It’s our fifth year to attend the Spanish Film Festival organized by Instituto Cervantes at the Greenbelt Cinema 3, and it was fun, as always. I watched the first one with Marvin. He had to travel from Baguio and back for this. Can’t break a tradition, says him [Thanks!]. And then we watched the next one with Jel and Anna, mis amigas whom I always look forward to seeing.
I kinda regret not writing entries for the previous films we saw. I only managed to write about the very first two, “Unforgettable La teta asustada” and “Disturbing Desierto adento“. I cannot believe I didn’t write something about “Biutiful”, one of the most beautiful films we’ve seen so far at the festival. But then I remember writing about it for my online job and got it published here.
In an attempt to break the regret streak, I will try to write about the films we’ve seen this year.
2 francos, 40 pesetas
It’s a film about the crisis in Spain in the 1970s, when Spaniards were forced to migrate to Switzerland to search for work. Albeit that premise, it tells the somewhat lighter side of the story. It’s about family and friends coming together to Switzerland from Spain to celebrate a baptism.
It’s a funny film that could easily make you laugh without exerting too much effort to appreciate the humor. Each character is amiable in their own way, and they become more lovable when together. My favorite part would have to be when they finally get together for the baptism. The scenes are full of stereotypes represented by each one and they are hilarious. There’s that scene of awkward dancing, the endless bickering of the two grandmothers, the tension created by illicit love affairs. And that drunk priest
singing wailing his heart out cracked me up for a while. And, lest I forget, that scene with the black doctor in the earlier part is just painfully funny. Even in Switzerland, there is discrimination for black people.
We also had fun watching Howard Wolowitz (seriously, one character looks so much like him!), and I particularly enjoyed ogling the very attractive Pablo, portrayed by Adrian Exposito. Ah, those eyes of his!
The picturesque Switzerland is also a treat to our eyes. And the variety of accents (there’s German, French, Spanish, if I’m not mistaken), is just like music to the ears, and sometimes, just plain funny. We can now say “milk” the way Germans do. Such a good lesson this film had taught us!
10000 noches en ninguna parte
Have you seen a film that made you scratch your head and go, Huh? It’s that kind of movie. Well, at least for
me us (speaking for everyone now). I can confidently say that because the majority of the movie house shared the same look of bewildered amusement (was it, really?!) after the movie. Most of us were standing and ready to leave the cinema even before the lights were turned on.
Okay. I shall come out clean now. When I learned it was R18, I immediately thought it’s one of those “art film bordering porn” kind of movies. For someone who saw “Lust, Caution” (Ang Lee, 2007), that was what I was kind of expecting. Well, I wasn’t THAT disappointed, not really. Sorry to spoil it a little, but the R18 part of it was a mere 1 minute (I think it was less than that, actually) of an orgy of four people in broad daylight.
Now that that is out of the way, I think the reason for the R18 rating is people under 18 would not understand the film. We are over 18 and, guess what, we didn’t get it at all.
We tried to make sense of it to no avail. The line between reality and fiction is very blurry, one could easily get lost just like the protagonist (is he even real?). Perhaps that’s the main objective of the director, Ramon Salazar, to let the viewers feel how it is to get lost and be nowhere. It’s called “10,000 Nights Nowhere” in English, and that would have to be a give-away.
The story goes like this… You know what, never mind. It’s just too complicated. I have seen “Vanilla Sky” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and there is no way I can make a decent summary of those movies. This film easily becomes an addition to that list of mine.
It’s not that it’s bad. Also, I’m not saying I didn’t like it (“Mondo Manila” is one particular movie that is bad and I did not like). In fact, the cinematography is beautiful. That cemetery scene is unforgettable, and so is the colorful party. The characters played their parts well. I hated the Mom but felt pity towards her, too. The menage a trois are a lovable bunch of perky and stoned hippies. And Andres Getrudix’s portrayal of the main character is effective in making him the center of the story, when in fact he doesn’t seem to be in it. It is a complicated storyline. Forgive me if I’m not really making sense.
Perhaps the film is just too profound and there’s room for improvement in the narrative. But it’s an interesting film, nonetheless. And I’m grateful I got to see it with friends.
Looking forward to next year’s line-up!