Spanish comedies in focus

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‘Primos’ is a very well-crafted romantic comedy about three 30-something cousins

‘Primos’ is a very well-crafted romantic comedy about three 30-something cousins

Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain, in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), present the film cycle “Those Funny Spaniards. Four Spanish Comedies,” a series of Spanish films to be shown during the Saturdays of May at the FDCP Cinematheque.

Since its beginnings, Spanish cinema showed a knack for comedy. Today, in addition to the contribution of the veteran maestros of the genre, new directors are forging the Golden Age of Spanish comedy.

The films series kicked off on May 7 with Primos, a very well-crafted romantic comedy about three 30-something cousins trying to recharge their manhood in the seaside town where they spent summers as children. Directed by Spanish filmmaker Daniel Sánchez Arévalo in 2011, Primos has become one of the most popular Spanish comedies of recent years.

Alex de la Iglesia’s Crimen ferpecto (Perfect Crime) will be the second installment of the film cycle. The movie, to be shown on May 14, at 4 p.m., is a witty black comedy about the cutthroat world of sales representatives clawing their way to the top. Nominated for several categories at the Goya Awards, the movie enjoyed a very successful career at film festivals around the world.


Directed by Luis García Berlanga in 1961, ‘Plácido’ will close the film series on May 28

Directed by Luis García Berlanga in 1961, ‘Plácido’ will close the film series on May 28

The well-acted comedy Sin vergüenza (Joaquín Oristrell, 2001) will be shown on Saturday 21st May, at 4 p.m. A very popular movie at its release, it is about actors and their everyday life. One day, Isabel, an acting teacher running a school in Madrid, runs across a script written by the famed film director Mario Fabra. As she reads it, she realizes that the script is about a brief but unforgettable fling she had with the filmmaker 21 years before. She promptly calls up Mario and arranges lunch. For his latest film, Mario is looking for fresh faces and asks Isabel to line up some of her better students for an audition. In the process, actors clash and egos inflate.

Directed by Luis García Berlanga in 1961, Plácido will close the film series on May 28, 4 p.m. A classic of the genre and one of the masterpieces of Spanish cinema, the black comedy focuses on Plácido, the humble owner of a three-wheeler, whose family is forced to live in a public lavatory because of the lack of money to pay the rent, and who has to pay the second bill of his vehicle before midnight or else he will lose it.

The movie was chosen as the Best Film of the Year by the Cinema Writers Circle of Spain, and was nominated to the Oscars as Best Foreign Language Film. It also entered the 1962 Cannes Film Festival.

All films will be shown in their original version in Spa­nish with English subtitles. The screenings will take place at the Cinematheque of FDCP, at 855 T. M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila. Entrance is free admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit www.manila.cervantes.es.

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