Tag Archives: Spain

The City of Lost Children (1995) Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Art-house, Fantasy, Sci-fi

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With a mad scientist kidnapping children to steal their dreams, only brave young Miette (Judith Vittet) and a kindhearted circus strongman (Ron Perlman) can save them. Part fantasy, part nightmare, this production used more special effects than any other French film to date. Featuring stunning visuals from directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, the sci-fi fairy tale was nominated for a Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.
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15 Years and One Day / 15 años y un día (2013) Gracia Querejeta, Tito Valverde, Maribel Verdú, Arón Piper, Drama

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Fourteen-year-old Jon is increasingly acting out. He gets expelled from school and then poisons a neighbor’s dog. His mother, a widow and a struggling actress, feels overwhelmed and sends him to the Alicante coast to live with his grandfather Max, a Bosnian War veteran and a strict disciplinarian. Jon and Max clash – no TV! – but the boy starts to adapt to his new environment and make new friends. Suddenly a shocking act of violence turns Jon’s life upside down; it’s left to Max to investigate who’s responsible.
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Boris Godounov (1989) Andrzej Zulawski, Ruggero Raimondi, Kenneth Riegel, Pavel Slabý, Musical, Drama

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The film is based on the musical recording of the famous opera by Modest Mussorgsky about the tragic events surrounding the ruling of the Russian tsar Boris in the early 17th century. The recording was actually made two years before the filming with the participation of the Washington Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich) and several opera stars (the part of Marina is sung by Galina Vishnevskaya). Zulawski made the film just as we would be watching the theatrical performance. Then we are going through the sets and, finally, we notice the film crew. The director deliberately filled the picture with a plenty of anachronisms making the implications on the Soviet history and the other dictatorships of the 20th century.
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Juan of the Dead (2011) Alejandro Brugués, Alexis Díaz de Villegas, Jorge Molina, Andros Perugorría, Action, Comedy, Horror

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Juan is a slacker trying to reconnect with his daughter, who plans to rejoin her mother in Miami. Lazaro, Juan’s friend, is trying to connect with his own son, a persistent womanizer. They begin to notice that locals are “going crazy”, killing people and eating their flesh, and the recently deceased are returning to life. The Cuban government and the media claim that the zombies are dissidents revolting against the government. Juan starts a business to profit off of killing the zombies, but the group may soon find their own lives at risk.
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Eyes of Crystal / Occhi di cristallo (2004) Eros Puglielli, Luigi Lo Cascio, Lucía Jiménez, José Ángel Egido, Thriller

Eyes of Crystal (2004)
When a young couple and a peeper are killed in the field with sadism, Inspector Amaldi and his partner Freese unsuccessfully follow the leads trying to track the criminal. Meanwhile, the college student Giuditta is being stalked and goes to the precinct, where she is attended by Amaldi, and immediately they feel a great attraction for each other. When another woman is murdered, Amaldi and Freese realize that they are chasing a serial killer. Amaldi visits Professor Civita, trying to find the meaning of three leaves found in the crime scene. Amaldi, who battles with his violent temper, tries to put the clues together and to avoid the next murder of the unknown psychopath.
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Still the Water / Futatsume no mado (2014) Naomi Kawase, Nijirô Murakami, Jun Yoshinaga, Miyuki Matsuda, Drama, Romance

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On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body floating in the sea. His girlfriend Kyoko will attempt to help him understand this mysterious discovery. Together, Kaito and Kyoko will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.
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For a handful of kisses / Por un puñado de besos (2014) David Menkes, Joel Bosqued, Pere Brasó, Jan Cornet, Drama, Romance

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Sol and Dani have fallen in love after their first date. But months earlier Sol, a beautiful and sensitive girl, had her dreams tragically torn apart. In spite of this she remains convinced that love is a necessity for her; for that reason she embarks on a quest for a soul-mate with whom she can share everything. The problem is that Dani is hiding a secret that can shatter Sol’s illusions.
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Night of 1,000 Sexes / Mil sexos tiene la noche (1984) Jesus Franco, Lina Romay, Daniel Katz, Carmen Carrión, Horror, Thriller, Erotic

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Franco at his finest – somebody get this film on DVD now! This obscure Golden Films production got to pop the Franco-cherry on my new movie projector. It was just the right choice! Lina Romay, chubby like she just walked out of an Anders Zorn-painting, plays Irena (Female Vampire flashbacks, anybody?) who’s part of a kind of hypnosis nightclub act with the magician Fábian. He’s not a very nice guy and uses his hypnotic powers to use poor Irena as an instrument of vengeance, sleeping with and killing off his enemies. Or is the whole set up just part of her nightmares? An unusually good, hypnotic (in both meanings of the word) sleaze flick that really shows what Franco can achieve with extremely limited resources – some hotel rooms, a handful of actors (the same old faces that’s in all films from this period), a film camera and some re-used Daniel White music. Man, I really love this stripped down Golden Films stuff when it’s done right and this films is much closer in spirit to, say, Macumba Sexual than Mansion of the Living Dead. Parts of the film are almost delirious. There’s a thick, intimate atmosphere and interesting experimental photography. Some scenes are almost bordering on the poetic, for example we have a beautifully shot long kiss filmed through a glass door, bathing in sunlight. Say what you want about Lina’s acting capacity but here she gives all she’s got, somewhat reprising her roles in Female Vampire and Doriana Gray. Even though the story itself is more similar to Nightmares Come at Night. Highly recommended!
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Joe l’implacabile / Dynamite Joe (1967) Antonio Margheriti, Rik Van Nutter, Halina Zalewska, Merce Castro, Western

Joe l'implacabile (1967)
In order to put an end to the numerous ambushes on the gold transports which are a real menace to the finances of the American government, the agent Joe Ford, called Dynamite Joe due to his liking for explosives, is entrusted with controlling the next transfer. Joe has a carriage built entirely of gold, but evil forces are told of the plan and an alliance is made with the bandit El Sol in order to get hold of the gold.
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The Nest / El nido (1980) Jaime de Armiñán, Héctor Alterio, Ana Torrent, Luis Politti, Drama

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In a town near Salamanca, an eccentric widower, aged 60, is captivated by an imp, a precocious 13 year old. Alejandro is wealthy and alone, passing time with music, chess, and his shotgun. Gregoria (Goyita) the daughter of a weak-willed policeman and his bullying wife, is a budding naturalist who conspires to meet Alejandro. Even though he knows the village is talking, Alejandro spends time with Goyita, on walks, horseback rides, and dinners. He’s enchanted and tells his friend the village priest that he’s living for the first time. Goyita makes new demands on Alejandro, and he must decide how to be true to his ethics and to this Platonic yet highly-charged relationship.
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