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Almodovar Cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine to Be Honored by Locarno Film Festival

Almodovar Cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine to Be Honored by Locarno Film Festival
Rome – Spanish cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine, known for his vivid color palette and his work with Pedro Almodovar and other influential directors, will be recognized by the Locarno Film Festival with its Vision Award honoring technical achievements and advancements in film.

Besides working on five Almodovar films, including “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” (1988), “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” (1989), and, more recently, “Volver” (2006) (pictured), Alcaine has been instrumental in defining the original look of Spanish cinema starting in the early 1980s alongside such directors as Victor Erice, Fernando Trueba, and Vicente Aranda. He made a dozen films with Aranda, including steamy Franco-era-set noir “Lovers” (1991).

Outside Spain, Alacaine has also collaborated with Italian directors Alberto Lattuada, Fabio Carpi, and Giovanni Veronesi, among others. He is currently shooting Brian De Palma’s new thriller, “Domino,” starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Carice van Houten, and will soon be working on the next project by two-time Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi, a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Daily | Vicente Aranda, 1926 – 2015

"Vicente Aranda, the Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer has died aged 88," reports Jessica Jones for the Local. "One of the director’s most internationally acclaimed films was Amantes [Lovers, 1991] a film noir that follows the passionate affair between a young man and an older woman, played by Jorge Sanz and Victoria Abril, behind the back of his innocent young girlfriend (Maribel Verdú). The film won best film and best director at the Goya’s, Spain’s most prestigious film awards and almost immediately became a modern classic of Spanish cinema." We're gathering remembrances. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

London Spanish Film Festival preview by Rebecca Naughten

Witching And Bitching The London Spanish Film Festival returns for its 10th birthday with a diverse programme running from September 25 to October 5.

Crowd-pleasers inlcude the latest films by Álex de la Iglesia and Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, along with the surprise Spanish box office hit from the end of last year, Three Many Weddings (Javier Ruiz Caldera, 2013). But the returning Basque and Catalan sidebars also offer the chance to discover films - representing a range of genres - that might otherwise slip under the radar given the paucity of Spanish titles that make it to these shores.

The retrospective of the often-controversial Vicente Aranda includes several UK premieres, most notably Freedom Fighters (1996), which boasts a cast including Ariadna Gil, Victoria Abril, Ana Bélen, and Loles Léon. Abril will be interviewed before the screening of Lovers (Vicente Aranda, 1992) on Saturday October 4 - Abril is always...
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

A short history of Spanish cinema

Beyond Buñuel, Spanish film-makers struggled to make an international impact – until Franco's death in 1975 liberated an entire generation

Spain embraced the new medium of cinema at the turn of the century as fervently as any of its European counterparts; this film of a religious procession in 1902, by the splendidly named Fructuos Gelabert, is typical of the early amateurs.

In Segundo de Chomón, however, Spain produced a trickster director

to rival France's Georges Méliès.

De Chomón worked mostly in France, and even made An Excursion to the Moon, his own version of Méliès's most famous film.

The route from Spain to France was well-trodden by the time Buñuel and Dalí made Un Chien Andalou in 1928; otherwise, little of Spain's silent-film output made any impact internationally.

The early sound period fared little better, as political convulsions in the run-up to the civil war made a settled industry difficult.

After L'Age d'Or (1930), his second French film,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sexy trailer for Vicente Aranda's Sultry Moon (Luna Caliente)

Argentina is on a total roll today. Hot on the heels of the trailer for Marcelo Piñeyro's new film comes another literary adaptation this time from an award winning novella about a man whose life is turned upside down on a night of a full moon.

Mempo Giardinelli's “Sultry Moon” is apparently quite the read but what caught my attention was this steamy trailer for Vicente Aranda's adaptation of the story which also happens to be titled Luna Caliente (“Sultry Moon”). The film stars Eduard Fernández as Ramiro, a man returning to his small Argentine town to start his career as a law professor, and the gorgeous Thaïs Blume as the young woman who becomes his victim. Ramiro's entire life changes within the span of a few hours when the moon is full and he becomes a rapist, murderer and fugitive.

