Country Focus: Spain
Spanish cinema hits back with comedy (1)
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
02/03/2010 - After Spanish cinema suffered an inauspicious start to 2010 (with the successive flop of The Consul of Sodom, Hierro [trailer, film focus], The Valdemar Inheritance and Born to Suffer [trailer]), producers and distributors are kicking off spring with their best asset for this season: comedy.
Two years ago Chef’s Special [trailer] was a surprise hit with just under 1 million admissions and last year, it was the turn of Brain Drain [trailer] (1.15m) and Road to Santiago [trailer] (just under 0.5m viewers). The next two months of this year will see a real invasion, led as always by the television networks, who have joined forces with US majors for distribution.
The season opens on March 12 with Paper Birds [trailer], the highly anticipated debut feature by Emilio Aragón, whom it is an understatement to describe as versatile (see news). This manager, comedian, presenter, noble clown, musician, actor and now director certainly knows how to be successful. And it doesn’t look like his film debut will be any different. This nostalgic comedy, produced by Versátil Cinema and Antena 3 (from whom we can expect a momentous promotional campaign), will be distributed by Hispano Fox Film.
Two weeks later, on March 26, it will be the launch of Una Hora Más en Canarias (“One More Hour in the Canary Islands”), by David Serrano, who once again combines comedy and musical (see news), as he did in his screenplay The Other Side of the Bed.
This film also marks the return to comedy of producer Tomás Cimadevilla (Telespan 2000), after trying his hand at another genre with Álvaro Brechner’s Bad Day to Go Fishing [trailer] (see news). With over ten years of experience in the genre, Cimadevilla says that making a successful comedy only looks easier, for “there is no recipe, you need a lot of luck”.
Also hitting theatres in March (although its distributor Universal has still to confirm a definite release date) is Rasputin’s Dagger, the second feature by Jesús Bonilla (see news) after his hit Moscow Gold (1.25m viewers in April 2003). The title is co-produced by Enrique Cerezo PC and Telecinco Cinema.
In the following news, we will continue to look at the spring season of Spanish comedies.