Spanish Cinema Now Dec 09 – Dec 22

Spanish Cinema Now
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  • $13 General Public
  • $9 Students & Seniors
  • $9 Cervantes Institute Members
  • $8 Film Society Members
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Four Film Package!

  • $40 General Public
    $32 Students & Seniors
    $32 Cervantes Institute Members
    $28 Film Society Members
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Spanish Cinema Now is one of the Walter Reade Theater’s longest-running series, first presented in October 1992. Since then, annual film production in Spain has moved from about 40 movies per year into the triple digits. Audiences in Spain are not only growing, they are considerably younger nowadays, while the links between Spanish and Latin American cinema are stronger than ever. Latin American actors, directors and technicians are enriching the Spanish industry, and co-productions are at an all-time high.

Our series opens with the new film from Nacho Vigolondo (Timecrimes): Extraterrestrial, his smart, much-anticipated take on the alien invasion movie, in which a man and a woman wake up to a Madrid dotted with spaceships, the night after a tryst. Regional cinemas continue to produce strong work, as seen in the fascinating Catalan documentary Barcelona Before or the magic realist Galician film Crebinsky. A new generation of Spanish comedy is well represented in the selection, with everything from box-office superstar Santiago Segura’s latest Torrente film to Daniel Sánchez Areválo’s guy comedy Cousinhood. Don’t miss the Spanish-Portuguese co-production José and Pilar, an engaging, revealing portrait of the final years of Nobel Prize winner José Saramago and his Spanish wife Pilar del Rio.

We also offer a 10-film tribute to Luis García Berlanga, one of Spain’s greatest directors, who sadly passed away in November 2010. Together with Juan Antonio Bardem, Berlanga revolutionized the Spanish cinema in the Fifties and early Sixties with such masterworks as Welcome Mr. Marshall!, Plácido, and The Executioner.

Luis García Berlanga Retrospective
Together with Juan Bardem in the early Fifties, Berlanga shook up what had been a fairly dormant Spanish cinema with a series of works—That Happy Couple, The Rocket from Calabuch, and especially Welcome, Mr. Marshall!—that revealed uncomfortable truths about the rigidly controlled Francoist society. Even as the regime began to ease up a bit in the early Sixties, Berlanga, often working with screenwriter Rafael Azcona, became if anything even more barbed in his criticisms in works such as Plácido and The Executioner. Yet beyond being important documents of the growing social resistance to Franco, Berlanga’s films are treasures because their extraordinary humor always seems to propel his often madcap tales into more general, timeless observations on the human condition. There are rarely villains in his works—only characters with greater or lesser levels of self-delusion.

Luis García Berlanga, who was previously featured in Spanish Cinema Now, passed away in November 2010 at age 89. We are proud to present this special tribute in memoriam.

Please note: The films and the showtimes reflect changes that occurred after our November/December calendar went to print.

     

Past Films

23-F

23-F

Chema de la Peña | 2011 | 97 mins

A vibrant retelling of the extraordinary 1981 coup attempt by Civil Guards demanding that the King proclaim an end to Spain’s just-emerging democracy.

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An Almost Perfect World

An Almost Perfect World

Esteban Ibarretxe | José Miguel Ibarretxe | 2011 | 97 mins

In this fast and furious comedy with delightful twists, a failed screenwriter witnesses a crime and quickly learns about life on the wrong side of the tracks.

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Barcelona Before

Barcelona Before

Mireia Ros | 2011 | 95 mins

Q&A with director Mireia Ros after the December 11 show!

The life of Barcelona’s respected Baladía family provides the lens for a curious personal portrait of the 20th century and the Golden Years before the Civil War.

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Contacts

Contacts

Paulino Viota | 1970 | 64M mins

Viota’s rarely seen masterwork, about a woman from the provinces involved in shady business with two men, was one of the first underground anti-Franco features.

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Cousinhood

Cousinhood

Daniel Sanchez Arevalo | 2011 | 98M mins

Q&A with director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo and actor Quim Gutierrez after the December 11 show!

Jilted at the altar, Diego sets off with two cousins to a childhood refuge, in this terrific guy movie with heart that skillful dissects competing ideas of Spanish manhood.

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Crebinsky

Crebinsky

Enrique Otero | 2011 | 90 mins

Otero’s beautiful, fable-like film, featuring touches of magic realism and slapstick silent comedy, follows the Crebinsky brothers on a search for their swept-away cow.

