El Amparo

Loved the opening to this film - we spend a good 20 minutes gradually getting to know a group of men, and then set out on the river with them as they head off on a fishing trip. There are the drunken ones who sing annoyingly, the ones who worry too much, the lazy ones, the … Continue reading El Amparo

La propera pell – The Next Skin

We first meet troubled teenager Leo causing havoc at his care home, and follow him as he is reunited with his mother after a period of eight years, during which he has been reported as missing. He also has amnesia, and so cannot be sure that the woman he meets is actually his mother, nor help … Continue reading La propera pell – The Next Skin

Siete días de enero – Seven Days in January 

Siete días de enero begins in a documentary style, with news reels and on-screen text outlining the events which are about to be dramatized in the film. It may seem like a strange choice, telling the audience the important points beforehand, but in reality this would have been for contemporary Spanish audiences little more than a … Continue reading Siete días de enero – Seven Days in January 

Pasaje de vida – Safe Passage (+Q&A)

A Spanish/Argentine co-production which more or less successfully handles leaps of time from the Argentina of the 1970s to present day Spain by some very astute casting and camera shots. Miguel (Miguel Ángel Solá) is visited by his son in hospital; his disorientation and loss of memory due to dementia leave him asking questions about people … Continue reading Pasaje de vida – Safe Passage (+Q&A)

Cien años de perdon – To steal from a thief 

The annual VIVA Spanish and Latin American Film Festival swung into life this evening at HOME with a feature and a short, both of which were reminiscent of classic films from decades past, yet which also stood up very firmly in their own right. They are also linked by a theme. TheThe short, Nini, is … Continue reading Cien años de perdon – To steal from a thief 

Manchester Film Festival: Day 4

Final day and I was making sure I squeezed the most out of my festival pass! The day started with Planet Ottakring, an Austrian gangster comedy with underlying commentary on inner-city Vienna's diverse immigrant culture and the economic issues surrounding more deprived areas like Ottakring. The mood is along the lines of Run, Lola, Run … Continue reading Manchester Film Festival: Day 4

Manchester Film Festival: Day 3

Three features to comment on today. First up, Josephine Doe - yet another film in which the main character has a mental illness and things aren't quite what they seem. Shot in black & white which appeared to mirror a muted range of emotions for the main character, I was waiting all along for some … Continue reading Manchester Film Festival: Day 3

Manchester Film Festival: Day 2

Today's features largely chosen because of their timings. The first screening was Stanley A Man of Variety, starring only Timothy Spall. Spall plays a man suffering from mental illness, in addition to all the people he sees in his head as a result of the illness. These characters are largely variety show characters from last … Continue reading Manchester Film Festival: Day 2

Manchester Film Festival: Day 1

This year's MANIFF looks a little different - it's a young festival (2017 is its third year) and so this is to be expected. This time around, there seem to be fewer films and only one venue. I don't know if there have been simply fewer submissions, or if it was a conscious decision to … Continue reading Manchester Film Festival: Day 1