Friday, 15 April 2011

Books on Spanish Cinema, Part Two

This is Part Two of the list that I started yesterday (see Part One here).

Part Two: Authors J (continued) - Z

Links roundup, 15th April

The Almodóvar brothers rejoined the Spanish Academy just before the elections for the new President (they left the Academy in December 2004) –they rejoined too late to vote in the Presidential elections but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, their action is widely seen as a show of support for the outgoing President, Álex de la Iglesia.

Speaking of the Presidential elections, distributor Enrique González Macho was appointed President of Spanish Academy of the Arts and Cinematographic Sciences with his two deputies, director Judith Colell and actress Marta Etura, on Sunday 10th April. Youtube footage of the press conference can be seen here.

Pedro Almodóvar was also in the news this week when the Cannes 2011 line up was announced –La piel que habito will be screening in competition at Cannes.

Finally, a FYI for Londoners -Sight & Sound reports that an exhibition of experimental Spanish cinema (spanning from the 1950s to the present day), ‘From Ecstasy to Rapture’, is playing at the Tate Modern from 15th-17th April (this weekend). Full story is here and the Tate Modern programme of events is here

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Books on Spanish Cinema, Part One

This post is inspired by my attempts a couple of weeks ago to discover which films were covered in an edited collection of articles on Spanish films. I was looking for info about / analysis of La madre muerta and I knew that the book in question looked at key Spanish films –but could I find a list of contents anywhere? No. Not on Amazon, not on the publisher’s website, not on the public library catalogue. I eventually tracked down a copy in one of the university libraries in this city (it didn’t have anything about La madre muerta, incidentally), but this reminded me that the recurring problem that I have had when buying books about Spanish cinema, especially when the books are in Spanish, is that I effectively have to buy ‘blind’ because there is so little information about the book available online. This is especially true on websites such as Casa del Libro, which lists very little information beyond author, title, and publisher, but Amazon is equally as bad with edited collections (where you are often given no indication of what topics are included, or who has written the various articles) and books not in English. Note to publishers: putting some kind of content information online would net you more sales.
So, I’ve decided to be helpful (at least, this would have been helpful to me in the past).
What I’m going to do is this: with books that are written by one author, I will write a (very) brief summary of the book; with the edited collections, I will include the list of contents; and if an article is available online, I will link to it. I’m not going to translate the titles of articles that are in Spanish because there is little point given that the article itself will also be in Spanish. The aim for this resource is that it will be a cross between a recommended reading list and an annotated bibliography –I may write some book reviews of some of the books included at a later date, but that is not the purpose of this particular post.
First up will be books / articles that are about Spanish cinema in general (I will post something about books on directors / actors / specific films at a later date) –this is going to be split across more than one post because I’ve got rather a long list. The books / articles are being chosen by two criteria: 1) I’ve read them and currently have access to a copy (I can’t get the information without the physical copy) and 2) they relate to the period that I’ve said this blog is going to cover (the last twenty years). The latter point is why some older books by significant authors are not included. The list is in alphabetical order by author because that’s the most straightforward way to do it. If you think that I’ve left a glaring omission (especially for books in Spanish –buying blind means that my collection is a bit hit and miss), please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you’ve got something to say about the books included, please join in as well!
If you’re in the UK, most of these books can be obtained from the British Library via the Inter-Library Loan system. If you want to buy any, I’d recommend comparing the prices available between Amazon, Casa del Libro, Ocho y Medio, The Book Depository, Alibris, and Abe Books –there are bargains to be had if you do some searching (but likewise there are some people –on Amazon in particular- selling second-hand copies for absurdly high prices).
Ok, let’s get started!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Free Online Film Festival -Festival Europeo de Cine Invisible

The streaming service Filmotech is holding a ‘Festival de Cine Online: 1er Festival Europeo de Cine Invisible’ [Festival of Online Cinema: 1st Festival of Invisible European Cinema] between 11th April and 11th May, focussing on films that have not been released theatrically, or on DVD, in Spain –all of the films are free to view. At the moment, a message on the main page says that the films are only available in Spain until 28th April –I have emailed them to clarify if that means that after the 28th the films will be able to be viewed outside of Spain as well (I’ll post an update as and when I get a reply). UPDATE 12.4.11 -they emailed me back: the message on the main page was an error, and unfortunately on this occasion the films can only be viewed within Spain. None of the films have English subtitles, so I’m afraid that this is one for Spanish-speakers only.
There are three ‘official’ sections: Unreleased European Cinema, Unreleased Documentary Cinema, and Unreleased Spanish Cinema. There is also a sidebar section of ‘Jewels of Spanish Cinema’. Obviously this blog is most interested in the latter two sections, which are as follows:

Unreleased Spanish Cinema:

Ander (dir. Roberto Castón) 
Cast: Joxean Bengoetxea, Christian Esquivel, Mamen Rivera, Leire Ucha.
Genre: drama

Dispongo de barcos (dir. Juan Cavestany)
Cast: Antonio de la Torre, Roberto Álamo, Diego París, Andrés Lima
Genre: comedy drama

La vida útil (dir. Federico Veiroj)
Cast: Jorge Jellinek, Manuel Martínez Carril, Paola Venditto
Genre: drama

Los materiales (dir. Los Hijos (Javier Fernández Vázquez, Luis López Carrasco y Natalia Marín Sancho))
Cast: n/a
Genre: documentary

Morir de día (dir. Laia Manresa and Sergi Dies)
Cast: n/a
Genre: documentary

Todos vós sodes capitáns (dir. Olivier Laxe)
Cast: Oliver Laxe, Shakib Ben Omar
Genre: documentary

Jewels of Spanish Cinema:

Calle Mayor (dir. Juan Antonio Bardem, 1956)
Cast: Betsy Blair, José Suárez, Dora Doll, Yves Massard, Luis Peña, Alfonso Goda, Manuel Alexandre, José Calvo
Genre: drama

El espíritu de la colmena (dir. Víctor Erice, 1973)
Cast: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Telleria, Laly Soldevila, Miguel Picazo, Ketty de la Camara, Estanis González, José Villasante, Juan Margallo
Cast: drama

El pisito (dir. Marco Ferreri, 1958)
Cast: Mary Carrillo, José Luis López Vázquez, Concha López Silva, José Cordero, Celia Conde, Ángel Álvarez, María Luisa Ponte, Andrea Moro, Gregorio Saugar, Tiburcio Cámara, Manuel Agustina, Marco Ferreri, Rafael Azcona
Genre: comedy

La caza (dir. Carlos Saura, 1965)
Cast: Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, Alfredo Mayo, José María Prada, Ismael Merlo, Fernando Sánchez Polack, Violeta García
Genre: drama

Plácido (dir. José Luís Berlanga, 1961)
Cast: Cassen, Manuel Alexandre, Amparo Soler Leal, José Luis López Vázquez, Elvira Quintilla, María Frances, Mario Bustos, Mari Carmen Yepes, Jesús Puche, Roberto Llamas, Amelia de la Torre, José María Caffarel, Xan Das Bolas
Genre: comedy

Viridiana (dir. Luis Buñuel, 1961)
Cast: Teresa Rabal, Silvia Pinal, Fernando Rey, Francisco Rabal, Margarita Lozano, Joaquín Roa, Lola Gaos, José Calvo, Victoria Zinny
Genre: drama

You can download the press dossier (in Spanish), here.
There are extra trailers and interviews on Filmotech’s youtube channel.