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FESTIVALS Italy / Spain

Latest in Spanish film comes to Rome

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Latest in Spanish film comes to Rome

Besides the usual suspects (especially Almodóvar) and a few genre filmmakers, Italians know little about recent Spanish cinema. In to attempt to bridge this gap, cinemaSpagna is offering 10 feature films (from May 16-22 at Rome’s Farnese cinema), all of them never before screened in Italy– with the exception of Volver [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agustín Almodóvar
interview: Carmen Maura
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
interview: Pénélope Cruz
film profile
]
– and often Italian premieres.

The festival will feature “maestros” Pere Portabella, who besides directing was also the historical producer behind masterpieces such as Luis Bunuel’s Viridiana, and actor-director-writer Fernando Fernán-Gómez, who passed away last November. The former's The Silence Before Bach (at last year’s Venice Film Festival) will be shown while tribute will be paid to Fernán-Gómez with the screening of two of his classics: Voyage to Nowhere, which in 1987 won him the Best Film Goya, and The Stilts (1984) by Carlos Saura.

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However, cinemaSpagna – produced by Viridiana Media in collaboration with the London Spanish Film Festival, and with support from the Instituto Cervantes and the Real Academia de España in Rome – is first and foremost an opportunity for Italian audiences to discover films and filmmakers that at home are often multiple award winners, such Jaime Rosales’s Solitary Fragments [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a dramatic story of two women.

Italian premieres are Antonio Muñoz de Mesa’s comedy Amigos de Jesús (Best Debut Film at the Malaga Film Festival) and Lo que sé de Lola [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Javier Rebollo, who sparked talk – for the film’s influence of French cinema – of a “Nouveau Cinéma Espagnol”.

There are numerous debut films, including Under the Stars [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Félix Viscarret, and shorts (divided into Spanish and Basque sections). The Basque Country is also represented in one of two documentaries by Orson Welles on the programme, La Pelote basque (the other is Madrid Bullfight).

Also of note is Alberto Morais’s artistic documentary A Place in the Cinema, which follows Victor Erice and Theo Angelopoulos as it looks at the birth of Neorealism and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

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(Translated from Italian)

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