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BOX OFFICE Spain

More comedies, please

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More comedies, please

Some believe the financial crisis is behind the current success of comedies in Spanish theatres: escapism is the order of the day. However, the strength of films such as Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes’ Sex, Party and Lies [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see news), Fernando González’s Brain Drain [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(which both garnered around 1m admissions, i.e. slightly more than Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
), and Roberto Santiago’s Road to Santiago [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, is their appeal to teenage viewers, who are less affected by the economic difficulties, and their substantial TV backing. Could it be that the film industry has found the magic formula for harnessing the power of the small screen?

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Brain Drain and Road to Santiago were backed by Antena 3 Films, who seem to be drawn to comedies (the network also helped finance Vicky Cristina Barcelona [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Chef’s Special [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and successful saga Mortadelo and Filemon) in the same way that Telecinco Cinema is to genre films (The Orphanage [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, The Oxford Murders [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Álex de la Iglesia
interview: Gerardo Herrero and Mariela…
film profile
]
and Pan’s Labyrinth [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- see news).

As a result of television networks’ involvement in film (a consequence of the approval of the 5% Law in 2004), their influence on cinematic productions has grown year after year. This is perhaps inevitable in a country such as Spain, where the good health of the TV industry contrasts with the eternal conflicts in the film world, which hasn’t yet achieved at home the good reputation it enjoys abroad.

The increasingly frequent transitions from the small to the big screen, such as those made by Jesús del Cerro, Nacho García Velilla, Guillermo Groizard, Javier Ruiz Caldera (see news) and Fernando González, among others, are not therefore surprising.

Antena 3’s next comedy, Borja Cobeaga’s Friend Zone [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Borja Cobeaga
film profile
]
, will be released on July 3. The director has won acclaim from critics, who honoured him at the Malaga Film Festival, and was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for his short One Too Many.

(Translated from Spanish)

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