Hunting Log

Postby kunsttyv » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:37 pm

klvik wrote:After reading your description I watched ¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! this week and loved it - old fashioned silliness on the surface with more serious themes hidden underneath. I look forward to watching more of your movie recommendations!


I'm so happy to hear that! It's a delightful little movie indeed.

By the way klvik, if you have some Spanish movie recommendations I would love to hear about it. This searching for obscure and unsung masterpieces can be a little lonely at times, so it's good to have someone to share some of the experiences with.
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