La Llamada (Holy Camp): A hymn to freedom

European Films, Independent Cinema, Reviews

What makes the film industry different from any other industry? Its power to change people’s lives and shape generations. Every so often a movie comes out that defies the odds – and our preconceived notions – and becomes a cultural phenomenon that goes beyond the screen. This is the case of La Llamada (Holy Camp), which, after becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year in Spain, gets it international release today on Netflix. I’m going to make my point right away, la Llamada needs to become a global phenomenon that goes beyond borders, languages and cultures, as it captures the voice of a new generation of storytellers and moviegoers.

Darkest Hour: Gary Oldman triumphs as Winston Churchill

European Films, Reviews

Biopics – and especially those depicting notable historical figures – seem to always be a safe bet for Award Season. Some people love it, other hate it, but every so many years a movie catches the attention of critics and voters alike and becomes a potential contender – i.e, The King’s Speech, among others. This year, Darkest Hour portrays the first days of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, at a time when the United Kingdom was losing the war to Nazi Germany and Europe seemed to be doomed. I am going to be honest, the race for Best Actor is over: The Oscar goes to Gary Oldman.

A Hard Day’s Night: An experimental masterpiece

European Films, Reviews

One of the indisputable truths in life is that The Beatles never go out of fashion. This was especially proved last year when the documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years grossed over $12 million at the box office worldwide, which means that despite splitting over 40 years ago, people of all generations still love the Fab Four. It would then be no surprise that the 1964 comedy “mockumentary” A Hard Day’s Night is still wildly popular amongst Beatlemaniacs and just about anyone who likes the Beatles (myself included), but has it stood the test of time?

A Bigger Splash: Desire, Violence and Silence

European Films, Independent Cinema, Reviews

I have always complained about the fact I sometimes obsess over a film so much that the actual feature is never able to compare to my ideal conception of it. It just makes me miserable and I think about it over and over again. Well, for once, this didn’t actually happen with A Bigger Splash, the new film directed by Italian director Luca Guadagnino, starring Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson.

I’m back! (+Lolo review)

European Films, Independent Cinema, Reviews

Dear Internet (I was going to write readers but I don’t know if there’s any of you left out there), I’ve decided to come back to my blog, after an extremely long and painful absence of several months (more than half a year). The reason I’m writing again is very simple: for those of you who do not know me personally, I moved to Los Angeles last January to study film and television at UCLA and this new environment is allowing me to attend many screenings of independent or foreign films, which would not be possible if I were anywhere else. So from now on I’m going to (try) to blog about these screenings, and perhaps some other films or celebrities that I like.

Today’s article focuses on the French film Lolo, directed, co-written and starring Julie Delpy (best known for starring in Richard Linklater’s trilogy Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight). This entry is (as usual) arriving perhaps too late, since I attended the screening a month ago (on March 3), and the movie was released and talked about the following week, but because of final exams and spring break it is the latest screening I’ve been able to attend.

Clouds of Sils Maria: mirar al pasado, aceptar el presente

European Films, Independent Cinema, Reviews

Cuando llevamos meses o incluso años esperando ver una película, parece casi inevitable crear una imagen idealizada de ella y, por este motivo, por muy bueno que llegue a ser realmente el film, no llega a cumplir nuestras inalcanzables expectativas. Esto es lo que me ha ocurrido con Clouds of Sils Maria (Viaje a Sils Maria), del francés Olivier Assayas, película que vi hace unas semanas (antes de irme de vacaciones y, consecuentemente estar incomunicada y no poder publicar nada), y que llevaba esperando con ansias desde su presentación en el Festival de Cannes en 2014 (¡ha llegado a nuestras pantallas más de un año después!).

Sonata de otoño: Homenaje personal a Ingmar Bergman

European Films, Reviews

Hoy se cumplen ocho años de la muerte de uno de mis directores favoritos: Ingmar Bergman. Mi admiración por Bergman me llevó a presentar el año pasado para mi asignatura de Historia del cine moderno un trabajo sobre el reflejo del interior de Bergman en su película Sonata de otoño que, a día de hoy, también se ha convertido en una de mis obras predilectas y probablemente mi interpretación preferida de Ingrid Bergman (a la que amo y admiro muchísimo). Es por esto que para conmemorar un día como hoy, me gustaría hablar brevemente (dado que el tema da para un trabajo entero o incluso un libro) de la vertiente teatral de Sonata de otoño, película que, de hecho, ha sido adaptada para la escena teatral en numerosas ocasiones.

Happy Birthday Helen Mirren!

European Films, Hollywood Cinema Reviews, Reviews, Stars

It takes me so long to write anything right now (cause I was working and now I’m on holiday basically doing nothing all day) every time I publish anything has become such a special occasion. And today really is a special occasion because it’s my second favourite actress (and idol)’s birthday. Well, in case you haven’t read the title of this entry it’s Helen Mirren’s 70th birthday: HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE, SHE IS JUST SO PRETTY AND YOUNG SHE CAN’T POSSIBLY BE 70 (and the fact she’s the face of L’Oréal sort of proves she is still incredibly young). Anyway, I think it’s the 3rd entry I write about (something related to) Helen Mirren (the other two being a review on The Queen and another review on Love Ranch), so today’s article has to be different…because really, it’s Helen’s birthday and she deserves a great entry…

Neorrealismo italiano: contexto, realidad y ficción

European Films, Think about it...

Parece que ha quedado claro que la reflexión sobre el realismo, el contexto histórico y el público en la historia del cine es un tema que me interesa bastante (de hecho, algún día agruparé todas las entradas del blog que hacen referencia este tema en una misma categoría…algún día). En la entrada de hoy propongo hacer una mini (extremadamente corta porque se han escrito libros enteros sobre el tema) reflexión acerca de la plasmación de la realidad social en el neorrealismo italiano a través de (como siempre) unos pocos ejemplos (más o menos acertados pero bueno, elección personal).