Guillermo del Toro directed this haunting ghost story, set in a remote orphanage in Spain, against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War.
The Executioner (Spain, 1963), Luis García Berlanga’s black comedy about an apprentice undertaker who marries the daughter of a veteran prison executioner and reluctantly takes his father-in-law’s job so they do not lose their government apartment, is a social satire with a sly sense of humor. Nino Manfredi plays the undertaker, a frustrated young man […]
Blancanieves (2009), an inventive retelling of Snow White as a silent-movie melodrama in the 1920s world of bullfighting royalty and flamenco style in Spain, stirs in grand melodrama, circus fantasy, and toreador hero worship with a mix of silent film conventions and contemporary storytelling. We’re talking the same sort of modern silent film as The […]
Vacas (Olive Films, Blu-ray, DVD) Red Squirrel (Olive Films, Blu-ray, DVD) Tierra (Olive Films, Blu-ray, DVD) The vivid and lush films of Spain’s Julio Medem are as much about his country’s distinctive landscapes and natural wonders as they are about the restless and obsessive characters that wander through his world. Lovers of the Arctic Circle […]
One of the best zombie shockers of the 1970s, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974), also known as The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and Don’t Open the Window, is a real international affair. Inspired by George Romero’s genre-shattering Night of the Living Dead, this Spanish/Italian co-production was shot in the English countryside by a Spanish […]
Cell 211 (2009), a volatile thriller from Spain about a young guard trapped in the midst of a prison riot, is already being looked by Hollywood for remake potential. Make a point of seeing the superb original, which is visceral and intelligent, with layers of political complexities (both national and internal) and personal complications, and […]