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Don’t Be Afraid

Don’t Be Afraid

Montxo Armendáriz | 2011 | 89 mins

A young woman confronts her father about years of incest in this complex, multi-leveled drama, featuring terrific performances by Belen Rueda, Lluís Homar and newcomer Michelle Jenner.

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Double Steps

Double Steps

Isaki Lacuesta | 2011 | 90 mins

Director Isaki Lacuesta, screenwriter Isa Campo, and producer Luisa Matienzo in attendance at December 15 screening!

The story of the remarkable artist François Augiéras, who ventured deep into the Sahara to create an artwork, leads us from fact to fiction and back again.

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Every Song Talks About Me

Every Song Talks About Me

Jonás Trueba | 2011 | 105 mins

Q&A with director Jonás Trueba after the December 10 show!

In Trueba’s charming romantic comedy debut, poor Ramiro finds reminders of his ex-relationship everywhere he turns. Nominated for Best New Director at last year’s Goya Awards.

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Everyone Off to Jail

Everyone Off to Jail

Luis García Berlanga | 1993 | 99 mins

A motley mix of political prisoners, Fascists, and clueless parvenues dine together at the infamous Cárcel Modelo in a farcical reconciliation effort.

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The Executioner

The Executioner

Luis García Berlanga | 1963 | 90 mins

Berlanga’s eccentric masterpiece about a Republican executioner facing retirement yields a scathing look at a society in which family obligations can be deadly.

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Extraterrestrial

Extraterrestrial

Nacho Vigalondo | 2011 | 90 mins

Opening Night!

From the director of Timecrimes comes an alien invasion movie in which a man and a woman wake up to a Madrid dotted with spaceships...

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The Heifer

The Heifer

Luis García Berlanga | 1985 | 122 mins

In this early comedy about the Spanish Civil War, a group of Republicans attempt to sabotage the Nationalists by stealing a cow, but incompetence triumphs.

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Ispansi

Ispansi

Carlos Iglesias | 2011 | 115 mins

The gripping, little-known story of children sent to Russia by the Republic during the Civil War is told with grace and sensitivity in this wartime drama.

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José y Pilar

José y Pilar

Miguel Gonçalves Mendes | 2011 | 125 mins

This affectionate portrait of Portugal’s Nobel Prize–winner José Saramago reveals the struggle between the very private man and the world-famous artist.

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Life Size

Life Size

Luis García Berlanga | 1976 | 101 mins

Michel Piccoli stars as a mild-mannered dentist who finds love with an imported blow-up doll. Exquisitely shot and surreally erotic, it’s a fabulous allegory about modern isolation.

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Long Live the Bride and Groom

Long Live the Bride and Groom

Luis García Berlanga | 1970 | 83 mins

A middle-aged man on holiday with his bride-to-be and elderly mother is driven to comic distraction by hot Swedish beachgoers. Written by Rafael Azcona!

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The National Shotgun

The National Shotgun

Luis García Berlanga | 1978 | 95 mins

Please note the screening time has been changed to 9:30pm on December 20.

In Berlanga’s first post-censorship film, a bourgeois businesman attempts to make new contacts by participating in a traditional, staged hunt with aristocrats.

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Plácido

Plácido

Luis García Berlanga | 1961 | 87 mins

When a high-profile astrophysicist gives the government the slip in a seaside village, atomic age paranoia and bucolic traditions get playfully shaken up.

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The Rocket from Calabuch

The Rocket from Calabuch

Luis García Berlanga | 1956 | 93 mins

When a high-profile astrophysicist gives the government the slip in a seaside village, atomic age paranoia and bucolic traditions get playfully shaken up.

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That Happy Couple

That Happy Couple

Juan Antonio Bardem | Luis García Berlanga | 1953 | 83 mins

In this satire of Franco’s economic policies, a couple wins an absurd contest that promises to solve their financial woes––and worsen all other aspects of their lives.

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Torrente 4: Lethal Crisis

Torrente 4: Lethal Crisis

Santiago Segura | 2011 | 93M mins

Q&A with director/actor Santiago Segura after the December 9 show!

The most successful series in Spanish film history continues the saga of detective José Luis Torrente—overwrought, overfed, highly opinionated, and now in spiritual crisis.

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Welcome Mr. Marshall!

Welcome Mr. Marshall!

Luis García Berlanga | 1953 | 95 mins

In a biting, Ealing-style satire of Franco’s Spain, a Castilian backwater adopts Andalusian stereotypes to hoodwink a group of Marshall Plan representatives.

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