The trailer is pretty risqué and
See full article at QuietEarth »

Finals Week: 'The Final Girl: A few thoughts on Feminism and Horror'

The Final Girl: A Few Thoughts on Feminism and Horror By Donato Totaro

One of the more important, if not groundbreaking, accounts/recuperations of the horror film from a feminist perspective is the 1993 Carol Clover's "Men, Women, and Chainsaws". One of the book's major points concerns the structural positioning of what she calls the Final Girl in relation to spectatorship. While most theorists label the horror film as a male-driven/male-centered genre, Clover points out that in most horror films, especially the slasher film, the audience, male and female, is structurally 'forced' to identify with the resourceful young female (the Final Girl) who survives the serial attacker and usually ends the threat (until the sequel anyway.) So while the narratively dominant killer's subjective point of view may be male within the narrative,the male viewer is still rooting for the Final Girl to overcome the killer. We can see this
See full article at Planet Fury »

Sitges 2009 Complete Lineup

The Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia announces its complete program. There are still a few surprises to be confirmed, like the closing gala, but they have already put together the final list of films that will be screened at Sitges 09. Below you’ll find the titles of each film and their sections as well as links for the films that we have already reviewed here on Sound On Sight. Opening Film [Rec]2. Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró. 2009. Official FANTÀSTIC In Competition Section Accident. Soi Cheang. 2009. Accidents Happen. Andrew Lancaster. 2009. The Children. Tom Shankland. 2008. [1] Cold Souls. Sophie Bartes. 2009. The Countess. Julie Delpy. 2009. Les Derniers Jours Du Monde. Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu. 2009. Dogtooth (Kynodontas). Yorgos Lanthimos. 2009. Dorian Gray. Oliver Parker. 2009. Enter The Void. Gaspar Noé. 2009. Grace. Paul Solet. 2009. [2] Heartless. Philip Ridley. 2009. Hierro. Gabe Ibáñez. 2009. La Horde. Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher. 2009. Ingrid. Eduard Cortés. 2009. Kinatay. Brillante Mendoza. 2009. Metropia. Tarik Saleh. 2009. Moon.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Sitges 09: And the full lineup includes...

The full lineup has been announced, and among the load of genre fare that's been running the fest circuit are the world premiers of:

Vincenzo Natali's latest, Splice, which we're all excited about.

Simon Fellows twisted adaptation Malice in Wonderland (trailer)

Along some of our personal favorites:

Black Dynamite (friggin awesome)

Swiss scifi flick Cargo (trailer)

Pater Sparrow's incredible Stanislaw Lem adaptation 1 (review)

The Mo Brothers Indonesian slasher Macabre (review)

Atm (get it?) horror-comedy The Human Centipede (review)

Full list after the break.

Opening Film

[Rec]2. Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró. 2009.

Official FANTÀSTIC In Competition Section

Accident. Soi Cheang. 2009.

Accidents Happen. Andrew Lancaster. 2009.

The Children. Tom Shankland. 2008.

Cold Souls. Sophie Bartes. 2009.

The Countess. Julie Delpy. 2009.

Les Derniers Jours Du Monde. Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu. 2009.

Dogtooth (Kynodontas). Yorgos Lanthimos. 2009.

Dorian Gray. Oliver Parker. 2009.

Enter The Void. Gaspar Noé. 2009.

Grace. Paul Solet. 2009.

Heartless. Philip Ridley. 2009.

Hierro. Gabe Ibáñez. 2009.

La Horde. Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher.
See full article at QuietEarth »

Spanish directors take on gov't

Spanish directors take on gov't
MADRID -- Thirty high-profile Spanish directors are teaming up to create a series of television shorts criticizing the government in the run-up to general elections scheduled for March 14, the newly created group called There's a Motive said Thursday. Recent Goya award winner Iciar Bollain, along with Fernando Colomo, David Trueba, Isabel Coixet, Vicente Aranda, Imanol Uribe and Montxo Armendariz are among the directors who will create three-minute segments. The move comes on the heels of the Jan. 31 Goya awards ceremony, at which the Spanish Film Academy turned the gala into a platform against government actions they oppose. The government's handling of an oil tanker disaster, the war in Iraq, the alleged manipulation of information on public television and the rise in domestic violence are a few of the subjects of the shorts that will be entirely funded by the director-producers, the group said.

Mad Love

Mad Love
In Mad Love (Juana La Loca), veteran Spanish writer-director Vicente Aranda subjects a remote historical figure to modern-day psychological treatment. Joan of Castile (1479-1555) has gone down in history as "Joan the Mad." Obsessively jealous of her husband -- and we can pretty much guess what the problem was when we learn he was known as Philip the Handsome -- Joan was devastated by his early death. Behaving erratically before and after Philip's death, Joan was confined for the remainder of her life in a castle by her father and later her son.

To Aranda, all this smacks of "mad love," an unbridled passion we moderns know all too well. So he portrays Joan as something of a spoiled Beverly Hills wife, unfortunate to love her husband excessively but none too wisely. Newcomer Pilar Lopez de Ayala won a Goya for her portrayal of Mad Joan, and the film was Spain's entry for this year's foreign language film Oscar. Yet the distant subject matter and the unavoidably gloomy tale that engulfs these characters probably doom the Sony Pictures Classics release to a limited audience.

