Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

The Skin I Live In

Posted 24 Oct 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

The Skin I Live In, Spain, 2011

Written and Directed by Pedro Almodovar

Based on the Novel Tarantula by Thierry Jonquet

The Skin I Live In is Pedro Almodovar's best film since his 2002 masterpiece Talk to Her. Many are the times I’ve noticed over the years, and always to my (at least) mild irritation, the tendency of moviegoers to attend horror films in large groups of friends. This is presumably to numb the impact of the events onscreen, using the familiar “safety in numbers” approach to ward off all that scary stuff they all presumably paid to see in the first place. As if this weren’t bad enough, these unnecessarily large moviegoing groups (the number is usually at least four, and often they’ll take up an entire row of seats) feel the need to laugh at some of the scariest moments, or perhaps at the reactions of the most squeamish and easily frightened member of their troop to said moments. In case you were unaware, this is precisely the wrong way to see a horror film; it is akin to seeing a comedy alone and covering one’s ears during all the funny parts. In fact, it is far worse than that, because it actively distracts and undercuts the film’s impact for the rest of the audience. After all, it’s pretty hard to be sufficiently frightened by something at which people are audibly giggling nervously all around you. This is why I generally prefer to see horror movies by myself, late at night, in a dark room at home. Read More

[REC] – Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Posted 28 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

[REC], Spain, 2007

Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza

[REC] is an incredibly thrilling film.I’m immediately reminded of The Blair Witch Project (1999) whenever someone brings up this 2007 Spanish film. Blair Witch, though, has the upper hand on several levels, the first and most major being its marketing. The shrewd execution of this campaign managed to invoke glorious word of mouth and gather a slew of followers before the film was ever released. Another level is the complete no-name cast, which allowed for Blair Witch‘s seemingly student-film style to be swallowed whole by the audience. Justly, this became one of the most profitable films of all-time, made for roughly $60,000 dollars and grossing nearly $250 million worldwide. In [REC]‘s case, such a campaign was never employed, and while that doesn’t hinder the viewing experience, it certainly wasn’t beneficial to the film.

Set in Barcelona, the film centers on reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso), who are taping a night at the local firehouse for their television series While You Sleep. A distress call comes over the radio, and the crew rushes to an old apartment complex where screams and violent noises were heard. The contents of the first-person film show exactly what happens on this fateful, terrible night. Read More

Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Three’s Company

Posted 21 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Spain / USA, 2008

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

The interweaving relationships of this film are classic Woody Allen, and it's fair to say this is his strongest notation on human neurosis of the 2000's.My favorite thing about Woody Allen movies is hearing the actors speak the words; it’s always with a sense of adoration, and there are usually shades of performers who have spoken these words in the past. Allen’s scripts are performed, no matter the quality, with gratitude. Such is most definitely the case with this film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. If you’re intrigued by the title, it’s simple enough, about as simple as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in that there’s a massacre committed with a chain saw in Texas; in this, Vicky and Cristina go to Barcelona. However, there is a bit of a deeper meaning. Read More