These are films that were in production last year (or are in production at the moment), so I'm hoping that they will be released this year (although there is a film on the list that I thought would be out in 2011, so this isn't foolproof logic). These are the films that have caught my eye and piqued my interest -I may hear of others as the year goes on, but at the start of 2012 this is a good list to be getting on with. In many cases I don't know that much about the plot aside from an idea as to the genre; the people (directors, actors, or a combination of the two) involved are generally what has attracted my attention. Quite a few of them are due for release in the first few months of the year, so I may do an update post (or a ‘Part Two’) later in 2012.
[Note: If the title translation appears in square brackets then it is my (literal) translation -translations without brackets are the productions' official English-language titles]
Blancanieves [Snow White] (dir. Pablo Berger)
Cast: Maribel Verdú, Macarena García, Sofia Oria, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Pere Ponce, Ángela Molina.
Silent Melodrama. There are several US retellings of the Snow White story due for release in 2012, but this one is set in 1930s Madrid and is filmed in black and white. Oh, and it's silent as well (with a score by Alberto Iglesias) -they are planning to take the film on a tour of Spanish theatres accompanied by an orchestra. Above is one of the first images of Maribel Verdú as the evil stepmother -more photos (including the one at the top of the post) can be found on the film's Facebook page. It looks like a ravishingly beautiful film. Due for release in March.
Extraterrestre / Extraterrestrial (dir. Nacho Vigalondo)
Cast: Julián Villagrán, Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces.
Sci-fi Romcom. This appeared on last year's 'to watch' list but only appeared at film festivals -it is due for release in Spain in March 2012 (and will hopefully get a release here later in the year).
Grupo 7 [Group 7] (dir. Alberto Rodríguez)
Cast: Antonio de la Torre, Mario Casas, Joaquin Núñez, Inma Cuesta, Julián Villagrán.
Action Drama. Seville, 1980s. From what I've heard so far, this might be Training Day a la española: a new officer (Casas) joins an established police drug task-force dominated by an officer (de la Torre) who doesn't play by the rulebook. The teaser trailer can be found on the film’s official blog. Due for release in April.
Katmandú, un espejo en el cielo / Katmandu, a mirror in the sky (dir. Icíar Bollaín)
Cast: Verónica Echegui
Drama. A young Catalan woman travels to Nepal to teach English and is changed by what she finds. She in turn changes the lives of those around her. The majority of Bollaín's films prioritise the female POV and centre on strong women -this is very appealing to me. I also think that Echegui is a star on the rise, and am interested to see what the pair achieve working together. Due for release in February.
La chispa de la vida / As Luck Would Have It (dir. Álex de la Iglesia)
Cast: José Mota, Salma Hayek, Fernando Tejero, Blanca Portillo, Juan Luis Galiardo.
Comedy. A media circus centres on an advertising exec (Mota) who is stuck in a life and death situation (judging from the trailer, this is partly of his own making). With no-one in agreement as to how to move him without killing him, he decides to take the media's money for exclusive coverage so that he can at least guarantee his family's economic future -I'd imagine that the situation deteriorates from then on. As I said in the Random Viewing post that featured Balada triste de trompeta, that film seems like a culmination of certain aspects of de la Iglesia's work; I'm intrigued to see where he has gone next with this new film. Due for release 3rd January.
La montaña rusa [The Russian Mountain] (dir. Emilio Martínez-Lázaro)
Cast: Verónica Sánchez, Ernesto Alterio, Alberto San Juan.
Romcom. Three childhood friends (two male, one female) reencounter each other many years later -a love triangle develops. I enjoyed the El otro lado de la cama films, and this reunites many of the same team.
Las Olas / The Waves (dir. Alberto Morais)
Cast: Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa, Laia Marull, Armando Aguire, Sergio Caballero.
Drama. A road trip film of sorts as an 80-year-old man (Álvarez-Nóvoa) sets off on a journey into his past after the death of his wife; a film about memory, loss, and coming to terms with the past. I first heard mention of it when it played at the London Film Festival last autumn -it's due a commercial release in Spain in January.
Silencio en la nieve [Silence in the Snow] (dir. Gerardo Herrero)
Cast: Juan Diego Botto, Carmelo Gómez, Jordi Aguilar, Víctor Clavijo, Sergi Calleja, Francesc Orella, Adolfo Fernández, Andrés Gertrudix, Manu Hernández, Javier Mejía.
Historical Thriller. Set in the Winter of 1943 and the hunt for a serial killer amongst the 'División Azul', the Spanish military volunteers allowed by Franco to fight alongside the German Army on the Russian Front. Trailer. Due for release in January.
Todo es silencio [Everything is Silence] (dir. José Luis Cuerda)
Cast: Quim Gutiérrez, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Celia Frejeiro, Juan Diego.
Thriller, based on the novel by Manuel Rivas. Cuerda supposedly retired after his last film, the excellent Los girasoles ciegos / The Blind Sunflowers (2008), but he's back with this story set against the backdrop of drug-trafficking and its impact (of the 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' variety) on a small coastal town. Childhood friends find themselves on opposite sides of the law in adulthood, and in love with the same woman.... [no images as yet].
Una pistola en cada mano [A Pistol in Each Hand] (dir. Cesc Gay)
Cast: Eduardo Noriega, Leonor Watling, Luis Tosar, Javier Cámara, Candela Peña, Eduard Fernández, Alberto San Juan, Clara Segura.
Comedy. I've seen few story details so far, but it appears to be a comedy about the modern man. Gay's Ficción (2007) is one my favourite films from recent years and this has to be one of the best cast lists of the year. [no images as yet].