Aranda's script takes pains to contemporize its medieval characters. There are only passing references to the religious austerity of the Spanish court and its persecution of non-Catholics. Otherwise, Joan and Philip (Italian actor Daniele Liotti, who is dubbed) are like any dysfunctional couple. He barely troubles to conceal his love affairs with other women, while she suffers jealous rages within the royal apartments. Apparently, Joan has an insatiable need for the pleasures of the marital bed. Even breast-feeding her children -- the only maternal act we witness in the movie -- sends her into ecstasy.

Upon her unexpected ascension to the Castilian throne because of the deaths of an older brother, sister and finally her mother in 1504, Joan ignores her duties as a monarch to pursue evidence of her husband's transgressions. Egged on by his supporters, Philip decides to have his wife declared mad so he can seize the throne. Only his sudden death delays this action.

The trouble with making this queen a thoroughly modern maiden is that it also makes her appear foolish and shallow rather than, as was more likely, a victim of mental illness. It's hard to sympathize with a ruler who has so little regard for her own subjects, children or the role history has thrust upon her.

The two main actors do fine jobs of humanizing their characters, but the time leaps make them struggle to ascribe motives and subtleties to ever-shifting behavior patterns. Courtiers come off as a conniving lot, as is common in costume dramas, but the actors do create vivid personalities. Especially noteworthy is Manuela Arcuri, who manages to be sensual yet hugely vulnerable as Philip's Moorish mistress.

Aranda sometimes drifts into cliches. A heavy downpour accompanies the announcement of the death of Joan's mother. Joan's father is seen eating like a pig while conspiring with her husband to make certain we really don't like him. A voice-over narration turns the film into a history lesson rather than a tale of doomed love.

The pomp and circumstance, art direction, elegant lighting and cinematography evoke the medieval world well. Jose Nieto's orchestrations are in a restrained classical mode. But the milieu on display, not quite medieval and not quite modern , never comes to life.

MAD LOVE

Sony Pictures Classics

An Enrique Cerezo PC/Production Group/Take 2000 production in association with TVE, Canal Plus, TeleMadrid

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: Vicente Aranda

Producer: Enrique Cerezo

Director of photography: Paco Femenia

Production designer: Josep Rosell

Music: Jose Nieto

Costume designer: Javier Artinano

Editor: Teresa Font

Cast:

Joan: Pilar Lopez de Ayala

Philip: Daniele Liotti

Aixa: Mannuela Arcuri

Alvaro de Estuniga: Eloy Azorin

Elvira: Rosana Pastor

De Vere: Guiliano Gemma

Admiral: Roberto Alvarez

Ines: Caroline Bona

Running time -- 117 minutes

MPAA rating: R

Mad Love

In "Mad Love" (Juana La Loca), veteran Spanish writer-director Vicente Aranda subjects a remote historical figure to modern-day psychological treatment. Joan of Castile (1479-1555) has gone down in history as "Joan the Mad". Obsessively jealous of her husband -- and we can pretty much guess what the problem was when we learn he was known as Philip the Handsome -- Joan was devastated by his early death. Behaving erratically before and after Philip's death, Joan was confined for the remainder of her life in a castle by her father and later her son.

To Aranda, all this smacks of "mad love," an unbridled passion we moderns know all too well. So he portrays Joan as something of a spoiled Beverly Hills wife, unfortunate to love her husband excessively but none too wisely. Newcomer Pilar Lopez de Ayala won a Goya for her portrayal of Mad Joan, and the film was Spain's entry for this year's foreign language film Oscar. Yet the distant subject matter and the unavoidably gloomy tale that engulfs these characters probably doom the Sony Pictures Classics release to a limited audience.

Aranda's script takes pains to contemporize its medieval characters. There are only passing references to the religious austerity of the Spanish court and its persecution of non-Catholics. Otherwise, Joan and Philip (Italian actor Daniele Liotti, who is dubbed) are like any dysfunctional couple. He barely troubles to conceal his love affairs with other women, while she suffers jealous rages within the royal apartments. Apparently, Joan has an insatiable need for the pleasures of the marital bed. Even breast-feeding her children -- the only maternal act we witness in the movie -- sends her into ecstasy.

