14 posts categorized "Spanish Cinema"

October 24, 2023

THE ORPHANAGE — SHOCKTOBER!

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Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

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ColeSmithey.comGuillermo del Toro (director of "The Devil's Backbone") executive produced this richly layered Spanish gothic horror movie by director Juan Antonio Bayona, and written by Sergio G. Sanchez.

Laura (Belen Rueda) and husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) adopt Simon (Roger Princep), an HIV positive boy, to live in a new home on the Spanish coast, a disused mansion orphanage from Laura’s childhood.

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Simon starts cavorting with ghosts and disappears after driving his mother to the limits of sanity.

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In searching for her son, Laura uncovers answers to a deeper mystery about the fate of other children at the orphanage.

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Stylistically impeccable and organically suspenseful, "The Orphanage" is a fun horror movie with well-placed shocks that will unnerve even the least suggestible audiences.

Rated PG-13. 105 mins.

4 Stars SHOCKTOBER!Cozy Cole

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October 20, 2023

THE SKIN I LIVE IN — SHOCKTOBER!

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Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

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Thanks a lot acorns!

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ColeSmithey.comPedro Almodóvar proves himself an apt technician at sustaining suspense in the thriller genre. Antonio Banderas returns to work with Almodóvar for the first time in over 20-years, since his memorable performance "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!."

The years have been kind to Banderas who brings his A-game to a deliciously diabolical role.

Plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (Banderas) is a mad scientist with plenty of method to his particular madness of creating an indestructible skin. His wife died in a car fire. His daughter committed suicide. He harbors vengeance. But why?

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The Toledo-based doctor conducts experiments in the privacy of his luxurious mansion laboratory. Not even Dr. Frankenstein had it so good. His mother (Marisa Paredes) serves as his dutiful maid. Almodovar's meticulous attention to detail keeps you hypnotized.

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Every visual component is exact in color, placement, and scale. Naturally, the evil doctor is using a human being to live inside the hybrid-pig-DNA membrane he has perfected. His comely patient Vera (Elena Anaya) is confined to a large room. She wears a skin-tight body suit and practices yoga for hours on end. Dr. Ledgard secretly observes Vera through a large two-way mirror. Elena Anaya is an exquisite object of fetishistic delight for Almodovar to pour his patient camera over.

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Based on Thierry Jonquet's novel "Mygale" "The Skin I Live In" is a haunting film that tips its hat to Alfred Hitchcock. There's a goodly dose of Georges Franju's 1960 French horror classic "Eyes Without a Face." Elliptical time shifts tell the story in a disjointed fashion that makes you want to see the film twice even as you're watching it. There's mystery here to savor as you would any great piece of cinematic art. Pedro Almodóvar has created a masterpiece. Plan on seeing it twice.

Rated R. 120 mins.

4 Stars“ColeSmithey.com” Screen Shot 2024-05-19 at 9.26.40 PM
THE BLOOD OF DRACULA THE BLOOD OF DRACULACozy Cole

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January 11, 2021

LOS OLVIDADOS— CLASSIC FILM PICK

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Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

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Los_olvidadosSmack.

Luis Buñuel paved the way for a neo-realistic style that would sweep across Europe (and eventually America in the '70s) after Italian Neorealism took hold during World War II. Buñuel’s 1933 doc “Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (“Land Without Bread") established neorealism’s documentary style, and use of unprofessional actors, to exert an invisible effect of editorial point-making. However, Buñuel had more tricks up his sleeve. Style can be copied; approach and execution cannot. 

Olvidados

Having spent the post-World War II ‘40s directing popular “charro” films in Mexico, Buñuel was encouraged by his frequent producer Óscar Dancigers to make a film about Mexico City’s impoverished lost children. Co-written by Buñuel and Luis Alcoriza, “Los Olvidados” (“The Young and the Damned”) remains a towering beacon of social realist Cinema, albeit with a strong dose of dreamscape subconsciousness. Made in 1950 (the same year that Hollywood made “All About Eve”), “Los Olvidados” retains the power to shock its audience due to Buñuel’s unflappable ability to inject contextual clarity about society’s implication in dooming its underclass children to lives of abuse and crime.

Los

Buñuel eschews any sense of politeness, condescension, or patronizing of his characters or of his audience. El Jaibo (Roberto Cobo) is a juvenile delinquent recently escaped from jail who murders the boy he believes ratted on him. Pedro (Alfonso Mejía), a young witness to Jaibo’s crime, is accused of the murder while Jaibo is free to pursue an affair with Pedro’s neglectful mother. Mexico City's impoverished children are exploited by adults at every turn, without exception. 

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You won’t find any pity in “Los Olvidados,” but you will experience the full effect of Buñuel’s unvarnished filmic system of delivering onion layers of social realism. Think for yourself. You want a deep-dive filmic social study relevant to today, you've got it.

Dig.

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It would take another decade before Luis Buñuel would turn his attentions to only making his own films, with "Viridiana" (1961).

Not Rated. 80 mins.

Five Stars

Cozy Cole

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