Una Mujer Fantástica – A Fantastic Woman

The word is dignity. Daniela Vega imbues Marina with such dignity, and it makes beautiful viewing. It’s a stunning, delicate performance which deserves all the plaudits it is receiving. The film is rooted in the truth of Marina’s situation, the resilience she finds to deal with her travails and the choices she makes as to … Continue reading Una Mujer Fantástica – A Fantastic Woman

Arrebato – Rapture

I've just about picked my jaw up off the floor. I was not expecting anything like that! That's what happens when you book tickets weeks in advance, then don't check up on what you're going to see. In the pre-screening introduction, I learned that Arrebato was a movie which had immense difficulties in filming, had … Continue reading Arrebato – Rapture

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 

Neruda

Director Pablo Larraín gives Chilean poet Pablo Neruda a taste of his own magical reality by mixing elements of Neruda's real life with a fictional police officer who is on his trail. As can be expected, Gael García Bernal beautifully inhabits the self-aware, self-aggrandising fictional sleuth, hot on the trail of Neruda, a fugitive in … Continue reading Neruda

Los abrazos rotos – Broken Embraces (+ podcast)

There's a lot of Pedro Almodóvar around right now - a number of venues have been hosting retrospectives of his work in the run up to his latest film, Julieta - one of these venues being London's Curzon Bloomsbury. As part of its mini-retrospective, Curzon invited the Cinematologists podcast to record its latest episode there following a screening of … Continue reading Los abrazos rotos – Broken Embraces (+ podcast)