Upon her unexpected ascension to the Castilian throne because of the deaths of an older brother, sister and finally her mother in 1504, Joan ignores her duties as a monarch to pursue evidence of her husband's transgressions. Egged on by his supporters, Philip decides to have his wife declared mad so he can seize the throne. Only his sudden death delays this action.

The trouble with making this queen a thoroughly modern maiden is that it also makes her appear foolish and shallow rather than, as was more likely, a victim of mental illness. It's hard to sympathize with a ruler who has so little regard for her own subjects, children or the role history has thrust upon her.

The two main actors do fine jobs of humanizing their characters, but the time leaps make them struggle to ascribe motives and subtleties to ever-shifting behavior patterns. Courtiers come off as a conniving lot, as is common in costume dramas, but the actors do create vivid personalities. Especially noteworthy is Manuela Arcuri, who manages to be sensual yet hugely vulnerable as Philip's Moorish mistress.

Aranda sometimes drifts into cliches. A heavy downpour accompanies the announcement of the death of Joan's mother. Joan's father is seen eating like a pig while conspiring with her husband to make certain we really don't like him. A voice-over narration turns the film into a history lesson rather than a tale of doomed love.

The pomp and circumstance, art direction, elegant lighting and cinematography evoke the medieval world well. Jose Nieto's orchestrations are in a restrained classical mode. But the milieu on display, not quite medieval and not quite modern, never comes to life.

MAD LOVE

Sony Pictures Classics

An Enrique Cerezo PC/Production Group/Take 2000 production in association with TVE, Canal Plus, TeleMadrid

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: Vicente Aranda

Producer: Enrique Cerezo

Director of photography: Paco Femenia

Production designer: Josep Rosell

Music: Jose Nieto

Costume designer: Javier Artinano

Editor: Teresa Font

Cast:

Joan: Pilar Lopez de Ayala

Philip: Daniele Liotti

Aixa: Mannuela Arcuri

Alvaro de Estuniga: Eloy Azorin

Elvira: Rosana Pastor

De Vere: Guiliano Gemma

Admiral: Roberto Alvarez

Ines: Caroline Bona

Running time -- 117 minutes

MPAA rating: R

'Lovers'

Winner of a pair of Spain's Goya awards, ''Lovers'' shows up in the United States as a sultry, sexy tale of seduction, corruption, and murder, and its commercial prospects lie in its appeal as an Iberian noirish thriller. Its period setting -- Franco Spain in the mid-1950s -- and ''based on a true story'' genesis, lend the film a political cast as well, but that slant might remain an oblique one for American audiences.

A traditional triangle lies at the core of the action: Paco (Jorge Sanz), a country boy, has just finished his military service and is looking for the job that will enable him to marry his sweetheart, Trini (Maribel Verdu), the maidservant of his former commander. Paco happens to rent a room in the apartment of a young widow, Luisa Victoria Abril), who wastes little time in bedding down the good-looking, but naive youth.

Luisa practices particularly uninhibited sex (she finds a very unusual place to stow handkerchiefs, for example), and before long Paco is utterly dominated by her. While Luisa involves Paco in the gang of con artists she works with, Trini realizes something is up and, on the advice of her proper mistress, proceeds to seduce Paco herself. However, Trini's demure behavior is no match for Luisa's practiced ways, and before long, Paco has reluctantly agreed with Luisa to con Trini, steal her life savings, and murder her, all to get Luisa out of a jam with her confederates.

The lack of Paco and Luisa's internal morality is clearly supposed to mirror the general social corruption around them, according to director Vicente Aranda, but this thesis is pursued through indirection and to American audiences, who are usually perfectly content to contemplate degenerate behavior, the pair are likely to come across as just a pair of bad eggs. Aranda, who frontloads the very frank sex scenes, favors languid rhythms and extended long shots; these serve to capture the surrounding environment as the picture goes on, but what Arada sees as a critical portrait may play here as mere pictorialism.

However, Abril gives a trademark star turn, elicting as many fiery emotions from her co-stars as she projects herself, and Sanz and Verdu are attractive presences. The characters and decor are lit to rich tonal effects, and the lush cinematography has a sensual appeal all its own.

LOVERS (AMANTES)

An Aries Film Release

Director Vicente Aranda

Producer Pedro Costa-Muste

Screenplay Alvaro Del Amo, Carlos Perez Merinero, Vicente Aranda

Director of photography Jose Luis Alcaine

Art director Josep Rosell

Music Jose Nieto

Editor Teresa Font

Color

Cast:

Luisa Victoria Abril

Paco Jorge Sanz

Trini Maribel Verdu

Running time -- 103 minutes

No MPAA rating

(c) The Hollywood Reporter

See also

Credited With | External Sites